As THON pushes into the peak hours of Saturday night, back-to-back marquee events are set to hit the stage. But first was the Kids Talent Show.
To kick off the series of performance, a number of Four Diamonds Families members joined the musical therapy department at the Hershey Medical Center in performing a rendition of “This Is Me” from the movie “The Greatest Showman.”
It is not just any rendition, though. The lyrics are rewritten by the family and staff members involved with the program to thank all for the effort that goes into the support from the program for THON.
The Deckmans followed up with a heartfelt performance with a medley of songs that are Penn State favorites. First off was the sing-a-long favorite that is Sweet Caroline, and the father-and-son duo put in a rock-and-roll spin to the mellow John Denver hit. That then turned into a music break for the “We Are Penn State” chant.
More stadium jams ensued in the famed “Seven Nation Army” riff, followed by another belter in Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On A Prayer” that raised the roof of the Bryce Jordan Center to wrap up the Deckmans’ performance.
Jackson Brennan had a hyped crowd to his advantage and he was commanding the stage with a saxophone performance to Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ hit “Uptown Funk.” He proudly dedicated the song to his younger sister, who will be cancer-free this July.
Carly Wilfong came up next with a recent pop throwback. She dedicated her dance performance to three of her friends affected by cancer, then proceed to jump rope and dance her way to the dancers’ hearts to One Direction’s “Best Song Ever” in her tutu. She also joined a few other dancers in a Rockettes-esque high-kick dance.
Calliope Silbaugh entered the stage next with a performance on the keyboards. Before diving into her performance, though, she dropped a neat astronaut joke for their love of the space key on the keyboard. Following a stellar keyboard performance, the space jokes continued and she bowed out with a change - a piano joke.
The stadium jams theme made a comeback with “Believer” by Imagine Dragons being featured in a dance performance by Connor Rowan. He looked to bust out a solid set of Fortnite dance moves including the floss and a series inspired by the schoolyard game Ninja.
Rockne and Brody Smith was joined by singers Zoe Teter and Ben Mendez for an inspirational cover of Panic! At The Disco’s “High Hopes.” The theme of Fortnite dancing continued with along the vocals of Teter and Mendez, while the kids did have some floor moves to show for.
Sarah Zeisloft tapped into a collective memory of this generation of college students in bringing out a basketball routine to the High School Musical classic, “Get ‘Cha Head in the Game,” featuring cartwheels, neat dribbling moves and no-look passes to boast.
Kaitlyn Good was next to hit the stage with her own rendition of the Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song.” With the whole stadium accompanying her with rhythmic waves and cheering her on, she delivered a cover from bottom of her heart.
The variety of acts expanded when Asher Parham hit the crowd with an original beatbox performance. He stirred in snippets like The Imperial Match and a MJ hit in Billie Jean, earning big cheers from the crowd while switching around with his beats and speed.
Christopher Moore dedicated his performance to every kid who is fighting and surviving against cancer. He then followed with a lip-sync performance to, for the second time, Imagine Dragons’ “Believer” with the companion of his own dance crew.
THON seemingly cannot run out of stadium hits as a performance of Carrie Underwood’s “Champion.” Following Emily’s belting performance, Savannah Kennen tugged the heartstrings with an earnest performance of Avril Lavigne’s “Head Above Water.”
A gymnastics routine was next soundtracked by Marshmello and Bastille’s “Happier.” A’Niah Butler took the stage with a stellar set of flips. Paula Engel-Herbert showed off her pipes and reprised “Set It All Free” from the movie “Sing” to follow.
Josiah Garcia switched it up with a dancing act, featuring a heavy influence of popping and locking to a heavy EDM beat. Joyce Ortiz kept the crowd going with an inspirational original rap performance titled “Fly High.”
McKenna Speed gave the crowd a jazzy feeling with her cover of “You’re Never Dressed Fully Without A Smile” from “Annie,” while Garret, Hunter and Corban Shover changed the tone as they sang and danced to a ZZ Top classic in “Sharp Dressed Man” in their dapper outfit: burgundy shirts, blue slacks, white ties and a pair of shades.
Devin Pulaski was able to close the series of performance in a high note with another inspirational hit in Katy Perry’s “Roar” while representing the singer’s look in the music video. However, it was her little brother who stole the show with impromptu roars to the microphone.