Current king and queen reflect on their reigns

Homecoming King Tom Dempsey is in shock after winners were announced at last year's event. File Photo // Zach Woodward
Homecoming King Tom Dempsey is in shock after winners were announced at last year's event. File Photo // Zach Woodward

For all students with unstoppable spirit and unwavering UM pride, the homecoming king and queen competition is an utopia.

This year’s finalists will compete tonight at the Rock n’ Roll Royalty ceremony at the UC Patio, but only two will be crowned University of Miami’s 2009 homecoming king and queen. There are eight couples competing.

Before making it to the Rock n’ Roll Royalty ceremony, these 16 contestants beat out their fellow classmates in the preliminary round, where they showcased their talents and answered questions related to UM.

Last year’s winners, senior Jaife Calil and senior Tom Dempsey, competed two years prior before finally taking the crown as UM’s 2008 king and queen. Dempsey performed celebrity impressions for the preliminaries while Jaife displayed her dance skills.

After their talent and answers pulled them through to the finals, both Calil and Dempsey partnered up with a student of the opposite sex for the anticipated spirit round.

Jaife and her partner performed an altered version of the famous Saturday Night Live Spartan’s cheer, while Dempsey and his partner created a spin off of Little Red Riding Hood.

“I think the spirit round is the tie breaker,” Calil said.

The spirit round is followed by the poise round and subsequently the crowing of the homecoming prince and princess and king and queen.

Calil and Dempsey were the first king and queen to stand at the center of Land Shark stadium.

“It was cool, the stadium is a lot bigger [than the orange bowl],” Dempsey said.

Homecoming king and queens are responsible for attending the homecoming game and earn bragging rights for an entire year.

“That same week, I turned 21. I said if I turned 21 wearing a king’s crown it would be really cool, and it came true,” said Dempsey, who keeps his velvet jeweled crown perched atop his homemade bar.

Calil went on to win another crown as Miss UM and became a finalist in Miss Florida.

Though they can technically compete again for the crown, both Calil and Dempsey will be on the other side of the stage this year.

“It will be weird not being in the contest this year for the first time.  If I tried again I would pull a Brett Favre,” Dempsey said.

To this year’s contestants,  Calil and Dempsey offer some veteran’s advice.

“Have fun because there is no control over who wins, and the spirit round counts the most,” Calil said.

This year Dempsey and Calil want to see two spirited students take the crown, although they wont be turning theirs in.

“I’m keeping mine forever,” Dempsey said.