By Jessa Gianotti
The College is known for having its quirky traditions: jumping in the fountain, having a beer at The Rat, being greeted by Eve Cruz at Eickhoff. But the new tradition has formed around the annual “TCNJ’s Got Talent” show, held for the sixth time this year on Wednesday, March 11, and presented by representatives from each grade’s student class council.
“It’s a TCNJ legacy event,” said Brian Garsh, president of the class of 2015. “It’s meant to build unity and pride on our campus.”
This year, a theater full of students came together in Kendall Hall to see nine different acts perform in the show.
Cruz, speaking of, was one of the judges at this year’s show, along with Liz Bapasola, advisor to Student Government, and Ryan Quindlen, the winner of the show two years ago.
“The show was so fun,” junior biology major Radhika Ragam said. “It was cool to see how many talented and brave people we have at TCNJ.”
Anil Salem, a freshman at the college, won the competition this year for his performance of an original song on guitar called “Sky.” The performance that lasted nearly eight minutes had the entire audience in awe.
“He was incredible,” Ragam said. “I got the chills throughout his performance. Everyone was floored at the precision and speed at which he was playing, and the fact that it was an original song just made it that much better.”
The second place title went to Grace Nielsen, who sang an aria and in Latin, no less. In third place was the pair of Priscilla Nunez and Fernanda Morales, who did a sign-language rendition of “Where Is The Love” by The Black Eyed Peas.
Rishi Kapoor and Levi Klinger-Christiansen performed a medley of contemporary songs including “Jealous” by Nick Jonas and “Best I Ever Had” by Drake, in which they both sang as Klinger-Christiansen played guitar. The act was narrated by Kapoor, who told a love story about a fictitious friend of his and a girl he met at a coffee shop to piece together a theme between the songs.
Simran Arjani and Arun Madari sang a duet to “My Love” by Adele, and Gabe Rojas also performed an original hip-hop song that had the entire audience clapping and rapping along with him at the chorus.
For the second act of the show, all of the lights shut off as the Circus Club performed a hula-hooping, juggling and dancing act in the dark with light-up props that awed the whole room.
Afterward, Brett Celenz continued to keep the audience smiling with his stand-up comedy routine.
Christine Levering also performed a juggling act, literally and figuratively, in which she removed an item of clothing every time she dropped a ball while simultaneously telling jokes that left everyone in stitches — including Eve Cruz, whose laugh you could hear across Kendall when Levering did an impression of her.
And the juggling acts weren’t the only comic relief during the show. Hosts Ryan Boyne and Chris Drabik, both seniors at the College, kept the audience laughing between every act.
“It really was a fun time and a great show for everyone involved,” Drabik said.
The show not only emphasized talent, but brought the entire campus community together to support their fellow peers.