After a virtual and relatively subdued College Night 2021 due to the pandemic, College Night 2022 returned with unbridled energy, passion, sharp execution of performances and fierce competition.
Concluding the festivities of “Homecoming 2022: Back on the Bricks: Where We Belong!,” the Saturday performance of College Night stretched for nearly five hours in a packed Palmer Auditorium.
After an explanation of the event’s more than 100-year history, the night kicked off with students and alumni on the Purple Side and Gold Side exchanging banter, stepping, cheering, singing and holding hands in a circle encapsulating the auditorium. The hype changed the effervescence of the event’s atmosphere prior to the performances of the original musical productions.
Gold ultimately claimed College Night’s coveted victory, but it was certainly hard won.
This year’s leaders for the Purple Side were Elicia “Licee” Freeman and Kathryn “Katy” Barnes.
The Gold Side leaders were Joy Hill and Kensley Sandlin.
The Purple Side’s performance was a musical titled, “Bad at Being Bad” or “The League of Incredibly Evil Wrongdoers Who Sometimes Do Good.”
A gang of villains, The League of Incredibly Evil Wrongdoers, appeared at First National Bank of Montevapolis, and a dancing-singing battle between the villainous gang and superheroes ensued as it was broadcast in a live newscast.
Numerous fights occurred between the heroes and villains with the heroes having the upper hand since they lost their champion, Dagger. The villains’ leader, Dr. Weevil, pressured her lackeys to recruit a new member.
The new intern infiltrated a ball where she and the hero Sparrow discovered that FalconMan, the heroes’ leader who humorously cried out with random falcon caws, murdered Dagger and numerous superheroes to keep their rivalry going and position his company to be hired to repair damage from superhero/supervillain battles.
The heroes and villains ultimately agree to work together to defeat FalconMan, and after a hard-fought battle, they defeat him and expose him publicly.
The Gold Side’s musical titled “Ballad of the Mississippi River,” was a tale about a conflict between American folk legends such as Paul Bunyan, Johnny Appleseed and John Henry.
As “The Ballad of the Mississippi River” was being sung, Henry got into a days-long fight with Bunyan. Bunyan won their first bout.
After hearing of a mafia-like Bunyan, Appleseed believes he can win him over with a bottle of his famous cider. He’s warned against this multiple times and is even told that speaking Bunyan’s name will cause him to appear.
Not believing this, he speaks his name at a saloon, and Babe The Blue, who isn’t the traditional blue ox from the folklore but a cunning woman in a blue dress, strides in searching for him.
He escapes to Tennessee to seek help from Henry. Henry agrees, and they confront Bunyan.
Their final battle takes place, axe clashing against hammer, and splits the earth to its core. The catastrophe, which creates the Grand Canyon, ends their fight.
The night ended with the Purple Side and Gold Side cheering and chanting with Gold Victory and Purple Victory hand signals as they awaited the results.
Gold Side erupted in celebration before the final speech announcing them as the 2022 College Night winner was completed. The leaders of both sides hugged, and the night concluded.