DAVIS, Calif. -
A pair of first-time performers took the two first-place trophies in the sixth installment of Aggie Idol, the annual UC Davis student-athlete charity talent show held at Freeborn Hall Wednesday night. Basketball player Clint Bozner claimed the Individual or Duo category while track & field athletes Karlaina Gipson, Thomas Gore-Schreck and Murphy Nicholson won the Group competition.
All profits from the show support Team Davis, a local nonprofit organization that serves those with developmental, cognitive and/or physical disabilities. Members of Team Davis represent the area at the Special Olympics in addition to other activities.
Bozner, a sophomore forward who transferred from L.A. Trade Tech last season, performed his own original composition for the ukulele. Remarkably, the Corona, Calif. native has only played that instrument for seven months. Gipson, Gore-Schreck and Nicholson sang a guitar-and-vocals cover of "Little Talks," originally by Of Monsters And Men. Gore-Schreck sang and played his prized Taylor acoustic while Gipson and Nicholson joined him in the call-and-response vocals of the 2011 hit.
A percussion piece called "Dat Explode," performed by wrestler Morgan Flaharty and soccer goalkeeper Kathleen Brandl, took second in the Individual/Duo category. Flaharty offered an energetic drum solo while Brandl continually - and stylistically - added more and more pieces to Flaharty's set.
Placing third in the Individual/Duo group was the evening lone classical performance, a violin-and-piano rendition of Rachmaninoff's Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14 by swimmers Bugbee and Sarah Winters. Bugbee, a Suzuki-trained violinist, provided the "voice" portion of the piece. Winters, a junior freestyler, played the accompaniment on the ivories.
The Group runner-up was a trio of tennis players, including two Aggie Idol veterans. Megan Heneghan (voice), Adam Luba (voice/guitar) and Kyle Miller (voice/guitar) gave an all-acoustic interpretation of "Make It Wit Chu," originally by Queens Of The Stone Age. Heneghan was an Aggie Idol winner in both categories last year while Miller placed third. Luba, a transfer from UC Santa Barbara, participated in his first Aggie Idol.
In third place among the Group acts was a comedy/music sketch by the women's soccer team entitled "Soccapella." Loosely based on hijinks from team bus trips, the Aggie soccer players performed a medley of hits ranging from Motown to Britney Spears.
Choosing the place-winners was a panel of judges, the identity of which was concealed until show time. Women's water polo coach Jamey Wright, volleyball coach Jamie Holmes and soccer coach Dwayne Shaffer offered their comments at the conclusion of each act then revealed their winners to close the show.
The sixth edition of Aggie Idol included a higher percentage of comedy-oriented acts than in past years. The men's soccer team split its squad into two numbers: "Too Hot To Trot" and "Kidz Pop," both of which exhibited many of the players' multi-lingual skills. Women's water polo sang a spoof of The Little Mermaid tune "Part Of Your World," with the aquatics athletes longing for the comforts of their land-based peers. Football offensive lineman Ian Joseph and baseball pitcher Harry Stanwyck sang their version of the R. Kelly/Usher duet "Same Girl." They even yanked former distance runner Hayley Scott to sit on stage, as if the third party of the R&B love triangle.
As is tradition, Team Davis took part in the show, performing the Beatles' classic "Hey Jude." They persuaded the Freeborn Hall audience to sing along during that tune's famous exit. Members of Team Davis also helped the hosts vamp with various jokes while the judges chose their winners after the show.
Besides being a talent show, Aggie Idol has served as the annual stage on which the SAAC officers introduce their successors. Assuming the titles in 2013-14 are Brian Ford (soccer), Elsie Fullerton (water polo) and Sophia Lisaius (field hockey).
The original Aggie Idol, conceived by then-SAAC officer and women's lacrosse standout Katie McMahon, ran in 2007. The inaugural show took place in Upper Hickey Gym, then it moved to Freeborn Hall the following spring. This is the third year that Aggie Idol has supported Team Davis. Past charities were Heifer International (2007), Special Olympics Northern California (2008) and Invisible Children (2009). Michelle Roppeau, the director of athletic academic advising and the SAAC advisor, has overseen all six shows.
For more information on supporting Team Davis, visit http://www.team-davis.org.