Leo Factor delivers talent and sass

Trista Rios, junior kinesiology major, performs a cultural Polynesian dance from the island of Tahiti at the Leo Factor talent show Wednesday in Morgan Auditorium. The Campus Activities Board sponsored the event, which gave students a chance to show off their skills and talents to their peers. / photo by Nikky Huynh
Trista Rios, junior kinesiology major, performs a cultural Polynesian dance from the island of Tahiti at the Leo Factor talent show Wednesday in Morgan Auditorium. The Campus Activities Board sponsored the event, which gave students a chance to show off their skills and talents to their peers. / photo by Nikky Huynh

David Gonzalez
LV
Life Editor

Morgan Auditorium was filled with cheers, laughter and yells at the second annual Leo Factor Wednesday night, where six students showcased their talents.

The grand prize of $300 was awarded to the top act of the night, who was chosen by a panel of three judges, Alexis Patterson, Shane Rodrigues and Preston Parker.

The host for the night was drag queen Ongina.

Thomas Del Carmen, junior music major, participated in last year’s Leo Factor, and came back to stun the audience with a chilling cover of Imagine Dragon’s “Demons.”

“Last year I performed as well and I got third place,” Del Carmen said. “I performed an original song, so I wanted to see if singing a cover would make a difference.”

Del Carmen’s performance was electrifying and received a lively applause from the full house.

Throughout the song, Del Carmen showcased how versatile his range could be, silencing the audience for seconds as he hit a stunning high note.

At the end of the six acts, Ongina announced the top three finalists, only to name Del Carmen as the winner of the Leo Factor.

“I’m really thankful, and I’m going to keep doing what I do because it tells me that this is really my passion and is something that I was meant to do,” Del Carmen said.

Patterson, senior communications major said she was impressed by all six contestants, but the judges were shocked at how talented Del Carmen was.

“His talent really commanded the stage, and when he hit that high note I think everyone for a second was like, ‘Oh wow. He’s legit’,” Patterson said.

The night was filled with different performers that showcased how talented the student body is on campus.

“Honestly I was just happy to perform,” Del Carmen said. “I really did it because one of my friends asked me to perform. I wasn’t doing it for the money, I was doing it because it’s something that makes me truly happy.”

The other performer who joined Del Carmen in the top two was Joren Francisco, junior kinesiology major.

He performed an interpretive dance that was meant as a coming out statement. He wore his heart on his sleeve the second he walked out on stage. While the judges thought his dancing could have been executed better, he received a roaring applause that ended with the audience chanting his name.

“I wasn’t expecting to be in the final two at all because my training has been a little sloppy because I haven’t been dancing,” Francisco said. “I wasn’t expecting to be in the top three at all.”

Alana Rodriguez, senior kinesiology major, said she was most impressed by Trista Rios, who performed a Tahitian dance.

“She did a Polynesian dance that was absolutely fantastic to keep her movement up and her energy up throughout the entire three minutes of song,” Rodriguez said.

The audience was lively as they roared for each contestant, but one main reason for the excitement was Ongina.

Ongina kept the crowd entertained with sass, flirt and jokes that were not in the least bit appropriate.

She performed two lip sync performances to “One Kiss” by Calvin Harris featuring Dua Lipa and Ariana Grande’s “Breathin,” with constant cheering and laughter.

David Gonzalez can be reached at david.gonzalez9@laverne.edu.

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