Homecoming pageant highlights creativity of competing students
Published: Friday, October 11, 2013
Updated: Friday, October 11, 2013 01:10
Jorgensen was alive with talent Thursday evening, as the 10 homecoming court candidates and remaining alma mater groups competed for their respective titles.
After Wednesday night’s Lip Sync, the only two competitions left in the annual Homecoming festivities were to select a Homecoming King and Queen and a group to perform the alma mater at Saturday’s gam
Justis Lopez, representing the Puerto Rican and Latin American Cultural Center, and Hayley Crombleholme of Delta Gamma sorority won the titles. The African American Cultural Center was selected to perform their Mario and Luigi themed Alma Mater at the game.
John Gerrity, a 5th-semester communication disorders major, was the master of ceremonies and opened the ceremony by introducing each candidate. The candidates who had progressed to the pageant level were Crombleholme, Rachel Bentevegna, representing Delta Zeta sorority, Sonny Capalash, representing the Asian American Cultural Center, Indira Nunez of PRLACC, Caitlin Taylor of Alpha Kappa Psi, Sebastian Correa, representing Global House, Ben Cassell and Gina Salvatore from the UConn Marching Band and Jonah Levy from Kappa Sigma. Each contestant competed in three rounds, including a costume portion, a performance and an evening wear coupled with a campus question portion.
While the candidates prepped to display their costumes that illustrated their involvement at UConn, the first alma mater group took the stage.
Delta Gamma and Alpha Epsilon Phi, whose dynamic duo was Aladdin and the genie, sang their traditional interpretation of the Alma Mater and then performed a version sung to the tune of a “Whole New World.”
Kappa Kappa Gamma, Alpha Delta Phi and Sigma Alpha Epsilon, took the stage next with their Blues Brothers adaptation of the alma mater.
After the two groups performed, the costume portion of the pageant began and candidates were welcomed onto the stage one by one.
Caplash’s costume reflected his involvement in the Asian American Cultural Center as well as the Pan Asian Council, as he donned a traditional Taiko robe from Japan and a kurta, a form of traditional Indian dress. Caplash also sported a shirt given to him by the director of an orphanage in Cameroon during UConn Empower’s trip to Cameroon. Caplash was one of the founders of UConn Empower and this was represented on his undershirt that had all the names of all the clubs he is involved in.
Crombleholme sported a costum of Princess Jasmine, to tie into her group’s theme of Aladdin and the genie. She brought out a giant wooden magic lamp that highlighted her involvement in Greek Life and UCTV, as well as her future plan to work with AmeriCorps.
Lopez sported a shirt covered in Flags representing the PRLACC community and also carried a briefcase that represented his passion for teaching. He reached into the briefcase to pull out a clipboard he frequently uses as a two-time UConn Orientation Leader.
After the costume portion finished, Delta Zeta performed its alma mater to the tune of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball.” The unique take was met by loud applause from the audience.
Following the performance, contestants were set to perform their talent. Several candidates sang, but stand out performances from Caplash, Lopez and Crumbleholme kept the audience cheering.
Caplash danced two traditional forms of Indian dance, Raas and Garba. In both, Caplash displayed an immense amount of energy and cultural pride.
Crumbleholme rapped a poem about UConn’s history, referencing UConn greats Charles and August Storrs, and paying homage to UConn’s first female president, Susan Herbst.
Lopez’s performance was the final one in the category. To the background of photos of UConn memories, Lopez performed a slam poem about being a Husky forever and then broke out into a dance choreography representing PRLACC’s theme “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights.” The dance was fittingly performed to the song “Time of My Life.”
The African American Cultural Center took stage after the performance, with a delightful rendition of the Alma Mater to the theme from Mario. Incorporating cute dance moves and costumes, the group wowed the crowd into chanting “A-A-C-C.”
The campus question followed and royalty candidates were ushered onto the stage in formal wear. The men wore tuxedos and the women wore formal gowns. Each candidate was called forward and asked a question. Questions ranged from “If you could change one thing about UConn what would it be?” to “How do you think UConn can get involved in the surrounding towns?”
Upon finishing this portion, the candidates were led offstage and emcee Gerrity announced the winners for the banner competition before announcing the King and Queen selection.