Note: This is an updated story. A previous version indicated 25 acts had been selected for semifinal competition. After the Times’ press deadline on Monday evening, a 26th semifinalist was added to the list.
So far, the women have dominated — with two female singers and a dancer taking top spot in the first three years of Langley Has Talent — but will this be the year that a man emerges victorious at the finals of the annual competition?
It’s anyone’s guess, said the contest’s founder Peter Luongo, who this past weekend finished auditioning candidates for the fourth annual talent show, which opens on March 29.
It took a lot of discussion and a few serious disagreements, but a trio of judges managed to winnow 60 candidates down to 26 contestants who will take the stage at Christian Life Assembly next month.
Although the number of acts who auditioned this winter is down from previous years, the bar continues to be raised, said Luongo.
“What’s consistent every year is that the quality (of the performances) has gone up.”
Though the judges had planned to cap the number of competitors at 24, they couldn’t agree on who to leave out.
In the end, judges Luongo, his daughter, Lisa Luongo Smith and talent agent Jolene Moore, were able to settle on a range of acts to perform at the semi-finals.
Of those, he said, 19 were ‘no-brainers,’ while another group of 15 sat on the bubble and created plenty of back and forth among the judges.
“We were agonizing over who to take and not to take.”
Among the 26 acts who will compete for cash and industry prizes are eight solo vocalists (including one rapper) seven duets, one instrumental performer, a band and a trio and five physical acts — including dancers, gymnasts and a unicyclist.
The annual Langley Has Talent competition is once again presented by the four Rotary Clubs of Langley.
One of its main goals is to draw attention to the need for a dedicated performing arts centre in Langley — something a task force, including representatives from the City, the Township, the school district and both of Langley’s universities has been formed to do.
This year, Langley Has Talent is also working with the Langley school district, offering every elementary and middle school student in the district free admission to the shows, as long as they are accompanied by a parent with a paid ticket.
Semi-final competition will be held at Christian Life Assembly, 21277 56 Ave., on Saturday, March 29. The finals will take place two weeks later, on April 12.
Both events begin at 6 p.m.
For tickets and other information, visit langleyhastalent.com.
The semifinalists who have been selected to compete on March 29 are:
Aaron Swan – Singer
Alexandra Susheski – Acrobat
Ayumi Sugizaki – Unicycle Performer
Cassidy Hoflin – Singer
Chantelle Ward – Dancer
Dante Arias – Dancer
Hayley Bouey – Singer
Jazmine and Amanda Langset – Singers
Jessie LeBlanc and Kathleen Dunn – Singing/Musicians
Jessie Sapach – Singer/Musician
Jet Tangerine and Hugh Barbour – Singing/Guitar
Joanne Chiasson – Singer
Jordan Rodriguez – Singer
Josh Baron and Cheyenne Lewis – Singing/Guitar
Joshua Goodman – Rap/Hip Hop
Kaitlin Hartwig – Dancer
Kaiya Horvat and Kirk Musfelt – Singing/Guitar
Mark Armstrong – Guitarist
Michaela Mulder – Singer
Paige McLachlan – Dancer
Quinn and Tonic – Band
Rachel Dunn and Colson Kinna – Singing/Guitar
Rhiannon Kittson – Singer
Richie Vokes – Singer/Songwriter
Sara Garber and Kevin Wellman – Singing/Musicians
Sophi Spatzner – Dancer