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At NC State, the University Activities Board (UAB) hosts several fun and exciting events each year. From the winter LDOC event at the end of last year to the Campus Crossover concert a few weeks ago, they know how to put on a show. On Thursday, Feb. 25, however, the students are putting on the show in Wolfpack’s Got Talent.

Wolfpack’s Got Talent, UAB’s annual talent show, showcases many different acts, illustrating the immense talent that the students bring to NC State. From singers to magicians to guitarists to comedians, all talents are welcome to compete for the prizes.

According to UAB Concerts Chair Hannah Koszegi, the event was in person in years past with performances on stage and a live audience. Last year, it was hosted in the Talley Student Union ballroom, with a panel of three judges to determine the winners of first, second and third place, as well as an audience choice.

This year, obviously, things are a bit different. Koszegi said Wolfpack’s Got Talent 2021 will premiere in a virtual space, on YouTube. There, students will watch the show and have 24 hours to vote on the first- and second-place winners, another change since last year.

“It’s definitely weird to put things on in the virtual space,” Koszegi stated. “You have to think harder about how you’re going to engage your audience.”

This critical thinking about audience engagement is what led to the decision to incorporate student voting this year, a method of involvement that might even stick around in future years.

Koszegi believes the virtual setting actually provides several opportunities. On stage, time must be made for sound checks, as well as transitions and setups between acts. Additionally, since there is a full day of voting, students are able to plan around any busy schedule they might have to watch the acts and vote when they can comfortably do so. Not only that, but the acts also have greater control over their performances.

“It offers people a chance to express themselves more because they get to pick what their video looks like, what their setting is and things like that,” Koszegi said.

Even though the show will be different this year, that is not necessarily a bad thing. Premiering at 7 p.m., NC State students can watch 14 stunning performances from their peers and vote on their two favorites. Third place will be UAB’s choice.

“It provides students a nice rest from academic life,” Koszegi said. “They get to appreciate other students’ talents, whether that be arts or something active.”

So NC State students, go out and support your peers! Wolfpack’s Got Talent premieres on YouTube on Feb. 25 at 7 p.m., and voting runs until Feb. 26 at 8 p.m. Everything about the show, including how to access it and where to vote, can be found at go.ncsu.edu/wolfpacksgottalent.