Derby Days pageant brings in more than 250 people

Annie DeVoe stood in front of more than 250 people, her gown feeling hot under the bright stage lights. Her heart pounded as she took a step forward into the spotlight and smiled.

The Indianapolis junior won third place after being nominated by Phi Mu for the Sigma Chi fraternity's Derby Days Pageant.

The pageant featured ten sorority women, each nominated by their individual chapters. The event took place last night Wednesday night the Broadway Theater. Derby Days is a weeklong series of events put on by Sigma Chi fraternity to raise money for its philanthropy, Huntsman Cancer Institute.

“I’m shocked right now. I thought it was tomorrow, so this was all last minute thrown together. I was a nervous wreck because they messed up my song at first,” DeVoe said. “It's an amazing feeling to place.”

The pageant required participating sororities to nominate one sister from their chapter to compete in the three rounds: a talent show, a fashion show and a question and answer.

From a Greek Life rendition of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air rap to a Dramatic performance of “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift, the talent show round showcased Greek Life’s ability to not only be creative, but talented.

“We were excited to cheer on one of our fellow members,” said Royal Oak freshman Bridgette Russell. “I've always been a fan of the talent portion because the performances are always unique. Someone usually has some ridiculous talent.”

For the fashion round, each woman strutted individually across the stage to show off their formal gowns before the women all lined up for the question and answer round.

The questions ranged from personal answers like “Who has influenced you the most?” to more thought-provoking questions like, “What do you think is this generation's biggest problem will be in the future?”

“I think we need to earn a lot more than we do. We have to participate more,” DeVoe said. “People are getting more into things, but we still can't just walk into the CEO’s office and expect a job. We have to work for it.”

The first place winner, Cori Hanna, won 500 points for her sorority, Sigma Kappa. Gina Soave placed second, winning 300 for Delta Zeta. DeVoe placed third, winning 100 points for Phi Mu. Non-placing participants received 50 points each for their sorority.

The places were determined by judges, based on overall originality and creativity in each portion. Judges of the pageant varied over the CMU faculty staff and alumni: Professor Paul Gorch, Sigma Chi advisor Mike Covington and Paulette Bonamego.