As Northwestern junior John Park continued to grace the Idol stage in Hollywood, the rest of the talented Northwestern students scampered quickly to fill in his presumably large shoes.
And they did not disappoint, at least not on January 30, 2010, the night of NU’s Got Talent.
Hosted by NU Special Olympics, the first ever talent show featured the likes of on-campus dance groups, solo rappers and Disney-song belters. Around 200 Northwestern students gathered in Ryan Auditorium of Tech to witness the unveiling of their fellow students’ hidden talents.
Guest judges included Northwestern President Morton Schapiro and his daughter, Coach Fitz, ASG president Mike McGee, and Peter Lindquist, New Trier Township’s Special Olympic Champion in the long jump field event.
Misericordia Heartbreakers, a group of talented dancers despite dealing with developmental disabilities, warmed up the audience with several dance numbers.
Steam Heat and Tonik Tap were next to deliver stellar dance performances. A brand-new student dance group on campus, Steam Heat performed a Broadway-esque dance. All clad in green, the three stars of Tonik Tap tap-danced their way to great critiques from the judges.
Mike McGee said, “I’m jealous of you guys because I can’t tap, so I was very critical of your performance.”
Lightning Shark Attack, a group consisting of five string players and a singer, gave a moving rendition of “Viva la Vida.”
It was evident that there was no age limit to be eligible in the competition, as Northwestern Physics professor Art Schmidt strummed his guitar and sang an original song about rising MTA costs.
President Schapiro commented, “Schmidt is the reason I’m proud to be a tenure in the Northwestern faculty.”
Daniel Lee rapped to an unreliable song track that disappeared in the middle of his performance. Despite the song’s shortcomings, Lee continued to entertain the audience by improvising self-deprecating remarks to his rap.
A small representation of ReFresh, a hip-hop dance group at Northwestern, danced their heart out. One of the three guys lost his glasses and his hat during the performance but still proceeded to do his headstand.
Schapiro complimented the crew on their “amazing athleticism” and said, “I think you should all play for Fitz.”
The surprise performance of the night came from Justin Kim, a Korean-American at Northwestern who gained fame through his Youtube viral video “Cheap Prostitute look.”
Kim, a voice major in Bienen School of Music, belted out a heartfelt rendition of Aladdin’s A Whole New World, singing both Aladdin’s and Jasmine’s parts, complete with his own choreography.
After Kim’s performance, Fitz said, “I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I’m going straight onto your Youtube page tonight.”
Schapiro chipped in, “I’m speechless. I’m so done with Disney – you completed its repertoire for me. I’ll probably have entertaining nightmares about this performance tonight.”
The ultimate winners of the night were the steppers from Phi Beta Sigma, a black fraternity on campus. Several fraternity brothers pulled off a synchronized step routine that riled up the audience members.
As an encore, they stepped to Miley Cyrus’s Party in the USA, which caused Coach Fitz to reveal, “Our football team used it for to warm up at the Auburn game – the song was suggested by our own linebackers.”