LINK’s Got Talent? Hell Yeah.

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“She really is Heather,” said emcee Thomas Wilson (12), as he complimented Srishti Deb’s (9) impeccable performance of Heather by Conan Gray. Deb was one of over 100 freshman whose unique acts were featured in the talent show.

It’s difficult to host a normal talent show – it’s even harder to host one online. But Irvington’s LINK brought together all its LINK Leaders and their freshmen to open its first ever talent show that live streamed on YouTube on Oct. 9 at 7:00 pm. Over 200 viewers watched it live (watch the replay here).

The hour-long show opened with an introduction to LINK coordinators Julianna Nepomuceno (10) and Summer Chu (11) as well as the emcees of the night Apoorva Deshmukh (11), Sanaiyah Scott (10), and Thomas Wilson (12). Wilson wore an iconic clown mask during his introduction, and he and his fellow emcees later donned trendy shades throughout the rest of the event. The audience was able to interact via the live chat and give public feedback and support for the freshman performers.

Here are the most memorable takeaways of the talent show:

First Quarter

Although the commentary of the emcees and LINK coordinators were much appreciated throughout the show, the organization was rather chaotic in the first quarter. Much of the confusion was attributed to technology and abrupt transitions between LINK groups. Although the acts themselves were incredible and diverse, it was difficult to discern when the videos had moved on to a new LINK group. Some videos had no names and no transitions to introduce the act, leaving the audience to rely on the cluttered live chat to figure out which freshman was performing. This was especially true for the TikTok segment where performers showed off common dances and clothes swap challenges without the audience knowing who was dancing or swapping.

Lip Syncers

Things improved in the next part of the show, starting with the lip syncers. Oddly enough, the introductory performance was done entirely by seniors instead of freshman, albeit the lip syncing to “Single Ladies” by Beyonce was impressive. The LINK groups that sang afterwards were sweet, amusing, and creative in their methods of performing; although some groups did not lip sync and opted to outright sing with their natural voices, it was pleasant to hear the diverse voices and personalities of the class of 2024. 

Musicians

It’s safe to say the chat exploded when the musicians entered the show. The entire instrumental segment was on fire with their performances, starting with freshman Srishti Deb’s performance of “Heather” by Conan Gray, where she both sang and played the ukulele adaptation. It was enough to move the emcee Wilson, along with everyone who showered praises in the chat box. Deb’s act was just the first of an awe-inspiring 16 minute segment of the utmost soothing and impressive music, from Cathelina Zhan (9)’s simultaneous flute-and-piano performance to four-mallet marimba from Jocelyn Liu (9) to the lightning fast fingers of piano prodigy Shiho Yanagawa (9). There was too much musical talent in this segment to list!

Recreation (Sports and Art)

Besides showcasing classic sports like baseball and basketball, the event appreciated creative sports like tricky skateboarding, rapid-fire jump roping, and double/triple Chinese YoYos. One amusing act featured an Ultimate Super Smash “ball” showdown between Anish Ayyadevarra (9) and his LINK Leader Aashwin Makhija (12). It was followed by an equally amusing basketball showdown between Boyu Zhao (9) and his LINK Leader Ethan Chen (12), although the game was made interesting largely because of the iconic violin music of “Someone You Loved” by Lewis Capaldi in the background. 

The art segment, unlike the random art that was mixed in the confusion of the first quarter of the talent show, was much more organized and relevant. Many of the audience expressed their shock in Pranshu Agnihotri’s (9) digital imaging, which looked equivalent to the best Stock Images. 

The Best Part

This section is titled “The Best Part” purely because of its humor and randomness. Playing Scribbl.io with a monotone Siri voiceover was the longest and most memorable act, as Siri comically applauded the LINK group for being “even better than that man Da Vinky” and praising their art as “so beautiful and innovative that the mortal eye cannot comprehend its greatness and beauty. Now please a moment of silence for the beauty that is about to bless your eyes and will be quite possibly the greatest moment of your human existence.”

After that satire came videos of talented pets followed by a card trick by Rahul Ramakrishnan (12). 

According to LINK coordinator Chu, around 60 LINK groups submitted their pre-recorded videos. LINK Leaders began contacting their freshman in early September, although not all freshman participated. While writing the script, Chu admits that they expected awkward pauses in between transitions, especially in an online setting. 

The actual talent show, however, turned out to have no such noticeable silences; instead, most of the awkwardness came from missed video cues and tech glitches. The hosts did a remarkable job of maintaining hype throughout the night, although some lines were more awkward than others. Yet, if the purpose of the show was to bring together the class of 2024 and LINK leaders in an incredible video to welcome them to Irvington, LINK’s Got Talent scored full points.