The 8th Annual CNMI Got Talent competition took an unexpected twist as contestants performed for entertainment without the pressure of competition.
Bridge Capital LLC chief operation officer Tucker Baldwin told Saipan Tribune over the weekend that “all of the performers are winners” in the eighth installment of the annual talent competition held Thursday evening at the Garapan Fishing Base.
“Typhoon Yutu hit just as we were gearing toward the auditions process for this year’s show,” he said. “We woke and there was a lot of damage all over the place. It was difficult for us to imagine how we would continue to run an auditions process. We had performers struggling to meet their basic needs and we had a lot of infrastructure damage.”
According to Baldwin, their supposed performing space at Saipan World Resort was “closed indefinitely” for repairs, prompting them to use the Garapan Fishing Base instead.
“There were just a lot of logistical challenges [since Typhoon Yutu], but we thought we needed to do the show and that the show must go on,” Baldwin told Saipan Tribune, adding that the company was especially mindful that the performers also had their own personal challenges as a result of Super Typhoon Yutu.
The performances this year featured 13 groups and individuals, including Bernice Shan Sabino, Glushko’s Performing Arts Academy, Donato Santiago, Demalynn Pagarao, Saipan Music, Arts, and Dance Studio, Gio Sagana, The Band Nearby, Nathan Palacios, Lawrence Tubera, Scene X, Karen Lagunay, Neil Fama, and Marianas High School’s Rhythm and Harmony.
“…We decided to turn the show into something simpler, turn it into a Christmas show, share the spirit of Christmas with everybody, and share the talent that this community has and get them ready to get into the holiday mood,” he said.
Emcee Brad Ruszala led the performances, along with speeches from 2018 Miss Marianas Celine Cabrera and Lt. Gov. Victor B. Hocog, as well as a Christmas story for the younger attendees.