July 15, 2024


Earlier this month, Conestoga Students Inc. held tryouts for the X Factor, an event based on the popular television show. Of the 15 contestants who tried out over the two-week period, only eight of them made it to the finals held on March 18.

The winners of this competition were first-year journalism – print students Justin Ford and Matt Howell, who introduced themselves as The Talent (Ford) and The Face (Howell) during their performances. The second place winner was general arts and science health option student John Gillett. Taking third place was advertising and marketing student Vanessa Vokey.

It took three judges over two hours to judge all eight finalists.

“The top three were all very close calls,” said Samantha Schwier, programming co-ordinator at Conestoga Students Inc. and one of the three judges. “It was hard to decide which ones placed first, second and third.”

All of the acts in the finals were singing acts. Some of them were accompanied by instrumental tracks while others were accompanied by guitar.

Vokey said she was a little nervous to be performing in front of a large group of people.

“Obviously it’s always going to be a little nerve-wracking, but it was mostly exciting and fun,” she said. “My cousin and friends came out to support me and I was a lot less nervous having them there.”

One of the main things for the performers in this round was to just keep powering through their performances, no matter how tough it got or how many times they messed up.

“I wasn’t feeling very confident after my first song, only because I messed up a few words from the lyrics at the beginning,” Vokey said. “I think I did a good job of laughing it off and not letting it get to me though, it’s supposed to be fun! I pulled it together well in the end and was just really looking forward to getting into the next round.

“I think I showed that I was having fun. I was charismatic and I think I chose cool songs that showed off my voice,” she added. “I come from a musical theatre background so it was important for me to choose songs that I could really belt and act out. Nothing makes me happier than singing.”

The first place winners received $100, the second place winner got $75 and the third place winner received $50.

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