This article was written with Fernanda Schaefer.
On Sunday, February 23, Ellen DeGeneres, the host of The Ellen Show, tweeted, “Tomorrow, I have a big surprise for the University of Illinois. Be on the quad at 3PM CST. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya.”
Her suspenseful tweet was enough to get hundreds of people to show up punctually at 3 p.m. on Monday, February 24. Many tried to force their way closer to the barriers in the middle of the quad, but few were successful. As a result, only the ones really close to the barriers could see something.
The others stood on their tiptoes in hopes to catch a glimpse of the action. The problem was, nothing was really happening.
For approximately one hour and fifteen minutes, the public waited patiently for the surprise. A camera occasionally hovered over them, and they cheered and waved at it.
Many decided to leave after it was evident that Ellen herself would not show up anytime soon. After enduring standing on the icy ground for a long period of time, that was a common decision to make. Only a relatively small amount of people compared to the original crowd of dedicated spectators stayed long enough for the taping of the show to actually start.
Below is a slideshow of the curious crowd at the University of Illinois quad.