Friday, February 26, 2010

So Much For PostRacial America. The AKA's Actually Won The Step-Off.

Hmmm, seems like the internet rabble rousing has caused the folks that gave the white chicks of ZTA the Sprite Step Off title to reconsider their final results.
Five days after taking first place in the Sprite Step Off finals in Atlanta this past weekend, the women of Zeta Tau Alpha's Epsilon Chapter from the University of Arkansas learned they would be sharing the spotlight.

Early today, Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Company which sponsors the college step dancing competition announced that due to a scoring discrepancy in the sorority results, the second place winners, the Tau Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc. from Indiana University, would be recognized as co-winners and awarded the same $100,000 prize as Zeta Tau Alpha.

The change was revealed in a short Facebook statement linked from the Sprite Step-Off homepage but the statement did not offer insight into the exact problem with the scoring or how it was discovered. Coke representatives said this afternoon they were working to provide additional information.

The announcement comes after four days of blog posts and YouTube comments alternating between support for Zeta Tau Alpha's win and those doubting the competition results. At the heart of the debate is race.

Zeta Tau Alpha is a predominantly white organization which took first place in a tradition that has historically been dominated by African-American fraternities and sororities. Their winning routine, an eight minute Matrix themed production, got more than 200,000 views on YouTube, more than twice as many as the second or third place winners.

In a statement, national representatives for Zeta Tau Alpha said, "We are proud of our nine-member team that earned a co-championship in the event finals held February 20, in Atlanta, Ga. They represented our Fraternity well and exhibited great sisterhood and dedication throughout their preparation over the past five months. Alpha Kappa Alpha and its Tau Chapter at Indiana University have a longstanding tradition of excellent stepping and we are pleased to share the title with their organization."
Judge for yourself. Here's the AKA's who are now officially the winners.

Here's the Zeta Tau Alpha's routine.

I can't call it, and personally don't care either way. But I really don't like the corporate sponsors of this contest changing the final result without providing any real justification. If the white chicks won, let the white chicks win. Why go back and mess around with the final verdict? If I'm the AKA's, sure, I'm enjoying that $100k check, but this can't feel like a legit victory.

As for the ladies of ZTA, I guess this is a call to step their games up for next year. Well done either way.

Question: Who won, the ZTA's or the AKA's?!? Was changing the final score hella suspect, or is it just me?

Scoring discrepancy changes results of Sprite Step Off [AJC]

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