Six finalists selected for UF Homecoming Court

Published: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 2:01 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 2:01 p.m.

Six University of Florida students were chosen at Tuesday night’s Homecoming Pageant to be finalists for this year’s homecoming queen and king.

Presented by the Florida Blue Key, the Homecoming Pageant, called Footprints of the Swamp, had 61 students compete at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts for the chance to be on the 2013 October Homecoming Court.

The event was “sold out” with 1,200 tickets purchased. Close to 900 people attended, Florida Blue Key president Brock Hankins said.

This years’ pageant had 50 women and 11 men who were sponsored by school organizations. They were chosen based on their academic achievements and an interview with the judges, Hankins said.

“All the competitors have amazing résumés of everything they have done during their four years here,” he said.

Six male and six female finalists were selected based on the judges’ scores, who then were asked one question each to determine the final court of three and three.

The topics of the questions included innovation, binge drinking and how it feels to be a Gator.

Daniel Landesberg, a UF telecommunication-management senior who was selected for the Homecoming Court, said it was fun but that the dancing was the toughest part.

“We threw in a couple of impromptu moves, and we pulled them off,” he said.

Abby Whiddon, a public relations senior who was also selected for Homecoming Court, had a difficult time explaining how excited she was.

“Let’s just say, I’m beyond excited,” she said.

Olivia Barket, Kacy Murphree, Carlos Gordian and Jayce Victor also were chosen for the Homecoming Court.

The Homecoming queen and king will be crowned at this year’s Gator Growl.

Homecoming General Chairman Josh Strelzik said there is a special surprise to Gator Growl this year.

“We are bringing back the original homecoming queen, from 1953, (and) she’s going to crown the new queen on stage at Gator Growl.”

As a bonus performance in the middle of Tuesday’s event, the Moral Team from Dance Marathon performed a choreographed dance to a mix of pop songs. An acapella group, No Southern Accent, also performed a song, including some beat boxing.

The money raised by the event goes toward the expenses of the pageant and other Homecoming events such as Gator Growl and the Homecoming Parade.

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