The 2012 RAG Oxford’s Got Talent finals on Sunday evening were won by Jack and the Beanstalks of St Hilda’s College.
The band’s swaggering performance of the Rolling Stone’s Brown Sugar, bolstered with a passionate saxophone solo, triumphed over the competition on a tough night against Oxford’s finest.
The night started quietly, and the Oxford Union debating chamber was filled with a hushed crowd. They were brought to life by a masterful performance by the Oxford Imps, whose improvised comedy culminated with a power ballad to the tragedy of rough toilet paper.
The night was not short of powerful singers, with St Hugh’s Skippings International belting out Adele’s Rolling in the Deep with floor-shaking power. A more classic-rock approach was adopted by Sam Keeler and Bob Hunt of New College.
More chilled tunes were provided by Ed Crawford of Keble, Joshua Barley of Univ, with a mournful ode to hangovers by Merton’s Alistair Hodgson. However pride of place went to Alex OBT of Worcester, whose piano-based cover of Rhianna’s Umbrella reminisced about nights wasted in Park End. It contained the immortal lines “Once upon a time I knew how to love, now I only know how to shark, Park End has ripped out my heart”.
The judges, made up of Oxford’s Lord Mayor, OUSU Charities VP Dan Stone, and a representative from sponsors Ernst and Young, clearly had a challenging task ahead of them. However the Oxford’s Got Talent plaque was eventually handed to the well-deserved winners, with Laura Jennings taking second and Alex OBT taking third.
Student reactions were largely positive. Sam Prior, a St Anne’s second year, commented that it was “an emotional rollercoaster from start to finish”, despite their being no St Anne’s performers competing. There were, however, a number of complaints about the seating of the Union debating chamber limiting the views spectators could get of performers, especially regarding the tap-dancers.