Students battle to win talent show

At about 8:50 p.m. Saturday, the crowd started trickling into the Union ballroom.

The lights dimmed 15 minutes later, and the crowd faded from a dull roar to whispers, a few final stragglers scrambling to find a seat.

Three judges took their seats by the stage, awaiting the first contestant.

Welcome to BG’s Got Talent.

The contest was known for the past two years as BG Idol, which was only a singing competition, but has since been opened up to include other talents, said Jodi Webb, associate dean of students.

About 20 students auditioned through the week, and eight were chosen for the show. One contestant dropped out just before the show began.

Junior Robert Campbell stepped onto the stage first. His gentle but powerful voice echoed through the ballroom, commanding everyone’s attention as he sang “Sing Out.”

“Are you singing on a vocal ensemble?” asked Joe Oravecz, judge and associate vice president of student affairs.


“Why not?” Oravecz said. Oravecz then encouraged Campbell to “share his talent.”

Freshman Patrick Cannon came next, his mellow, smooth voice paying tribute to Frank Sinatra in his rendition of “All The Way.”

“I enjoyed the song,” said judge Tiffany Davis. “It was good overall.”

Junior Megan Zurkey, backed by her friend Lisa Kemper, sang out a passionate song called “Using Me.” Zurkey wrote the lyrics, music and harmonies this past March.

“You’ve got the passion behind [the song],” Oravecz said. “I think you hit it out of the ballpark.”

Dan Fogarty strode onto the stage, grabbing a microphone and shouting, “Where are my soldiers out there?”

A small fan club in a middle row stood up and cheered. “Let’s get nasty!” shouted Fogarty amid the laughter and cheers.

Almost as if someone had flipped a switch, Fogarty lapsed into that subdued passion singers have just before the first notes of their song. He stepped off stage, a few feet in front of the crowd, and belted out “You Lift Me Up,” by Josh Groban. Arms and lit cellular phones came up in the crowd, swaying in time to the music. Fogarty earned a standing ovation.

“I’d love to have you sing that at Dance Marathon,” said judge Erin Small.

“Only if you’ll dance with me,” replied Fogarty.

Sophomore Sundeep Mutgi changed the pace, carrying a guitar case to the stage. He opened the case. It was empty.

“That’s just for tips,” Mutgi said.

Mutgi launched into a comedy routine, putting an amusing twist on everything from Mrs. Buttersworth to his unusual name.

When his grandmother died, Mutgi said his family was debating whether or not to have an open or closed casket at the funeral. They reached a compromise.

“You know those trash cans with the flip-up lids?” Mutgi asked. The crowd burst out laughing. “Well, that’s what we did for Grandma!”

Mutgi received tips during his act.

Freshman Savannah Sully stood on stage and shook her head. “This whole thing is a crock,” she said. “There’s no evil British guy.”

She was clad in gray sweat pants, a white T-shirt that read “Let’s download something naughty” and light-up, transparent heels.

“I wanted to look as ‘white trash’ as possible,” Sully said.

Sully went into a comedy routine of her own, giving advice on relationships and how to keep other people out of your dorm.

“You remind me of a female Ron White,” Davis said.

Sophomore Mark Gallagher’s hands flew across the finished wood of his guitar’s fretboard, effortlessly playing “La Grange” by ZZ Top, his head bobbing to the blues-rock tune.

“That was really, really great,” Small said. “I can tell you love [playing].”

Audience members voted after Gallagher’s act.

“The winner ” after millions of votes,” host Mike Poppos said. “is Sundeep Mutgi.”

Mutgi had won a Nintendo Wii.

“I’m really happy about it,” Mutgi said. “I have never done anything in front of people before.”

Fogarty came in second place and Gallagher placed third.