Black Student Alliance brings Showtime, Western style

Stephanie Toone

Singers, dancers and rappers were given one minute to show their talent.

After that, they were either doused with praise or booed off the stage at Black Student Alliance’s presentation of the Apollo – a talent show modeled after Harlem’s historical showcase, Saturday night in Downing University Center Theater.

In its second year, the amateur night brought a larger audience, more talented performers and added surprises. But there was still plenty of booing to go around.

Lexington junior Shaylla Brown, BSA vice president, said the larger audience meant greater revenue to support students.

Louisville sophomore Terrance Harris, the Apollo coordinator, declined to give the amount raised.

“We hope to help freshmen retention rates, have different programs for African-American students and have voter registration drives and informationals,” Brown said.

Brown said that delegating jobs for ticket sales and advertisements helped make this year’s Apollo run smoother. The help of sponsors also gave the almost 300 people who attended a little more than entertainment to look forward to.

For audience members, there were ticket giveaways for dinners at Applebee’s and Smokey Bones restaurants. A DVD player was also given away.

Though the audience had extra incentives, the 15 acts that performed also had something to be excited about. The grand prize this year was $400.

The winners were Georgetown cousins Marquise McIntyre and Mario McIntyre. The hip hop/soul duo, Alienness, had experience from other Apollo competitions.

The McIntyres formed Alienness a year ago and also won at the University of Kentucky and took second at the University of Louisville.

Marquise McIntyre said he has been singing since preschool.

Mario McIntyre said he has been rapping since he was 16 years old.

“We get anxious whenever we do these things now, but we did expect to win,” Marquise McIntyre said.

Mario and Marquis said they plan to use the prize money to finish their first album, “It’s Value In Being Broke.”

Nashville sophomore Michael Dickerson said he was pleased with the winners’ performance. Dickerson said Flawless and the Dance Duo could have won, too.

Dickerson said he was glad he came to the show.

“We should have something like that more often,” he said.

Reach Stephanie Toone at [email protected]