Chai-Town wins Illini Union Bookstore Talent Show

A crowd of more than a hundred gathered at the Union at 7 P.M. Friday night for the Illini Union Bookstore’s (IUB) Home Grown Talent show.

The show featured 10 different acts by different student groups and solo performers. The admission for the event was $1 for students and $3 for the public.

The 1st place winner was Chai-Town, an acapella group here on campus, which uses a unique blend of Indian and American style music for their performances.

The runners up were both dance troupes, Dance 2XS Caliente in 2nd and 3Spot in 3rd.

The prizes for the winners were $500 for the 1st place team, $300 for 2nd, and $100 for 3rd.

“We’re actually pretty surprised because there’s a lot of groups out there that are very talented,” said Jason Alexander, a member of Chai-Town.

The group’s performance included two songs. The crowd was very enthusiastic during their segment in the talent show.

“We’re an a capella group that travels nationally to different universities. We perform at national competitions as well, so we thought this would be an awesome opportunity to test our skills out and really measure ourselves at this point,” Alexander said.

The group is going to use the prize money for recording, said Alexander.

Christa Jalali, a member of Dance 2XS Caliente, said she was very happy with the outcome of the competition. She said the group uses a variety of dancing styles, ranging from traditional Latin, salsa, merengue, and hip-hop.

The prize money is going towards future events. “We have a big performance coming up in two weeks and we’re going to use this to buy some of our costumes,” Jajali said.

Sheena Samra, one of the co-chairs of Student Performing Arts for Illini Union Board, helped put this event together.

“It was a great crowd. They were really energetic. They showed a lot of enthusiasm and support for their groups,” Samra said. “We hope to have great events like this every year.”