BMI to return to its glory after last year’s show has bad run


Members of BMI stand while being recognized for Black History Month during a Feb. 28 men’s basketball game at the Convocation Center. BMI will be hosting their annual Apollo Talent Show 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Carl Sandburg Auditorium.

By Lindsey Salvatelli


DeKALB — Before last year’s Apollo Talent show, there was some uncertainty about its future, but after a successful run in 2016, it will return for another year.

Don Bramlett, Black Male Initiative adviser and founder, said he planned to cancel the show because it was unsuccessful in 2015.

“It wasn’t up to BMI standards,” Bramlett said.

This year, 29 acts came out to audition for the show, which is hosted by the BMI. Monte Proffit, who is heading the Apollo committee, said they have narrowed it down to 12 acts that will perform 6:30 p.m. Friday in the Carl Sandburg Auditorium.

“Winners are chosen by three judges,” Bramlett said. “They just consider which one’s best based on their performance, their synchronization or their voice if they’re singing.”

The winner will receive $300.

Acts will include dance teams, a juggler, singers, rappers and even a magician.

“He came last year and everyone said he was the highlight of the show, so we have him coming back,” Proffit said.

Proffit said the talent show follows the original concept of the showtime at the Apollo show that was popular during the ‘90s.

The show consisted of budding artists and was known for its tough crowds during Amateur Night.

“The fact that people can boo or cheer on acts, that’s something different,” Proffit said. “Nobody else does [an event like this] on campus. It’s fun.”

Jaylin Davis, a singer, dancer and poet who is to perform in the show, said knowing people can boo is nerve-racking.

“I’m most excited to put my work on a lot of people and for it to be respected because I have worked very hard on this piece,” Davis said. “I hope this opens people’s eyes as far as art goes.”

Proffit said in the past, the show was co-sponsored by other organizations such as E.B.O.N.Y. Women, S.I.S.T.E.R.S. and S.A.A.S., but this year, it has been the sole work of the BMI.

Last year’s talent show winners, the Men of Dance Project, a Bollywood dance team from UIC, will be returning to the stage. Additional past performers will also appear, including dance teams Envy and Vanity and rapper Apollo Creed.

While the talent show’s performances from previous years haven’t changed, Proffit said the committee has made some behind-the-scenes changes.

Last year, Proffit said three acts contacted him the night before the show to cancel because they didn’t have an act prepared.

Proffit said to avoid having acts drop the show at last minute, he decided to give acts rehearsal space at various places around campus.

“I [decided] this year we were not having that, so I had them do a rough draft rehearsal,” Proffit said. “It [didn’t] have to be done; I just had to see that you [were] working on something.”

Lindsey Salvatelli is a staff writer. She can be reached at [email protected]