Update (5:30 p.m.)- Ellen DeGeneres interviewed about eight students who dressed up as their favorite movie characters for a contest on Monday. During the contest, each contestant had to recite a trademark quote of their character for DeGeneres. The character with the best quote won. A person dressed up as The Joker won the contest and received two tickets to The Ellen DeGeneres show in Los Angeles. While the runner ups all received $500 American Express gift cards.
Update (4:30 p.m.)- Ellen DeGeneres is talking the crowd on the Quad through a live connection on a TV. DeGeneres is asking costume contestants to recite their favorite line from the character their dressed up as. The live remote will air her Wednesday show at 3 p.m. on WCIA-Channel 3 in Champaign, according to staff members from The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Update (3:00 p.m.) - A staff member from The Ellen DeGeneres Show has announced that for the next hour and a half they will be picking out those with the best costumes on.
Update (2:15 p.m., Monday) - Hundreds of people are currently on the Quad waiting for The Ellen DeGeneres Show live remote to being.
Art and Design students were told Monday that The Ellen DeGeneres Show will be doing a live remote on the Quad later that day.
University alumna Jeannie Klisiewicz, who now works with the show and is here on campus, told The Daily Illini that comedian and television host Ellen DeGeneres will not be on campus, but students should be sure to "wear what she tells you and bring what (DeGeneres) says."
In a tweet, DeGeneres told students to "dress up as your favorite movie character, and you could win big."
Saturday evening, DeGeneres tweeted to her followers that “big things” were happening Monday for the people at the University of Illinois, fueling speculation.
DeGeneres followed up with another tweet Sunday afternoon stating that she would “have a big surprise for the University of Illinois” and to be on the Quad at 3 p.m. Monday. DeGeneres also sent out a tweet dedicated to her Illinois followers on Friday.
University administrators are also keeping a lid on the surprise. When asked about information to DeGeneres' surprise, campus spokeswoman Robin Kaler responded in an email, “You'll have to ask the folks from Ellen.”
Below are some guesses as to what the television host's surprise might be:
Austin Baird and Eunie Kim contributed to this report.