Slam poet wins ‘TCNJ’s Got Talent’

Senior interactive multimedia major Esteban Martinez walked away with first prize for his slam poetry performance at Saturday’s ‘TCNJ’s Got Talent.’ (Kate Stronczer / Photo Assistant)

Determined to prove that the College has more star power than initially meets the eye, the class councils of Student Government presented “TCNJ’s Got Talent” on Saturday, Feb. 26 on the Kendall Hall Main Stage as an opportunity for students to show off their skills. The show was hosted by SG President Olaniyi Solebo, junior political science major, and Senator-at-Large Christina Kopka, sophomore marketing and Spanish double major.

The acts included everything from poetry to juggling to taiko, with a fair amount of acoustic guitars thrown into the mix.

Senior interactive multimedia major Esteban Martinez won first place in the show thanks to his lively slam poetry performance. Martinez, a member of the New Jersey National Slam Team in 2009, performed his poems “Listen,” “Pastime” and “Derukui” to cheers from the audience. Martinez also revealed that he was attempting to start a weekly “open-mic” group, inviting other singers, writers and poets to attend.

Junior journalism major and Signal News Editor Matt Huston took second place for singing two original songs, “Keeping Quiet” and “In Disguise,” while accompanying himself on the acoustic guitar.

Third place went to senior biology major Ali Jaeger and her band, The Jaegermeisters, consisting of sophomore mechanical engineering major Alex Matteson and senior health and exercise science major Ben Johnson.

Introduced as the “first and flyest a cappella group in New Jersey” by Solebo, the Trentones performed a mash up of The Beatles’ “Please Please Me” and Kings of Leon’s “Sex on Fire.” The group also performed The Darkness’ “I Believe in a Thing Called Love.”

Senior mathematics major Garrett Hoffman, a finalist in the 2010 Comedy Festival, did a standup routine covering everything from masturbation to his bad luck with women, telling the audience that, although he cannot play guitar, he can solve a Rubik’s Cube and hopes that there is some girl who will find that attractive.

Sophomore biology major Frank Liu joked about similar topics, revealing that he “sweats a lot” and worries that people will think that he is masturbating in the bathroom — which he assured the audience that he doesn’t do. Liu kept the audience laughing with his deadpan humor, particularly when he revealed his dating motto: “Smash Bros before hos.”

One of the highlights of the night was Kollaborations, a relatively new cover band composed of members from the College.

Featuring sophomore elementary education major Karisse Bendijo on vocals and backed by drums, bass, keyboard, cello and violin, the band performed a mash up of OneRepublic’s “Secrets” and “Apologize,” Bruno Mars’ “Grenade,” B.o.B.’s “Nothin’ on You” and Jay Sean’s “Do You Remember.”

The use of a cello and violin gave new life to these otherwise overplayed songs, and the entire performance was so smooth that it’s difficult to believe the group hasn’t been playing together for longer than two months.

By the end of the night, the student performers had demonstrated that at least some members of the College do, indeed, have talent.