AAS Hosts Inaugural Amherst’s Got Talent Show

This past Friday, the Association of Amherst Students presented Amherst’s Got Talent, the college’s inaugural talent show. Tooba Ansar ’27 reviews the performances, highlighting the diverse creativity of the Amherst community.

AAS Hosts Inaugural Amherst’s Got Talent Show
K:NETICS K-Pop Dance Club took home the first place prize: a $100 gift card to Antonio’s. Photo courtesy of Jesus Ramirez Tapia ’25.

On March 8, the Association of Amherst Students (AAS) presented Amherst’s Got Talent, the college’s inaugural talent show, to a packed crowd at the Eighmy Powerhouse. With acts ranging from dramatic sword fighting to a self-written one-man show, the event revealed some of our community’s amazing, quirky, and sometimes unseen talents — and our community's extraordinary ability to come together to celebrate these diverse talents.

The first contestant of the night was Oscar Gosling ’27, who sang the aria “Non più andrai” from Mozart’s 1786 opera “The Marriage of Figaro.” With audience members looking on intently, many with their mouths agape, the show was kicked off by a very welcome surprise.

Following Gosling was Alex Conklin ’25. Accompanying herself with a hushed, finger-plucked melody on the guitar, Conklin performed a cover of Colter Wall’s 2015 folk number “Sleeping on the Blacktop.” The vocals were somber yet ambitious, the guitar notes quickly-picked, melodic, and seamless. For a moment, the Powerhouse came to a standstill, trance-like.

Up next was Erik Arciniega ’25, who sang a cover of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.” Dedicated to the graduating class of 2024, his performance featured a controlled, resounding vibrato, and a crescendo that made the entire crowd erupt in applause.

The show then quickly shifted gears as Caden Stockwell ’25 took the stage. Armed with twice as many microphones as his preceding performers and a keyboard that would not work for the first few moments, his act had a mysterious, intriguing air about it from the start. Stockwell announced that he would be performing his self-written one-man show titled “Return of the Ninjas,” backed by Phoebe Neilsen ’25 on the keys. The audience was in stitches as Stockwell acted out the multiple personalities of a formidable cast of characters — including a version of Steely Dan with ninja powers — performed precise martial art maneuvers, and took falls so realistic one could hear his bones crack and the audience gasp upon impact.

Amherst’s Got Talent featured nine unique performances from students. Photo courtesy of Jesus Ramirez Tapia ’25.

For the Girls, an all-women musical group consisting of Phoebe Eccles ’24, Danica Vu ’24, and Madison Green ’24, performed next. Sporting heart-shaped glasses and an endearing, infectious energy, their rendition of Katy Perry’s “Chained to the Rhythm” had the Powerhouse abuzz as the spectators clapped along with the beat.

One of the more unique acts of the night came from the Theatrical Choreography Group. As the first row of seats was told to take a step back because of a “safety risk,” the audience was equal parts confused and excited to see the next performance unfold. Soon enough, Max Hauschildt ’25, Isaac Oh ’27, and Mike Rosenthal ’27 took the stage, wielding their broadswords. The spectators looked on with bated breaths, the air heavy in anticipation. As the sound of metal against metal reverberated through the Powerhouse, some of the onlookers could not help but wince.

Befitting of the singing college, an a cappella performance followed the sword fight, with Deshaan de Mel ’27, Hank Hsu ’27, and Isaac Oh ’27 singing Hsu’s soulful rendition of “Amazing Grace.”

The Outliers, a campus music duo, then performed Bruno Mars’ “I Was Your Man.” With Parker Smith ’27 on the keys and vocals, Noah Turbes’ ’27 trumpet accompaniment gave the duo’s rendition of the song a sinuous, almost sultry spin. Turbes’ trumpet solo, in particular, had a captivating, longing air to it, which was perhaps the highlight of their performance.

The final act of the night was K:NETICS, a crowd-favorite campus K-pop dance group. The audience broke into a roar the moment the dance troupe burst onto the stage. Set to “Set Me Free” by Twice and “Queencard” by (G)I-DLE, the choreography was fun, synchronized, fluid, and engaging, with many spectators dancing along and videoing the performance. The show concluded in the best way possible, with a performance that brought the audience to their feet.

The entire night had built up to this moment: the time to vote. Via a QR code, members of the audience submitted their vote for who had the most talent. With the results in, the fateful moment was upon the Powerhouse. The third place went to For the Girls, the second place to Caden Stockwell, while K:NETICS took home the first place — and a $100 Antonio’s gift card.

When asked about what the AAS’s hoped to achieve with AGT, Senator Riz Ayub ’27 — who initiated and led the project — shared, “I can’t speak on behalf of [the] AAS as a whole, but our [Vice President] Shane Dillon ’26 said he wants this semester to be a semester of community building, and I think AGT one hundred percent fits into that goal.”

Ayub also reflected on the success of the show and whether he hopes to make it a recurring tradition.

“The biggest success of the show was that we made people happy …  At the end of the day, we brought people together to have a fun night! One hundred percent  I want to make this a recurring event. We’ve already received interest in having another talent show, and assuming I’m on the senate next semester, I’d love to be working on and leading the planning.”

All in all, one thing is for certain: Amherst has, indeed, got talent.