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Contestants sing the hits at ‘Leo Factor’

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Angie Lopez-Yepes
Staff Writer

The Campus Activities Board hosted an “X-Factor” themed talent show called “The Leo Factor” Feb. 3 in which four University of La Verne students competed by presenting videos of themselves performing popular songs.

With a successful night of over 100 attendees, the event was fun filled with music and talent. Freshman educational studies major Jacob Ayala, senior music major Yuan Qiu, sophomore biology major Brianna Avila and junior business administration and Spanish major Cristina Soto-Arredondo all displayed different forms of their talents from instruments to beats to songs and much more. Qiu wound up taking home the crown.

Host Jej Vinson, a former contestant on “The Voice,” was able to help get the crowd animated for the talents to come.

“I thought the host was amazing, especially the way he sang. It definitely woke me up since I had just finished my class,” senior psychology and criminology major Denise Mendez said.

At the beginning of the event, Vinson gained the audience’s attention by singing two songs, “The Way You Look Tonight” by Michael Bublé and “Weak” by SWV. 

The first video was by Ayala, whose performance was an original song built by looping musical instruments.

“Looping an original song, I play instrument by instrument and at the end, there is a full song,” Ayala said.

Unlike typical talent shows, performers had the opportunity to reshoot their performances as many times as possible until they were satisfied with their work.

“I recorded three times before I was satisfied with how it sounded. All three recordings were good, but according to the friend who was helping me, it felt like I put more emotion into the song on the third recording, so we stuck with that one,” said Soto-Arredondo, who sang “Dancing On My Own” by Calum Scott.

All the way from Shanghai, China, Qiu dedicated his piano performance of “Hall of Fame” by The Script to all the front line workers.

Qiu said he finalized his performance in one take.

“I only recorded myself once because in real life, you don’t get a second chance in a performance.” said Qiu.

The final contestant was Avila who not only sang the hit song “Driver’s License” by Olivia Rodrigo, but executed a music video inspired by the original artist. 

“It took like three hours to film the shots and then the editing took another eight hours and then the audio took about two to three hours to finalize,” Avila said.

Ayala also helped Avila to add in all the beats and extra sounds.

“It made everything sound a little bit cooler,” Avila said.

Vinson ended the night by singing two more songs, “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars and an unreleased original titled “Boo Boo.”

While he was singing, it was time for the audience to vote for their favorite performance. Qiu won, followed by Ayala, Avila and Soto-Arredondo.

CAB provides giveaways at most events. The first 100 people to RSVP for “The Leo Factor” received a ULV crew neck sweatshirt.

“Part of the reason that I go to these events is because I love getting the free stuff, because who doesn’t. But I mostly go just to support other ULV students in this pandemic. I know how hard it is to go out there and perform in front of other students,” Mendez said.

For more information on upcoming events, follow La Verne CAB on Instagram at @lavernecab.

Angie Lopez-Yepes can be reached at angie.lopezyepes@laverne.edu.

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