They've got talent!

THE Finals for UCSI University’s Got Talent 2009 contest came to a close during the university’s Hollywood-themed Prom Night recently.

First-year English Language and Communications student Ahmad Nahri emerged the winner after singing his trademark song, Butterfly by Jason Mraz, taking home the top prize of RM1,000 cash.

Second place went to Foundation in Architectural Studies student Iliya Ibrahim from Nigeria for his original rap song about UCSI and its students.

More than 35 students were auditioned in the first round of the competition over a month ago. Another 14, who demonstrated a wide range of talents from preforming magic tricks and dancing to acting and singing, made it to the semi-finals.

These acts were then recorded and put on the university’s website.

“Not everyone could come to the semi-finals, so it was important to ensure every contestant received their fair share of the votes based on their performance,” said Student Council Publicity Director Kendrick Ng.

“This was how we came to use UCSI University’s Youtube channel, so that the public could view each performance and judge for themselves who should be in the top five.”

The university started actively participating in social networking site Facebook and Youtube late last year to be better connected to students and to encourage interactivity.

The top five contestants were chosen based on the number of votes they received online.

According to Ahmad, the Youtube videos were the most important factor in giving him a spot among the top five finalists.

“I am still so new at UCSI University and don’t know that many people, so it would have been difficult to garner enough votes,” said the 21 year-old, who initially wanted to pursue a degree in music, but took his father’s advice to study English instead.

The finalists were judged by celebrity judges Christien New, Lavin Seow, and R&B singer and songwriter Liang.

The night of glitz and glamour also saw students dressed to the nines Hollywood-style.

Jackie Chiong Swee Hung and Cassey Soo Yiing Ying were declared Prom King and Prom Queen respectively.

All five couples who were in the running for the Prom King and Queen had participated in a fashion show on campus prior to the event.

The couples were also required to do a short performance during the event itself to garner votes from the audience. While some sang romantic duets, others spiced it up with Latin and Bollywood dancing.

Combining the two events — UCSI’s Got Talent 2009 and Prom Night — proved to be a success, based on feedback from both students and staff.

UCSI Vice President of Corporate Affairs Prof Dr Norfadzillah Hitam said that she was truly impressed with the effort and time the students had put in to execute both events.

“The event really showcased our students’ hidden talents, and I am really happy that we had the chance to see them perform,” she said.

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