Kollaboration NYC 2010

Kollaboration is an Asian American talent competition – to put it simply. But they have a larger goal; their message is “empowerment through entertainment,” and it surely is. It showcases Asian American musicians, comedians, and dancers, giving all of them a chance to shine and show that Asians are not the stereotypical “quiet, meek” people.

Aside from that, Kollaboration is also just good entertainment. While I thought that audience participation was a little on the low-to-zero side, plenty of people still had fun. There were even a couple of contests – a singing one that encouraged amateurs from the audience to participate and win $100 cash prize, and a dancing one. Then there was also the main contest, judged by music producer !llmind, Miss Taiwan World Christine Dai, and producer Telly Wong. The event was hosted by the executive director PK Kim, who created the event.

Here are some photos and videos of the event!

The grand master PK Kim.

A performance from newbies called Super Cute. They weren’t part of the competition.

First performer: Alfa. She was a Kollaboration Acoustic winner, and she won second place in the overall competition.

Singer Cate Song was next; with her strong vocals, I was surprised she didn’t win.

Sheng Wang appeared as well. His comedy routine was ok, and I forgot to take a picture of him during his performance. During the finale he walked around with a camera and beer in hand, filming everyone else onstage.

Meghna Prasad sang a song about a boy – and the title “How Could You” was quite depressing; it elicited laughter from the crowd.

Next up was the rock band Paper Dolls. They were pretty good and had the best songs (they sang two even though they were only supposed to sing one). The band also won the first place prize ($1000 dollars).

Then we had our amateur singers come to the stage for a bit of a freestyle competition. They were all pretty good, with each of them singing in this order: “The Remedy” by Jason Mraz, “Closer” by Ne-Yo, the third one beat-boxed a song (since he wasn’t a great singer) but I forgot the title. I was paying more attention to his awesome beat-boxing. The last one sang another song that I wasn’t too familiar with, but am tempted to say the title was “Yesterday.”

The guy who beat-boxed won by audience vote.

Then the dance group Part Time Models took the stage. The story to the entire thing is pretty cute.

Eugenia Leigh performed a spoken word/poetry piece. It was well written, albeit a tad depressing since she spoke of heavier subjects that tend to always be the topic du jour for every poet/spoken word artist.

Comedienne Jen Kwok performed her song/comedy act. It was funny – but it would have been funnier if I had not heard it before.

18-year-old singing prodigy Brian Hong sang his piece about cigarette smoking with one of his band members. His band is called “Hongtourage.” I did my best not to roll my eyes on that one.

Rhythmology then took the stage – and I have to say, I was a bit disappointed with their performance because I felt they resorted to those “sexy moves” since those moves sell…

There was also a competition among dance amateurs, and the one dressed in gray (in the part 2 video) ended up winning. It was initially a tie between the two (based on audience vote) but the judges broke it by awarding the technically-better dancer the $100 award. Because the other contestant was really popular, they ended up splitting the prize.

For the finale, all the artists took to the stage and sang “Empire State of Mind.” There was one singer who mainly sang (first row, third photo), but her mic broke halfway through the song, so Jen Kwok, Brian Hong, and Cate Song saved her by making up the lyrics to the rap midway. Everyone pretty much only knew the chorus (hee!). Then the judges took the stage and they announced the winners.

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