By Ivan Flores
On Thursday, a group of people took time off from St. Patrick’s Day celebrations to attend Washtenaw Community College’s student talent show. The event was held at Towsley Auditorium, and featured acts ranging from singing to interpretive dancing, and even included a magic show. “WCC’s Got Talent” was sponsored by Student Activities. The acts were judged by personnel from SA. Among them was Arnett Chisholm, dean of student diversity and inclusion.
The talent show kicked off with a performance from a special guest group, the Saline Dance Steps Studio competition team. Notable acts included Sakina Nad Zakiyya Rahman’s acapella duet, Christina Wallag and Julius Tompkins’ cover of the “Phantom of the Opera Theme,” and Francia Rugamas’ solo in Spanish.
Rugamas, 26, was born in Los Angeles, but was raised in El Salvador. She spent four years studying psychology before moving to the United States.
“I love to sing,” she said. “I’m not really good, but it’s what I love most. I feel good (about my performance). There are better people in the competition, but I feel very good about it. I’m not sure what the prize is, but I just wanted to take part.”
Rugamas is currently taking English as a second language classes and piano classes, and hopes to start her career as a psychologist soon.
Another contestant that shared Ragumas’ love for singing was Madison Nix. She performed a number from the “Little Mermaid,” in a costume she made from scratch, and volunteered to be cut into thirds for the magic show.
“My sister said (my performance) was great and she’s a music education major, so I trust her. And I’ve played around with magic,” she said with a smile. “I mean, who hasn’t? If you’re a Disney princess, you’ve got your hands in magic all the time.”
Nix is 20 years old and hopes to transfer to Eastern Michigan University, where she’ll pursue a bachelor’s in music education.
Bethany Waters, 22, is a new student to WCC. This is her first semester and she has yet to choose a major. She performed another song from the “Phantom of the Opera,” Wishing You Were Here Again.
“I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember…I watched ‘Phantom of the Opera’ for the first time and I really liked it, so I tried singing it,” Waters said. “I chose (that song) because it was the only one where I could hit all the notes.”
She said her favorite performance was the other Phantom song played that night.
At the end of the evening, Nix tied with Nad and Rahman for first place. Tompkins took second place. Rugamas and Wallag tied for the third. The prizes remained a mystery.
As the audience exited the auditorium, the performers stayed behind, dancing together on the stage. Like Rugamas said, the prizes don’t matter.