Students compete in ‘minute’ challenges


Students participate in the “Minute to Win it” event on August 28, 2010. Photo by Brandon Goodwin

UK students transformed themselves into gravity defying, yo-yo slinging, back-flipping chocolate unicorns on the Worsham Theater stage  Saturday.

“Minute To Win It,” only one of the hundreds of K Week events this year, brought students into the spotlight to do unconventional things with conventional objects.  Participants were called to the stage by ticket number to watch a short clip of their wacky challenges, and then given only one minute to complete the task.

On NBC’s version, participants who successfully complete tasks within the time limit win $1 million.  Whenever a UK student completed   a challenge on Saturday, the crowd was showered with t-shirts, frisbees and stress balls – not quite as nice as a suitcase of hundred dollar bills, but almost as good to a group of college students.

The first contestant had to snatch up a pile of pencils, balance them on the back of his hand, flip the pencils up in the air and catch them all in his hand, all while on stage in front of the screaming crowd.  With every new stack, the number of pencils doubled.  This tough task was not completed in one minute, but the participant still won a prize.

Another number was called by the energetic K Week Crew hosts, and a young man had to shake his stuff with a yo-yo tied to his waist while attempting to use it as a mini wrecking ball to knock over stacks of empty soda cans.

When pre-vet freshman Joey Burton was called to the stage, he attempted a challenge he had seen on NBC before, the “Dizzy Mummy.”  He had to unroll an entire roll of toilet paper by spinning around in circles without using his hands or ripping the toilet paper.  He put the end of the roll in his mouth and starting spinning as fast as he could. Burton was close, but not close enough.  He ripped the paper when a large loop caused part of the roll to get caught under his foot.

“That was definitely not as easy as the show makes it look,” Burton said after the challenge.

One student tried to stack seven round, chocolate snack cakes on her forehead while standing onstage, but could not balance quite long enough to become a “Chocolate Unicorn.”

“I thought my challenge was going to be easy,” Amy Allen, secondary education and mathematics freshman, said.  “I have pretty good hand-eye coordination.”

Allen had to keep three balloons in the air at all times for the “Defying Gravity” challenge without letting them touch the ground, but as tensions rose and Allen hustled back and forth across the stage to keep all the balloons up at once, they got out of control and hit the floor.

Only a few challenges were successfully completed. However, almost everyone in the crowd left in high spirits with some free stuff, provided by the Office of New Student and Parent Programs.