The Northwest Student-Athlete Advisory Committee put on its second annual Talent Show Jan. 28 in the Ron Houston Center for Performing Arts.
This year’s entry fee was $5 for community members and $3 for Northwest students. All proceeds went to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Various Northwest teams that participate in all different seasons brought talents to the show. Teams were made up of athletes and participants from the weight room staff, baseball, track and field, cross country, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s basketball, football, golf, soccer, softball and volleyball.
This year’s judges included President John Jasinski, Police Chief Clarence Green, Athletic Director Andy Peterson, Head Athletic Trainer Kelly Quinlin and assistant trainer Jan Corley. However, you may have noticed one important name left out — that’s correct — it’s mine.
As a sports reporter, I don’t regularly get to voice my opinion. While watching the events unfold during this time, I knew that my opinion wouldn’t matter more than right now. I’m kidding on that last part, kind of. Quite frankly, I’ve been jealous of the opinion section and their writers here at the Northwest Missourian.
With that being said, I decided to differ from a typical report of what happened and not only talk about the performances I witnessed, but my ranking from worst to best. Let’s jump into it with No. 11.
11. Northwest softball
I have Northwest softball with its rendition of the classic scene from Dirty Dancing, “Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner.” While Frances “Baby” Houseman and Johnny Castle were portrayed nicely (capturing Frances’s white dress here was crucial), the dancing felt somewhat awkward. Too many missed steps, a player almost dropped during the signature lift scene and confusion from the team landed this act here.
10. Northwest soccer
Coming in at No. 10, I have Northwest soccer performing Tik Tok dances. The team lined up with two players side-by-side, performed a dance to a Tik Tok sound, and then two more would step up. This line was three deep, and I was left wanting more dancing. Also, random players would begin dancing in the background, which took attention away from the two that should’ve been receiving the spotlight.
9. Northwest track and field
Coming in at No. 9, I have the track and field team accompanied by the cross country team in a team-ran (Clever, right?) spelling bee. Corbin Smith threw out a few jokes here and there to ease the seriousness of the competition and keep the crowd involved, which was a nice addition. The competition got off to a rough start as Tyrell Maddox couldn’t spell “safety” correctly. It eventually ended with Jonathon Bock winning after spelling “iridocyclitis” correctly. I didn’t even think I spelled it correctly, still don’t, honestly.
8. Northwest weight room staff
Coming in at No. 8, I have the weight room staff lip-synching “All Out of Love” by Air Supply. They called themselves the Hawaiian Tropics as their outfits resembled those of a middle-aged dad visiting Hawaii for the first time, or Andy Reid in Miami. They were able to keep in sync with the music, and it looked, at times, like they were the ones actually singing. The guitarist did a fantastic job of strumming to the beat. However, very little dancing and movement kept this staff from landing higher on the list.
7. Northwest men’s basketball
Coming in at No. 7, I have the men’s basketball team with their rendition of the Napoleon Dynamite Dance. Christian Stanislav, Mitch Mascari and Wes Dreamer captured the signature Napoleon look. The bright blue jeans, glasses and the “Vote for Pedro” white shirt — brilliant. Instead, their shirts said “Vote for Welty,” which I think is a cause that everybody can get behind. They captured the first few moves beautifully, but the middle of the act seemed like they forgot the original moves and added their own touch. Also, it was hard to follow three Napoleons at once. In the end, they did a great job capturing the awkwardness and silliness that was portrayed in the movie.
6. Northwest women’s basketball
Coming in at No. 6, I have the women’s basketball team performing more Tik Tok dances. What separated them from the soccer team was quite a bit. There were fewer performers out and they were spread across the stage, meaning nobody was in the way or constantly moving to a new spot. They also had matching outfits and kept in sync with every song. The ability to play a snippet of six or more popular Tik Tok sounds left me feeling satisfied.
5. Northwest tennis
Coming in at No. 5, I have the Northwest men’s and women’s tennis teams performing “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion. This performance used a piano, recorders and singers. The great thing about this was the natural sound. Nobody tried to go beyond their vocal limits, the recorders tried their best to stay on key, and the pianist did a great job, even after the rocky start of missing a few notes. While I wouldn’t want them to put on a whole concert, this song lifted the spirits of the crowd.
4. Northwest volleyball
Coming in at No. 4, I have Northwest volleyball reenacting the Barden Bellas final performance from the movie “Pitch Perfect.” While I wish the music was a little louder, the group did fantastic when it came to memorizing every dance and position of the actors in the movie. I couldn’t imagine how long it took them to get every choreographed move down to perfection. While the lip-synching wasn’t anything spectacular, the ability to pull off an almost exact replica of the movie landed them here.
Before we get to my top three, let’s take a moment to recognize the actual winners selected by the real judges of the contest. Third place belonged to women’s basketball, second place to baseball and their beach ball ballet and first place to Jackson Likens and the football team for a musical performance.
3. Northwest golf
Coming in at No. 3, I have Northwest golf’s glow stick dance. This was the most unique act of the night. The Ron Houston Center became pitch black and out walked members of the team with glow sticks on their body, arms and legs. The silhouettes created a stick-man-like figure, and it was entertaining watching these figures dance to songs like “Gangnam Style,” “Hit the Quan,” “Wobble” and many more.
2. Northwest baseball
Coming in at No. 2, we have Max Spitzmiller and Petter Carlson from the baseball team doing a beach ball ballet. The two players kept a beach ball pressed against them and did various turns, rotations and arm extensions while both keeping their bodies on the ball and never letting it fall to the floor. The most impressive part was watching Carlson move the ball down Spitzmiller’s body, go under his legs and arise with the ball between their backs. The amount of skill and concentration that requires is remarkable. I’m not quite sure how many times they practiced that, but apparently it was enough.
1. Northwest football
Coming in at No. 1, we have Jackson Likens, kicker for Northwest football , playing the piano and singing songs that included “Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley, “Feeling Whitney” by Post Malone, “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers and “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond. It was the most serious act of the night, and the most beautifully delivered. Likens had a voice that was soothing to listen to. This is the type of performance you’d see on “America’s Got Talent.”
That, unfortunately, wraps up my final voting of the Northwest Missouri State's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee second-annual Talent Show. Hopefully, next year the University decides to have me on the judging panel. If not, well, I guess I’ll just have to write another one of these.