On the 9th of April, the big night finally arrived. Sunway’s Got Talent opened their doors shortly after 6 P.M. and excited guests began streaming into the grandly decorated Jeffrey Cheah Hall at Sunway University. Upon entering the hall, guests were greeted with a life-sized rendition of the night’s trophy and a glowing Broadway-esque archway, which then led to a black carpet infused with silver and gold stars; a Sunway’s Got Talent twist on the traditional red carpet. The whole event was Oscars-themed, and one couldn’t help but feel a bit royal as ushers swiftly helped everyone to their seats while the stage, though empty of people, was active with lights and music magic. As the lively crowd settled in their formal banquet chairs, they had time to look through their complimentary goodie bags, each including several vouchers, a drink, and inflatable clappers for the event-goers to use in support of their favourite performers. For those who preferred to relax outside the venue before the event, there was a photo booth where people could take fun photos with friends to remember the night.
When the clock struck 7 the event began with an exciting countdown on the large stage screen. After a brief introduction by the emcees, the VIP guests of the night opened a beautifully decorated gift box filled with balloons and the trophy which one lucky contestant would get to take home. Next, the judges were revealed one-by-one, each with dazzling backgrounds in performance arts. The lineup included decorated vocal coach Juwita Suwito, charismatic musician John O. (of local pop band Paperplane Pursuit!), senior lecturer Dr. Mayco Axel Santaella, and talented dancer Puteri Aisya Marissa.
Before the contestants took to the stage, the audience was gifted with a breathtaking performance by the previous season’s champions: beatboxing group Hardbeat. The group oscillated between amazing solos showcasing their unique styles, and coming together in impressive complimentary coordination.
Finally, the competition began as the first performer, Marsha, took to the stage! A starry screen backdrop set the mood for her soulful singing performance. Next, dynamic dance group 5 Rings took to the stage and captivated the audience with their sexy and badass dance choreography and flaming charisma. Connection mellowed out the audience’s energy next with a romantic singing duet. Despite some technical difficulties, the duo powered through to deliver an emotionally moving performance. Next, dancer Bryan Woo took to the stage with an expressive and energetic performance, showcasing a diverse range of styles. His dedication to his craft shone through as he lost his glasses mid-performance but barely reacted, almost making it seem like it was part of the choreography. The first half of phase one ended with the elegant and dreamy opera performance by Cassandra Foo, a uniquely fine-artsy addition to the competition.
Before the second half of the first phase began, the audience was given a break from performances with exciting lucky draw prizes presented by the emcees. The lucky winners were chosen from the unique numbers printed on their tickets. Along with other excited prizes which included vouchers, backpacks, and a phone, three especially lucky winners won round-trip tickets to Lotte World (South Korea), Universal Studios (Singapore), and Disney World (Hong Kong), respectively.
Time seemed to be flying as it was already time to see the remaining five contestants. Jumping right back in to the energetic vibe of the night, Inferno, 24 festive drums group took to the stage, triggering deafening cheers from the audience with their almost superhuman synchronicity. Ch’ng Junn Yiing took to the stage next with a powerful rendition of ‘If I Were A Boy.’ The eighth performer was Kenneth Tan, a talented dancer with a smooth yet sharp style of choreography. In a change of pattern, the next performance was a short acting performance by Arjun and Cheah, which challenged the audience to think of the current news events regarding school shooters. Finally, Yee Heng Zeh brought contemporary dance to the competition, which one of the emcees described as ‘bouncy ballet.’