St Andrews Got Talent kicked off with a pleasant surprise from one of the event’s sponsors, Barefoot Wines, having shown up with every student’s dream: a variety of free alcohol on offer. After being ushered to our seats, it was difficult not to be somewhat envious of the front tables and their provided wine, though the £60 price tag on the tables quickly comforted my woes. Despite the lack of publicity, there was a surprisingly good turn out and by the time the show started, a few minutes late, the house was full.
Opening the show were two of St Andrews’ famed dances teams: both the Blue Angels intermediate and hip-hop groups. As always, both were incredibly entertaining, despite some issues with the size of the stage, which called for a few cuts on the members. The choreographer for the new hip-hop team definitely made an impact and the group seemed to be blossoming under her influence. After their perfect commencement to the show, the presenter came on stage, leading way to St Andrews’ most talented acts.
Starting off on a high point was the first act of the night, Juno Lee, a first year who performed an original song entitled ‘The Sailor’. Although I was not overly keen on the slightly ‘out there’ lyrics, the melody behind it was beautiful and his talent (and good looks), undeniable. By the end of the song I was already a fan and the judges and crowd seemed to agree with me wholeheartedly.
Following such a strong act would be a challenge but Vincent Forster, another singer, did not seem phased at all. His rendition of a comedic, yet murderous ‘Lovesong’ was one thing, but his theatric manner and sinister grin just added to his performance. In the words of judge Chris McRae “I just want to be your friend, man.”
Whether it was due to her apparent cold or his nerves, the following two acts, Katie Hurst and Andrew Mundy, were not quite as inspiring. However Katie’s fan base in the crowd was strong, adding a cheerful sense of encouragement in the room. Bea, the pianist for Andrew’s version of the West Side Story hit ‘Maria’, stole the show, making them the perfect pair.
At this point it was time for the intermission and, naturally, a mad rush for the bar. With the last two duller acts, quite a few jumped ship, but thankfully many stayed strong, being happily rewarded with a stunning bagpipe version of Bad Romance. The Highland Dancing Troop were not only eerily synchronized but had a surprising amount of talent, considering this is the group’s first year on the St Andrews talent scene. Overall they completely lightened the mood and were followed by yet another dashing male singer, Henry Chamberlain. Another original song writer, I felt his lyrics were a tad more relatable and his voice a most enjoyable listen. While he may have lacked a bit of the charm the earlier singers had, his talent was also undeniable.
For some reason, the last two acts were duets who potentially should have been separated, as their similar sounds detracted from my appreciation of the performance. Courtney Hays’ version of Little Big Town ‘Girl Crush’ was beautiful ad complimented by her partner, Austin Scheerer’s, talent on the guitar. What was even more surprising was that this was their first time performing together, despite them seeming effortlessly at ease. The second act of two fourth years, Lewis Thompson and Sasha Wood, was also great, albeit a similar pair to the last. The crowd gave them a lot of support but, despite that, I could not help but think they were slightly overrated. However, the judges disagreed with me and the results were in fairly quickly: Juno Lee in second place and Lewis and Sasha in first.
All in all, although it was clear we have plenty of talent here in St Andrews, the endless amount of singers did make the event drag on a tad and a few people bailed during the intermission. However, the highland dance troop added a breath of fresh air to the performance, and the brilliant voices and original pieces of both Juno Lee and Henry Chamberlain were more than enough to hold my attention. Let’s just say I’ve found a new thing to fan-girl over.