UPB talent showcase debuts various student singers, results in a tie-breaking cheer match


(Kaitlynn Devitt / Hilltop Views)

Talent show contestants: Celia Corujo Gomez (middle), Jazmine Collins (left) and Ashley Rose Walters (right) line up for a photo with prizes in hand.

Students were given a chance to showcase their talents during a talent show that took place in Carter Auditorium on Nov. 18. The University Programming Board hosted the event, and the emcee was Wanye’ Tate, the assistant director of student involvement, who also emceed the drag show that took place Oct. 27.

Tate was the emcee for the talent show. He started the event by sharing his talent for step dancing, a tradition carried on from his hometown, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. (Kaitlynn Devitt / Hilltop Views)

“UPB and I decided to have this talent show to showcase students’ talents around campus,” Tate said. “There are a bunch of amazing, talented students here on campus, and we felt the need to show these talents, whether singing or dancing. We want to showcase it and show it to the university.”

Auditions were held a week before the event to allow students to practice their talent in front of a small group. There were three performers: Celia Corujo Gomez, Jazmine Collins, and AshleyRose Watters — all of which were singers from various music genres. 

Celia Corujo Gomez sang a Japanese song titled “Taishou a.” Not only did she perform in front of a large audience, but her family and friends were also there to support her. (Kaitlynn Devitt / Hilltop Views)

There was a crowd of supporters, family members, friends and students in attendance for the event, showering praise upon the talent of our fellow Hilltoppers. 

“I feel like having my family and my partner here just means the world to me, because I know that they are my biggest support in life,” Gomez said.“And no matter what, I will always have them by my side.”

Tate kicked off the talent show with a talent of his own: stepping, which is a popular dance style where footwork is the most important part of the dance and is a big deal in his hometown, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He then introduced the first official performer for the night: Gomez, who sang a Japanese song titled “Taishou a.”

Jazmine Collins, who sang “Lay Me Down” by Sam Smith, placed in third for the talent (Kaitlynn Devitt / Hilltop Views)

“I’ve been singing in Japanese for quite a while now; I started learning it myself,” Gomez said. “I realized that to stand out tonight, I had to do something memorable to myself and everybody else, so I chose this song.”

Last was AshleyRose Watters, who sang “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood. After each performance, the crowd broke out in cheers and applause, congratulating them for having the courage to share their talents in front of many people. (Kaitlynn Devitt / Hilltop Views)

Next was Collins, who sang “Lay Me Down” by Sam Smith. Last was Walters, who sang “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood. After each performance, the crowd broke out in cheers and applause, congratulating them for having the courage to share their talents in front of many people. 

Tate performed another step routine before having the crowd vote on a winner for the event. As he placed a hand over each performer’s head, the crowd cheered, and the talent show winner determined which performer got the loudest cheers. There seemed to be a tie between Gomez and Watters, so the second round of voting was completed for each of them, resulting in Gomez being the first-place winner and Watters coming close in second place.

UPB wanted to congratulate all of the performers from this night by giving each of them a prize to choose from. Before ending the night, Tate announced another talent show next year and asked the audience to spread the word, encouraging students not to be afraid to show off their unique talents in the upcoming 2023 semester.

UPB congratulated each of the performers by giving them a prize. Tate also announced that there would be another talent show next semester. (Kaitlynn Devitt / Hilltop Views)