Rich Howells

PHOTOS: NEPA Scene’s Got Talent, Week 3, 03/15/16

PHOTOS: NEPA Scene’s Got Talent, Week 3, 03/15/16
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For the first time in the history of NEPA Scene’s Got Talent at Thirst T’s Bar & Grill in Olyphant, the audience vote was tied between two acts, so rather than break the deadlock and choose one ourselves, we decided to declare both the winners of Week 3 on Tuesday, March 15, so while they had to split the prize money, both can move on to the finals.

It would have been too difficult a decision anyway, as both Patrick Schwartz and the duo of Vibez and Nicholas DeSouza put in some excellent – though very different – performances that night. Schwartz, who has also performed as a comedian in past seasons, played a mix of original and cover tunes in his signature country folk style, adding Adam Bailey on tambourine not just as backup, but to poke fun at him throughout and add humor to the set. Vibez and DeSouza put their own soulful spin on “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley and “Appletree” by Erykah Badu and ended with an improvised song that only solidified their talent – and their win.

Week 3 performers:

Music: Adam Fox, Billy Duffy, Patrick Schwartz, John McLaughlin, Joe Craig, Adam Bailey, and Vibez and Nicholas DeSouza

Comedy: Erich Drexler, Ted Hebert, Russell Austin, Zack Hammond, Tyler DiBenedetto, and Dan Hoppel

Schwartz, Vibez, and DeSouza won $50 in cash, provided by Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, and a slot in the Finals Showcase on May 31, where the 12 winners (now 13 winners) from 12 consecutive weeks will compete in front of a panel of judges for the grand prize – $250 cash courtesy of Laugh Out Lepka’s Comedy; a $100 gift card from Fidelity Bank; a summer backyard prize package with a fire pit, wooden deck chair, grill, and cooler from Coors Light and LT Verrastro, Inc.; a headlining slot at the 2016 Electric City Music Conference; and a guest spot on an episode of the NEPA Scene Podcast. The second place winner will receive $100 cash.

Sponsored by Coors Light, LT Verrastro, Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, Fidelity Bank, Laugh Out Lepka’s Comedy, and Thirst T’s, NEPA Scene’s Got Talent takes the format of an open mic night and turns it into a friendly competition, inviting local musicians, comedians, poets, performance artists, magicians, actors, and more to perform on Thirst T’s stage every Tuesday at 7 p.m. through May 17.

At the end of each night, audiences who have enjoyed the free live show will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite act. The winner each week will receive $50 in cash and the headlining slot for the following Tuesday, and all other performers are encouraged to compete again as often as they’d like or simply show off their talents for fun. Everyone participating is featured weekly on