International Idol Talent Show competition includes dancing, singing, playing instruments

John Michael Simko

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Kanpattana Phewban, 25, interior design major, plays guitar during the International Idol Talent Show at the Pub Tuesday afternoon. Students showcased their musical and artistic abilities. Photo Credit: Tyler Ross / Staff Photographer

Among the burgers, burritos and bottled drinks, Pub patrons were treated to a talent show hosted by international students Tuesday afternoon.

The International Idol Talent Show captivated students and Pub patrons during a lunchtime performance showcasing various talents including dancing, singing and playing instruments. About a dozen international students performed their talents to a full room and three judges.

“It’s great to see students perform their hobbies and talents,” said Hanna Lee, an international student adviser and one of the talent show judges. “It’s great to see them outside of the office not asking about school or studying. I didn’t know they were this talented.”

Liat Tamsut agreed with her fellow judge and  said she thoroughly enjoyed the students’ performances.

“I never see (the international students) outside the office that isn’t school related,” said Tamsut, an international student adviser.

“Seeing them singing, dancing, and other incredible talents was great,” Tamsut said.

Liqun “Recki” Fu, 26, a graduate student in the engineering management masters degree program, performed “The Spirit of the Peacock,” a Chinese traditional dance, and won first place at the talent show.

“We are very proud of  Recki winning,” said Justine Su, director of the China Institute. “She is a good role model for all Chinese and International students.”

“Recki” has been performing “The Spirit of the Peacock” since she was three years old and knows most traditional Chinese dances. Last year, she performed the dance at the CSUN Chinese Culture night.

“This competition is a great way to promote Chinese and other cultures by doing events like this,” Fu said. “My performance here was the four-minute condensed version. There is an eight-minute version of it online on YouTube.”

The show started off with a Bollywood dance and the crowd immediately erupted into applause from the beginning of the performance.

Olga Kramarova, 23, a graduate student for human factor psychology, was joined by her male partner as the audience enthusiastically embraced the duo dancing on stage.

It was followed up by a Tahitian dance, “Mihi Au,” performed by a Mexican international student who  won second place.

Kanpattana Phewban, 25, interior design, played guitar and shared vocals with Ji In Lee, 22, journalism major, on the Bruno Mars song “Just The Way You Are.” Phewban was frustrated trying to play guitar and share vocals, but found the experience enjoyable.

“It was my first performance on stage and it was really intimidating at first,” Phewban said. “The more I was on stage, the more comfortable I became. I like this kind of competition and wouldn’t have a problem doing it again.”

Phewban played guitar on two other songs and was one of several participants performing multiple times on stage. Later on, Kramarova performed a salsa dance with a different partner and after competing compared the two distinct dancing styles.

“The Bollywood dance took a lot of practice,” Kramarova said. “We did four hours of choreography and did a lot of rehearsing.”

Most people inside the Pub were unaware of the talent show until they sat down and started to eat.

“It was great to see different cultures perform and I would love to see more events like this more often,” said Ron Niver, 36, civil engineering major.

Niver’s friend Jason Chana, 22, civil engineering major, said the talent show was better than seeing sports  at the Pub.