The merit of a no-talent show

Local YSA ward members responded enthusiastically to lowered expectations when their warf took a non-traditional approach to the talent show model and changed it to a “no-talent” show.

Emcee Bryan McDonnell set the evenings theme by deciding to pick up where he left off when he first came to the ward and introduced himself with a joke that didn’t land.

“I thought well, what if I made that my theme in between every performance–just make a fool of myself, and just tell stories about how I made a fool of myself–then that would be okay,” McDonnell said.

Some of the acts were downright silly, such as the act that put blankets around two volunteered ward members and then mimicked a first date with other people acting as their arms.

Or there was the two young men who wore gaudy star costumes from a little sister’s dance company and led the crowd in a vigorous dance routine. That’s the act that came to mind when Bryan was asked about his favorite memory from the evening.

“Watching Stewart and Jake in their silver star costumes, and everyone’s reaction to that [was great],” McDonnell said. “Just hearing people’s conversations like, what is going on this is really ridiculous…”

A number of people played the guitar, and the ones of that group who didn’t sing offered some of the most actual technical talent on display that evening. Bryce Davila and Tim Congleton each had an impressive guitar act.

Alex Teemsma, who co-organized the event with Lisa Turley, was impressed with Davila’s ability.

“And I have trouble just hitting the orange button on Guitar Hero,” he quipped.

The final act involved all five roommates from an apartment in the ward, who followed up an over-the-top, mildly seductive dance act from the previous talent show, with a wild rendition of “What Does the Fox Say” that sent the crowd into riotous laughter.

With awards and ice cream sundaes to boot, ward members left with a trove of amusing memories. Some wanted even more though, such as Ashley Allen, whose rendition of “Can’t Hold Us” with Spencer Steel brought rap to the stage.

“If anybody got a video of mine and Spencer’s performance,” wrote Ashley afterward on their ward’s Facebook page, “I have to prove to my family this happened.”


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