The first ever UTM X Factor was held last Friday as a collaborative effort between Free the Children at UTM and UTM Rotaract. It was a great way to creatively fundraise and showcase the vocal talents of UTM students. There were six performers over the course of the night and the fate of the winner was decided by audience members who donated funds.

The first performer was Aseel Aoun, who performed a beautiful cover of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On”.

Following her performance was the energetic Pamela Adjei with Peggy Lee’s “Fever”. Runner-up Nicolas Ngheim had everyone’s attention as soon as he began singing Nsync’s “This I Promise You”.

Shaz Rashid switched up the mood of the evening with his spoken word piece, and Alice Li’s vibrant performance included a medley of popular, upbeat songs coupled with engaging, rhythmic dancing. First place was awarded to Malika Ganguli, who proved her talent with her smooth performance of Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain” and “Someone Like You”.

“It was a great experience and something that I would definitely do again,” said Ganguli, a second-year student in comparative physiology. “I mean, all the money goes to charity. So that’s a really good thing. I wish I had had more time to prepare, because this whole week I had so many midterms, I literally only had today, but it was really good and really fun!”

The whole show was meticulously organized and the performances of the night were very well received by the audience. Though most of the songs throughout the event were covers, every singer’s personal touch was reflected in the pieces they chose.

The first prize winner received a $100 cash prize, while the second place winner received a $50 prize courtesy of UTM Residence Council. To top off the night, food and drinks were provided for both the audience and performers. Of course, the night would not have been complete without lip-sync battles, karaoke, and the famous Ghostbusters dance-off amongst the winners and all the executives.

“Our goal is to raise funds towards global education through UTM events that are fun and enjoyable for students,” said Li, a fourth-year commerce student and president of Free the Children at UTM and UTM Residence Council. “X Factor UTM is a new idea this year and it was great to be able to collaborate with UTM Residence Council and UTM Rotaract. We thought this would be a creative way to raise donations for Free the Children while showcasing some of our amazing students’ talents.”