Through a mess of whipped cream, hula hoops and lipstick, sophomore Eugene Santos serenaded the crowd by singing and playing the guitar to Sublime’s “What I Got,” helping him lock up the 2009 Mr. Quinnipiac title on Nov. 7.
It was Santos’ second time competing in the pageant. He won to a cheering crowd complete with signs and a “We love Gene-o” chant.
“It was a surprise; there was a great group of guys up there,” he said. “The competition was tough, but I went in with a positive attitude and had a great time doing it.”
The Student Programming Board-sponsored event started at 8 p.m. and was held in Alumni Hall. Hosts Patrick Reynolds and Tracy Diamond, both juniors, worked hard to keep the audience entertained through the many microphone and video glitches of the night.
“It’s kind of like Tool Academy, but it’s on stage,” Reynolds said while hosting.
Second and third runners up were sophomore George Buahin and junior Brian Jacobson, respectively. It was also Buahin’s second year competing in the pageant.
“I came back because it’s a fun time and I figured: fail once, come back again harder,” Buahin said. “Maybe I’ll be back again, second place doesn’t stop me.”
“It was an awesome experience,” Buahin said. “I loved the crowd’s energy and the chance to show Quinnipiac my talents. Since it’s such an academic school, I never get to show people how creative I can be.”
That creativity left many in the crowd laughing hysterically during the talent portion of the competition when Buahin stripped from formal wear to a blue bodysuit and black spandex shorts to do his adaptation of Beyonce Knowles’ “Bootylicious” and “Single Ladies” dance.
After their introduction, when each of the eight competitors walked around the stage with two escorts, senior Xavier Bishop shouted, “This year’s Mr. Quinnipiac is going to be the best Mr. Quinnipiac ever!” mocking Kanye West’s infamous disruption of the MTV Video Music Awards. One-by-one during the Spirit Competition, clad in Quinnipiac gear, the contestants riled up the audience with new ideas for sporting events, such as Bishop’s bobcat dance, Jacobson’s “the claw” and junior Dan Dempsey’s three key criteria for quality heckling at hockey games.
Next was the Casual Wear Competition. This portion involved a lot of confident strutting and stripping off of over shirts.
The following talent portion showcased a variety of creativity. Singing was performed by other participants as well as Santos, who had white underwear thrown at him during his performance. Dempsey, whose 20th birthday was Saturday, sang “Happy birthday Mr. Representative” to himself in the style of Marilyn Monroe. Sophomore Dan Scott sang Jason Mraz’s “The Remedy,” Bishop sang “We are the World” with different representatives from student organization groups on campus and Jacobson serenaded a friend with REO Speedwagon’s “Can’t Fight this Feeling Anymore.”
Dancing was a popular choice as well, with freshman Emmanuel Howard dancing an original robot-style dance and Jacobson showcasing his “Hoedown Throwdown” skills. Buahin’s dance in this portion encouraged a female audience member to leave her seat to throw money at him.
Sophomore Vin Bond, Special Events and Traditions Chair of SPB, coordinated the event.
Bond was excited about the way the event was changed from last year. The lip sync portion is new to the competition and there were videos shown of the interview process between transitions from competitions.
The swimsuit competition followed and the formal wear competition came next. The competitors walked the stage, elegant in suits, with their escorts on their arms. At the end, each competitor gave a rose to an escort and gave their best attempt at a pick up line, garnering ‘aws’ and shrieks of laughter from the audience.
First cuts allowed Santos, Bishop, Buahin, Jacobson and Howard to continue on to “The Quest” part of the competition. First, they created a mess on the stage, searching for five gummy bears with their mouth on a plate of whipped cream. Buahin took first place. Next, Jacobson excelled in the hula hooping competition. Lastly, the five men had to struggle over a pile of women’s clothing to apply lipstick correctly and finish first with women garments such as fishnet stockings, robes and wigs all on.
The contestants were then cutdown to three, Santos, Buahin and Jacobson, for the dating Question and Answer segment. The results were announced after.
After deliberation, the seven judges that arbitrated the event crowned Santos the winner.
Alex Barczak, who won the Mr. Quinnipiac crown in 2007, was one of the judges. Barczak thought it was key for the competitors to be able to embarrass themselves onstage.
“As long as people in the audience are smiling, that’s all that matters,” Barczak said.