International Student Association’s Got Talent



WORLD FUSION: Dancers A-Ya Hamano, Melissa Gonzalez and Nami Matsushita took first place at the ISA talent show Thursday along with teammates Chur Hyun Sung and Richard Fober.

Sal Polcino, Staff Writer

Students from all over the globe competed Thursday at the GCC Auditorium in an American Idol-style talent show organized by the International Students Association to raise money for scholarships.

ISA President Hyacinthe “Cinthy” DeCuba was the main organizer, but she said she had lots of help. DeCuba and the international student advisers discovered that planning an event this size is a big job. “It was a lot of work,” said adviser Anh Nguyen. “It took a team of five people to make this show happen.”

Photos by Kathy Bakowicz

In addition to recruiting the talent judges were sought, the venue booked and prepared, sound and lighting people organized, ticket sellers assigned and lunch ordered and served to the first 100 guests. “I am happy they pulled this together. They have so much talent,” Nguyen said.

Organizers also enlisted Dr.Troy Davis, working under the name “Doctor Love,” to host the show. Davis, formerly an international student counselor who currently teaches and counsels at GCC, added a fun and comic element to the performances.

“They asked me to come out and emcee and I couldn’t turn that down,” Davis said. “Did they know I was a fool? No, I don’t think so,” Davis said laughingly. “They’ve talked about it before when I brought my band up here,” he said.

Davis is also an R&B drummer and plays at local venues.

Four guest judges sat front and center and playfully critiqued contestants after their performances.

DeCuba dedicated the show to two friends who were named the first honorary members of the ISA. Student leaders Fabio Martinelli Andretta Jr. of Brazil and Sooky An, a psychology major who is transferring to UC Santa Barbara were inducted into the association.

“I think the show was a total success,” DeCuba said. “We had a lot of people, the shows were awesome and the performers were amazing.”

Cash prizes were awarded to the winner and two runner-ups. Kasha Fernandes from Dubai came in third place with a contra-alto rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair.” Glen DeBont took second place with two lusty spoken word pieces.

The winner and audience favorite was the dance group, World Fusion, with dancers Melissa Gonzalez, A-Ya Hamano, Chur Hyun Yung, Nami Matsushita and Richard Fober with their hip-hop flavored dance music mix-tape.