The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

GV’s Got Talent announces Spring Concert headliner, opener

GVL/ Trenton Estrada

Grand Valley State University’s Campus Activities Board (CAB) collaborated with the Office of Student Life to host the annual Grand Valley’s Got Talent Show on March 13. For one night, student performers got the chance to showcase their hard work and talent to the rest of the student body.

The event drew in competitors and attendees who gathered in anticipation for the competition’s prize, the opportunity to perform as the opener for GVSU’s Spring Concert on April 6. CAB also announced the Spring Concert’s headliner, Georgia-born country singer Lauren Alaina.

This year, Reette Thorns, a theater major and track and field athlete, was awarded first place. She performed her original song “Mama’s Little Girl,” which is about her mother, who has battled addiction. Thorns has a long history of performing and was featured on American Idol season 21 last year. Thorns was thrilled by the GV’s Got Talent win. 

“I’m not really used to coming in first place, especially with singing,” Thorns said. “It was really refreshing to have people think I was good and worthy enough to be able to perform in front of crowds. It still doesn’t feel real.”

Thorns said “It’s been a tough few years, singing and trying to multitask everything else in life,” despite her previous accomplishments of being aired on American Idol and having multiple original songs under her belt. Thorns said winning GV’s Got Talent was a remarkable opportunity for her.

“When I did American Idol, I knew that I wasn’t prepared enough to be able to last long enough on the show (to win), and I knew that that’s what they thought,” Thorns said. “I recently read an article about Lauren Alaina where she talked about auditioning for American Idol seven or eight times and getting told no every single time, and she’s had a wonderful career. It’s been amazing for her.”

This year, it was CAB Vice President Aisha Jones’ first time helping put on this specific event. After watching the CAB team put on GV’s Got Talent last year, Jones said the process gave her an opportunity to learn. She said although putting on the talent show was a lot of work, it also provided her with “a lot of insight and learning experience into what it is to put on a talent show.” Jones said CAB worked as a team to make the event happen.

“Working alongside Graduate Assistant of Programming Hayley Wilson made the planning and execution process of this event amazing and the event turned out to be a huge success with a huge attendance and a lot of energy,” Jones said. 

That supportive energy is one of Jones’ favorite parts of the event.

“My favorite part of this event is seeing all of the acts perform in front of everybody and the crowd reactions and interactions that go along with it,” Jones said. “It’s nice to see everyone positively engaging in all of the performances and cheering everyone on.”

A large amount of time went into performers’ preparations for the show. The first step in the process is auditioning, during which any students interested in performing at GV’s Got Talent are vetted by pre-bias-tested CAB members. 

According to Jones, a majority of auditionees end up performing at the final event. During the talent show, students perform for peers and a multi-department panel of judges who will decide which competitor will win first place and the headliner position at the spring concert.  

Thorns said she is excited to open the concert both for sharing the space with a major country idol and for the potential impact it could have on her future music career.

“I love country music, it’s one of my biggest inspirations when it comes to making music. It was super refreshing to know that I get to walk the same stage that she does and that our paths have been similar in that area,” Thorns said. “I think that this opportunity might help me get to know more people, have friends in the industry and have people know my music and people who think that I’m good. It’s those kind of people (country fans) I play for anyway.”

Thorns expressed she is looking forward to opening for the spring concert headliners and getting to experience singing on stage for such a large audience again.

“I feel loved, I feel grateful, I feel on top of the world,” Thorns said. “It’s little moments like this where later in my career I’m gonna look back on and be like ‘I remember when that little thing felt so big and felt like the world to me.’ It’s part of my story.”

Tickets are available for purchase now through CAB’s website. The full lineup will include Reette Thorns as the opener and Lauren Alaina as the headliner, with special apperences from guests Mason Ramsey and Julia Cole.

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