Twelve Boston University students got the chance to show off their various talents in a taping for national television Friday night in the School of Management, as Inside Edition made its second appearance on campus of the academic year.
The event’s judges anointed Erik Charles Nielsen BU’s funniest comedian, Remie Ferreira and Jenna Meister BU’s best spokes-models and Vanessa Tebesceff BU’s best vocalist after the hour-long show.
Students displayed their comedy, vocal and spokes-modeling talents for a panel of judges, including New York modeling agent Tony Perkins, College of Fine Arts alum and Broadway producer Stewart Lane, KISS 108 FM radio personality Romeo and two BU College of Communication professors, Garland Waller and Ed Downes.
Both Waller and Downes participated in the first Inside Edition production at BU in November, when the show gave several BU professors makeovers. Inside Edition producer Steven Larkin said he decided to organize the event after the success of the fall show.
Students tried out Thursday night for an opportunity to appear in the final show.
After Inside Edition anchor April WoodWard announced the three finalists in each category on stage, the show began with the stand-up comedy routines of Mike Kaplan, Alison Block and Nielsen. Many of the approximately 150 people in the audience laughed and cheered loudly at the variety of jokes that poked fun at New Yorkers, gynecologists and 20-something year-old virgins.
Nielsen’s performance received a great deal of applause and radio host Romeo remarked that he displayed ‘great physical comedy.’
Tomiwa Aladekomo, Daniel Lavy and Remie Ferrira then competed in the spokes-modeling category, during which the three students spoke on topics including personal heroes, human cloning and what to do with a million dollars. Lane said it was ‘the toughest competition to judge.’
Waller said the women’s portion of the spokes-modeling competition was equally tough.
‘All [three girls] were lovely,’ she said of finalists Alicia Henry, Jenna Meister and Anna Marie Hershberger. Waller also said he was impressed by the women’s speaking abilities because, as she put it, ‘it’s tough to stand up there and impress people.’
Freshman contestant Jenna Meister agreed when she admitted, ‘It was a little nerve-wracking.’
Student singers Sarah Chase, Susan Johnston and Vanessa Tebesceff closed out the show. Selected out of the largest group of competitors, the three especially amazed the judges. Lane said all three women ‘succeeded immensely.’
Johnston, who claimed she had not expected to be a finalist, said she is ‘looking forward to seeing the finished product’ when the show airs Wednesday night on ABC.
Once all the performers were finished, the judges spoke briefly about each act and then Woodward revealed the winners. The audience greeted Nielsen, Fiera, Meister and Tebesceff with increased applause as they returned to the stage victorious, but there were mixed emotions among the victors.
‘I appreciate everyone’s help,’ said an excited Ferrira. ‘It’s great to be here.’
‘I’m kind of shocked,’ Tebesceff said.
There was no such uncertainty on the part of the producers, however.
‘We are very happy with the outcome,’ said BU spokeswoman Yasmeen Coning after the show.
Larkin said he was equally satisfied and said the show is thinking of coming back for a third taping at BU.
The hour-long show took two weeks to put together, according to Coning. To audition, students had to perform a 30-second act Thursday night and were rated on a scale of one to 10. Of the dozens of students who tried out the previous night, judges selected only three to give a similar performance in the final round.