After an intense and emotional pageant election last Saturday, Dec. 4, senior and student trustee Daniel “Danny Five Names” Ruthenberg-Marshall was chosen as this year’s Mr. SMC, besting six other male competitors from all classes in a competition of creativity, talent, and three kinds of style.
“Wanna see some guys in formal wear? Wanna see some guys in dresses?” said Assistant Director of Residence Life Derek Young, the Master of Ceremonies of the annual Mr. SMC competition, to begin the event.
Held in the Great Room during brunch to attract a larger audience, the pageant featured seven competitors, male St. Mary’s students who were nominated by their student body with donations to the Class of 2011 and 2014 during the weeks preceding the event.
Gentlemen Ben Vannest, Brooks Schandelmeier, David Panks, Ben Israel, Brendan McCarthy, Josh Santangelo, and Ruthenberg-Marshall faced a round of events to show off their talents to the pageant audience on Saturday. Before the event, the candidates were asked to raise money for the Class of 2011 and 2014, sponsoring the event, through any means necessary.
“The event was originally hosted by the Rotaract Club,” said senior Colleen O’Neil, the Class of 2011 President and organizer of the event. “After one week of nominations, we sent an email out to the top 20 candidates, and the first 10 to reply are selected for the competition.”
While ten candidates were selected for this event, a series of circumstances resulted in only seven men entering the competition. A minimum of $30 was required for the competition, and candidates raising the most would receive the most points contributing to their overall score for the event.
“This year, we raised about 50 dollars in nomination money alone,” said O’Neil, “and we can expect at least 300 dollars from the fundraising requirements.”
After their personally written biographies were read by associate MC and Assistant Director of Admissions Tricia Realbuto, the candidates walked on stage for the formal wear competition.
Vannest led the round well with a sleek suit complete with top hat and cane, followed well by Schandelmeier’s pinstripe suit and Panks’ comfortable but classy green dress shirt.
Following Israel’s black suit-cane combination, Ruthenberg-Marshall stepped onto the makeshift stage in a suit as well, which he showed the audience that he could quite easily remove to reveal a well-pressed blue dress shirt.
McCarthy seemed to stand out in the competition as well with a bright blue suit and smiley-face tie, followed by Santangelo’s suspender-dress shirt combination.
Wacky wear followed the formal dress round, where each contestant modeled their most socially unacceptable outfit on-stage for creativity points. Vannest again began the round, in a button-down vest (no under-shirt), boxers, and a duck stuffed animal just below the belt.
Schandelmeier’s cowboy hat, neck bandanna, tight jean shorts, and rolled-up shirt to expose his stomach all created a look that seemed to impress the audience. Panks’ black-netted long-sleeve shirt, small skirt, and inflatable crayon prop was followed with Israel’s rolled-up shirt and short orange shorts.
Ruthenberg-Marshall came out with a tight-fit one-piece dress, as did Santangelo (in a different color) after McCarthy’s very revealing strapless leopard dress and make-up.
For the talent show portion of the show, Vannest unicycled and played a tune with his recorder, while Schandelmeier used a wooden battle axe to make a towel-wrapped apple “disappear”, smashing the apple into pieces and sending the remains flying into the audience upon revealing the inside of the towel.
Panks ate a raw onion for his performance, followed by a Hiphopapotamus rap from Flight of the Conchords by Israel. Ruthenberg Marshall’s rendition of “Paper Towels” by MagicHugs was followed by McCarthy’s balancing act, which involved balancing Panks’ giant toothpaste tube, a fishing pole, and Schandelmeier’s battle axe, courtesy of the audience.
Santangelo ended the talent show portion with a ballet performance choreographed to “Battlefield” by Jordin Sparks.
The most informative portion of the competition, the swimwear-question-and-answer round concluded the performances of the candidates. Vannest, in rolled-up swim trunks and shirt, responded to Realbuto’s question “which professor would you marry” with Tom Barrett, for his beard.
Schandelmeier’s winter swimwear (a jacket to stay warm during his cold summers in Maine) followed, with Schandelmeier replying that his Jersey Shore name would be “Brooks von Schandelmeier”, since “nothing could be better.”
Panks responded that “Poker Face” was the Lady Gaga song that best described him, in his Harley Davidson jacket that concealed a white T-shirt with heart cut-out, which he tore from his chest on stage. Israel wore spandex, short shorts, and a swim cap as he responded that he would ask College president Joseph Urgo “where’d you get that awesome fedora?”
In swim flippers, goggles, small shorts, and a Seahawks shirt, Ruthenberg-Marshall sang his answer to Realbuto’s question “which Disney princess would you be and why” with Mulan’s “I’ll Make a Man Out of You.”
McCarthy, in a blue plastic poncho, described his funniest story from freshman year, where he sang a song from “All Dogs Go to Heaven” to an unknown girl for $15. “She ignored me, and kept reading,” he said.
The show concluded with Santangelo who, in his red-striped boxers and red tank top, claimed that his favorite superpower to have would be shape-shifting, so that he could be whatever he wanted to be.
The five judges of the competition, a mix of females from the Class of 2011 and 2014, tallied the points of each candidate based on their fundraising success and performances, while the audience had a chance to donate last-minute funds to their favorite contestants.
Young and Realbuto announced the winners of the competition following the tally. Panks took third place, and McCarthy (the reigning Mr. SMC) took second. Winning by four points, Ruthenberg-Marshall took his place on the “Mr. SMC” podium to receive the Mr. SMC banner.
In his winning speech, Ruthenberg-Marshall quoted from the “Paper Towels” video from the talent competition, saying “holy s–, I spilled soy sauce all over the place.”
All profits from the event were divided evenly between the Class of 2011 and 2014, with the hope that the Class of 2014 will continue the competition next year.
“Mr. SMC is a kind of mascot for the school, someone that could show up at events,” said O’Neil. “We’re trying to create that image, and hope that [the Class of] 2014 takes it on.”