The fourth annual “World’s Got Talent”, a judged competition showcasing MNSU students from all cultural backgrounds, took place Saturday, Nov. 17 at the Centennial Student Union ballroom.
“World’s Got Talent” featured 16 acts including guest performer Sneha Shakya, winner of the 2016 competition. Preparation for the event began in October. There were 22 original groups who auditioned which was later narrowed down to 16.
“There were a number of factors that went into this decision, but one of the main one was that we wanted to have a diverse group of acts,” said Avishek Pradhan, President of the International Student Association. Acts were performed from students of Sri Lankan, Nepalese, Nigerian and American cultures. Each act was scored by the judges who each came from different backgrounds. The judges rewarded first place to Tomi Adeola from Nigeria. Adeola performed spoken word poetry, a piece he entitled “Memoir of a Black Man”.
The event was coordinated by the four campus offices; The Student Events Team, Kearney Center for International Students, and The Multicultural Center which had help from the International Student Association.
“It was the very first collaboration through ISA with different communities and with domestic organizations,” said Pradhan. Not only was this the first collaboration with other communities, but as the hosts, Taylor and Den, stated the event was definitely bigger and better than it had ever been before.
With the growing popularity each year, the coordinators decided that the event should be held in a location with the highest capacity possible on campus, the CSU ballroom, when in past years it was held in the Ostrander Auditorium. This was an excellent choice considering 420 people attended the show.
This was also the first year that free food was offered. By 6:30 p.m. a long line already wrapped around the hallways of the upper level of the CSU. Doors opened at 7 p.m. where appetizers of chicken nuggets and hummus with pita chips were served.
The show began with a cultural dance by the group Mavlankans, who hail from Sir Lanka, hence the name. The Mavlankans put on an energetic, fast paced show that featured costumes derived from Sir Lankan culture. The Mavlankans won audience’s choice which was processed through a cellphone voting system.
Other highlights include Phrasant Karki and his rap song entitled “Cold Mankato” which was about the struggles of being far from home. Karki won most creative act. The finalists included singer Asaka Shimizu and her friends who accompanied her singing with a choreographed dance. This group went home with the third place title. Second place was rewarded to Nepal native Samikshya and their group of dancers. The dance was a metaphor for domestic abuse and ended with a sign with the words “Stop women violence.”
The night was a representation of the diversity and talent that resonate throughout the halls of campus. “World’s Got Talent is really important because it shows diversity, it shows people talent among the people,” said Pradhan.
Feature photo by Mansoor Ahmad | MSU Reporter.