Arts Preview

Art Down Under 2021: International Students Entertain Audiences Worldwide from Her Majesty’s Theatre

Screenshot 2021-02-18 at 10.26.31 AM

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – Adelaide Festival Centre is celebrating the success of Students Got Talent and its winners who were crowned on Saturday 13 February at Her Majesty’s Theatre.

First place and $5,000 in prize money was awarded to 19-year-old singer Estée Kitingan – the Malaysian-born student is studying a Bachelor of Popular Music at The Elder Conservatorium of Music at The University of Adelaide.

Estée Kitingan

Estée Kitingan said she was honoured to receive the award: “Being a finalist was such a great and honouring experience! I think the best part about it was the friendships and connections I made with the other contestants. I feel very blessed to have won and my plan is to just save the money for anything that comes my way in the future.”

Zhiyi He

Beatboxer and Flinders University student, Zhiyi He from China was awarded second place and $3,000 in prize money while Indian dance group Malwai Bhangra Academy Adelaide came in third place winning $1,000.

Hosted by Adelaide comedian, Jason Chong, the 11 finalists performed to a full house of more than 900 ticketholders at Her Majesty’s Theatre as well as national and international viewers via livestream courtesy of Adelaide Community Television Channel 44.

Jason Chong

Judges included award-winning singer-songwriter Elsy Waymeo, Adelaide Festival Centre producer Susannah Sweeney, Adelaide United Director of Football Bruce Djite and Assistant Minister to the Premier Jing Lee. Acts were assessed on their presence, preparation, talent, audience response and overall performance.

The audience also voted for their favourite performance with the People’s Choice Award presented to Filipino singer Marjorie Tacsanan, who won $500 after receiving the loudest cheer.

Marjorie Tacsanan

The livestream on Adelaide Festival Centre’s Facebook page and Channel 44’s website attracted more than 7,000 online audience members and engagement from international viewers from countries including Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, India, Malaysia and China.

Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director Douglas Gautier AM: “We have been proud to support international students this year by partnering with StudyAdelaide’s Summer in Adelaide program. It has been wonderful to see so many people embrace and welcome these talented international students into our community, with this event attracting such an enthusiastic crowd and buzz.

“We thank everybody involved and look forward to continue supporting, connecting, and uniting Adelaide’s international students through the arts and entertainment in the future.”

StudyAdelaide CEO Karyn Kent: “Students Got Talent was the first in Australia to unearth and showcase the amazing talents in the international student community. We’d like to thank Adelaide Festival Centre for creating this event and giving our students the unforgettable opportunity to perform on a major capital city stage.

“The extra step to live stream this special experience speaks volumes to their friends and family overseas that South Australia is welcoming and supportive of international students.”

City of Adelaide Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor: “It’s been a challenging time for many international students in South Australia and all over the world. The City of Adelaide is proud to be able to support the Adelaide Festival Centre’s Students Got Talent and provide some entertainment for Adelaide’s 30,000 international students impacted by COVID-19 travel restrictions during this difficult period.”

Photo Credit: Kelly Carpenter

The livestream recording can be viewed on Adelaide Festival Centre’s website and Facebook page and will be airing on Channel 44 on Sunday 7th March at 8pm.

For more information about Adelaide Festival Centre’s upcoming programmes and festivals, visit their website here 

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