Let me start by saying that Friday night was amazing! I’m blown away by the amount of talent I saw at UH Voice, and to think that there’s even more undiscovered talent on campus it’s…wow, mind-blowing. So, anyways, let’s get into it. The event was sponsored by Student Program Board and was a dub of the very popular TV show “The Voice.” For those unfamiliar with the show, it is a singing contestant with a spin. There are four judges/coaches and each of them pick people to be on their team. After picking their teammates, through various singing performances, they narrow down their team to 1 person and then all those finalist go against each other. The same thing happened tonight!
Instead of having 12 contestants per team like the Voice, SPB saved us a lot of time and energy by having only 2 singers per team. The four teams were Lauren, Lacy, Tehillah, and Patience.
#TeamLauren: Esteban Portillo and Julia Potterfield
#TeamLacy: Brianna Kyles and Zach Martin* (who couldn’t perform today because he caught laryngitis 🙁 but I’m sure he would have been amazing).
#TeamTehillah: Tori Buress and Vincent Ngo
#TeamPatience: Kimberliejoy Mateo and Lorenzo Hayes
The first performance was by Tori. She opened the show with a beautiful medley of “I’m Not The Only One” by Sam Smith and “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran. She kept the show interactive and even asked the audience to sing along towards the end. Her voice was very sweet, and she kept a great tone throughout the performance.
Next up was Esteban’s cover of “Take Me To Church” by Hozier. He started off his performance by singing and playing the keyboard as well. His deep voice and multitasking skills made the ladies in the audience swoon.
Following up was Vincent who sung John Legend’s “Ordinary People“- a favorite of mine. He also played the piano very skillfully. At times, I had to double-check to make sure it was Vincent and not John Legend himself. His voice was extremely refined and sultry.
The fourth performance and throwback was by Julia. She sang N’Sync’s “Gone,” and the audience was super excited to hear a classic. Julia maneuvered the stage very well. Her stage presence exudes nothing but confidence. She’s a natural!
Briana followed Julia, taking things a little country and a lot of inspirational with her cover of “Follow Your Arrow” by Kacey Musgraves. Briana had a very cute and bubbly stage presence. She wasn’t afraid to let the audience know she was a little nervous and the audience wasn’t afraid to tell her that she shouldn’t be. She was amazing and super interactive, and told the audience to sing along with her at certain times. At one point during her performance, she belted out the lyric: “When the straight and narrow gets a little too straight. Roll up a joint.” She agreed with the lyrics, and then promptly apologized to her mom in the audience.
The sixth act was a rendition of “Rich Girl” by Hall and Oates covered by Kimberliejoy, with a friend accompanying her on an electric guitar. The performance had a very relaxing and chill vibe to it. Towards the end of the performance, the duo changed it up a bit and took a turn into a reggae. It was a really fun performance and Kimberliejoy sang with such effortless precision.
The 7th and last semi-finals act, was performed by Lorenzo. He sang a mash-up of “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers and Beyonce’s “Love on Top.” Lorenzo was a very chill and confident performer from start to finish. He joked around with the audience and he also seemed to have quite the fanbase. His performance seemed effortless even though the singer told us before the performance that he didn’t practice beforehand. It was full of perfect runs and perfectly hit notes.
After this, there was a short intermission where the judges decided who would stay and who would go. Each judge had to eliminate one person from their team… how stressful! In the end, the singers who moved on to the finals were:
#TeamPatience: Lorenzo Hayes
#TeamTehillah: Vincent Ngo
#TeamLauren: Julia Potterfield
#TeamLacy: Brianna Kyles
(All though 3 people were eliminated, they still resonated in the audience’s hearts and ears through their amazing performances</3)
The last rounds were short and sweet. Lorenzo performed “This Is How We Do it” by Montell Jordan, a wonderful and festive throwback. He surprised the audience by not only singing beautifully but also rapping. Amazing, I know. Next, Vincent performed “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran, a song that makes everyone’s heart melt. The song fit his voice perfectly and it really showcased the range and raspiness in his voice. After Vincent, Julia performed “Mama Knows Best” by Jessie J. This performance proved that Julia is in fact an unstoppable powerhouse. She hit every single note with such ease and precision. Lastly, Briana performed a mash-up of Frozen’s “Let It Go.”The audience fell in love. Briana had fun with the song while also hitting notes sharply, and adding her spin on things.
After the finalists sang, the judges gave us a sweet surprise and sang songs of their own! Who knew everyone was so talented? During this time, the judges belted out sweet, melodic notes while the audience voted on their phones for the UH Voice winner!
And the winner was…………….
He won the crowds hearts with his beautiful, sultry, effortless, and amazing voice( if you were there, feel free to add your own adjectives). And his prize?
Vincent gets to perform right on stage at Frontier Fiesta this year! Make sure to go support your fellow Coog this March! He definitely earned it. Uh Voice was an amazing experience, and I will definitely be there again next time. I advise everyone to go see it as well, and if you’re a singer- audition!
Coog Radio’s Destinee Holiday sat down with the Final Four of the UH Voice:
Team Jamarcus: Brianna Kyles
Brianna gave a different feel from all the other contestants in the final four. I had the chance of interviewing her about 30-minutes before the show and she was one of the most genuine, happiest, and modest people I’ve met. I asked what was one unique thing bout herself that stood out from all the rest? Thoughtfully and hesitantly she responded, “Honestly I think that we all got heart, I don’t think there is anything that does set us apart… Maybe my personality?” She definitely showed her personality in all performances making us laugh and even making me feel like a more humble person within 5 minutes.
Team Patience: Lorenzo Hayes
Though Lorenzo came unprepared the crowd wouldn’t have even noticed. He mentions how he “Just wanted to impress people.” He would much rather relax and play acoustic for fun; not really publicizing his talents. Much like his performance his personality is something you can’t ignore. Surprisingly, he told me how he would love to pursue music in a different route rather than performance. He would like to use his talents for helping others through his current major, Communication Disorder with a concentration of music therapy. Overall, his audience interaction took things over the edge. He demanded the crowd’s attention in all the right ways.
Team Lauren: Julia Potterfield
“The audition that I did was an exciting pivotal moment… It was exciting over all!” As a new transfer student from Maryland, Julia was interested in trying out new clubs and events. After walking to class one day and seeing the flyer, she auditioned! She did a great job of getting her self out there with this, because the moment she stepped on stage everyone was mesmerized by her poised charm. She said that “I’ve always been singing but I haven’t done many performances.” Her stage presence showed confidence, structure, and charm.
Team Tehillah: Vincent Ngo
This years winner is the “oh so smooth” Vincent Ngo. Part of Team Tehillah, this piano playing R&B singing freshman rocked the house. When watching him perform “Ordinary People” by John Legend I had to double check and make sure it was John himself on the stage. After his win, I caught up with him and he explained he might having some videos coming up soon on YouTube and will eventually branch out in due time with more fun performances. He told me one of the biggest challenges during the process was “balancing school work and having time to practice.” With such determination and amazing representation of his John legend influences, Vincent gave a performance to remember.
By Daisha Lewis