Courtesy of MUSIC Matters U-M

Editor’s Note: The Michigan Daily covered Michigan’s Got Talent from two perspectives, one from the Arts section and one from the News section. To read the News interpretation, click here.

As a community, signs of music can be seen everywhere at the University of Michigan, no matter if it’s the spontaneous band or dance performances at the Diag or posters that remind students of the arrival of a famous musician. The Michigan’s Got Talent performance, which occurred on Thurs., March 9 at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theater, was simply a reminder of the musical and movement talents U-M students possess. From Cece June’s solo to Charlotte Gu’s graceful traditional Chinese dance to Matt Stawinski’s lively bass show, there is no doubt that Michigan’s got talent. 

Kiran Mangrulkar, Music, Theatre & Dance and Kinesiology student, and winner of the “Most Moving” award, performed “Falling” by Harry Styles. With rich emotions and style, the lyrics came alive as Mangrulkar sang, “What if I’m down?/ What if I’m out?/ What if I’m someone you won’t talk about?” Every time he touched the piano keyboard, he touched a soft spot of the audiences’ heart too; many people can relate to the feeling of not wanting to let the one they love down, to experiencing an overload of emotions as they fear that they are losing control of the relationship. Mangrulkar captured exactly that, an overwhelming feeling of losing the one you love most. As a musician, he understood Styles’s song and added an interpretation of his own that was just as moving, if not more. 

Winner of the “Most Entertaining” award, the Dance 2XS Michigan international dance group performed hip hop with pride and confidence. Each movement and emotion was at the right time and spot. As they danced boldly and followed the beat of the music with precision, the audience couldn’t help but imitate the dance group’s movements a bit. As an international dance group, Dance 2XS chapters do not end at the University but also expand to the University of Illinois, Purdue University and to countries such as Brazil, Australia, Iceland and more. They have also collaborated with famous artists such as Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams and more. With Dance 2XS, the future of dance culture at the University is in good hands. 

Gimble A Cappella, winner of the “Most Creative” award, shines through with the main singer Jad Jarouche’s gifted voice and the touching cover of Amber Run’s song “I Found.” The repetition of the lyric “And I found love, where it wasn’t supposed to be/ Right in front of me/ Talk some sense to me” from the perspective of someone who has fallen in love with the wrong person is heartbreaking and the symbolism of unrequited love. The vocalizations of the rest of the band were also coherent, splendid and irreplaceable as they used their musical talent to express the agony of loving someone who is not meant for them. With the perfect balance of high and low pitches, the music Gimble A Cappella performed conveyed a heartache and situation that is relevant and powerful.   

The Michigan Taekwondo demonstration team won the majority of love from the audience. Their performance was not only blood-warming, but empowering. The strong kicks and punches each member performed were enough to break a wooden board in half (or to pieces) and showed undeniable strength and the dedicated craft each member has perfected for the art of Taekwondo. They have not only fulfilled their goal to better themselves but also went above and beyond as they spread awareness of Korean Martial Arts culture, and emphasized the importance of self-defense and protection to the U-M community. 

Last but not least, the ComCo comedy improv group did a fantastic job by MCing with talented improv and jokes. They also maintained brilliant communication with the audience as they turned any piece of information the audience offered into entertainment. They never failed to keep the audience engaged and full of laughter. Without their participation, the event would have lost a major part of its beauty and the night would have been filled with less joy. 

Every moment of the night was a confirmation of U-M students’ musical and creative talents. However, what mattered more than their talent was perhaps their hard work, discipline, consistency and boldness to perform what they love with pride and dedication. 

Editor’s note: Daily staffers performed at Michigan’s Got Talent, but they were not involved in the creation, production or publication of this piece. Cece Duran is a Daily Arts Writer and a Daily News Contributor. She did not contribute to the writing or editing of this piece. Parnia Mazhar was a Daily Staff Reporter. She is no longer affiliated with The Daily, and she did not contribute to this story. Ahmad Kady was a Daily Illustrator. He did not contribute to this story. Grace Tucker is the Statement Managing Editor and the President of Gimble A Capella. Tucker did not contribute to the writing or editing of this piece.

Daily Arts Contributor Eva Ji can be reached at