The Southern Miss Student Activities Council hosted “USM Has Talent” on Wednesday in Bennett Auditorium. The event was free and open to all students to see their friends and peers showcase their talents on stage.
“We look to find events to plan that’s going to engage as many students as we can,” said SMAC advisor Zachary Turner. “A talent show, we know we’re going to have a lot of great contestants, but those contestants [are] who is going to get the people in the seats.”
Eleven acts took the stage to perform their talents ranging from singing radio hits to dancing to Beyonce, bringing the crowd to their feet during the two-hour showcase. Senior music major Jacobi Daughrity took home first- place honors for his performance, getting the crowd heavily involved as they cheered him on for his vocal talent.
“They actually gave me a lot of energy,” Daughrity said. “I was actually really glad to see they were interacting with me, especially towards the end of the song.”
Bennett Auditiorum, which was filled from the below ground floor to the balcony, put artists on stage not for the first place finish, but also some exposure on if the University of Southern Mississippi actually does have talent.
“USM does have talent,” said sophomore criminal justice major Robert Brown. “I’ve seen talent that I really didn’t even think was on this campus until tonight.”
Brown, who did not place in the top-three at the end of the contest, still took down some notes for the next time that he has to perform in front of a crowd of the 300-plus that attended, or perhaps more.
“What I thought about going into it was that I really got to give it my all because people who are performing and everybody else in it, they were marvelous,” Brown said. “The people who were before me set the tone so I had to really calm down and grab all my nerves together and just do me.”
SMAC will host more events as the fall semester continues, including bringing in Grammy-nominated singer Keri Hilson.