New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

UltraViolet Live recap: 13 acts competed for $1,000 cash prize

NYU students competed at the final round of the university’s annual Violet 100 talent competition.
Krish Dev
The Village performs its original song. (Krish Dev for WSN)

Jujubee from RuPaul’s Drag Race hosted the 20th annual UltraViolet Live on Thursday, Feb. 29 in the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. 13 acts representing their dorm or community were chosen for UVL. Each performed original songs, spoken word poetry or musical covers to compete for the $1,000 cash prize.

A drag queen reads off a card labeled “ULTRA VIOLET LIVE” into a microphone.
Drag queen and UVL host Jujubee. (Krish Dev for WSN)

Besides celebrity host Jujubee, UVL also featured celebrity judges like “High School Musical” actor Lucas Grabeel, Tituss Burgess, Brandon Uranowitz and 2023 UVL Winner Madison LaRae. After 20 preliminary rounds held by the Commuter Student Council, Resident Assistant Council and residence halls, each chooses a representative for UVL. Past winners include Lady Gaga who won 3rd place in 2005, and 2009 winner Brandyn Burnette who was signed by Warner Records. 

A woman is smiling toward a crowd offscreen while holding a microphone and clipboard.
Judge and 2023 UVL winner Madison LaRae. (Krish Dev for WSN)

The first-place winners this year were Founders Hall representative The Village, a band of first-years Alex Kaminsky, Sophia Granello and Bernarda Basualdo. They performed an acoustic performance of their original song “Wishing We Were.”

“It really means a lot that our song connected with people,” Granello said. “It’s just amazing that people appreciated the song that we wrote.” 

Three girls embrace as they hold a giant cardboard check.
The Village received first place at UVL. (Krish Dev)

The winner of Best Solo Performance was rapper King ESNCE. The Best Group Performance was awarded to the band Sloane and Friends. The Audience Choice Award went to Italy Ja’rae Lee with her original spoken-word performance. 

“Speaking in front of the entire crowd was a very emotional experience, very spiritual experience,” Lee said. “My heart is so full. It’s very nice to know that I touched that many people.”

A purple house mascot gestures toward a woman holding a giant cardboard check for $500.
Housey presents the Audience Choice Award to Italy Ja'rae Lee. (Krish Dev)

Jujubee said she was impressed by not only the diversity of content but also how skillful the original writing was.

“Everybody’s so young, so I don’t know how they can tap into that part of their soul,” Jujubee said. “But they’ve got it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this much talent from a school in one room. I love NYU. I can’t wait to be back.”

A woman reaches her hand upward toward a crowd while onstage.
King ESNCE raps and dances. (Krish Dev for WSN)
Two girls and one boy play guitars in a band on stage.
Sloane and Friends. (Krish Dev for WSN)

Contact Mikaylah Du at [email protected].

Leave a comment
About the Contributors
Mikaylah Du
Mikaylah Du, Illustration Editor
Mikaylah Du is a first-year studying Media, Culture, and Communication. She's a fine art nerd and one of the few people that actually likes writing essays. Follow her art account on Instagram @mikaylahdoodles to see her post once in a blue moon.
Krish Dev
Krish Dev, Multimedia Editor
Krish is a first-year planning to major in Computer Science and Linguistics at CAS. In his free time, he enjoys posting photos on @krish_dev.creations, obsessing over geography, watching new films with friends, taking public transport to new places and letting Arsenal make or break his week.

Comments (0)

Comments that are deemed spam or hate speech by the moderators will be deleted.
All Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *