Our fellow Hurricanes killed it on stage Monday night in the Homecoming King and Queen Competition. Sixteen finalists showed off their best dance moves, talent, and charm in the hopes of making it onto the University of Miami’s 2013 Homecoming Court. United Black Students’ Deandre Tate-Drummer and Kappa Kappa Gamma’s Becky Taylor are this year’s “Mr. and Mrs. U-Ville.” Our Homecoming Prince and Princess are Alpha Epsilon Pi’s Nathan Ward and FEC’s Kelly Marie Castro. These four students shined bright all through the pageant and were truly something to remember.
To start, all of the finalists performed a coordinated dance routine. Immediately after, each acted out a Dr. Seuss themed skit, answering the question, “ What would you do if you ran the U?” While the possibilities ranged from more financial aid to free parking passes, Tate-Drummer and Taylor decided that they would reveal the endless mysteries of the university. Did you know that whenever a palm frond falls during Homecoming week, another Hoakie (what?) is drafted into the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade? Or that in the summers, the Student Activities Center gets a pair of giant ibis wings installed and doubles as a flying device named the Best Utilized Transportation Thing-imagig (B.U.T.T)? Nope, I bet you didn’t! Ward wowed the crowd with his vocal performance and guitar playing. Man, what a voice! He is not only talented, but clever too. In his skit with Jessica Dipete, the two performed a musical parody to Jason Mraz’s “Lucky”.
Audience members couldn’t get enough of the individual performances. Act after act they cheered, chanted, and screamed praise. Castro’s spoken word performance left us breathless as she “touched” upon the issue of technology and social media. Her words brought to light the frightful reality that we are ever-disconnecting from one another with each minute spent hooked on touchscreens and pop culture. On a lighter note, Tate-Drummer gave us a little insight into the mind of ‘ghetto superstar’ in his rap lyric interpretation of Richie Hommie Quan’s song, “Type of Way.” Who knew that, “Soufflé, I’m straight, I steak my plate,” actually translated to, “Comparable to the dessert known as soufflé, my life is fantastic because I indulge in the finest of foods.” I’m right with you there, Richie! YUM.
Finally, eight of the finalists made it to the last round, where they were to answer a question at random, and get one final chance to convince the judges that they deserved the crown. When asked why she chose to attend UM, Castro spoke of the education, diversity, opportunity and growth she knew she would be able to experience as a Hurricane, and touched our hearts when she said, “I really found my home here.”
Taylor’s sorority sisters gathered around in a circle after the ceremony and performed the Pat Song; a KKG tradition of celebration. Taylor stood in the center as they patted their hands in song, congratulating her. When asked to share her thoughts, she made the point that “Homecoming does a really great job of joining groups on campus together in a fun and competitive way.” It basically provides students with time to relax, be creative and represent their organizations in the most memorable of ways. But it’s not just about that.
We asked Tate-Drummer to elaborate on his feelings from the night. ” When I found out my partner Becky won, I was so excited … It felt good to see her succeed,” he said.
Homecoming is about teamwork, sharing and connecting with friends. Congratulations to all of the participants who did an amazing job. As for the Homecoming Court, they’ll make their grand reappearance at the Homecoming Parade this Friday.
words and photos_clarisse lopez