Hundreds of HPU students at
the Hawai‘i Theatre can only mean one thing, HPU’s
talent show, “Da Freakshow.” First place honors
for this year’s event, held March 16, went to the HPU
RAs, a group of residence hall advisors. According to Director
of Residential Life, Beth Muaina, 775 people packed the historic
theatre to watch 15 acts that ranged from band performances
to dance and sign language.
The festivities, co-sponsored by the Office Student Life and
Residence Life, started at 6 p.m. with free food and drinks.
One of the more popular food booths served students KC’s
Original Waffle Hot Dog. It was supervised by Dayton Asato whose
parents owned the famous KC’s Drive In on Kapahulu Avenue,
which closed in April 2005. The talent portion of the event was
hosted by HPU graduate student, Anthony “Quadzay” Marlin,
whose standup comedy entertained the audience throughout the
The first act was The Big Show, a band composed of Chad-Joshua
Ayson, Marty Borja, Wesley Chong , Jeff Domingo, Jason Figgeroa,
Phil Hightower, Jeffery James, Kenton Koga, Michael Kiese, and
Shay Marcello. Playing instruments such as the saxophone, French
horn, trumpet, and bass, the group also sang a capella.
The next act, Sedated Nation, included March Holyoak, Micah Kamoe,
Daphne Morlane, and Lauren Stevens, who rocked the house with
their alternative style of music while the audience jumped and
clapped along. They were followed by Mike Alderette, Jameson
Froom, Patrik Hjelm, and Vincent Tsushima, who made up a group,
called Mad Manapua and entertained the audience with energetic
heavy metal music.
Scott Lopez performed a solo song called “While My Ukulele
Gently Weeps,” accompanying himself on a ukulele specially
shipped from Maui for the show. The group The Hamo Boys included
Rapture Pagaialii and Finesti Taimasa, who received a rousing
endorsement in the form of a chant by members of the Samoan Club
before their performance of an their own original song called “A
Life with You.”
Ian Besmond and Kevin Pemberton also played Besmond’s original
song, written when he was 16, “C-minor Blues.” Besmond
accompanied the song on the piano and Pemberton played the guitar.
Other solo vocal performances included Fretchie Villahermosa
singing Oleta Adams’ 1991 hit “Get Here,” while
the audience showed support by waving lighted cell phones in
the air. Jackson Eustrom performed an a capella rendering of “Walking
in Memphis” by American singer-songwriter Marc Cohn. Jasmine
Pelen Vergara sang the soulful R&B “Before You Walk
Out of My Life.”
Solo dance performances included Kristina Perez dancing a combination
of ballet, jazz, gymnastics, and hip-hop to “Serious to
Fun,” while Christy Decker performed to Celine Dion’s, “If
That’s What It Takes,” using powerful facial expressions
and American sign language gestures to reinforce the song’s
First-place-winning HPU RAs dressed up as nerds and danced to
a song called “A Million Ways” by Ok-go. The group
included Megan Blaine, Nicole Dragisics, Carli Masik, Matthew
Mclean, Alexander Sterling, and Martin Valdez. They chose their
name because the are all resident assistants at the Hawai‘i
Loa campus. The HPU RA’s
Second place went to Leilani Soon, who took home $300 for her
dance rendition of “Power of a Dream” by Celine Dion.
Soon combined hula and ballet with American sign language. Angel
Husher won third place, taking home $200 for singing “I
Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor.
Judges for the talent show were Marites Fiesta, Dean of Student
Life and director of First Year Programs; Jill Merl, academic
advisor; John Fleckles, senior vice president of Academic Affairs;
and students Ben Schuler and Tekla Weiterman. The judges rated
each performance on a 25-point system which included categories
of technicality, audience response, and performance ability.
Merl thought that being a judge was a lot of fun. All the judges
had their own ballots, she said.
But we could not see what each judge scored because it was so
dark. However, when the winners were announced, we knew that
all of us were pretty in sync,” said Roberta Husher, mother
of third-place winner Angel Husher. She enjoyed the show because
of its variety.
It was fun to see. Many talented people came to show their stuff,” said
The RAs enjoyed the show too. “It was exciting and fun.
It was a team effort,” said HPU RA member Valdez. “The
group watched a video on the youtube.com Web site. They started
their practices in classrooms around January and learned the
dance in three days,” Valdez added
Valdez explained that the hard part about the routine was making
it conform to six people, since the original dance consisted
of only four. When they heard they had won, the RAs all yelled “$83.33,” symbolizing
the split of $500 between six members.
The people who won deserved to win,” said travel industry
management major Ofelia Bumangalg.
The HPU RAs’ performance can be seen on youtube.com with
the keywords: freakshow first place.