Talent in spades
Vanilla's Got Talent heats will take place every Tuesday night through to the final on 29 November at Vanilla Cakes and Lounge in Oakleigh, VIC
Last Tuesday night marked the first heat for Vanilla's Got Talent, an eight week talent competition showcasing performers from all corners of Melbourne who are prepared to show us what they've got. Organised by Mary Melabiotis, the show will be hosted every week by popular Vanilla Cakes and Lounge in Oakleigh, hence the name of the competition.
The first heat showed all the hallmarks of a competitive talent competition - upbeat music to kick off the show, good lighting and sound set-up, a panel of judges from entertainment backgrounds - except that there were no eliminations. This first event was an opportunity for competitors to showcase their skills and assimilate to the venue and atmosphere, without the pressure of being voted out just yet. Performing to a full house, the competitors did very well considering how crowded and busy the venue was.
The atmosphere was buzzy, and the crowd was incredibly supportive of all of the acts for bravely putting their talents on display. The judges are Yvonne Gorgorinis, dance teacher and previous dance school owner, Tony Iliou, musician from Rebetiki, and Addie Liakis, singing instructor. They all gave constructive criticism to each singer, and although they were never scathing, they didn't hold back on advice for improvement for the next performance.
Many of the singers had great raw talent that still needs refining, but there were also several powerhouse performances. Rachael Costanzo sang her rendition of Kelly Clarkson's Mr Know It All, surprising everyone when that husky voice came out of such a small framed body. It even elicited a comment from the judges of "Where have you been hiding?" The sensitive performance of George Michael's One More Try by Arthur Floreaf captivated the women in the audience and even one of the judges who said, "If you can sing George Michael and impress me, you've done an amazing job." Sarah Rzek was a highlight of the evening, with her soulful singing and guitar playing. She had a star quality and looked like a natural, belting out True Colours for an appreciative crowd.
Vanilla's Got Talent heats will take place every Tuesday night through to the final on 29 November at Vanilla Cakes and Lounge in Oakleigh, VIC.
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