The Second Annual CSI’s Got Talent competition and showcase brought out the best of the College’s performers for a nearly sold-out event in the Williamson Theatre of the College of Staten Island’s Center for the Arts (CFA).
Prior to the performance, the backstage and hallways of the CFA were buzzing with the sounds and sights of the evening’s 12 contestants. These lucky 12 contestants were all winners, having made it this far during a rigorous audition process of nearly 100 singers, dancers, musicians, comedians, and magicians.
Returning MCs Jay Miller, host of the talk show Mid-Evenings with Jay Miller, and Sal Vulcano, co-founder of The Tenderloins comedy troupe and star of Impractical Jokers, TruTV’s comedy hit, kept the competition buzzing along with humor, wit, and wisdom.
The 12 finalists wowed the crowd with an energetic variety of sounds and styles. A judging panel, representing students, faculty, and staff from across campus, chose the top five for a second performance.
After intense deliberation, the top-three winners were announced:
First Place ($2,500)
Sami Jo Frank (Samantha Frank) (“I Have Dreamed,” from The King and I/original song called “Blues Is My Middle Name”). Frank, a senior Business Marketing major, started singing at the age of 14 in the children’s theater program “Kids On Stage.” She starred as Belle in the St. Peters Boy’s Drama production of Beauty and the Beast, placed runner-up in the 2008 Richmond Choral Society contest, and is in the singer/songwriter program at Castellano’s House of Music School. She performs with her all-girl band Safe and Sound and is recording her first blues album. This was her first time competing in CSI’s Got Talent.
Second Place ($1,000)
Francine Bianco (an original, “Soldier”/ The Animals’ “House of the Rising Sun”). Bianco is graduating this May from CSI with a BA in English Writing. When she is not in school or at work, you can find her–scratch that–you can ALWAYS find her singing! It’s been this way since she’s learned to talk, and from a very young age she realized that the world best understood her with a guitar in her hand and a mic at her lips. Her goal is to change someone’s life through music, the way hers has been changed.
Third Place ($500)
Lori Claire (“You and I” by Lady Gaga/”Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood). Lori Faicco (Lori Claire is her stage name) is a Master’s student at the College of Staten Island. She is studying to become a Mental Health Counselor. She is also studying American Sign Language with hopes to become an interpreter for the deaf. Lori is a very outgoing individual who loves to help people as well as entertain. She has been performing since she was a child. Her singing brings her a rush of energy and a sense of calm.
“This is an exceptional event that brings the entire campus together for an evening of fun and entertainment,” noted Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. A. Ramona Brown. “Our students’ continually amaze me.”
CSI’s Got Talent will be featured programming again this year on CTV. The broadcast schedule will be shared via CSI Today when available, and the video will also be embedded into this post.