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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

American Idol: Brandeis style

New BTV show scours campus for student talent

Published: March 7, 2008
Section: Arts, Etc.

On Wednesday, March 5, 2008, the beginning of a new legacy was wrought upon Brandeis. The quest, to do whatever you do best, whether it be chugging Tabasco or performing Beethoven’s first symphony on the piano. The challenge, to impress a panel of judges made up of Gustavo Pardo, the fair thinker,(in the vain of Randy Jackson); Azra Qizilbash , (who is just about as cheery as Paula Abdul is) and the Simon wannabe- prick known only as Justin Pierre-Louis (and, yes, that’s me).

What is the ultimate goal of this quest? To become the next Brandeis Idol. On the new show known as Brandeis Got Talents, contestants audition in an American Idol fashion, competing for a variety of prizes with the grand prize winner earning 300 dollars. Acts done so far have consisted of singing, dancing, burping and, I’m sure, will continue to get better if not weirder as time goes on.

What is an episode of Brandeis Got Talents like? Well, in the first round, performers come to, well, perform before the panel of aforementioned judges. Gustavo, Azra and I chew them out (well, I don’t know about Azra) and decide who goes on to the next round. The show is, however, nick-named Brandeis Idol for a reason. The decision of who progresses on further will belong to you. By going on to and selecting the “Vote” option, you can vote for or against your friends and fellow Brandeisians.

The season premiere will air on BTV on channel 65 at 7 pm, on Thursday March 13. We gladly invite (I say invite because we can’t force you) all contestants and their friends to see how everyone did. The show is an exciting opportunity to promote community on campus. It is the hope of the production crew and all parties involved that Brandeis Got Talents will be the new thing to talk about as it will not only allow some people to come out their shells but it also allows for some considerable monetary compensation for our most voted performer.

What’s next, you say? Last night during shooting the crew and I were talking about everything from an Iron Chef Brandeis where we see which Usdan person makes the best stir fry, to a show like Fear Factor where people will have to waft their way through worms and Sherman food (wasn’t my idea, I like Sherman). Now these ideas may seem a bit far-fetched. Might we be approached by NBC and ABC for “borrowing ideas?” Hopefully not.

Nonetheless, one thing I can be sure of is that Brandeis Got Talents is a reality now and that means two things. For one, plenty of brave individuals are ready to put their talents and their self-esteem (trust me on that one) on the line. Secondly, someone will be the next and first Brandeis Idol.

For any additional questions and/or cast and crew biographies go to