Winner treats audience with trick shots
Student yo-yo performer wins Punk ‘N Pie 2016. | Alondra Urizar/ THE CHIMES
After performances from nine different acts, freshman environmental science major Jonathan Williams took first place and $500 with his yo-yo act. Following Williams, senior communications major Zachary Alsens took second and $300 and sophomore accounting major Stephen Reed took third and $100.
“There’s a lot of talented people at Biola and that was great to see. Of course, it’s even more amazing to see my son get first place, too, so I’m very proud and he’s just, I love him,” said Mason Williams, Jonathan’s father. “Although I’m biased, I’m a proud father. He’s gifted, he's talented and it’s great to see him do his thing and get recognized for it.”
Williams started his yo-yo career when he was kid, when he saw a book about yo-yo tricks. Eventually, he began watching videos online and using yo-yos that enabled him to do tricks well. He now performs at yo-yo competitions nationally and internationally.
“Most people don’t realize what you can do with a yo-yo and I don’t expect most college students to pick it up and try to learn what I’ve learned but I’m hoping some of the kids in the audience will be inspired and hopefully try themselves and hopefully find it be their passion,” Jonathan said.
Zachary Alsens, senior communications major, won second place with a performance telling a story of what would happen if mailmen ran the country by using comedic rap. The audience responded with laughter as he underwent a series of character changes, represented with costumes and props, throughout the piece.
“I love to put the two, like comedy and rap, together so I was just sitting in class one day thinking what could I do? And I was like what would be more funny than if mailmen ruled the country. I just thought that would be strange,” Alsens said.
On a more serious note, Reed performed “Como Quién Pierde Una Estrella” by Alejandro Fernández to represent his Mexican heritage.
“I am Mexican actually and I just wanted to perform something from back home, something I grew up with and this was the best idea,” Reed said.
In the process of selecting winners, the judges, senior public relations major Angel Jesudasen, Student Government Association president and senior business and Bible major Jessica Snow and vice president of Student Development André Stephens, picked the top six rather than the planned top five.
“There was a tie between two of the acts, so instead of making the judges choose of those five, even though there was a tie, we just let there be a top six, that way everybody could vote since there was two of the same score,” said Sammy Troisi, support staff for Student Programming and Activities special events and junior elementary education major.
One difference this year involved having students on the panel, rather than solely faculty and staff members.
In addition to the talent show portion of the night, and traditional pumpkin pie after the show, there were games and a bonfire for students and their families to enjoy.
“We just tried to make it more of a holistic event this year, with things beforehand like lawn games and things after like bonfire. Just trying to make it more of a whole experience as opposed to just a talent show,” said Rachel Giusti, support staff for SPA special events and senior business major.