Fan Favorite Memorizes Song Phonetically

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On March 23rd, several members of the Juniata community showed off their talents in Baker Refectory as part of the annual Juniata’s Got Talent show sponsored by JAB.

The night was hosted by comedian Jessi Campbell, who entertained the crowd with banter in between acts, including sharing her plans to build a Panera Bread in Huntingdon. The performers entertained the Juniata community with a diverse range of talents. Some of the acts included a drum cover of Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles” performed by Zach Roll, a dance routine set to a mash-up of Rihanna and Beyoncé songs performed by the K-Pop Dance Group, and a slower, almost acapella rendition of Britney Spears’ “Toxic” performed by Maiya and Laina Mastovich.

The best performance of the night, as decided by the official Juniata’s Got Talent judges, was a stunning band performance of Michael Bublé’s “Love You Anymore” and Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Genki Miyasato, Nina Fujikawa Souza, and Shin Matsumaru. For their victory, the three performers were awarded with a
$400 gift card to Headwaters.

The audience was not excluded from recognizing their favorite performers, however. Juniata’s Got Talent also featured the “Fan Favorite” award, where the audience voted for their favorite performer by donating money to each performer by dropping cash in the performers’ buckets (JAB also accepted Venmo payments for the vote). All proceeds from the vote were donated to Hilarity for Charity, an organization dedicated to fighting Alzheimer’s. The “Fan Favorite” award went to Clare Fu, who performed a cover of Japanese pop singer Otsuka Ai’s “Planetarium.”

The Juniatian was able to catch up with Clare after her performance. Clare shares that the song holds a special meaning for her; she is originally from Chengdu, a large city in southwest China. Chengdu is polluted to the point that it is impossible to see stars in the night sky. Since coming to Juniata, Clare has been able to spend nights viewing stars in a clear sky at Juniata’s planetarium behind BAC.

Clare also did not let the fact that she is not a native speaker of Japanese hinder her from singing “Planetarium.” To practice for her performance, she listened to the song “about 200 times” and learned the lyrics phonetically. To any Juniatians who may be afraid to show off their talents to their community, Clare has some advice: Keep going and “do not be afraid to be the one who sticks out.” Clare had signed up to perform at LAS and the Japanese Dinner in the past but was rejected both times. Despite this, she went on to perform at Juniata’s Got Talent and won over the crowd.