Lights! Camera! COVID?


Nick Bumgardner, Editor-in-Chief, Online Tritonian

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Academy Awards show presses on, entering its 25th year at NDA.

After a week of voting, the junior and senior field has been whittled down to the final ten:

Jack FitzGerald, junior

Cooper Bukowski, senior

Jacob Massart, junior

Joey Bonadonna, junior

Seth Baeten, senior

Thomas Petijean, junior

Tommy Zakowski, senior

Tola Adejumo, senior

Will Zellner, senior

Will Drake, senior

Last year was only the second time girls could participate, a significant change to the show.

Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual show is set to change again.

For starters, the show this year has been downsized to just ten contestants. There will be no packed auditorium filled with concert-like onlookers.  No rampeteers, no ramp.  Think masks and social distancing.

Opposed to the typical live, specially-curated performance in the auditorium, the opening and talent portions of this year’s show will be taped ahead of time and played in NDA classrooms.

Students will watch the show during the school day in their respective advisory classes.

From Monday to Thursday–one week in April–the 25-minute advisory periods around lunch will be used to stream the show, free of charge, with Friday of that week serving as the tentative date for the all-important “Q&A” portion.  Student and staff judges will still determine the winner, and emcees will announce Mr. or Ms. Congeniality.

A talented group of advisers, including Julie Campbell, Jen (Frau) Laaksonen, Sarah VanGrunsven, Holly Hinch and Carolyn Brown, oversee the execution of the ever-popular show.

“I think this year will be fun,” said Laaksonen. “I think we are really going to see who is truly creative and can work through the different challenges of this year.” 

This year’s show does present a unique set of challenges for the ten contestants.

No prior winner can say they performed entirely virtually, let alone in the midst of a pandemic.

With the cherished purple and silver crown and robe on the line, and the show taking its new form, the event is sure to be memorable.

Twenty-five years of history are behind our contestants…whom will Owen Campbell crown as his successor?