This Friday night, Vanguard students congregated in Newport Mesa Church for the university’s annual talent show. The “freak show” theme was based on the popular TV horror series American Horror Story.
The night’s hosts, Jeremy Pedron and Kayla Holtz, stole the show with their unbelievable antics. The pair used transition time to play games like fish toss, which is basically a water balloon toss with a dead fish. The basketball challenge chose a student from the audience to shoot a basket from 20 feet away; if they made it, each earned 10 seconds with an electric razor and Jeremy’s beard. Another way the two engaged the audience was with with their crowd interviews. These segments resulted in student’s giving advice like “good hygiene is to shower at least every 14 days,” or “academics are okay, but go to the beach and surf,” as well as junior Tyler Cockrum twerking on his chair per the host’s request.
Kayla and Jeremy were not about to be outdone by the crowd: the two performed a hoverboard commercial, mocking the use of the devices on campus, all while struggling to use them. Kayla sang Katy Perry’s “Firework” with enthusiasm while her co-host tried to guess the lyrics. Jeremy’s act stole the show, with a synchronized swim act right on stage. Assisted by seniors Oscar Islas, Brandon Franco, Sheridan Smith, Jonathan Vazquez, and Joshua Rance, the “synchronized swim club” wowed the audience with their dives, handstands, and dancing behind a blue tarp. Every boy was dressed the nines in their rubber caps, goggles, swim shorts, and wet, white tank tops.
This was not the only act that was out of the ordinary that night. Josh Freeman captured the crowd with his deadpan “creating a sandwich” routine. Rance surprised everyone by breaking two slabs of brick with his bare hands; the audience waited in silent anticipation before he let out a loud “hya!” split the bricks, and received a standing ovation. Pierre Ekladios performed celebrity impersonations, including politicians Arnold Schwarzenegger, President Obama, and former President Bush.
Many musical numbers also took the stage. Opening the night, Hannah Doboer sang a mashup of popular songs “Photograph” and “Love Yourself.” Shondra Hines (on the ukulele) and Emmy Fischbeck (on guitar) both took the stage with original songs. Starring in the sole dance number of the night, Quinn Williams, Katherine Ramirez, Mellica Harris, and Sierra Lowry-Shephard commanded the stage with high energy. Some of the bands included Brandon Franco, David Otteson, and Brady Backstrom singing “Friends,” dedicated to their friends and good times from university, and Lopez and Los Hijos, whose act was complete with laughter, confusion, mustaches and sombreros.
The night ended with Kayla and Jeremy calling the Vanguard community to action: squirrels without homes, they said, needed a proper home on campus. The two copied the sad atmosphere familiar to most animal shelter infomercials. Calling for everyone to use #VUSquirrelHotel, they claimed to want to raise awareness and publicity in order to get President Beals on board. Judges Lauren Francis, Ellie Kaiser, Ryan Moyher announced the synchronized swim team as the 3rd place winner, Brandon, David, and Brady took 2nd, and Emmy Fischbenk clenched the 1st place prize with her stunning voice and original lyrics.