SunshineNation-18

SunshineNation-16

Amidst the clickity clack of the blinking clappers and the screaming of several hundred adoring supporters, the eight Sunshine Boyz and Girlz of 2014 shone on stage at Michael J Fox Theatre last Friday night, showing off their talents and their charisma in hopes of becoming this year’s Sunshine Nation Champion. There wasn’t a single empty seat in the room and the show was packed with entertainment and a few surprises.

The Sunshine hopefuls put their best on display, performing individually, as a group, and even had a guys versus girls dance-off. To perform in front of such a large audience takes loads of courage but none of them seemed phased by the challenge. They danced, they sang, they walked the catwalk, and one of the girls even did a painting of Michael Jackson on stage. Perhaps the only stumble of the night for the contestants: the Q&A segment. To be fair though, they were asked some difficult questions.

Sunshine Nation is Fairchild Radio’s annual talent search competition, and every year, it brings together a group of vibrant young adults all vying for the title. It’s fun and competitive, but, as every contestant explained during the show, it was a memorable and valuable learning experience for them as well. And why wouldn’t it be. Every one of them has spent countless hours this past summer preparing for the show, training on their own and learning from each other. This commitment and camaraderie will certainly create a lasting bond between them all regardless of the outcome of the competition.

The highlight for many though came with guest artist, Hong Kong hip hop star MC Jin, who turned it up to 11 and brought everyone to its feet, bouncing along with him. Kicking his set off with his hit song, “ABC”, he had everyone’s attention. His high energy hip hop beats and outgoing charisma delivered no shortage of fun. He talked and joked with the audience, rapped beside elderly folks in the crowd, took selfies with anyone who pulled a camera out next to him, and even brought audience members out to dance with him. Although this did get awkward with a group of guys who didn’t know what to do with themselves on stage and couldn’t keep up with Jin. That’s just a minor blemish though.

However, with all due respect to MC Jin, the night really belonged to the eight talented individuals who graced the stage and showed off what they got. But like all competitions, there had to be a winner. When all was said and done, Marco Kung (#1), was named Sunshine Boy of 2014, and Venessa Li (#5), took home the Sunshine Girl 2014 crown.

Other awards were handed out on Friday night. Here is a complete list of the awards and winners.

People’s Choice Award: Marco Kung (#1)

Best Charisma Award: Stephen Siu (#3)

Best Group Ever: mrsj (aka the boys)

Signet Tour best Talent Award: Jeffrey Lei (#2)

Sunshine Boyz Champion: Marco Kung (#1)

Sunshine Girlz Champion: Venessa Li (#5)