CyFactor brings on-campus talent to life

Kurt Bearinger (right), graduate student in community and regional planning, performed country songs “Lonely Eyes” and “I’m on Fire” Tuesday night at the Alumni Center.

Jacob Beals

CyFactor brought unsung, on-campus talent to Iowa State’s Homecoming week, including musicians, dancers, rappers and even magicians.
The 2015 CyFactor finals took place Tuesday night in the Reiman Ballroom at the Alumni Center, where nearly every seat was filled. 

At the end of the show, Target gift cards were awarded to the top three performances. Leo Helm, singer and songwriter and freshman in chemical engineering, placed first with his performance of his original songs. Second prize was awarded to Michael Osman, magician and freshman in pre-business. Daniel Pramono, junior in industrial engineering, and Josie Chay, junior in industrial engineering, took home third prize with their singing duet. 
Pramone said he was very happy at the end of the show to be in the top three.
“I feel amazing, thanks to God, I feel lucky because this is my first competition, and great job to Josie,” Pramone said.
Helm said he also felt just as excited talking to many participants and audience members after the show.
“I feel fantastic, I’m really flattered,” he said. “I have’t performed much since I got over here from Scotland, and I wasn’t sure how things were going to go down over here.”
Several other performers also competed in CyFactor, most of whom were singers and musicians. The judges choose winners based off of a points system, which varied for each type of performer.
Shellie Andersen, judge and director of alumni travel and student programs for the ISU Alumni Association, said she was looking forward to the talent of the night.
“I am looking for some unique acts and some diverse talent from our ISU students.” Andersen said.
The show consisted of 15 finalists from preliminary competitions, seven of whom performed before intermission and eight more who went after. 

The night kicked off with Kourtnie Stephenson, freshman in apparel, merchandising and design, who sang a cover of “Hallelujah” and an original song, “Just Another Love Song.” She was followed by an originally choreographed hip-hop dance by Abdul Mohammed, freshman in open option, which drew many in the audience out of their seat as he performed moves that took him from the ground into the air.
The first half of the concert closed with a performance by the dance team Motion Sickness, which was the largest performance of the night with its group of 20 performers when it performed its hip-hop compilation.
Frankie Feldmeier, member of Motion Sickness and sophomore in integrated studio arts, said she was very happy after the performance and how passionate she was about the group.
“I love sharing the different styles we have, and it brings me to my happy place,” Feldmeier said. 
After intermission, the show started back up with a performance by Osman. One trick involved him putting a rubber bird into a cup and placing it on a table with a cloth. He then lifted up the cloth and the whole table floated along with it. He told the audience this was his way of making his pet bird fly. Soon after, he brought the bird to life.
Helm then brought perhaps the biggest cheers of the night with his performance of two original songs titled “I Know For You” and “Hot Lemonade.” Helm performed his songs acoustically with no microphones. He said he did this to “make it a more intimate experience.”
The concert was capped by Pramono and Chay, who performed a medley of Sam Smith songs. 
Kung fu artist Josh Myers, junior in mechanical engineering, said after his performance he was very excited to perform and show people his unique talent.
“I don’t get to practice kung fu like I did at home, with classes I never get to do it, and this is an opportunity to do what I love,” Myers said.
Musical duo Lara Hetherton, sophomore in industrial design, and Steve Kryk, junior in industrial engineering, also talked about performing in their first CyFactor.
“We do the open mic nights, but they are limited to what you can perform due to the smaller stage, but CyFactor allows a much broader range of talent including dancers, a Kung fu artist, musicians and a magician,” Kryk said.