This year’s Ship’s Got Talent event came to a close Wednesday, and a new winner has been crowned — freshman Marissa Strouse took home first place after impressing both the judges and the crowd.
The final round featured three performers; Strouse, freshman Maggie Haynes and Elite Modeling Troupe each had the opportunity to perform twice for the audience and receive feedback from the panel of judges. At the end of the night, the audience and the judge’s votes were combined to determine the winner.
The contestants left everything they had on the stage but in the end, Strouse walked away with first place honors. Her first performance combined two of the most recognizable songs on the airwaves, “Starving” by Hailee Steinfeld and “Closer” by The Chainsmokers, giving them her own acoustic spin.
Strouse laughed before going into the final round and said she is always nervous. However, those nerves did not show as Strouse took the stage with confidence and performed with great poise.
Strouse’s second performance was an acoustic cover of “No Diggity” by Blackstreet. Many would say this is an unusual song choice and Strouse would be the first to agree.
“I think a lot of people that know that song won’t really expect it on acoustic,” Strouse said. Despite the unusual factor of the song choice, Strouse confessed that it is her mom’s favorite song that she performs, making it more special than other performances.
Even though both of Strouse’s performances were very impressive, it is safe to say the final vote was very close. Both Elite Modeling Troupe and Haynes, who finished second and third, respectively, put everything they had into their performances too.
Haynes started the night with a confident cover of “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” by Pat Benetar that strayed from her typical sound. Her second performance of Jennifer Hudson, “And I am Telling You,” even featured a mid-song wardrobe change.
Elite Modeling Troupe put on two highly choreographed dance routines for the audience. Each performance not only highlighted the crews dancing ability, but also their modeling talents.
Strouse was excited yet humble after hearing her name announced as the winner. It was evident throughout the night she had a large fan base in the audience that erupted in cheers whenever she appeared on stage.
“It’s insane,” Strouse said. “I never knew how many people I would actually connect to, and that’s kind of all I ever wanted to do with my music.”