Cyclone Voice, an all student singing competition, was held this Thursday night in the Great Hall. I have to say, Iowa State has some amazingly talented singers, and I wish they all could have won.
Sharla Charlton, junior in performing arts, performing original song, "Robin Williams": Sharla, your original song was amazing. I mean that in every way possible. Your lyrics, the meaning behind them and the emotion in which you delivered them was one of the highlights of the night for me, and you set the bar high by being the first to perform.
Linda Tong, sophomore in event management, performing "Gravity" by Sara Bareilles: Beautiful song choice and your voice fit it very well. Your face showed your emotion while you were singing. My measure of music is personal, I get goosebumps all over. You gave me goosebumps.
Mahalalel Hill, an open-option freshman, performing "Bound to You" by Christina Aguilera: You said you've never done a singing competition before, but you killed it. You started off a bit shaky, but you delivered a powerful performance only enhanced by your movement to the words. I wrote how you let out your inner diva in my notes, and it was amazing.
Collin Hollinger performing "Supermarket Flowers" by Ed Sheeran: You said you cannot read music, but that isn't where your music comes from, I don't think. You have the natural passion for music, and it shows when you sing. You chose an emotional song and you gave me goosebumps. You even hit whistle tones dead on. Overall, I may have almost cried, but I will deny it if you ask...
Joemari Roberts performing "Impossible Dream" by Luther Vandross: You walked on stage like you owned it, gold suit coat and all. You walked the stage during your performance like you were the biggest diva, and you rocked it. Scared of big dogs? They got nothing on your powerful voice. Your bark would kill their bite.
Lauren Roberts, junior in industrial design, performing "Skinny Love" by Birdy: You were a change of pace from how the show was going, and I enjoyed it. This song is emotional and soft, and you pulled it off at that piano. Your natural vibrato also added to the emotion of the song. The people behind me loved it as well.
Carissa Buseman, freshman in psychology, performing "Rise Up" by Andra Day: All of the women who performed before you had a soprano voice (for those who don't know, that is the highest register), and you have a rich alto voice. The song may have gotten a bit high for you in places, but you still moved the audience like this song demands. Bold choice, but a nice execution.
Brooke Whitney, junior in animal science, performing "Worse in Me" by Julia Michaels: All of the acts before you chose slower songs, you brought the pace up in a big way. Your personality shown through your song like a sun, a sassy and strong sun. I had a bit of trouble making out the words a few times, but you were strong when it mattered the most.
Dylan Ehlen, senior in finance, performing "Thinking Out Loud" by Ed Sheeran: You walked on stage like you knew you were going to be good, and you were. You worked the crowd in the middle of the performance. You were the first one to do that. You could hit the strong parts of your song without making it sound like you were what I call yell singing. For that, you rocked it.
Benito Kayenge, senior in economics, performing "Ma Natio": You are funny, Benito. I will give you that one hundred times over. I couldn't really understand your song, but that might just be because it was in French. However, the way you delivered it gave me all I needed to know from your facial expressions. You have a unique voice, I just wish I knew what the words meant.
Lauren Chambers performing "Drops of Jupiter" by Train: I love this song. This accounted for, you took this song and made it your own. I have never heard it played on the ukelele before, but it sure fit. Your voice fit the style you chose. You got into the song with you face and your movement, and the few chords missed didn't affect your performance.
Samantha Kragel, sophomore in interior design, performing "I Miss the Misery" by Halestorm: I was not expecting you. I heard you were the lead singer of a hard metal band, but I don't think I understood what that meant until your performance. You rocked the song with a powerful voice that fit the style like a glove. You performed your song with hardcore fashion, and the original track behind you played by your band just added to the awesome.
Anderson Coates performing "Man Without a Country": You performed an original song that brought the audience back to ground level. Your guitar skills added to the the original lyrics. There were times where i was left waiting for the build that never came, but your voice was clear. I definitely think you may get a few more Spotify listeners after tonight.
The host of this year's Cyclone Voice was singer-songwriter Skylar Grey. While the judges deliberated, Grey performed some songs she had written both for herself and for other artists. You definitely know some of them such as "Love the Way You Lie" originally by Rihanna and Eminem, "Clarity" originally by Zedd featuring Foxes, and "Coming Home."
Personally, Grey's stripped down and raw performance of some of these songs were better than the originals for me. Grey is such a talented artist, and her lyrics speak both through her and through other artists. I thank her so much for coming to Iowa State to host and perform.
Winner: Samantha Kragel
Runner Up: Joemari Roberts
Second Runner Up: Collin Hollinger