The students that attended the first ever Apollo Night at St. John’s on April 19 and came back angry and disappointed.
“The show was completely unprofessional and unorganized,” said Shivonne Place, a junior who attended the event.
There were technical malfunctions, the microphones did not work properly and the DJs would continuously need to start over. Students also complained that the acts seemed unrehearsed, there was a lot of chaos and some of the performers were disrespectful.
“The show had potential, a lot of the acts were good but it could have been better if there were not so many technical difficulties,” said Carolyn Barragan, a junior at St. John’s.
The event was a replica of the original “Showtime at the Apollo” that airs on NBC, and students were given the opportunity to show off their talents, such as poetry, singing and rap. However, the audience had little to cheer for and booed most of the acts off stage.
Stephanie Lamothe and Josephine Guzman read poetry they had written but the audience was unsatisfied with Lamothe and booed her off the stage. Other artists included freestyle rapper Kera Boyd who was also booed off the stage.
“The level of maturity from some of the acts was very low. The content was not at all what I had expected. No one goes to a show and expects to be cursed at by the performers,” said Place, referring to Upstar Entertainment which was hired to perform during the intermission. The audience also felt the intermission performance was too long.
“They should have selected better talent to perform during the intermission, it was too long and the crowd became restless,” said Barragan. “They also cursed at the audience and caused unnecessary uproar.”
“The event reflected poorly on the organizations,” said sophomore Mariam Mohibar, despite all the time and effort put into it. The event was sponsored by the St. John’s Chapter of the NAACP, Phi Delta Psi and Sigma Phi Beta.
The organizations said there were three sets of auditions for the show which took place around March and practices were about three hours, once or twice a week.
We used a lot of our members from the different organizations to arrange the event. “They all worked really hard to put everything together,” said Williams.
“The crowd was hard to win over but once they found something they liked they really got into it,” said sophomore Jennifer Craig, who played Apollo host Kiki Shepard at the event.
The winner was Elias, who sang and danced to the Backstreet Boys “Larger Than Life.”
“He was great, he really got the crowd hyped up,” said Carolyn Barragan, a junior at St. John’s.
The audience was also receptive when Angelie Gultiano was on stage. She sang, “How come you don’t call me anymore” by Alicia Keys.
“She was excellent. A lot of people did not expect her to sing that well but she was really good,” said NAACP president Celena Williams.
Aside from the glitches, NAACP and the other organizations involved plan to have another Apollo Night in the future. “There are some things which need to be tweaked but over all I think the event was very successful. There was a very good turnout,” said Williams.
Place disagrees, “The event was not at all what I had expected. It was not worth the $3 and needs a lot of improvement for next year.”