Howard Stern and Heidi Klum may be the judges of America’s talent, but on Tuesday, March 19, Harold Eickhoff took a front-row seat in Kendall Hall and judged the students who strutted their stuff at TCNJ’s Got Talent.
Presented by the freshman through senior class councils, the event entertained the audience with a comedy act, dance numbers, singing and even a motivational speech.
Alumnus Adam Mamawala, ’07, who is ranked on Funny or Die’s list of 30 under 30 Comedians to Watch, warmed-up the audience with a comedy routine that would have made even Will Ferrell have a hardy giggle.
“I’m a little embarrassed to admit this to you guys,” the half-Indian, half-white comedian said. “But I think I may have actually been a racist child … I was thinking back to some things I used to say, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I think I was a bigot when I was like a toddler.’”
Mamawala went on to explain that when he was a child ordering ice cream, he would call the rainbow sprinkles “jimmies” and the chocolate flavored sprinkles “jamals.” After the show, he even sold what he called “slightly racist” t-shirts with cartoons of “jimmies” and “jamals.”
But the show wasn’t about judging a person who has already found success with their talent, it was about judging the talent of current students. According to members of Student Government, there were 26 auditions for TCNJ’s Got Talent, and of those 26, nine were selected to perform. None of the nine acts disappointed the Kendall crowd.
The big winner of the night was Ryan Quindlen, who came on stage with his guitar and told the audience that he was going to sing a “motivational tale about someone who has a dream and isn’t going to let anything get in their way, not even his lack of monetary security.”
With a few strokes of the guitar, Quindlen, to the giddy delight of the audience, broke-out into Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop.” Though he wasn’t dressed in Batman footy-pajamas nor a coonskin cap, Quindlen won the hearts of the audience, and apparently the approval of Eickhoff.
The night was also filled with several dance numbers. Moves from “Dirty Dancing” to “Bride and Prejudice” were taken front and center under the theater’s bright lights.
Milana Lazareva and Miguel Colon brought some sultry salsa to the stage, which earned the dancing duo hoots and whistles from the enticed crowd.
Stephen Fabiano frenetically danced to Krewella’s dub-step song “Killin’ It.” And the event’s runner-up act was Saathiya, a South-Asian inspired dance team. One of the most unique performances of the night was Champ Sanchez’s motivational speech on making positives from negatives.
Sanchez literally jumped and ran around the theater handing out balloon with motivational quotes.
“Adam was hilarious, plus I got a balloon,” said junior finance major Marnelli Aguila on her highlights of the talent show.