By Asfar Alim (18S03J), Bill Puah (17S06B), and Liu Enqi (18S03C)
Photos by Leong Kay Mei (17S07C) and Teh Wenqi (17S06P), Raffles Photography Society
“Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?” -Benjamin Franklin
What a better way to end the term than with a “Britain’s Got Talent” inspired talent show with the aim to allow students to showcase their talents and bring the school together to enjoy these performances?
The first of its kind, “Raffles Got Talent 2017” (RGT) invited all students to upload a video performing a talent under one of the three categories: Singing, Dancing and Open. A handful of these entries were selected to perform on the big night last Friday, the 10th of March.
Tickets sold fast and it was encouraging to see so many people eager to support their friends at the event. This year, RGT featured a wide range of unique talents, from stunning music and dance acts to amazing magic and yo-yo tricks.
Mesmerising Music Performances
The concert kicked off with the band CONVEL (‘Warrior Wolves’ in Latin), consisting of Alexander (18S03M), Bryan (18S06I), Shalynn Tsai (18S03B), Shuen Kai (18S03O), Yuhao (18S03M), Tanisha (18A01A), Nur Haliza (18S03M) and Wu Yue (18S03M). They performed “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster The People followed by “Can We Dance” by The Vamps.
The instruments used blended well with each other and both vocalists did a good job at engaging the audience by encouraging them to dance along. CONVEL’s unique decision to add a violin into the mix of musical instruments gave their performance the extra groove that set themselves apart from the other groups.
The group dynamic between the members was strong, which could be seen through the interactions between the violinist and the guitarist during the performance. Considering how some members of the group only had three weeks to learn their respective instruments, this group delivered an impressive performance.
Following that was the La La Land-inspired trio, Clement Chan (18S03B), Timothy Chin (18S03B) and Tara Teo (18A01E) who performed “A Lovely Night”, with Clement on the piano, and Tim and Tara as the vocalists. The chemistry Tim and Tara had during their performance along with Clement’s fabulous accompaniment on the piano brought out the enchanting mood of La La Land. As the judges put it, “this group snatches the sparkle from La La Land”.
Next was Ryann Yeo (17S03M), known as the “The Girl Next Door”, who sang Katy Perry’s “Firework”. Although she was feeling unwell on the night of the performance, she was able to carry on with the performance with determination and gave her best effort in keeping the audience entertained. Her attempts to also interact with the audience during the performance was commendable.
The final music performance had Goh Chou Xuan (17S03J) singing Zee Avi’s Honey Bee, with Jesse Tan (17S06N) providing accompaniment on the acoustic guitar. The gentle strumming of the guitar strings and Jesse’s sweet voice made the performance rather hypnotic and captured the hearts of the judges.
Dance Acts, Full of Energy
The night slowly picked up with the Below 50kg Club comprising of Kent (18S06P) and Linus (18S06P) who danced to the rhythm of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’. The smooth moves kept the audience engaged and had some humming along to the beat. Although their performance was shorter than most others, Kent and Linus complemented each other well and their chemistry during their performance made their dance all the more cohesive and enjoyable to watch.
One of the more popular performances with the the audience was the dance act by Nathanael Muk (17S06R) , also known as Nat Muk. Nathanael stood out by dancing to girl group K-pop songs, as well as the tune of the “Titi Dance” which got him roars of applause and raucous cheers from the audience. Even though Nathanael admitted to having stage fright, he was able to keep up his cheerful demeanour in front of the audience, and still delivered a spectacular show.
The next act by ‘jkjk’, comprising Jina (17S06O) and Kelli (17S03B). The duo were able to synchronise their dance moves well, and their routine as a whole was extremely cohesive. The choreography for their routine was also commendable, with dance moves that fit the music extremely well. Considering how rigorous their routine was, it was impressive that Jina and Kelli were able to keep up with the beat.
Every Other Talent Under the Sun
Of course, there were also entertaining open act performances. Cheryl Ng (17S06C) put up a charming performance where she performed card and rope tricks. Cheryl made a good effort at engaging the audience by talking to them during her entire performance as she performed her tricks. Surrounded by an air of confidence, she kept her cool as the audience were taken aback by the illusions that she pulled off.
“I think your card is red. Why? Because all these cards are red.”
The next act was certainly an unconventional one with Ethan Maniam (18S03C), better known as “Dat Boi”, showing the audience his cool unicycling skills and his multiple attempts to flip bottles. There were also attempts of comedy pulled off by Dat Boi which had the audience laughing in their seats and cheering him on.
The judges tried to dig out a deep meaning from his performance, such as how it exemplifies human nature and of getting back up again after falling down. Although this earned amused or confused looks from members of the audience, everybody could agree that they enjoyed watching Dat Boi’s antics.
When asked, Ethan admitted that he had only done this to “earn house points” and that the biggest challenge he faced was deciding what to do for the performance itself since “unicycling can be very bland”. Nevertheless, the show he put on was anything but bland and definitely unlike anything Raffles Institution has seen.
As the lights in the PAC dimmed, a bright white spotlight shined on the stage to signal the start of Ethan Liew’s (17S06Q) spectacular performance, where he showcased normal and counterweight yo-yo tricks. Accompanied with upbeat music, Ethan added spins and pulls that kept the audience glued onto the performance.
What also made Ethan’s act unique was how he was able to alter the speed of his tricks such that it matched the rhythm and tempo of the music accompaniment, which summoned gasps of shock from members of the audience. Some of the judges’ comments included naming Ethan as “the coolest yoyo master” and “a mutant”.
Finishing off this year’s RGT was the comedy team “Raffles No Talent”, comprising of Darryl Lee (17S07B), Huang Guan Ci (17S07B), Firdaus (17S07C), Jordan Chia (17S07B) and Tng Zong Wei (17S03D).
Raffles No Talent featured failed attempts at bottle flipping, and a dance routine of group dabbing. This performance probably drew the most attention from the audience and had them excited and cheering on for the act.
It also had the judges laughing with comments like “I love it!” and “such a dabbing performance”. Their only response to these comments were “But Ma’am, we have no talent”, to which the reply was “I think you are underestimating yourselves.”
As the results were being tabulated, RGT featured a surprise performance by Hao Jia on the piano. An unexpected shift in tone and tempo from a slow melody to fast paced aggression drew gasps of shock from the audience and kept them on the edge of their seats.
There were two components to the calculation of the results: the Audience Vote and the Judges’ Scores. Each component carried a 50% weightage. These are the results:
1st Place: Ethan Liew (MT)
2nd Place: jkjk (BB)
3rd Place: Under 50kg Club (HH)
Ethan Liew had said: “Honestly, I think everybody was super talented! There was a good mix of comedy, good dancers, good musicals but when I heard the names of [the third and second place acts], I didn’t expect to win; So when I heard my name being called, I immediately hugged the person beside me (Kaiji Betzler of 17S03N).”
There were many reasons cited for participating in RGT, including the encouragement of friends, wanting to try something new and put their skills to the test or even simply for the sake of earning house points.
There were also many challenges faced by the performers, mainly due to their busy schedules. Ethan Liew had added: “We had GP CTs and a whole stretch of exams so it was hard to find time to really practice my routine and get familiar with it so I was pretty nervous on stage because I didn’t have as much practice as I would have liked.”
Everybody put in their best effort and there were certainly a few gems in those array of performances. At one point, the judges told Clement, Tim and Tara to “drop the offer of PSC scholarships” in favor of joining the arts scene, a statement testament to their abilities as artists.
Ultimately, it was heartening to see friends so enthusiastic about supporting each other and applauding all the performers. Raffles Press congratulates both the performers and the organizing team for putting up such an excellent end of term show.