Supporting UNC’s talent

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Jason Loing hoists his ukulele above his head, smiling on stage
Contestant Jason Loing performed an original song with his ukulele for the final round of performances. Photo courtesy of Brittney Martinez.

University of Northern Colorado’s University Program Council hosted the annual UNC’s Got Talent competition on Tuesday.

Part of the ballroom in the University Center was packed with students excited to watch the performances of this year’s contestants. People were lined up against the the back wall due to the lack of seats, but that did not negatively affect the mood.

Nine contestants competed for three top prizes: a polaroid camera for third place, a bluetooth speaker for second place and a pair of airpods for first place. Each contestant had two minutes to perform for each of three rounds. After the first two rounds, the audience participated in deciding who continued into the final round.

UNC student Zoie Campbell hosted the event, and she kept the excitement going throughout the entire show, even during the intermissions while audience members voted. Volunteers from the audience joined her on stage as popular hip-hop music blared through the speakers. She also interacted with each contestant after there set, so the audience had personality to consider when they voted.

After the first round the audience narrowed down the contestants to Jason Loing (singer), Ryan Valentine (guitarist), Armani Portee (dancer), De’Tuan Williams (singer), Nikea Minott (singer), and Tia Roundy (hula-hoop dancer).

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The second round of audience eliminations resulted in three finalists: Loing, Portee and Roundy. The final round resulted in a winner, and this decision was made by the three judges who watched all three rounds. The judge’s panel consisted of Student Body President Tim Hernandez, Student Trustee Malaika Michel-Fuller, and UNC student Sarah Methuselah.

After performing songs from popular artists, including Alicia Keys and Whitney Houston, Loing performed an original song with his ukulele for his final performance.

“I figured the only way I could make this performance really my performance would be to end this thing with something I created,” Loing said.

Portee performed an emotional interpretive dance to the song “This is Me” from the 2017 film “The Greatest Showman,” and expressed her love for her talent through tears before she left the stage.

“We go through so much in life, and people are so scared to be who they are,” Portee said. “At the end of the day, I came on this stage to not only give you guys a performance, but to also show you the talent God has given to me.”

After another brief intermission, Campbell brought up the three finalists and announced Loing as the winner. He attempted to express his feelings after the win.

“Oh man, it’s a feeling like no other,” Loing said. “It’s really cool to see support for my music. It’s amazing to me that I have friends here who were willing to listen to my music, and it means a lot.”

Demara Goodloe, the UPC’s arts and entertainment coordinator, organized the entire event. She hired the production company, coordinated the auditions, booking the rooms and more.

“This has been my biggest event for the year,” Goodloe said. “Just to see the seats filled and people lined up against the back, it’s really great.”

The UPC’s next event will be Open Mic Night 8 p.m. Monday at the Campus Commons.

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