Saturday night Travis Moran passed the Mr. QU torch and crowned junior Nick Frias Mr. Quinnipiac 2012.
But the ultimate success of the event wasn’t obvious before it began.
When 7:45 rolled around and the Burt Kahn Gym was still nearly empty, sophomore Nick Sczerbinski and his fellow members of Quinnipiac’s Student Programming Board feared that the Mr. QU competition – which is typically a popular campus event – had, like so many other programs, lost its audience to the allure of May Weekend.
The seven contestants and their escorts would be left to spread their enthusiasm and preparation to the still and echoing room. Then, appearing as though from thin air, about 150 students descended with posters and flashing sunglasses to cheer on their pick of Quinnipiac’s finest.
Contestants included freshmen Charlie Doe and Andrew Nocera, sophomores Theo Siggelakis, Shawn McClory, and Nick Palumbo, junior Nick Frias, and senior Andrew McDermott, all of whom arrived with overflowing QU spirit.
The event was hosted by students Brad DePrima and Alyssa Lungarini, and judged by SPB president Lauren Enea, the winner of last year’s Mr. QU Travis Moran, and Lila Carney, the assistant director of student media.
After introductions filled with QU apparel, body-paint, gyrating, showboating and attempts at the classic bobcat growl, Enea asked the men to leave the stage and return with some talent.
While the acts that they performed –singing, parkour, comedy and ribbon twirling to name a few– were occasionally less than impressive, they were certainly entertaining. The cheers, chants and ceaseless support from the audience showed that talent isn’t always required when there are men sharing tales of their 26-hour birth or wearing red velvet onesies.
The contestants were narrowed down to five, and then asked to dance. McClory’s interpretation of “My Humps” had the judges doubled over, while Frias’ blatant flirting to “Hey Juliet” inspired some rosy cheeks from the audience. ‘N Sync and One Direction songs also made for some loud crowd involvement, but it was McDermott’s story-depicting dance, complete with ring-pop proposal, that warmed the judges’ hearts.
The bathing suit and pickup line portion of the show gave spectators a bit too much insight into the competitors, and relied heavily upon a flashy speedo, lots of sunscreen, and shameless flattery of judge Enea’s eyes.
When the finals arrived, it was Frias and McDermott duking it out in their formal wear, after McClory, Nocera and Doe placed fifth, fourth and third respectively.
After a competition that he labeled as “fierce,” Nick Frias was the surprised victor, causing his many fans –dubbed by DePrima as worse than the Beliebers– to charge the stage.
“I thought it was an excellent turnout, and the crowd was really getting into it,” Frias said. “Honestly, when it was announced that I was in the final, two I was really surprised, and I definitely thought that he was going to win.”
Frias, who acknowledged during his comedy routine in the talent portion of the night that “this is probably the only weekend when students’ BAC is higher than their GPA,” is a broadcast journalism major. He looks forward to coming back his senior year as a judge, and until then he will stand as the school’s official Mr. QU.
“The event was very awesome,” freshman Chanse Scott said. “It showcased some very talented and unique men, and in the end, I’m proud Nick Frias brought it home. I think he represents our campus and our community very nicely.”