By, David J Roman
Several hundred Thunderbirds packed the TEC on Saturday, October 5th to participate in the EMEA Regional Night. Jeff Karlick and Candice Sparks took the stage to MC the event, their mock-wedding and trans-continental honeymoon adventure taking the audience to the UK, Tanzania, the United Arab Emirates, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Portugal, Italy, Finland, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria.
Thunderbird’s official band, Global Sounds, rocked the stage with tunes from The Beatles, the Cranberries, Coldplay, Muse, among others. When newly-pronounced Mr. and Mrs. Karlick flew to Africa, they were greeted by a soulful tribute to Tanzania, an energetic Ivory Coast anthem to Africa, and vibrant percussive performances graced by lively dances.
Moving to the Middle East, the honeymooners were embroiled in a competitive game of Family Feud in Dubai, where audience volunteers from the 2013 and 2014 Thunderbird cohorts faced off for some democratic trivia. The 2013 Cohort team won in the third round amidst much speculation around whether the outcome was affected by game show host Mokay Kamara’s personal bias as a 2013 cohort student. The prizes were a $100 Amazon Gift card and signed copies of Global Sounds’ upcoming album. Regardless, the entire crowd had a great time throughout game.
A particularly entertaining act was the lighthearted skit Arranged Marriage set in Saudi Arabia and played by Mohammad Al-Sari and 3 other men playing the parts of his supposed mother, his bride-to-be, and future mother-in-law. Mohammad’s hilarious antics and the fun-yet-respectful dialogues were a highlight of many attendees’ evening, including the “honeymooning” MCs.
Jeff and Candice went next to Sweden, where the entire TEC was electrified by a group of choreographed glow stick techno dancers. Traditional pieces from Finland, Portugal, and Italy got the whole crowd jumping into festive line dances.
The final dance brought the whole crowd up to the stage for a bright, joyful conclusion to an unforgettable evening. One of the most popular activities at the Regional Night was the T-Bird photo booth. People lined up to don props and have a great time for the camera.
Though Jeff and Candice’s honeymoon had an unfortunate conclusion, the EMEA Regional Night event was a major success. The laughs, cheers, and jovial dancing were testaments to the hard work and imaginative diligence put forward by the Thunderbird Student Government, Regional Clubs, Global Sounds, and hosts of individual contributors. The next Regional Night (Asia) will be on November 8th.