Student Musicians, Magicians and Poets Get a Moment in the Spotlight


Imogené Wofford, Entertainment Editor

The talent show, a part of the haunted homecoming festivities last week, was full of different acts that embodied the diverse talent of the students of Texas A&M University-Commerce.

The evening started with a magic show put on by host Jay Mattioli. There were nine acts in total, with a brief intermission where Mattioli did a series of magic tricks, and some included volunteers from the audience.

The first contestant was Alyssa Taylor, who sang Someone Like You by Adele. After her, Elizabeth Gump took the stage and played a beautiful piece on the keyboard that had the whole audience enjoying her instrumental piece of work.

After Gump’s performance, Mattioli retook the stage to give the audience some magical, comic relief. He used a student from the audience for a ventriloquist piece that was full of Mattioli making the student dance, perform his own magic tricks, and do other silly moves that had the audience laughing from start to finish.

After the crowd-pleasing intermission, Charles Jones took the stage and performed his rendition of the Jackson Five’s Who’s Loving You. Jones’ soulful performance had the crowd on their feet as soon as he finished singing. With his moving performance, Jones was able to snag 2nd place.

“I don’t think I want to go anymore, after the amazing job he just did,” Andrew Jones said as he walked onto the stage to display his talent.

Andrew performed a spoken word poetry piece, Kings and Queens, which revolved around the Black Lives Matter movement. His performance brought a poetic perspective on the racial issues and the killings that have happened involving police officers and Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown. Andrew’s touching and emotionally moving poetry earned him 3rd place.

Recently Crowned Homecoming Queen Hannah Jewel Clark also stepped out on the stage and put on a wonderful performance that had everyone thinking she was a Broadway beauty.

“[Singing] is something that I have been doing since freshman year now and I really enjoy doing it, not for people to look at me and say ‘hey you’re a good singer,’ but I’ve always been really nervous about singing, so it’s something I know I can develop as a skill if I get out on stage and practice.

“I had several people ask me if that song was from a Broadway musical, but it was actually a song from a cartoon called Steven Universe,” Clark said of her song, It’s Over isn’t it.

Clark’s performance was followed by a student who sung a gospel song accompanied by Justin Hall playing the keyboard; this was also a touching piece that the audience enjoyed. A student vocal duo also showed off their singing skills with a gospel song that was also accompanied by Hall playing the keyboard.

The final act of the night was Kristina Blanks, also known as Kitti. Blanks’ remarkable rendition of the late Whitney Houston’s I will Always Love You, and despite being noticeably nervous, the crowd pushed her through her jitters to perform. Her performance blew the audience away and had everyone on their feet cheering, and screaming, her on. And, this extraordinary act earned Blanks 1st place.