Where could you have seen a comedic juggler, a saxophonist, a contortionist, dancers and singers all on the same stage? At the fifth annual TCNJ’s Got Talent, of course.
Approximately 30 acts auditioned for a spot in the show’s line-up, but only nine were chosen to perform on Thursday, April 17. Ultimately, it was sophomore accounting major Stephen Fabiano who impressed the judges with his animation dancing to take home the title of the College’s most talented student.
“When I won, I was absolutely shocked,” Fabiano said. “Having seen everyone’s performances and the level of talent, I thought there was no way I’d win. Everyone did an amazing job, bringing such a high level of talent to the show. I’m just glad I could do my part to make the show great.”
Fabiano, who was also a part of the show last year, said he never considered himself a dancer until his senior year of high school when a group of peers formed a circle around him during homecoming. However, it wasn’t until his freshman year at the College that he realized how talented he actually was.
“Once my floor saw what I could do during Welcome Week, they encouraged me to keep improving,” Fabiano said. “As I kept learning and trying new things, I gained confidence and eventually got the ‘I can do this’ mindset.”
The judges, associate vice president for Communications, Marketing and Brand Management Dave Muha, vice president for Student Affairs Amy Hecht and assistant director of the Career Center Lynette Harris, awarded second place to freshman psychology major and contortionist Shirley Wang.
Wang got her start in contortion after having to end competitive figure skating when entering college and still having a drive to perform.
“I started practicing contortion with videos on YouTube,” Wang said. “Over fall, winter and spring breaks, I took classes at several aerial arts studios and discovered a new love for aerial silks, lyra and trapeze. Along with aerial classes, I took contortion classes, which I also enjoyed.”
According to Wang, getting to know the other performers made the night even more enjoyable.
“Everyone was super friendly and easygoing, and it was a very energetic and positive atmosphere,” she said.
Freshman health and exercise science and education dual major Christine Levering probably had something to do with lightening the mood backstage. Levering was awarded third place not only for her juggling skills, but also for her added comedic quips.
As the performers finished, they were able to rejoin the audience to watch the other ongoing talents. Because she performed early on, Wang saw most of the performances and said she loved them all.
“They were all amazing, and I was so impressed by everyone’s talents,” Wang said of the other performers.
Although there were only nine total performances, the show represented only a small portion of the College’s immense pool of talent.