The finale of “TP’s Got Talent” was held Nov. 17 during lunch in front of the gymnasium where students, Cole Parker (10), Hannah Uzi (12), Rayhan “Sugar Ray Ray” Tabani (12) and Charles “Big Chuck” Livingston (10) placed first, second, third and fourth, respectively.
“TP’s Got Talent,” hosted by ASB Commissioner of Philanthropy John Schreckengaust (12) was a week-long talent show that took place during lunch Nov. 13 to 17. Cash prizes ranging from $25 to $100 were awarded to first, second and third place winners.
The first three days of the competition were the “preliminary round,” when any and all competitors were allowed to participate. After that round, judges began eliminating contestants. The semi-finals were on Thursday, and on Friday the top four performers: Livingston, Tabani, Parker and Uzi, performed at the finale.
After each finale performance, each judge commented on the performance and scored the performer on a scale of one to 25 in several categories, including overall performance, audience reaction, creativity, originality and artistic merit, which was an extra boost, according to judges, Principal Rob Coppo and English teacher Lisa Callender.
“It was really cool to see students put themselves out there like that, taking a risk,” Coppo said. “I thought the audience there was great, but I would love to have seen a bigger audience.”
Livingston, the first to perform, sang “The Scientist” by Coldplay while playing keyboard. AP Economics teacher Jeffrey Owen and one of the four judges, said that Livingston, who had previously played the ukulele during his performances, impressed with his act.
Tabani sang an original song, “Imagine,” at the finale and eventually walked off the stage to interact with the audience.
“[‘TP’s Got Talent’] was fun [and] made me think on my toes,” Tabani said. “I realized that I can’t slack and [can] continue to grow as an artist, not just a singer.”
Like Livingston, Tabani got positive reviews from the judges and the audience. However, Tabani’s stage presence and song originality impressed the judges most.
Coppo also said that he specifically looked for how comfortable performers were on stage.
“Performers got to engage and all, especially with the audience,” Coppo said. “And you can be really technically good at something, but if you don’t have stage presence, it doesn’t work.”
Parker was the next to perform. He “Home Sweet Home” by Motley Crue, a heavy metal band from the 1980s, accompanied by an electric guitar. Although he both played and sang during other parts of the song, midway through the song, he displayed his guitar skills with a long guitar riff.
“It was a lot of fun… to hear [such an old song] again,” Coppo said.
Parker said that he did not practice for the first round, but for the next two days, he prepared the night before for the performances.
Parker’s hard work paid off when he received positive reviews by the impressed judges. During the commentary, theater director Marinee Payne said, “I’m flabbergasted; you’ve rendered me speechless.”
After Parker was Uzi, singing “Mamma Knows Best” by Jessie J. During her performance, Uzi’s use of the stage and strong vocals earned her attention from the judges. Callender complimented her on her song choice and Owen said “You’re vocal range is nuts.” He went on to compliment her on her audience interaction, while Payne was impressed by her overall performance.
Parker and Tabani joined “TP’s Got Talent” because of their love of music.
“I enjoy singing and competing,” Parker said. “I couldn’t watch other singers compete without me in the event.”
Tabani wanted to perform in front of the school and see how much he has improved since last year.
After the last performance, Schreckengaust introduced Robert McKeon, campus supervisor, as “DJ Bob.” McKeon sang part of “Three Times a Lady” by Lionel Richie, a song he said he sang to his wife on their wedding day. While he sang, the judges calculated the final scores.
When deciding the winners, “it was so difficult particularly because all four of them were just so good, but very different in genres,” Callender said.
“It was a wonderful experience, each day I heard great input from the judges,” Parker said. “[It] couldn’t have gone any better.”
Tabani was content with being able to perform and have fun in the competition.
While he thinks that this year’s event was great and original, Coppo thinks that there are several improvements that could be made to next year’s “TP’s Got Talent,” like minimizing technical glitches and improving the sound system. Callender also thinks that a bigger audience and getting the word out would allow “TP’s Got Talent” to become a fun tradition.
Ricky Landry (12) (LEFT) and Flavio de Luna (12) (RIGHT) perform their dance at ‘TP’s Got Talent’ (ABOVE). The talent show took place over the week of Nov. 13-17.