On Tuesday afternoon, students at the University of Texas at Austin experienced a moment of fame as they took part in a live taping of the “Ellen DeGeneres Show”.
By Allyson Waller
At 5 p.m., the Main Mall at UT was packed with students who were frantically waiting for the live taping of “Ellen” to start. DeGeneres, on campus via satellite, sent her team to UT’s campus to host a Beyonce-themed costume contest that would be featured on a later episode of the show. One lucky winner of the contest would receive tickets to the 2017 Grammy Awards. “I’ve tried before to get on Ellen so now I’m hoping that I can,” freshman Briana Donis says.
Students learned about the event Monday afternoon after DeGeneres sent out a tweet addressing UT students. Later, DeGeneres notified students that if they wanted to win tickets to the Grammys, dressing up as Beyoncé was the only option.
Even though it was a school day, students were not afraid to be a little more lenient with their schedules to make time for a live “Ellen” taping. “I went home, grabbed this [costume], grabbed a couple snacks and came back,” senior Alicia Chopite says.
As the taping continued into the evening, students huddled near the monitor as the camera shot aerial views of the crowd. Students waved the hook’em sign and screamed with excitement, in hopes of seeing their faces on television the next day. Once the show was underway, DeGeneres challenged students to recreate one of Beyoncé’s newly released pregnancy photos, giving them creative license and telling them to “get pregnant if you have to.”
With hundreds of Beyoncé look-alikes running around, the competition was fierce, but many kept their spirits high in hopes of winning. “It’s my birthday tomorrow so I really want to win,” junior Mary Vletas says.
In the end, DeGeneres revealed the finalists who submitted the best recreations of Beyoncé. The crowned winner, sophomore Collin Wang, ended up with tickets to the Grammys for his underwater version of Beyoncé’s pregnancy shoot, while the remaining contestants received a $500 Best Buy gift card.
The event showed not only the power of Ellen DeGeneres, but also the powerful influence Beyoncé has on UT’s creative student body. Despite there only being three students who walked away with prizes, the experience was a fun time for students, and provided enjoyment during a time of uncertainty in our world. During the taping, Ellen adorably addressed Beyoncé by saying, “Thanks for giving us something good to talk about. I don’t know if this is possible, but for the sake of our country please try to get pregnant at least once a month,” which was met with laughs from the UT crowd.