Corrections were made to this article on March 8, 2017 regarding titles and class standing.
A reverberating drum roll resounded through Royal Brougham Pavilion as the winner of the 2017 Ashton Cup was about to be announced.
One of the Master of Ceremonies, junior Lola Sosanya flipped open an envelope and read the name of the winning floor.
For the second year in a row, the women of sixth east Ashton claimed first place overall at the annual Ashton Cup competition.
“We collaborated with a former member of the floor who helped us with the dance. Everyone was really patient and willing to work together to put on the best production,” said the RA of sixth east, junior Symphony Higgins.
On Sunday, March 5, a full crowd ushered into Royal Brougham Pavilion to take part in and watch movie parodies put on by Ashton Hall residents.
Sixth east performed their own rendition of Disney’s “Holes.” Students strutted across the stage in orange jump suits as they told the story of the wrongly convicted Stanley Yelnats IV.
Following a set of unfortunate circumstances, Yelnats finds himself at Camp Green Lake where he is forced dig holes to “build character.”
A high energy performance, the floor incorporated pop-culture references and clips from the film allowing them to snag the winning title.
Prior to being an RA in Ashton, Higgins lived in Emerson Hall for two years. She believes that having the sophomores on the floor as a driving force behind the project really brought the team together.
Higgins is grateful for the stressful, but worthwhile process it took to put their skit together becuase it was an opportunity for the first-years to experience the community and friendship that are a result of living in Ashton and participating in Ashton Cup.
“I kind of let the returning sophomores take the lead on this process, and they did a phenomenal job,” Higgins said. “There was a lot of stress towards the end of the process; I wasn’t sure if we were going to win, but I’m glad we did, and I’m so, so proud of my girls.”
The event was hosted by two Ashton Hall alums, Sosanya and senior Bilen Yitbarek.
Periodically throughout the night Yitbarek and Sosanya called down volunteers from the audience for mini games such as RA trivia and an SPU-themed spelling contest.
At one point, two Ashton RA’s, juniors Bryan Loew and Carloyn Bolling, battled in a beat-boxing contest.
After giving it their best efforts, Sosanya called down who she claimed to be “an expert” at beat-boxing, senior Peter Choi.
A spotlight pointed him out in the crowd as Choi ran up on stage and took the mic. His impromptu performance had the audience cheering and shouting that he should be the winner of the mini beat-box challenge.
Between performances Yitbarek and Sosanya also took turns asking one of the six judges what they thought of performances.
Judges included Hill and Moyer RLC Kevin Deschler, Career Counselor in the Center for Career and Calling Davinah Simmons, Campus Coordinator and Interim Campus Program Coordinator Jacob Arzaga, Adjunct Professor of Art Kayo Nakamura, Director of Office of Student Involvement and Leadership Whitney Broetje and junior ASSP Vice President of Finance Nathan Bennett.
After about 10 minutes of deliberation following the last act, the judges decided the women of third east deserved best dance as well as overall third place for their version of “She’s the Man.”
The women of first and second west came together to perform “Harry Potter” with a twist, calling their skit “Harry Fratter.” Their team efforts paid off as they brought home the award for best props.
Men of fifth west started off their performance with a clip from “Frozen” but soon revealed that their actual parody was of the movie “National Treasure.” Clean transitions between recordings granted the floor best soundtrack.
Second place went to the women of fifth east for their performance of “Sandlot.”
Sosanya felt it was an honor to be able to be part of the Master of Ceremonies team since her first two years at SPU were positively impacted through participation in Ashton Cup.
“It was a time for me to get to know my floor even better during winter quarter. [I remember] practicing a lot. It was fun,” Sosanya said.
“I’m so honored that I was asked to host alongside [Yitbarek.] It was something I was nervous about, but I am so glad it happened. It was a successful night. We saw some great skits.”
Ashley Burke, a first-year from sixth east, said she met many new people and had an amazing time getting to know them while putting together their performance.
“Creating Ashton Cup was more bonding than I could’ve ever imagined,” she said. “Our floor worked almost every night for the past two weeks to create our skit.”
Though she was nervous to perform, Burke said she will never forget the moment sixth east was named winner of the night and how the whole floor rushed to the stage to claim their trophy.
“It was both the best and the worst all at the same time — stressful and fun,” Burke said. “Nothing beats the community we feel now knowing we pulled the whole thing off.”