By Emily Guiles
Sponsored by the Fruitport DECA program, the sixth annual Fruitport’s Got Talent was sure to be a show stopper. But a horrific accident made this show all the more memorable.
Sep., 29th new Fruitport High School student Cameron Smallegan was hit by a car while walking with her friends; and received severe injuries. Smallegan spent time in DeVos Children’s hospital and has had two surgeries so far, she is still unable to talk. Smallegan is now housed at Mary Freebed to recover. In honor of Smallegan and her family 50% of the proceeds made at the show will go to her and her family.
To make the night even more special, Smallegan’s friends, some of whom were with her when the accident occurred, performed “Hallelujah” as written by Leonard Cohen. The performance was heartfelt and captivated the audience. The group included, Steven Strait, Sierra Helms, Brandon Watkins, Elizabeth Nelson, and Ja’von Collins; all Fruitport High School students. Helms delivered a short speech to kick off their performance dedicated to Smellegan.
There were three faculty judges, along with two student judges: Superintendent Bob Szymoniak, Ms. Briggs, and Mrs. Vanderberg were the faculty judges; and Jeff Campbell and Joleen Cejmer were the student judges.
There were several performers who had participated in Fruitport’s Got Talent the previous year. Performers like: Cain Burling, Keeley Rose, Antonio Stong, Mikel Vaandering, Tyler West and Gabrielle Puente have all performed on the Fruitport Middle School stage before. There were also several newcomers to the stage this year; Kano Rivera, Caia Dibble, the new members of Fruitport’s poetry and writing club Imagery, and senior Miranda Wilson. This was Wilson’s first time performing in front of a live audience, and she delivered a beautiful solo, singing “Probably Wouldn’t Be This Way” by Leann Rimes. Although her nerves understandably got the better of her, the performance was a good one overall.
It was the second time that guitarist Cain Burling, or playfully refered to as El Guapo, had graced the Fruitport’s Got Talent stage. This time around Burling showed his skills not only for playing the guitar, but also for writing his own music as he performed an original composition; and won the trophy for Best Solo Act.
Awards were also given out for Best Dance: which went to Tyler West, who did a dance rendition of “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson, complete with moonwalk and end pelvic thrusts; Best Group: went to Fruitport Imagery Club for their reading of the original poem called, “Poetic Confessions”; and Show Stopper: which went to dancer Caia Dibble for her contemporary piece performed to “Love the Way You Lie” by Skylar Grey. Long-time friends Andrew Netzler and Tom Crotty hosted the event, adding some comic relief to the show as they try to fill the shoes that Sam Cerniglia left behind after hosting the previous years Fruitport’s Got Talent.