MORRISTOWN, NJ - The lights dim low and silence falls over the rambunctious high school crowd. A line of senior boys stands pensively on the stage staring into a crowd of their closest peers. Finally the show begins, “welcome ladies and gentleman to the first annual Mr.Morristown pageant”.
On Wednesday, January 20th, 2016, Morristown High School held the first annual Mr.Morristown pageant where senior boys performed talents, answered questions, and dressed fancily, all in the fashion of a classic beauty pageant. The MHS Student Government Organization held this fundraiser as a “fun version of a male modelling contest” said Executive Board member Patrick Bauer. Before the show, the outside lobby boasted with tables for snacks and raffle tickets to support other student government factions. Impressively, the event was almost entirely student run. Another Executive Board member, Isabelle Augensen, said about the event that, “we just wanted to try something new and it was driven by student motivation”.
Right before the curtain, students filled the lobby purchasing tickets and excitedly discussing the coming events. Bauer as he awaited the show also stated that, “I heard something about pogo sticks so I’m excited”. This excitement was palpable about the student body, mostly seniors were in attendance and they were all excited for a chance to laugh at and with their friends.
The first event consisted of hilarious “fun facts” about each of the contestants. As each contestant jogged on stage, the hosts read jokes about the boys which each contestant prepared before the show. Contestant Emmanuel Coronado joked that, “I’ve won two Poetry Out Loud competitions in a row, but I’m not participating this year to give others a chance”. In between each of these events, parody “Minute to Win It” games provided extra entertainment and audience engagement for the students. Games including, placing an oreo on your forehead without it falling before reaching your mouth. The winning audience member received $20 toward their own class student government. The junior class smoked the competition, winning two out of the three events.
Next up, the contestants brought their own quirky and unique talents to light in front of hundreds of their peers. Senior Ben Edwards shocked his classmates with a fearless pogo stick performance. Ben hopped on a pogo stick while reciting the alphabet and while holding two firecrackers on stage in the Morristown auditorium, he really started the show with a bang! JB Bickers and Teddy Dolan stepped on stage and delivered off-beat, however hilarious, musical performances on the trombone and trumpet respectively.
After another short “Minute to Win It” game, a small bench was carried center stage for the question portion. The contestants were asked three random philosophical questions pulled from a bowl. Questions like, “why should you be crowned Mr.Morristown” and “describe yourself in three words”, were met with personal yet comedic responses. Dolan described himself as “short, loud, and cute” which sent the crowd into a laughing uproar.
In the last event before intermission, the boys each took the stage for lip-synched performances to popular songs. Ethan Chase grabbed a curly wig and danced to “Because of You” by Kelly Clarkson. The audience could not get enough, they swayed with their phone lights in the air for his entire performance.
Following intermission, the audience could vote for the fan favorite by cheering loudly for each contestant. In an interesting coincidence, the top three fan favorites were the top three winners chosen by the judging panel during the intermission! In the end, Kyle Beyer took the Mr.Morristown title, JB Bickers won second, and Christian Rodriguez placed in third. After the event, Bickers who took second place for his overwhelming charm commented that, “it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be!”. He was glad to “show his school pride while also entertaining [his] classmates”.
The Class of 2016 certainly set a high standard for the Mr.Morristown pageant in terms of comedy, creativity, and fun. While the graduating senior class will be missed, we at Morristown must now wonder, who will be the next Mr.Morristown?