By PAULINA KOSTUROS
Representing every corner of the campus, 18 men strutted their stuff this past Thursday, Nov. 5, in the annual Mr. UMW Pageant, hosted by the Association of Residence Halls. This year’s pageant was packed with surprises, including dancing men, a Speedo-wearing saxophone player and a surprise appearance by last year’s Mr. UMW, Anders Coe.
The pageant was critiqued by a panel of judges, comprised of Dean Rucker, Coe, SGA President Sam Miller and Assistant Director of Student Activities Steven Thomas. Contestants astounded the crowd with their raging style during the formal and sportswear portions of the competition and put their abilities to the test in desperate pursuit of the coveted Mr. UMW crown.
The men first appeared on stage escorted by the woman of their choice. Most contestants chose female friends as dates while freshman Stuart Smith (Mr. Mason) opted for a cut-out poster of Megan Fox. After appearing on stage, competitors performed a riveting group dance wearing dresses and spandex. Sophomore Chris Minor (Mr. Madison) especially enjoyed wearing a dress.
“I felt like a cheap prostitute,” Minor said.
In addition to the spastic group dance, the young hopefuls also participated in a talent and sportswear runway show. A crowd favorite, the sportswear section enabled the contestants to exhibit their favorite physical activity while stripping down to the bare essentials. Most notably, sophomore Chris Vellucci (Mr. Bushnell) graced the stage wearing nothing but a makeshift loincloth made of frisbees.
The pageant contained a multitude of talent as well. Freshman Andrew Garofolo (Mr. Custis) entertained the crowd with his brilliant tap dancing, and junior Kevin Abalos (Mr. Framar) appeared on stage wearing a Snuggie and mushroom cap while attempting to recite poetry. Other notable highlights included Smith’s heartfelt reenactment of the death scene in “Titanic,” and freshman Adam Hunter’s (Mr. Jefferson) riveting ukulele performance from “the Jungle Book.”
After a brutal elimination round, the judges chose Smith (Mr. Mason), Garofolo (Mr. Custis), and Vellucci (Mr. Bushnell) as the three finalists. As a part of the final round of judging, the three finalists answered a series of questions dealing with issues ranging from Disney Princesses to “man crushes.”
After a very difficult decision, judges dubbed Vellucci the new Mr. UMW. Vellucci delivered his acceptance speech with great enthusiasm and fancy hand waving.
Video by Ryan Marr