Hundreds of students turned out for this year’s event showcasing Augustana student talent
Madeline Killoh took the top prize with an original song taking home a thousand dollars in front of the nearly 450 people that filled the Lougheed Performing Arts Centre for this year’s Augustana’s Got Talent event.
This year’s event, which took place on Saturday, Nov. 5, consisted of 15 acts all bringing a variety of talent. Killoh performed her own original song, called Paper Home, which she dedicated to her sister.
The second prize of four hundred dollars went to Bjarke M. Dahl, an international student from Denmark, who sang four Brittany Spears songs, and rapped in Danish. A student performing as Tk Mah placed third singing Stuttering and Need You Bad, taking home the one hundred and fifty dollar prize.
Killoh said she didn’t expect to win: “I just turned to my buddy SWK (Shane William Kimber) for a hug and went with the flow. It was a wonderful opportunity.”
“I’ve been singing for almost five years now and started playing guitar around the same time,” said Killoh. “At first I was a lot more passionate about guitar but I soon realized how good of an outlet songwriting and singing was for me and pursued that.”
This was Killoh’s second year performing at Augustana’s Got Talent. “Last year I did a cover of Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.”
Killoh said she finds Augustana’s Got Talent an event that “truly adds to the Augustana community that I love so much.” Adding that “to be able to showcase your talent while watching others share theirs as well is a really great way to spend an evening together.”
Second place winner, Bjarke Dahl said he was very glad after realizing his second place win. “I am happy that people want to listen,” said Dahl. “I don’t even know if I would consider myself a singer.”
“The days up to the event I was thinking a lot about what act I should do,” said Dahl. “I had to learn three new songs, both guitar and lyrics and put it at together into one act.”
“People were in general really encouraging afterwards and I got a lot of good responses,” said Dahl.
Third place winner Tk Mah said that she has been singing since the age of twelve. She said this year “was my first year performing at AGT, I hope to be around next year to perform again.”
“I was shocked to have placed third since the talent line-up at Augustana is so strong and diverse,” said Tk Mah. “As well, I actually didn’t know about the prizes until the day of the performance.”
This was the Augustana Students’ Association’s (ASA) fourth year hosting Augustana’s Got Talent and ASA VP Student Life Christine Tran’s first year organizing the event.
“I learned a lot from the past experience of others on the event and hoped to improve on the feedback of what worked and what didn’t,” said Tran, adding that she also wanted to incorporate some of her own ideas as well.
“We did a few things differently this year, we changed the voting system in which members of the audience voted for their favourite act(s),” said Tran. This year, members voted by texting the hashtag of their favourite act to a temporary phone number.
“The act with the most audience votes had 10 extra bonus points added to their final scoring from the judges, the act with the second most had 5 extra bonus points,” said Tran. “This helped with tie breakers.”
Winners were decided by combining judge’s decisions with points earned through votes from the crowd. This year’s judges were Fall 2015 Augustana’s Got Talent first place winners Ian Skinner and Adam Mckenzie, Augustana’s Executive Director or Student Life Randel Nickel, Lougheed Centre Events Coordinator Kristen DeCoste and Students’ Union VP Operations and Finance Robyn Paches.
Another difference to this year’s AGT event was that 2014 contestant Tarisai Mbudzi entertained the audience with a standup comedy act during intermission. “Those who did not wish to leave for refreshments during that period could stay and enjoy the entertainment,” said Tran.
This year’s show was hosted by local morning show host from 98.1 Cam – Fm radio Lucas Banack and Students’ Union VP External Mike Sandare.
Also competing this year were The Trio consisting of Ken Winder, Qais Alizada and Glenn Abalayan; Luke James; Shane William Kimber; Tea Kieftenbeld; Micah Friesen; Ozan Ardic; Todd Yaremcio and Cade Scheck; Lane Anderson; Karen Wagner; Katelynn Cook; Parker Dean; and Brynn Markowsky.
“Overall I was excited for all the new talent but also some familiar faces and I’m incredibly happy with the outcome of the event,” said Tran. “I couldn’t have thanked the judges, hosts, performers, the hardwork of my team and the Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre enough for dedicating their efforts and contributing to its success.”