Royalty crowned at annual pageant
Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 17:10
Navi Cheema of the Asian American Cultural Center and Josh Thomas of the African American Cultural Center were crowned Homecoming King and Queen at the Royalty Pageant on Tuesday night.
Crowds from cultural centers, Greek life sororities and fraternities, learning communities and even parents of contestants filled the seats of the Jorgensen with posters, cheering on the eight participants. Emcee Andrew Callahan hosted the event, dressed in a suit and bowtie. He began the night by introducing the eight: Alex Addabbo, O’Rayne Clarke, Navi Cheema, Michael Pollock-Twomey, Avery Desrosiers, Sagar Rana, Cara Harvey, Allan Rousseau, Sam Sojka and Josh Thomas. Each person greeted the crowd and gave shout-outs to the houses and communities they represented.
As part of each pageant, the competition for the Alma Mater Sing also took place, beginning with the brothers and sisters of Delta Zeta and Pi Kappa, who did their own rendition of Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory.” Alpha Epsilon Phi, Alpha Beta Pi, Alpha Gamma and Kickline were next up in the competition, adding their own beat-boxing and Michael Jackson moves.
The first part of the pageant feautured spirit costumes, where contestant were supposed to represent their organizations, the homecoming theme and what UConn represents. Addabbo came out dressed in a record costume with tracks that symbolized things like her sorority and her role as vice president of recruitment of Huskython. Clarke was Lady Gaga’s alter ego, a representative of organizations that support first generation and low-income students. Cheema and Pollock-Twomey came out after, the fomer wearing a sari with Asian flags to commemorate the diversity of Asian cultures at UConn and the latter wearing a Beatles-inspired outfit with a guitar. Desrosiers showed off 17 flags of different countries and the way they connect to one another for Global House. Rana wore traditional Indian garb with stethoscopes to show his dedication to medicine, and Harvey demonstrated how she wrote for The Daily Campus. Rousseau dressed up as Skrillex while Sojka donned a Beach Boys-inspired outfit while holding a surfboard. Thomas represented the African American Cultural Center and global issues.
After two more performances from Pi Beta Phi and Alpha Epsilon Pi and from the Asian American Cultural Center singing the Alma Mater, the talent portion of the competition began with Addabbo tap-dancing to the Black Eyed Peas’ “Let’s Get It Started.”
“I believe the most important talents is the ability to serve others,” said Clarke before playing a homemade video for the audience that demonstrated Clarke’s sense of humor and service to the community. Cheema did an Indian dance to Bollywood music with two backup dancers, while Rana showed his skills with nunchucks while dancing to “Gangnam Style.” Other performances included French lessons by Desrosiers, violin-playing by Harvey and guitar-playing to Santana’s “Maria Maria” by Thomas.
The last three groups for the Alma Mater Sing wrapped the competition up before the question and formal dress portions of the pageant. The contestants waited in anticipation for the results.
Callahan announced the winners of the pageants to be Cheema and Thomas, with Rana and Harvey in close second.