GEMMA PAGE / FREELANCE WRITER
Augustana’s Got Talent (AGT) is an annual talent show held every winter which allows students to showcase their various talents. This year’s edition, which was hosted, as usual, by the Augustana Students’ Association (ASA), was held Saturday, February 27, 2021. Things looked a lot different this year: the talent segments were shown on a screen instead of the usual live show that is conducted in the Peter Lougheed center, but that did not make the event any less exciting!
Any current Augustana student is qualified to enter in order to compete for cash prizes: $1000 for first place, $500 for second place, and $250 for third place. This year, instead of auditioning before a panel of student judges as usually happens, participants were required to submit a video recording of their act by February 19. The host of AGT was Kyra Gustal, a second-year Augustana student who is currently serving on the ASA as one of the second-year representatives. She introduced each contestant, entertained everyone with her quirky, clever comments, and even showed off her cute cat.
The first of three acts was Rhea Nayak, a second-year student from Medicine Hat, Alberta who presented an incredible performance of the song “Never Enough” from the movie musical The Greatest Showman. To quote Kyra Gustal, “[I] could not get enough of her [performance]!” The second contestant was Tessa Palmer, a first-year student who has been singing in choirs since she was four years old. For her performance, Tessa sang a rendition of “Memories,” a song by the band Maroon 5. The talent portion of the show concluded with Racquel Lussier, a first-year student who played the guitar while singing “Driver’s License,” a song by Olivia Rodrigo. Her performance did not include a backtrack–simply her voice accompanied by guitar. It was incredible to learn that Racquel had only started playing the guitar recently in quarantine!
All the participants were adjudicated by Guest Judge David Draper, who is the current Vice President Academic of Student Union of the University of Alberta, who remarked that it was incredibly difficult to pick a winner amongst the three vastly talented participants. Rhea Nayak took away the grand prize, with Racquel Lussier coming in second and Tessa Palmer claiming the third prize. At the end of the show, viewers were given the opportunity to cast a vote for their “fan favourite” performer. Racquel Lussier was announced as the winner several days later on the ASA social media pages.
Hats off to all the contestants for taking part in the first ever virtual edition of Augustana’s Got Talent! So much time and effort must have gone into rehearsing and filming your entries. You all did an amazing job. There is clearly so much talent at Augustana! Thank you to all the contestants for their inspiring performances and to all the viewers for keeping an Augustana tradition alive in a new way during this pandemic year
If you missed the show but would still like to watch all the talented contestants, you can watch the entire pre-recorded show by following this link: https://vimeo.com/513050552