Talent show contestants entertain crowd with singing, dancing

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From left are this year's talent show winners, Autumn Kivi, 15, of Prairie du Chien, Crystal Ball, 15, of Dyersville, and Alex Simon, 17, of Guttenberg. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

G&G Living Centers, in partnership with GD&T, hosted their annual talent show on Sunday in the municipal building’s third floor ballroom. Six acts graced the stage before a large crowd of families, friends, and community members. 

First place in the show was awarded to Autumn Kivi, 15, of Prairie Du Chein. Kivi took second place at last year’s competition for her charismatic rendition of “At Last,” the 1960s hit made popular by Etta Games. This year, Kivi returned with “Cry Me a River” by Ella Fitzgerald. Kivi began singing at the Eagles Heart and Cancer Telethon when she was four. Her experience showed as she entertained the audience with her emotion, eye contact, and confident, fluid vocals. 

Seventeen-year-old Alex Simon opened the talent show with the reading of a poem titled, “My Little Italian Mother.” Simon earned second place for the poetry, which described his mother, Janette, in her transition from “invisibly mighty” to a woman who holds a PhD. The last line of the poem read, “She said she did it for me.”

Judges selected Crystal Ball, age 15, as the third place winner. Crystal is the daughter of Jodi and Kiley Ball and is another talent show veteran. Ball sang twice last year, both in a duet and as a soloist. Her solemn style showed again this year as she sang a low, controlled a capella version of One Republic’s “Counting Stars.”

Ball returned to the stage for a second act as part of a duet with 15-year-old Megan Pfohl of Dyersville. Pfohl is the granddaughter of John and Carol Hartmann of Guttenberg. She performs in the show choir at her school in Western Dubuque and often sings with her grandfather. Pfohl and Ball sang “Chandelier,” a popular song by the artist Sia.

A duo of dancers known as DC performed to “Sail,” a number by American electronic rock band AWOLNATION. Cousins Dane and Corbyn Rohner, both age 10, appeared both robotic and smooth; stiff yet rubbery as they moved across the stage, dressed casually in tennis shoes and jeans for their act.

Paige Grawe, five, and Cohen Schultz, seven, acted as back-up dancers for seven-year-old Kayla Breitbach, who sang girl power favorite “Roar,” by Katy Perry. Spontaneous mid-song applause coaxed the shy group to sing and roar “louder than a lion.”

In addition to the entertainment, G&G presented a variety of signs and gift boxes as door prizes to attendees. The event benefitted two local projects, as funds raised from entry fees will be put toward GD&T’s annual Stars and Stripes Celebration, and an on-site bake sale was organized by high school students traveling to Italy this summer.

Guttenberg resident Mary Waterman had a front-row seat to the local talent. “I love it. I’d like to see more of it!” she told The Press. 

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