‘Got Talent’ shows how high Firebirds can fly

Do you have what it takes to make it big? Are you the best performer you know? Can you prove to be the most talented student in all of Fairmont High School? If your name is Reed Eggenschwiller, you could say yes to all of these questions.

That’s because on March 24, freshman Eggenschwiller captured first place in Fairmont’s “Got Talent” show in the auditorium with his guitar and vocal version of John Mayer’s Waiting on the World to Change. He went home with a $50 prize. The event was sponsored by the Sophomore Class Council.

But the night wasn’t just about showcasing Fairmont students; the talent show ended up raising $550 to support next year’s Junior Class Council functions. Library Media Specialist Jillian Kelsey, adviser to the sophomores, and Student Activities Director Jenny Borchers helped supervise and coordinate the talent show.

Auditions were … ‘interesting’

However, getting to the actual talent show was no easy task. “On March 11, we held the auditions to get a spot for the night, and those acts turned out to be very interesting, to say the least,” Kelsey said. “Between people who weren’t sure what they were doing and people who hadn’t practiced at all, some performances came up a little short.”

Auditions were interesting from the students’ perspective as well. “I was just really nervous about trying out, especially after seeing other people go up there and do extremely well,” junior Nicole Flanary said. “But after seeing some of the people go up who I felt were as talented as me, I felt so much better.” Flanary danced to Diva by Beyonce alongside juniors Kyetra Williams and Katana Williams.

Senior Cameron Heaps, who beat boxed his way to a third-place tie, said he’s used to being on stage, but it still makes him feel nervous. “When I was going on stage and about to showcase my talent against other people, I definitely felt some anxiety,” he said.

More than 20 Firebirds left the auditions with a spot for the talent show on March 11. And with the actual production less than two weeks away, people began to grow anxious for the big night. “I would spend at least 20 minutes a night practicing my beat boxing,” Heaps said.

A rehearsal night … and then the big show

When the rehearsal for the talent show came around on March 23, things turned out a bit different than planned. “We ended up having to cut seven acts that didn’t show. So some things were pretty hectic,” Kelsey said.

Even with a few things going off course, everyone was able to stay cool and collected. “I was a little worried when people started not showing up. But when I looked around and saw that plenty of people were there, I really started to calm down and remember that things were going to be OK,” Flanary said.

About 300 people watched the performers in the talent show throughout the night, including judges Karen Johnson, Jenny Richardson and Corey Wilson. “I never thought that it would go so well, and the fact that I ended up tying for third place is absolutely amazing,” Heaps said.

Freshman Emmy Wydman won the second place prize of $30 for singing Fidelity by Regina Spektor, and sophomore Matt Ebersbach, who sang and danced to Get Your Shine On by Jesse McCartney, split the $20 third-place prize with Heaps.

And for the grand finale, Eleventh Hour came on and sang two of their most well-known songs. “Our audience definitely loved them,” Kelsey said. “Eleventh Hour was definitely a perfect end for a perfect night.”