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    Talent Show Inspires Students Across China

    School News

    24 Jun, 2022

    10 : 00

    • On Monday afternoon, we had the opportunity to celebrate the incredible diversity of skills and aptitudes our Yew Chung Yew Wah (YCYW) community members possess while watching the 1st annual YCYW Got Talent show. YCIS students, their teachers, and community members tuned in to watch the 2022 YCYW Got Talent show hosted by YCIS Shanghai Humanities and IB English A Literature Teacher Mr Jed Friedman.


      Six weeks ago, we sent out a call for YCYW students to send in videos showcasing their talents. We received videos of magicians, dancers, singers, musicians, comedians, actors, and athletes, to name a few.


      A panel of YCYW teachers, administrators, and other staff members spanning multiple departments and disciplines poured over the myriad entries. They evaluated the submissions based on a detailed set of criteria that includes video quality, skill level, overall presentation, aesthetic appearance, ability to entertain, and the intangible “WOW factor” that outstanding performances always possess. Only 12 video submissions out of the 60 entries from YCYW schools all over China were selected to be part of the live broadcast.


      Top 12 Finalists
      *in no particular order


      James - Year 8 YCIS Shanghai Puxi
      Pandora - Year 8 YWIES Guangzhou
      Marx - Year 7 YCIS Shanghai Pudong
      Oscar - Year 10 YCIS Shanghai Pudong
      Andy - Year 6 YCIS Shanghai Puxi
      Wendi - Year 9 YCIS Shanghai Pudong
      John – Year 8 Shanghai Puxi
      Hayyan - Year 7 YCIS Shanghai Pudong
      Shambhavi - Year 9 YCIS Shanghai Puxi
      Joyce - Year 12 YCIS Shanghai Pudong
      William and Jyp - Year 11 YWIES Guangzhou
      Dalton - Year 8 YCIS Shanghai Pudong


      The show's panel of judges included Jennifer Gaul, Josh Tyas, and Trenton Schneiders.


      The judges’ many years of experience as educators and performers in China and overseas was essential in selecting the top student performers for YCYW’s Got Talent.


      After much deliberation, the grand prize of 2500rmb went to YCIS Puxi Year 6 Andy for his stop-motion animation video. “I didn't hear my name when the judges announced the 3rd place winner, so I thought maybe I could be the runner-up. Then, when they announced the 2nd prize winner and it wasn't me, I told myself I would try again next year.” When we asked Andy how he felt about winning, he told us he was shocked. “Then, I received a congratulations message from my Chinese teacher, and when I checked my Classin’ group chat with my friends there were over 200 messages from them congratulating me! It was a great feeling of accomplishment.”


      Andy was introduced to stop-motion animation during a class project in Year 5. He discovered his passion for using Legos with stop-motion and started writing and editing his videos. “I have so many ideas and when I am older I would like to create my version of buildable Lego-style toys.”


      When we asked Andy what kind of advice he would give younger students who want to participate in Got Talent in the future he said, “think outside the box, be different, and you can be as creative as you want!”


      Our 2nd prize winner went to YCIS Pudong Year 7 Marx. Mr Friedman was part of the committee responsible for reviewing all 60 submissions and told us that piano was the most popular talent. He noted how Marx’s piano piece stood out because it was not only technically superb but conveyed emotion. Marx said, “I first played Fantaisie Impromptu by Chopin when I was eight years old for a piano exam.” His mother encouraged him to play the piece for the Got Talent show, so Marx picked it up again and practised almost every day leading up to the contest deadline.


      Marx told us that he was not interested in playing the piano when he first started and that he just wanted to please his parents. Now, he enjoys practising as a hobby and is part of the YCIS Century Park Rock Band where he likes “playing different styles of music, like rock and reggae”, which is closer in style to his favourite band Linkin Park. “Joining Rock Band has helped with my teamwork skills and gave me the confidence to apply for [YCYW] Got Talent”, says Marx. “I think consistency is key when playing an instrument and it’s the quality of practice that matters. You can play for five hours straight, but practising a little every day is more beneficial.”


      When we spoke to our 3rd place recipient William, he revealed that he was just one half of a winning duo. The speech titled “Captain Perseverance” struck familiar chords with many viewers through the antagonist, representing self-doubt and anxiety and personified by lurking in the shadows, was the product of both William and Jyp from YWIES Guangzhou Year 11. Although William was on stage delivering the speech, he told us how his partner Jyp was responsible for the creative writing process.


      The judges of YCYW Got Talent were impressed with the positive message, relatability, confidence, and emotion shared in William’s presentation. American performer Schneiders said, “we need ‘Captain Perseverance’ here now, especially after all we [in Shanghai] have gone through recently.” British comedian Tyas characterised William as “a stand-up comedian with his confidence” and performer and educator Gaul applauded his use of stage and space during his performance.


      Jyp and William's speech was originally written and performed for the YCYW Speech Competition held earlier this academic year. William was the last speaker to present and confessed he was nervous due to the quality of his classmates’ earlier speeches. He told us that in addition to his teacher Ms Charley helping him and Jyp brainstorm ideas, she also gave emotional support and encouragement for his public speaking performance.


      The interview we conducted with William and Jyp was full of surprises. The pair was only made aware of placing in the Top 3 through their class group chat. “We had rehearsals and IGCSE classes at the time of the talent show live stream, so we couldn’t watch the live broadcast,” explained William. Other than IGCSE Drama their course selection between them includes Chinese, English as a First Language, Maths, Combined Science, Business, Chemistry, and more. When we checked our class messages during a break, our teachers and friends had congratulated us on the 3rd place award!” said William.


      After learning William and Jyp applied as a duo, Mr Friedman asked, “will you share the prize?” In astonishment, the pair exclaimed, “there is a prize?!”


      We encourage William, Jyp, and other students who have displayed fantastic storytelling and public speaking skills through their speeches to consider auditioning for the 2nd annual YCYW TEDx event. Last year, our TEDx (hyperlink to last year's TEDx) affair, held at the Shanghai West Bund Museum, showcased over 40 student speakers and saw thousands of attendees.


      “One of our goals as educators is to provide opportunities for students to build their confidence by performing in front of our learning community. YCYW Got Talent was an invaluable opportunity to bring students from different schools together in a single competition and showcase performative talents. Our TEDx event was a huge success last year and we look forward to the next one planned for December 3rd. We look forward to more innovative ideas the YCYW student community is generating,” said Mr Friedman.


      As we received so many incredible submissions, YCYW created the People’s Choice Awards to recognise the students we did not see during the show. More unseen videos were released on our Official WeChat Channel. The top ten participants with the most “likes” were awarded a certificate and prize.


      People's Choice Awards
      *in no particular order


      Juliana - Year 8 YCIS Shanghai Puxi
      Daniel - Grade 6 YWIES Lingang
      Arjun - Year 7 YCIS Shanghai Pudong
      Eileen Ailin - Year 6 YCIS Shanghai Puxi
      Anthony - Year 6 YCIS Shanghai Puxi
      Roxy – Year 5 YWIES Guangzhou
      Jeno - Year 4 YWIES Guangzhou
      Oscar - Year 8 YWIES Guangzhou
      Ayaan - Year 8 YCIS Shanghai Pudong
      Baoling - Year 5 YWIES Guangzhou


      Join us to congratulate all our incredible student performers and their courage to showcase their talents with the YCYW community.

    • Left to right: YWIES Guangzhou Year 11 Jyd and William’s reaction to being awarded 3rd place and 1000rmb