FSU students show off their skills at ‘Framingham’s Got Talent’

The auditorium came alive at the “Framingham’s Got Talent” show in DPAC April 11.

The competition was judged by Linda Vaden-Goad, provost and vice president of academic affairs, Arielle Joy “A.J.” Brent, assistant director/orientation coordinator for new student and family programs, and Loretta Holloway, vice president for enrollment and student development.

Classmates showed off skills varying from baton twirling and board chopping, to emotional song and dance routines.

Performances kicked off with a steamy jazz dance to Christina Aguilera’s “Fall In Line” by the FSU Fusion Dance Team, filled with twirls, pirouettes, and synchronized drops.

Afterward, senior Amber Magin went on to perform a sensitive rendition of Dodie’s song, “Would you be so Kind,” strumming the ukulele alongside delicate vocals. The song captures the breathless anticipation of young love, with lyrics like, “Would you be so kind as to fall in love with me?”

Brent said, “Your performance was delightful. … I wish I had a private concert.”

Holloway said, “Thank you for filling up the stage with who you are and with your presence. It’s a gentle song, so being able to sit there and make us feel connected to you and connected to the song made it all that much better.”

Magin’s intimate song contrasted with junior Jenni Fonseca’s high-energy baton-twirling performance. Donning a glittering black and gold outfit for FSU colors, Fonseca appeared to make batons emerge from thin air, while crowd members gasped.

Fonseca dropped her batons twice in the dizzying performance, but judge Holloway praised her for not letting it hold back her performance – “You bounced right back,” she said.

“Baton twirling is sometimes an underappreciated talent – it takes years to master what you just did this night,” Carr said.

“I was so mesmerized by your performance and all your skills,” Brent said. “I was stunned with what you were doing with one baton, awestruck with what you did with two, and completely blown away for the third.”

Dance team members Sarah Flint, Emily LaHair, and Tess Marchioni then returned onstage for their own emotional group performance to Billie Eilish and Khalid’s “Lovely.”

Holloway complimented the performance’s emotional expressiveness.
Vaden-Goad commended the unity and cohesion of their performance, saying they “really played off each other.”

Brent said, “It just captivated my soul.”

Student Jess Zamboni’s attempt to chop a wooden board with a punch was unsuccessful – she explained she had a swollen hand from practicing the night before – but judges congratulated Zamboni’s efforts, and asked her not to further injure herself.

Sophomore Haley Chase and senior Nicole Valerio tugged on heartstrings during their graceful dance to Demi Lovato’s “Sober.”

Heads perked up as senior Stephen Donnelly delivered high notes from his theatrical singing of “Words Fail,” from the play, “Dear Evan Hansen.”

“It’s really hard to be on stage, by yourself, and be vulnerable,” Carr said. “Your voice is amazing.”

Brent said, “That demonstrated the depths of your talent as a singer. … I couldn’t even sing half of a note of what you just did.”

Holloway said, “That’s a very difficult song to sing, not just emotionally, but also because it has a lot of musical changes. You went there. There was no hesitation. … That’s not only brave, but a skill.”

The Fusion Dance Team returned with a dance to Lady Gaga’s “Always Remember Us This Way,” from the film, “A Star Is Born.”

Judges seemed to face a difficult decision – after a few minutes went by, senior Sydney Chase, host of the show, asked the crowd for knock-knock jokes to fill the time.

“What did the leaf say to the wind?” an audience member called out – “Leaf me alone!”

Fonseca won first place, receiving an Amazon Fire Cube as a prize, while Donnelly got an Amazon Kindle for winning second place, and Flint, Lahair, and Marchioni received an Amazon Echo dot for third place.

The judges also announced the winners numbers of the student raffle who won two free tickets to see a performance of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre on tour.

Students who arrived early received free commemorative T-shirts of the talent show in FSU’s signature colors.

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