OU Has Talent crowns winner, draws large audience turnout

The Habitat was full of life and energy last Thursday, Nov. 18 as Student Program Board’s (SPB) annual OU Has Talent (OUHT) sported an impressive lineup, panel of judges and fired-up audience.

Talent show performers had to audition to snag a spot — resulting in nine acts, ranging from singing, hip-hop dancing and even a viola player. The judges included School of Music, Theatre and Dance (SMTD) professor Bret Hoag, professional musician JonPaul Wallace and Office for Student Involvement (OSI) staff member, Bobbi Hayden.

Kicking off the show with an emotional rendition of Adele’s “When We Were Young,” singer Maddy Iwrey was praised by the judges on her confidence and vocal dynamics. Singer Elizabeth Novak took the stage next, covering another iconic Adele ballad, “Rolling in the Deep.”

“It was exciting to get to perform live again,” Novak said post-show. “[Just so] great to be on stage again.”

Singer and guitarist Adam Hill performed three songs next, followed by viola player Victoria Sutherland, who Hoag was especially impressed by — calling her performance “wonderful” and “spectacular.”

The fifth act came from singer Hannah Brendle, who sang Ella Eyre’s “We Don’t Have to Take our Clothes Off.” All three judges admired Brendle’s cool, unique vocal stylings.

The final four acts included: pianist and singer Angelo Espinosa, who pulled off a key change that especially impressed Wallace, Larissa Diosdado — who’s fun take on Selena Quintanilla’s “Como La Flor” had the audience energized and entertained, surprisingly newly-formed band Frenchy and the Frenchman and to close out the night, Intrigue Hip-Hop, who left it all out on the dance floor.

Wallace captivated the audience while performing some songs of his own after all the OUHT entry’s had performed — including some yet-to-be released music, which had the crowd chanting “put it on Spotify!”

At the night’s end, the judges selected who would take home first, second and third place, and the audience was able to vote for the people’s choice winner.

Not surprisingly, the people’s choice went to Diosdado. The energy, spirit and light she brought to the stage was evident — the crowd absolutely loved her performance.

As far as the judges picks: Sutherland took home the third place trophy, Intrigue Hip-Hop brought home second and Brendle capped off her evening with the first place title.

“[It feels] crazy [to win], I was not expecting that,” Brendle said. “I’ve been having a really bad week and I really needed it.”

Brendle mentioned her song choice stemmed from liking the lyrics, saying she felt they were “meaningful, and had a lot of passion.”

Joshua Robinson, president of SPB, said OUHT was probably the biggest turnout SPB has had at an event this year.

“Putting on live events is really fun, but at the same time, really stressful,” Robinson said. “We always get through it, and the reaction from the crowd and the students just makes it all worth it.”

One of SPB’s upcoming events is Minute to Win It — taking place Dec. 1 in The Habitat. For more information on upcoming events and activities, check out their page on GrizzOrgs.