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UNC students audition their talents

By Erika Siebring
On February 12, 2017

Senior Art and Design major Tim Medina shows off his voice trying out for UNC’s Got Talent Thursday at the University CenterPhoto by Sam Lawlor | The Mirror.

Creativity, presentation, talent; these are qualities that make a great performer. These are also the crowd-pleasing qualities the University Program Council looked for during the UNC’s Got Talent auditions on Thursday, the last day of a three-day extravaganza designed to find the best show-worthy participants to showcase at the spring spectacular.

Ashley Register, UPC’s Arts and Entertainment Coordinator, explained the basis behind the judging panel’s rankings and decisions.

“I don't think it’s necessarily if we like the performance, it’s ‘will the audience accept it as entertainment?’” Register said.

Tyler Eatherton, the Bear Pride Coordinator followed up, saying, “One thing that we do know is we know what an audience will like, and so I feel like when we judge, it’s just based on that.”

With those conditions in place, Alicia “Nickie” Flores, a sophomore criminal justice major, displayed her two dogs’ talents for distinguishing between several objects and following specific commands. Gettysburg “Gator” Gator, a three-year-old mix of rottweiler, great dane and boxer, and Iindependence “Iindey” May, an eleven-year-old mutt and retired service dog took turns being the star. Despite having to be reminded to ‘mind your manners,’ the two finished their audition strong. Flores explained why she tried out to be in the talent show, specifically citing her older dog Iindey.

    “I wanted to do something with her, because baby-girl doesn’t get out very often,” Flores said. “It was something fun to do with her, so, I mean, if we don’t make it, whatever.”

    Jared Chandler followed the almost-literal dog and pony show, a sophomore English major and self-made stand-up comedian. Chandler practices his comedy through various open mic nights in both Greeley and Fort Collins, as well as some in Boulder and Denver. According to him, he carries a notebook around with him in case he gets an idea of a potentially funny joke, and then he’ll come up with a premise for the joke later and try it out.

This time around, Chandler eased through social and college-related humor. Beginning with annoyances about being tall and being ask to grab things for everyone, and progressing to a complicated analogy for liking a girl’s old Instagram photos, Chandler elicited multiple laughs from the panel.

A black, Club-branded drum set took the floor next, hauled in by graduate student Oliver De La Cruz, and used to illustrate De La Cruz’s solo interpretation of the instrumental track “Imperfection” by the dance/electronic music group BODHI.

Timidly sneaking her way through the door, junior nursing major Nikea Minott’s soft-spoken voice greeted the panel, bringing a flash drive of Sam Smith’s “Lay Me Down” with her. Despite any nervousness, though, a transformation occurred as the opening notes began to play; Minott's smooth, strong voice feely swung from low to high notes and held them effortlessly, matching the emotional song perfectly. While her voice still hinted at her shy demeanor, Minott closed her eyes, her hands together in front of her and moving slightly with the rise and fall of the melody. Prompting applause even before the final notes played, Minott once again returned to her quiet voice and noted how much her hands were shaking, despite the panel discreetly dubbing her “Beyonce 2.0.”

“I like singing a lot. I just like singing in my room, so this is my outlet, like a hobby,” Minott said. “I love Sam Smith. I just love all of his songs because I feel like they just have such a deep meaning to it, and there’s a lot of soul in them.”

Larry Ward Jr., a junior art and design major, walked in after her, fittingly sporting a loud, royal blue checked shirt with violet and black highlights and a violet tie. Treating the panel to a nostalgic throwback rendition of “Some Nights” by Fun, Ward worked his whole body into the moving beat of the song. Pumping his fists and tapping his foot, Ward got into the intense notes of the song, enough to leave him out of breath once the song ended.

    Senior art and design major Tim Medina wrapped up the afternoon with another song, this time “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” by Deep Blue Somethings. While also tapping his foot to the song, Medina kept his thumbs tucked into his pockets, and only shook his head slightly while the rest of his body stayed still. Medina explained afterward that he went to UNC’s open mic nights a few times his sophomore year, but currently does most of his preforming at other ones downtown. This piece in particular he discovered while on a trip.

    “It’s one of the best songs that my voice is compatible with,” Medina said. “I’ve been singing since I was seven, but this is the first time I’ve actually had a song that was really fun.”

Medina also noted his satisfaction for remembering all the lyrics but couldn’t hear the audio so well, forgetting how much his voice projects.

     “Once I’m on point, I’m on point. I was just ready to go. I always have fun when I do it,” Medina said.

    Register explained that each contestant that receives a callback will need to prepare three separate acts for the show, one for each round of competition. UNC’s Got Talent will be on March 5.

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