Young comedians win grand prize in local talent show
By Nicole Michaud - Staff Writer
Windsor - posted Wed., Feb. 9, 2011
While the stage was a replica of "America’s Got Talent," equipped with giant "X"-shaped lights and even buzzers, there was no need for the judges to use them when six finalists braved the stage to compete for the title in the first "Windsor’s Got Talent" competition, held on Feb. 4 at the LP Wilson Community Center.
Benjamin Mueller and Seamus Coleman’s musical comedy duo, known as "Feed the Animals," was awarded the grand prize of $1,000. After amusing the audience with their ukulele, kazoos and rhymes about school, mothers and the judges, they were also informed by host Mark Walker that they had been requested to perform at a local establishment. Judges made particular mention of the pair's originality and creativity, especially since they had less than a week to prepare their routine.
More than 130 audience members attended the live finale that was aired on WIN-TV. Mayor Donald Trinks was impressed with the talent and the turnout. “The kids are absolutely amazing,” Trinks said. “I’m happy and grateful not to be a judge – I don’t think I could do it.” Trinks stated that he hopes the annual event gains momentum each year. “It’s been really inspirational for the town to see that we have this kind of talent,” he added.
The three-part event, which began with auditions on Jan. 21, was open to all ages and showcased the diverse talents of the community. The fundraiser - inspired by the popularity of reality shows - was designed as a unique opportunity for community members to share their talents and support each other.
“We’re really happy with the turnout. It was a big success as far as bringing out members of the community,” station manager Jenny Hawran stated. She added that she was impressed behind the scenes, as well. “The contestants were really supportive of each other, and that’s what it’s all about - having the community come together and support each other,” she said.
Community members not in attendance at the event were also given the opportunity to participate in the voting process via text message to the station. Approximately 280 text votes were counted, in addition to more than 130 in-house audience votes.
Second place went to the U’nique Gurlz, an elementary school-aged hip-hop dance group. Members Kelcey Clarke, Kiara Fullard, Loren Johnson and Cameryn Ouinichett choreographed their final routine to a medley of hip-hop songs. Ariel Weinstein’s solo guitar and vocal performance of "Crazy Train," "Beat It" and an original song, took third. Finalists also included The Trey Wilson Trio, Normand LaFleur and Savanna Petrunti.
Judges included Ben Dowe from Johnson, Dowe, Brown and Barbarotta, Linda Carter from Cutting Edge, Becca Mockalis from Hyatt Summerfield Suites, Steven Taylor from Webster Bank-Poquonock Branch, and Carol Engelmann from the Beanery at Bart's as an alternate.
WIN-TV is a non-profit organization that keeps residents informed about local events with coverage of community, school and government affairs. It also provides residents with training and education in the field of broadcast television, as well as various volunteer opportunities. The station gives residents the opportunity to express their views on television and enhances diversity and understanding within the Windsor community. For more information, visit www.win-tv.org.