AUSTIN, Texas -- There was thunderous applause and laughter on the third floor of Bellmont Hall Monday evening, and the curious would seen a lot of singing and dancing as the Women's Athletics Team Talent Night took place on the final night of student-athlete orientation activities.
The 2006 version of the "Texas Talent Night" was one of the final events of the five-day fall orientation period for the UT women's student-athletes. Monday night, all nine women's teams and coaching staffs (basketball, golf, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field/cross country, and volleyball) gathered together to perform team skits.
The "theme" of the skits, loosely interpreted, were "life as a UT student-athlete", a look set to parody or seen through reality TV. Creativity and musical talent ebbed and flowed as each team took to the stage, but the constant all evening was laughter and the great spirit of fun and posturing as each team competed for top honors.
The audience consisted of all the student-athletes, their coaches and staff members, who held up signs which were numbered "0 through 10" as a rating system for the acts.
Opening the night's festivities were the special emcees of the evening - former best pals Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie, who secretly flew in from La-La Land to host the big event. Ok -- since this was a night of parody, the real Paris and Nicole were no where near the Forty Acres. Instead, junior softball catcher Megan Willis did her best Paris imitation, while senior golfer Ashley Prust was her sidekick, Nicole.
At the end of the evening, the trio of rookie judges - all sporting colorful robes and over-sized hats - picked their top five acts of the evening. The judges were three of UT's newest assistant coaches recruited for the tough task of selecting the evening's best performances - softball's Corrie Hill, soccer's Nicole Nelson and swimming and diving assistant Jim Henry.
Walking away with the top prize for "Best Overall Performance" was Bev Kearney's cross country and track squad. The team set their skit in the "Mike A. Myers Holy Longhorn Church", a play on the team's facility - Mike A. Myers Stadium. Led by Reverend Sister (Michelle Carter), the squad held "church" and sang praises to all things Longhorn!
Runnerup was the act deemed "the hottest" by the judges - the swimming and diving team, performing their version of being a Longhorn to the VHI hit, "The Fabulous Life" which is a fast-paced show of lavish living of the rich and famous and all the indulgences which come with it.
The third position was awarded to the basketball team for their portrayal of UT life using the framework of MTV's smash hit, "Making the Band 3". There was no P. Diddy in the house, but an able substitute was UT's own "C. Diddy" - sophomore Crystal ("C") Boyd. And the band in this basketball parody? Of course, it was named "Nikerade", in salute to UT athletics' corporate partners Nike and Gatorade.
Fourth-place went to the humorous "So You Think You Can Dance: Sports Edition" spoof of the hit FOX TV show, as done by the Longhorn softball team.
Last year's team winner, the soccer squad, was fifth with their rendition of "A Day in the Life of Texas Soccer" which was set to the opening musical piece from the musical "Rent".
Other strong efforts were put forth by the rowing squad (a day in the life of a UT rower as "Seen Through the Eyes of Will Farrell" and his movies); and by the combined tennis and golf squads which spoofed many reality TV shows as they portrayed different UT athletic teams, with a dead-on impersonation of Paris Hilton done by senior tennis player Ristine Olson.
Until next year ...