[NEWS BRIEF] “Bellaire’s Got Talent” returns to the big stage after two year hiatus

After COVID-19 forced a two-year hiatus, Red Bird Productions hosted its annual talent show “Bellaire’s Got Talent” Thursday night. Nineteen acts performed, with talents ranging from music, to juggling, to dancing and more.

After the performances, the audience participated in online voting to determine the winners. First place went to the band IB Hear, second place went to the band WH & Co., third place went to a K-Pop dance group and fourth place went to singer Joshua Cheng. Electric guitarist for IB Hear and senior Jason Beveridge was shocked that his band won the talent show.

“Every act that night was incredible,” Beveridge said. “I thought that we performed to the best of our ability and would maybe get top five. When the name IB Hear was announced, I was starstruck and could not believe it. Our whole band was elated with the result.”

But, IB Hear’s success did not come without a large amount of hard work and time. Beveridge, who has only been playing electric guitar for three months, spent many hours practicing at home in preparation.

“When we first started practicing, I had a hard time playing in rhythm with the rest of our band,” Beveridge said. “Jack Whitehead suggested that we pick up a bass player and drummer as we neared closer to the show to fix this problem. Once we added Harrison Mistich and Azkar Madison to our band, it was way easier to play in sync.”

Similarly, lead vocalist and pianist for IB Hear, senior Jack Whitehead spent time perfecting his singing before the competition.

“Although I really didn’t need to do that much for preparation since I’m the one who recruited people to play Layla, I still needed to practice singing loudly since it was difficult to reach some of the high notes I needed to sing,” Whitehead said. “I really like the song, which helped because I already knew the piano part.”

Looking back on the time leading up to the show, Whitehead said he is thankful for the memories he created with his bandmates.

“I was really proud of the effort my bandmates put in though and it’s such a good feeling when I hear them cue me in at the beginning of a song,” Whitehead said. “And, they sound really good; sometimes during practice, I can’t stop laughing at the lead guitarist because I’ll say ‘Ok Nour, I want you to try and learn this variation’ and then he’ll just play it perfectly on the first try and it cracks me up how good he is.”

Lead vocalist and pianist for WH & Co., senior Henry Pu, said he was thankful that he and his bandmates were able to pull off their performance in the midst of a hectic time.

“The month before the competition was actually very busy,” Pu said. “We had prom, several grad parties and APs. So, we actually only had like three practices with each lasting less than two hours which explains why we had so many mistakes.” 

Pu said he felt at ease the second he got on stage. Even though the group spontaneously switched their song last minute, they were still able to work it out.

“I thought I was going to be super nervous since I don’t particularly enjoy singing in a public setting, but during the performance, I was actually completely fine,” Pu said. “Just did what I did and at the end, my heart was beating super fast, but I had a lot of fun. Naturally, a lot of relief was released after the performance was done.”

An untimely case of COVID also limited IB Hear to only three full practices, like WH & Co. But even then, Beveridge said he loved playing in front of the crowd.

“Once it became showtime, I didn’t seem to be too nervous,” Beveridge said. “It was exhilarating to perform in front of an audience for the first time. Hearing the cheering and seeing my friends in the crowd was truly amazing.”