On Sunday, Nov. 13, the annual Mr. SMC competition was held during the final hours of brunch in the Raley Great Room within the Campus Center.
With the room almost full of students who came to watch the pageant, seven different male students from various years, competed in five categories: Introduction, Wacky Wear, Talent, Swimwear, and a Question and Answer portion.
Five judges, including the 2010-2011 Mr. SMC Danny Ruthenberg-Marshall ’11, sat alongside the stage to critique each contestant in all five categories. When introducing the event, Ruthenberg-Marshall said, “Every year we have Mr. SMC to find the most prettiest, most talented, and best male on campus.”
The seven contestants vying for the title were senior Raza Ahmad, first-year Tim Carey, sophomore Sam “Gucci” Uwahemo, senior Geoff Cooper, first-year Darrell Jackson, junior Josh Olexa, and sophomore Ben Vannest.
The introduction round consisted of contestants strutting around the center of the Great Room in nice clothes while the two masters of ceremonies (MCs), junior, Michael Bargamian and sophomore, Anuli Duru, gave short biographies that each contestant had entered.
Audience members were able to donate their spare change to whichever prospective Mr. SMC they supported, which would not only help them gain more points in the competition, but would also be donated to the Class of 2014.
“If you really want your friend to win,” said sophomore Shelby Perkins, Class of 2014 President, “throw in a quarter, throw in a dollar.”
Wacky wear followed the introductions, which involved fur coats, female clothing, spandex, belly dancing attire, a pajama onesie, a duck mask, and a tiara all being worn.
Ahmad kicked off the talent portion with his own Seahawk-inspired version of “Stu’s Song” sung by Ed Helms to Mike Tyson’s tiger in the film The Hangover. “I’ve never played the piano before, everyone,” Ahmad told the audience at the end of his performance. “I’ve never played the piano.”
Other talents involved the ability to give great hugs, dancing to “Teach Me How to Dougie,” a free-styling rap in another language, tying a knot with one hand, singing Katy Perry’s song “Teenage Dream,” a moment involving a contestant rubbing lotion into his skin while only wearing a towel, and a magic show.
Vannest introduced his magic show by saying, “Let me possibly let you understand my awesomeness by making people do stuff for me.” He then proceeded, with the help of some friends from the audience, to convince people to do things from creating a symphony and making a girl swoon. He even referenced the Harry Potter franchise by yelling “Accio Margaret Brent Hall!” Vannest then turned around, saw the recently placed Margaret Brent Hall through the windows of the Great Room and said, “Yes! Didn’t think that would work.”
The swimsuit portion of the competition followed next with two contestants wearing normal male swimming shorts, but the others wore everything from the Men’s Crew uniform, to a wetsuit accompanied by a snorkel and fins, to a grass skirt with a coconut bra and lei.
Staying in their swimsuit outfits, all the contestants were then called one-by-one onto the stage to answer a randomly chosen question. Questions ranged from typical ones, such as, “Do you prefer boxers or briefs?” to St. Mary’s College specific questions, like, “What’s your favorite cruise ship memory?” and “If you could chose one St. Mary’s professor to go on a date with – male or female – who would you chose?”
After a ten-minute break while the judges counted the donations made towards each contestant, along with their own votes in each category, all contestants were brought onto the stage to begin the crowning ceremony.
Third place went to Cooper, second place to Ahmad, and first place and the title of Mr. SMC 2011-2012 went to Olexa.
St. Mary’s College’s new Mr. SMC was pulled onto a special platform and handed a sash by former Mr. SMC Ruthenberg-Marshall, as well as a crown, a cozy, and a wand. Standing in front of the cheering audience, Olexa gave his acceptance speech by saying, “I guess you really like me!”