Sealth rapper wins Cleveland’s talent showcase

Sophomore+Jaelon+Mendoza+plays+the+piano+during+Cleveland%E2%80%99s+3rd+Annual+Seattle%E2%80%99s+Got+Talent+showcase+on+Jan.+19.

Sophomore Jaelon Mendoza plays the piano during Cleveland’s 3rd Annual Seattle’s Got Talent showcase on Jan. 19.

From Staff Reports

The performers came from as far as Federal Way and as close as Franklin High School for Cleveland’s 3rd annual Seattle’s Got Talent showcase. It was an event not to be missed with tear-worthy performances, mind-blowing dance moves and laugh out loud emcees.

The show was open to high school students from Seattle and surrounding areas with Fame Lerber and Teddy Avestruz teaming up as hosts. For the past two years, winning Seattle’s Got Talent has proven to be elusive for Seattleites, with winners coming from Renton both times. This year, the winners were a little closer to home.

Originality was at the forefront for Cleveland students as many of the artists performed pieces they had written. Ina Hong gave a somber guitar performance with a song she wrote called “Vows” and Chris Sheckles rapped a piece he wrote called “Facts.”

Sophomore Jaelon Mendoza wowed the crowd with a piano interlude. While hosts Fame Lerber and Teddy Avestruz joked he had only been playing for a year, Mendoza actually started playing in February 2016.

The crowd fell in love with performers like Isaiah-James Draculan, a CHS sophomore who dazzled with his robotic dance moves, and Janelle Tuble, who belted out Beyoncé’s “If I Were A Boy.”

Chief Sealth’s Randy Johnson took first place with an emotion-filled rap performance. Federal Way dance troupe Dysfunction took second and South Lake’s Devin Harris nabbed 3rd. The show added a new People’s Choice Award, allowing the audience to vote for their favorite performance. The crowd selected Dysfunction as their top choice.

Teachers Evin Shinn and Rachel Evans, along with senior Tommy Tran and special guest Seattle Police Detective Denise “Cookie” Bouldin, served as judges.

Senior class president Tina Dang, who has been the driving force behind the success of the show, was bittersweet when reflecting on the time she’s spent planning the showcase.

“It only feels like the start for ‘Seattle’s Got Talent,’” Dang said. Although I started [it] as a fundraiser and never had an intention to make it such a big event, I hope that ASB will continue the tradition.”

Mauricio Vasquez contributed to the reporting of this story.