Since the first week of the spring semester, 21 men have been working hard for the weekend of Feb. 17 and 18. It marked the Crusader Knights show, which is a parody of the Miss MHB Pageant that happens annually each fall.
The time and effort the contestants put in have been considerable and was clear to see on both Friday and Saturday nights.
“We have been practicing ever since the very first day of this semester and have practiced every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings, totaling nine hours a week, plus any outside practice the guys did on their own,” junior Christian missions major and director of Crusader Knights Ryan Murphy said. “However, my assistant directors and I have been working on and planning this show since last April. There is definitely a lot of time and effort that has gone into this show.”
Contestants represent different organizations, classifications and places on campus. All 21 men were required to create a short video, learn two group dances, create a small group dance, strut on stage, and, as a new addition this year, have personal interviews with the three judges.
Last year, Murphy was a contestant. His previous participation helped him to know how to be the best director he could this year.
“My experience being in Cru Knights definitely helped me when it came to planning this event. As a contestant, you get a pretty good handle on the whole process, so with my knowledge and first hand experience as a contestant last year, it has helped tremendously with directing this event,” Murphy said.
The adviser is Director of Student Organizations Tiffany Wurdemann. She has enjoyed working with Murphy and knows he was a good fit for the position.
“Ryan has been phenomenal as a director. I can’t tell him enough how well he has done at orchestrating everything,” she said. The theme for the 2012 contest was Heartthrobs. Each contestant chose his own Heartthrob and then portrayed that person in his video.
Along with the top five contestants being named, specialty awards were also given out. Best Strut was awarded to sophomore mass communication/journalism major Christian Hernandez. Best interview went to junior criminal justice major Taylor Holleyman. Junior Christian studies major Jon Michael Toler won the Judge’s choice video.
Last year’s winner of Cru Knights, senior mass communication/public relations major Brett Land, gave his crown to Mr. Junior Class and Christian ministries major Ryan Klopack, who also won the campus choice video award.
Klopack was estatic about winning and being able to set a great example like previous winners.
“It’s an absolute honor and privilege to win Cru Knights …. Previous winners like Brett Land and Evan Mullins do such a good job of representing Christ and UMHB. Now I have the same chance to use this visibility to minister to others as they did.”
Although the competition is over, the memories and friendships made during the past six weeks will last.
“Cru Knights is so much more than just dancing, videos and strutting across the stage. And it is way more than winning a crown,” Murphy said. “The long-lasting tradition of Cru Knights is truly a place where the guys competing grow not only as individuals but also as brothers together. It has been an outstanding sight seeing the guys helping and encouraging each other along the way.”