It all began during the NCAA basketball playoffs. Villanova University was a #1 seed in its region, but lost in an upset to the North Carolina State, 71-68, and were knocked out of the tournament. You may have seen the video of what happened next. The camera cut to the Villanova band and caught piccolo player Roxanne Chalifoux battling through the school's fight song in tears.
The video went viral, and even brought about a mass of memes, where people adjusted the graphic of her crying in a multitude of humorous ways.
And The Tonight Show, to their great wisdom and thoughtfulness and cleverness invited Ms. Chalifous to sit in with the house band, The Roots. The appearance was wonderful -- marred only by Fallon's limits as an interviewer. But still, his enthusiasm works here okay, and it's a lot of fun. I particularly admire how the surprise is handled in such a low-key, matter-of-fact way at first. Not to mention the choice of music.
For a bit of bonus information, an article I tracked down mentions that music is not the senior's intended career, but when she graduates in a few months, she intends to go to optometry school next year. She also has found the whole attention very funny, and said that it's the graphic memes that have helped the most. "I don't know how it got so popular, but it did," she said. "I think it's funny. I'm not really that embarrassed. I think memes people made are funny, so I've just had a really good spirit about the whole thing."
But there's one other thing that I found most interesting. She wasn't particularly crying because her team lost -- rather, it's because since they lost and were out of the tournament, she realized that this would be the last time she'd be playing at a basketball game.
"The thing that really got me was it was my last basketball game since I'm a senior and I wouldn't be playing with the band anymore. So that's what really hit me really hard, I think. I love band I love music. I play the piccolo, the flute, the bassoon. It's my whole life, and I love it. And I love Villanova and my basketball team, so I'm just going to really miss college when it's over."