Photo by Rachael Patin
The annual Franciscan University of Steubenville Talent Show drew hundreds of students and parents to Finnegan Fieldhouse Friday at 7:30 for a night filled with music, dance and laughter.
Juniors Craig Shepardson and Nick Dalessandro emceed, opening the night with jokes about Dalessandro’s announcer voice. The duo engaged the audience between acts, getting them excited for each event while the stage crew set up behind them. The pair could often be seen to the side of the stage cheering for the acts.
This year’s talent show differed from its predecessors in the wide variety of talents on display. Acts included four original songs, a parody and dances – including one breakdancer, a rapper and a magic act.
The Priestly Discernment Program opened the night with its traditional parody song. This year the PDP parodied Billy Joel’s “Piano Man,” singing, “Sing us a psalm, you’re the PDP, sing us a psalm tonight.”
Freshman Sean Bobak Jr. was the first soloist to sing an original song. Bobak explained that the song was written by his father’s band when he attended Franciscan. His father, Sean Bobak Sr., who graduated in 2002, was in the audience as his song was sung. The elder Bobak joined his son on the stage to sing the final refrain to the roaring applause of the audience.
Some of the other acts included the Franciscan University Irish Dance Club performing to “My Heart Will Go On.”
Freshman Cassie Martinez performed an original song on the piano called “Love Aflame.”
Sophomore Murphy Givens also performed an original song titled “’80s Films,” which he said was inspired by his girlfriend.
Freshman Anthony Quintero — performing under his stage name “Shway” — was the first rapper in the talent show’s 32-year run, said Kathy Mattioli, director of programming and student activities. Quintero’s performance had the audience dancing in their seats by the end.
Freshman Jonah Kane said Quintero’s performance was his favorite.
“Creative, yet exotic,” Kane said. “Everyone goes mad. To sum it up, the rapper could rap.”
Another crowd favorite was from senior Cameron Kofalt, who breakdanced to a remix of Jibbs’ “Chain Hang Low.”
The night’s performances closed with the return of the annual Disciples of the Word dance; the household skipped last year’s talent show. The household, sporting newly-dyed blond-tipped hair, was greeted with applause and laughter as they began their dance to NSYNC’s “It’s Gonna Be Me.”
The audience gave a standing ovation as the emcees closed the show.
The talent show was hosted by Exc!te. Senior Andrew Nichols, who volunteered with Exc!te and helped in the running of the show, said there was a good turnout.
“It’s nice to see talented people perform in normal ways rather than in Catholic ways,” he said.