Dan Looney wins ‘Mr. Quinnipiac’ title

Katelyn McBride

Over one hundred students sprang to their feet, clapping and shouting while they watched Mr. Quinnipiac’s “Dirty Dancing” moves under a blue and gold balloon arch Friday night in Alumni Hall.
“Right now, I have a feeling of incredulity,” said winner of the Mr. Quinnipiac contest Dan Looney, after showing off his moves with dance partner Alissa Dandrilli.
Looney and Dandrilli danced to “I Had the Time of My Life,” from the movie “Dirty Dancing,” for the talent competition of the pageant. His dance proved to be quite successful, making almost the entire audience give Looney a standing ovation. Some students were quite impressed with the talent competition and overall enthusiasm shown by contestants.
“I think the guy who comes up with the most unique talent steals the show,” said student Maya Sobolev after the show.
Valerie Pensa and Joe Wannat hosted this year’s third annual “Mr. Quinnipiac” pageant, describing the style and attitude of six other Quinnipiac University male students as well. Contestants tried to show six judges through a series of events, such as Casual Wear, Tropical Wear and Formal Wear, a reason to pick them for the next round.
After those events, the judges narrowed their picks down to five contestants, Guillaume de Quengo, John Kroll, Jason Greenwood, Mike O’Neill and Dan Looney. The judges eliminated contenders Steve Logothetis, Peter Gallay and Tom Beck after the first round of judging.
Perhaps the judges did not eliminate de Quengo because of his use of metaphors.
“I’m gonna surf the wave of love,” he said during the Caribbean Theme competition, and then stepped on to an ironing board that served as a surf board.
Stage presence, audience involvement and originality were some key factors in determining which guys moved onto the next round.
Contestant Jason Greenwood really tried to gain audience participation.
“Sing it with me now,” he shouted while singing to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” on stage as part of the talent competition.
Trying to convey a sense of school pride, some contestants mentioned Quinnipiac University’s new mascot.
“I want to offer all the female Bobcats an opportunity to spoon with the Loon,” said Looney, as an example of one of his pick-up lines.
Judgment of the five semi-finalists’ use of pick-up lines and presentation of special talents narrowed it down to three finalists, who answered one trivia question each. Of the three finalists, O’Neill, a 3rd year veteran in the competition, received a question regarding the things he would do if he were given 72 hours left to live.
“I would call all the girls I asked out and maybe one of them would say yes,” he said quickly.
As the judges added up the final scores to designate first, second and third place, Pensa entertained the crowd by singing “The Greatest Love of All” by Whitney Houston, a song she performed during her American Idol tryout in New York City last week.
In the end, third place went to O’Neill, second to de Quengo, and first to Looney, a junior this year. Cameron Smith, last year’s Mr. Quinnipiac, retired his crown to Looney as Pensa placed the new sash upon him.
“I had a lot of fun this year,” said Looney, who placed third last year. “It’s pretty cool to win.”
Other contestants also felt that the competition proved to be quite a success.
“That was really cool,” said de Quengo, after talking to his entourage in the crowd.
De Quengo gained quite a bit of applause after playing his guitar on stage and singing a Ben Harper song called “The Gospel.”
Many people helped in putting this pageant together. Nicole Murphy, special events chairperson on the Student Programming Board took charge of Mr. Quinnipiac, an event sponsored every year by SPB.
Erin Rosa, the technical chairperson on SPB, helped out with music, staging and lighting, and escorts Jennifer Gaynor, Michelle Streckenbach, Jennifer Zapatka, Dawn Miller, Lauren Carr, Jennifer Johnson, Karen O’Konis, and Katie Pataska dressed up to be involved in the Formal Wear competition.
After the competition was over, Nicole Murphy was proud of her accomplishments in putting on the show.
“I think that the pageant went extremely well and I am looking forward to working more with SPB,” she said.