KC Really Does Have Talent

Business professionals wowed the crowd at this year’s Kansas City’s Got Talent to raise money for WEN.

Move over, American Idol!

Employees representing some of the city’s most prominent businesses, along with a group of young rising stars, showed off their hidden talents at the third-annual Kansas City’s Got Talent corporate talent show last Tuesday, Nov. 5, at Boulevard Brewery.

Proceeds from the event benefited Women’s Employment Network, a nonprofit organization committed to helping women raise their self-esteem and achieve economic independence through sustained employment.

Eight acts sponsored by local companies—including State Street, J.P. Morgan, Sprint, Bank of Kansas City, Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP and Ameristar Casino—took to the stage to compete for bragging rights and prizes, while admiring fans munched on decadent appetizers provided by The Jacobson.

This year’s panel of esteemed judges was KC jazz icon and community beacon Millie Nottingham, KC Symphony Chorus Director Charles Bruffy and KC Business magazine’s very own Katie Van Luchene. Their playful banter combined with emcee Darron Story’s quick wit and soulful singing made it a night to remember.

Photographs by Thad Bell.

14-year-old songbird Kate Cosentino (sponsored by Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP) got the competition rolling with guitar in hand and a self-written song. Next up was the spoken word poetry of Aaron Ward from Bank of Kansas City who moonlights as a gospel hip-hop artist. Then came the harmonious singing of BCQ, a barbershop quartet sponsored by The Archer Foundation.

One of the most memorable acts was the Sprint-sponsored dance troupe Hipnotic All-Stars, a group of adorable little girls between the ages of 10 and 12 who had the audience grinning and clapping along as they danced to ’80s hip-hop classics. After that, Jordan Tucker (a.k.a. J Tuck) blushed and smiled as his boisterous fan club of J.P. Morgan colleagues danced and waved around handmade signs while he rapped.

But it was the last three performers who wound up taking home the prizes. State Street-sponsored Christopher Petitjean won first place (selected by audience applause) for his remarkable Johnny Cash impersonation. The singing and harmonica skills of Scott Newcomer (sponsored by Kellogg’s and Suchart Vend Brokerage) earned him second place, which was awarded to the act that raised the most donations during the show.

First place winner Christopher Petitjean.

The judges (not to mention several female audience members) swooned over the crooning of Lucas Pilgram, a country music performer sponsored by Ameristar Casino, and awarded him third place.

 Story By Kathryn Jones