Correction appended: Feb. 24, 2013.
Tuesday night’s rendition of “Showtime at the Apollo” in Heritage Hall fell on a rather peculiar day. For one, it was smack dab in the middle of Black History Month. Incidentally, it was also Valentine’s Day.
The NAACP celebrated both occasions by setting the theme for this classic talent show as “A Love Affair” and showcasing talent from the black community at Penn State.
New York Radio personality Charlemagne Tha God, also known for his role on MTV series “Guy Code,” made a guest appearance as the ruthless host of this year’s competition.
“I’m what you call a de-motivational speaker,” he said. “We have to put people on their proper career paths tonight.”
Dozens of contestants performed in the four categories of singing, rapping, dancing and spoken-word poetry. With 30 seconds to make their case, the pressure was on with the whole audience as their judge.
Ashley Eustache, a member of the NAACP at Penn State, said she was excited by the chance to give audience feedback.
“I think it’s interesting because you can boo people off if they’re really bad, so you can have audience participation in actual acts,” Eustache (junior-biochemistry) said.
Mazeratti Mitchell (freshman-business management), who is also a member of the NAACP at Penn State, said that aside from the star host, the show had some more comedic relief when the crowd got tough.
“If someone’s getting booed too much, a guy comes on dressed up and sweeps him off the stage,” he said.
The NAACP also designated three VIP tables at the front of Heritage Hall to those who came especially for Valentine’s Day.
Jasmine Bailey (junior-human development and family studies) was at the event to support her dance team, Ambitions PSU, in its guest performance.
What’s unique about Showtime at the Apollo is that it’s a competition against all the arts, she said.
Bailey said she and Nicole Lacey (junior-telecommunications), another co-founder of Ambitions, won the competition when they were freshmen.
Singer Paul Louigene was chosen as the winner in the singing category for his performance of “Back at One” by Brian McKnight, which he said was a hard-earned victory. “Everyone else was good, but they just needed to have a good stage presence. It’s not only about having a good voice.” Louigene (freshman-pre-med) said.
Synclair Jackson also known as Oxygen Pernell (junior-English) won the rapping category for his song, “PSUing,” which he said was an anthem that he wrote for Penn State.
“I really wanted to share my music. I thought the PSU anthem would be a really good thing for our school because none of our sports teem has an anthem,” Jackson said.