After students competed in the talent shows for their retrospective dormitory hall, the top three finalists from each building advanced to compete in the final talent show held in Sykes ballrooms on Friday Nov. 21, 2008. The talent show was a Sykes After Dark event and was hosted by Jesse Harrell and Katie Petrello.

Josh Loss, third-year student, opened the show by performing two songs that he wrote. He has released two albums. His first is titled “This Just In.” During his second song, Loss asked the crowd to sing along with him.

“His songs are depressing, but he’s a happy person,” the hosts said when introducing Loss.

Up next, guitarist Bobby Waterman, second-year student, was accompanied by his friend Tom. They played the guitar together and both sang one song.

The other popular talent was singing and playing the piano, such as with Sean McElwee who played the piano while Alexa C. sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

Rio Myers changed the style of the show when he got on stage to rap. Myers, from Brooklyn, is a communication studies major and is interning with a clothing company. He rapped over the beat of music. The rap he wrote for that night he said is a true story about his life.

Brenden DiBlassio, a third-year student, had performed several times in high school, he stopped in college. “He is ready to pick up [performing] again,” the host said, giving DiBlassio the stage. He played the guitar and sang two popular songs, one newer song and one from the 90’s.

DiBlassio sang “Apology” by One Republic. His second song, “Save Tonight” by Eagle Eye Cherry allotted the audience to participate. DiBlassio told the audience when he stopped playing the guitar, for everyone to sing the verse with him. He continued to play and finished the song with the crowd still singing with him.

Joe Calvarese was introduced as “Reese” from New Castle, Del. Calvarese has an upcoming album, “No Man’s Land” versatility, to be released in the spring of 2009. Two of the raps he wrote, “Get Away” and “Toes in the Sand” were performed over music.

Calvarese encouraged audience members to feel free to dance and move around as he rapped. When he held out the microphone during his second number, the audience yelled out “toes in the sand.”

Sean Nester, a second-year student, has been playing the guitar for seven years. He played his guitar as he performed John Mayors “Why Georgia Why” and “The Scientist” by Coldplay.

Mayya Saab, first-year student majoring in vocal performance, wrote the song she performed, which is to be published. The audience members were the first to hear her piece, “Let Me Be.”

The next performers were Stephen Smith and his “three angels.” Smith was introduced by the host who said “if you’re ovulating . . . they may get you pregnant.” Smith sang and played the guitar; he was joined by three girls who echoed his words.

Smith began by singing “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton. Smith’s second song was an adaptation of Michael Jacksons “I Am the One.” His lyrics were based on occurrences on the Maury show, including the paternity test.

Introduced as having “13 hits on the top 100” list, Daniel Karrigan and Friends, performed a popular song they “dedicated to all the ladies” at the event. The five guys sang Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way.” The five of them sang together as one played the guitar.

The group members began the song by sitting down together. Then the group members went into the crowd, singing to girls. Kerrigan and friends rejoined each other on the stage, till the end of the song, where most of the members went up to more girls to sing.

Hillary Sheaff, first-year student majoring in vocal performance has been playing the piano since she was seven years old and started singing at three years of age. She wrote and revised her own song over the summer, now having three different versions of it. The second song she performed was “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” She changed the song in pace and vocal points, as she played it on the piano.

Steph Wajda and Kaitlyn Waterson were the final performers of the night. They sang “What Is This Feeling?” from Wicked. They said that the two singers in Wicked are roommates; the two performers, Wajda and Waterson, are also roommates.

The audience members were given ballots to mark their top three performances of the night. The hosts tallied them up and announced the winners.

Kerrigan and Friends won third place. In second place was Nester, winning t-shirts, movie tickets and a gift card. First place of the talent show was Smith, winnings included a $75 gift card and a WCU blanket.

Ginger Rae Dunbar is a second-year student majoring in English with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at RD655287@wcupa.edu.

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