It’s hard to believe that the Kollaboration 2013 showcase was just over a week ago. On Saturday, September 29, as a passionate group of Kollaboration staff worked diligently to make this the best Kollaboration Chicago show yet, our 12 finalists were onstage, blowing the judges away with their performances.

Before the audience stepped out of the auditorium for intermission, it was already clear: the talent on that stage was real.

“I knew the show would be good, but I wasn’t expecting so much talent in one night. The finalists are truly amazing,” said audience member Raj Sodhi.

Several talented singers compete in the freestyle vocal competition.

After intermission, several lucky audience members had the chance to compete in two freestyle competitions. Five competed in the vocal competition and five in the dance competiton, with the two winners each receiving $100 for the loudest audience reactions in their respective categories.

As the show recommenced, the remaining finalists continued to wow the audience with their talent. By the end of the finalist performances, all 12 finalists had sung, rapped, danced, played the piano, and spoken their way into audience members’ hearts.

When the time came to tally up the judges’ scores, guest performers Jun Sung Ahn, Lil Crazed, and Jargon took to the stage. Jun Sung not only played the violin but also performed with his dance group, impressing the crowd even more than he did at last year’s showcase. Next up, Lil Crazed and Jargon entertained the crowd with their musical performance involving singing, rapping, and dancing. By the end of the night, the excitement could be felt all across the auditorium.

But as the show came to an end, there was only one thing on everyone’s mind: Who would be the 2013 Kollaboration showcase winner? We all waited in anticipation for the big announcement.

All 12 finalists had done an incredible job, but only one winner could be named…


In his spoken word piece, Alvin Lau addressed issues of racism with a passion that moved the crowd. Alvin’s skill and his enthusiasm could be seen in his heartfelt performance. His stage presence was undeniable.

Peter Jang, Talent Relations Director, commented, “I have been working with Alvin since the auditions so I’ve seen his performances before… But when he got on that Kollaboration stage last weekend, wow… even I was blown away.”

Alvin’s performance touched on racial issues faced by Asian Americans across the country, and his piece was able to bring those issues to light and give insight into the Asian American community. Each of the finalist performances helped to reinforce the idea that we as Asian Americans are strong and can overcome any obstacles that may come before us.

The People’s Choice Award went to CODA for a dance routine that excited the crowd and surely increased the CODA fan base. “CODA was a lot of fun to watch. They work really well together as a team, and I think the audience could really see their passion through their performance,” said audience member Reggie Woo.

We hope that Kollaboration continues to inspire and motivate Asian Americans everywhere as we work to break barriers and empower through entertainment. Thank you to all of the performers, judges, and sponsors for your support in making our mission possible. We look forward to another great show next year!

And don’t forget to cheer on Alvin Lau as he competes for the $20,000 grand prize at Kollaboration Star!

Photo Credit: Rachel,