On Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022, the University of Kentucky Student Activities Board (SAB) hosted the ninth annual Royalty Showcase in the Harris Ballroom, an event that required months of planning and coordination.
During the event, 10 students took the stage to show off their talents, who they are and why they deserved to be crowned the 2022 homecoming king and queen.
Families, students and faculty members attended the Royalty Showcase in the student center to meet the candidates for homecoming king and queen.
The candidates presented what they are passionate about and what talents they could display. The event was hosted by co-directors of traditions Zaib Amatullah and Hannah Bondi.
“It was enlightening to be able to represent the incredible community,” Amatullah said.
This year’s showcase was Bondi’s first year as director for the event.
“The week leading up to it was chaotic, but it was also very fun,” she said.
SAB President Allyson Carson described the week leading up to the showcase as “really fun.”
“It was exciting to get the chance to see another side of the candidates outside of school,” Carson said.
Planning for the Royalty Showcase began in August, when students were nominated by different student organizations for their efforts. The nominees were then put through what Bondi described as a "rigorous application process," being interviewed by a board of judges. After the application process and interview, the board of judges decided on five male and five female candidates to represent the University of Kentucky by being on the 2022 homecoming court.
The Royalty Showcase started by welcoming each of this year’s finalists to the stage for a brief introduction. Following the introduction, there was an intermission. This led into the talent portion of the night, where the finalists attempted to wow the judges with their skills. These included dancing, singing, poetry and magic.
After all the students presented their talents, there was a brief intermission to let the judges determine the winners of Mr. & Ms. Spirit, along with the overall talent winner. This year’s Mr. and Ms. Spirit were Isaac Sutherland and Katherine Cermack, and the overall talent winner was Johnny Zelenak II for his magic tricks.
Immediately following the ceremony, voting for the 2022 homecoming king and queen opened for all students through BBNvolved and remained open until Friday, October 14, at midnight. This year’s king and queen were then unveiled at halftime of this year's homecoming game on Saturday, October 15, versus Mississippi State.
After a close first half, resulting in a 3-3 score at halftime, the homecoming court took the stage at Kroger Field for the crowning of this year's homecoming royalty. After introductions of the homecoming court, Gracelyn Bush and Johnny Zelenak were crowned king and queen.
Bondi said that this year’s Royalty Showcase was “a success and a great time to see the candidates express themselves.”
“Promotion of the event [next year] will be increased, and it would be awesome to get even more students involved next year,” she said.