Royals Got Talent (RGT) is an annual singing competition hosted by San Marcos’s student-run non-profit Kids Helping Kids that features more than a dozen musical performances from San Marcos’s very own talented students. This year’s RGT was a spectacular hit that nearly filled the auditorium to its maximum capacity. Organizing RGT takes a lot of time and effort, but the wonderful experience it provides for both the audience and contestants, not to mention the funds it generates for KHK’s charitable mission, make it all more than worth it.
“RGT is nice for us because not only does it act as a fundraiser to support our cause, but it’s also a mini version of what some of us will be doing during the concert next month, said senior Brooklyn Snyder, who helped produce the event for KHK. “My role for both RGT and the concert are mostly backstage and behind the scenes making sure the cues go smoothly and we can have an organized and successful show.”
The show was assuredly successful and well organized, the night began with a hilarious opening from the show’s MCs, seniors Jackson Eddy and Matt Neal, who introduced the to the format of the event as well as the judges. The judges included world-renowned musicians Dean Dinning and Kenny Loggins , as well as San Marcos Music Director Michael Kiyoi, Dean of the Music Academy of the West, Tiffany DeVries, and 2013-2014 Kids Helping Kids CEO Peter Greig.
The event began with twelve wonderful performances where talented Royals sang songs ranging from a rendition of Testify by NEEDTOBREATHE from junior Elizabeth Kravchuk and sophomore Hunter Hawkins, to Death of a Bachelor by Panic! at the Disco from freshman Ben Catch, to Wagon Wheel by Darius Rucker from senior Alex Shorb.
“It was really cool performing in Royals Got Talent,” said Alex. “I loved being able to perform in front of all my classmates and showing off some of my talent.”
However, not everyone performed alone, many performances showcased the talent of multiple Royals, including a duet by sisters Sarah and Hannah Sugano who sang Ho Hey by the Lumineers, brothers Eli and Jace Wright sang I Lived by OneRepublic, seniors Alex Marquis and Tanner Funk along with junior Jack Nelson preformed Hold Back The River by James Bay, and seniors Sophia Bordofsky, Ella Thames, and Zoe Reifel collaborated in a performance of American Boy by Estelle.
“I loved performing in a trio,” said senior Sophia Bordofsky. “In my past RGT experiences I performed alone but I loved getting to share the stage with two of my closest friends this time. The energy was awesome and it was so much fun.”
After the first 12 songs there was a brief intermission for the audience to stretch their legs and support KHK by buying concessions and raffle tickets.The intermission was followed by the final 6 performances of the first round which included performances of Flaws by Bastille from seniors Matthew Hempy and Bennett Reichard and Mr. Jones by Counting Crows from senior Caitlyn Tucker.. After hearing 18 fantastic acts, the judges deliberated while members of KHK explained the importance of the organization and its mission.
Because there was so much talent at this year’s RGT, the judges decided to break with precedent and named five finalist to proceed to the second round instead of the usual four. The five finalist were the Sugano sisters, junior Sydney Shalhoob, senior Jill Garnett, the trio of Tanner, Alex and Jack, and freshman Jazara Hutton. The finalists then each performed their second act, all of which were even more impressive than the first. After all the singing was over, the judges decided on the finalist and runner-up for Royals Got Talent 2016. Coming in 2nd place was the trio of Alex, Tanner, and Jack who had sung Something I Need by OneRepublic in the second round, and had amazed the audience with the combination of their exceptional singing, guitar playing, and beat-boxing abilities.
“We picked our songs because they were catchy after the first listen and we just had a blast singing along,” said senior Tanner Funk. “There is nothing better than singing with my two best friends so just the opportunity was priceless and getting second was an honor. This was Alex’s and my last year so we can’t redeem ourselves, but we’ll definitely be training Jack for next year!”
After an evening of breathtaking musical performances the event culminated at the hopeful moment when the winner of Royals Got Talent was announced, freshman Jazara Hutton. Jazara had blown away both the judges and the audience with her singing of two original songs How I Love You So in the first round and Falling For You all while expertly playing the guitar.
“The experience was great,” said freshman and RGT winner Jazara Hutton. “Everyone was amazing, it’s crazy how much talent is at San Marcos. It was so much fun and I encourage others to do it next year.”
Congratulations to Jazara and all of the other fantastic Royals who showcased their musical talent through their performances. The event was a complete success and served as a great lead up to the Kids Helping Kids Benefit Concert at the Granada Theatre on January 14th, where Jazara will open for the headline artist Gavin DeGraw.