BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The annual male beauty pageant King of Hearts was held early February in Stiefel Theater. The performance is a fundraiser for the American Heart Association and brings a comical night to the school community. The American Heart Association is a charity that funds research for cardiovascular illnesses.
The show was hosted by seniors Maycee Campano and Danielle Yablonovskiy, who each introduced and questioned each contestant. The contestants were seniors Lucas Piccininni and Adrian Monaghan, juniors Matt Chin, Matt Ronga, and Jay Haddad, and sophomore Jimmy Whelan.
Each contestant was accompanied on and off the stage by student escorts from each grade. The contestants were judged in four categories: formal wear, swimwear, athletic wear, and talent.
Piccininni said, “I loved dressing up and answering the questions asked. I also liked that I could just fool around on stage.”
During each section, the contestants answered questions about themselves including what their perfect date would be like, what they would name a food truck, and what kind of album they would drop.
All of the contestants chose to sing during the talent portion, but they chose very different songs. Monaghan sang “Water,” a school appropriate parody of the 1958 song “Tequila” by the Champs, a song that only has one word in it. “I had a lot of fun doing it,” he said.
Haddad, who did a duet with Massimo Baglioni of “This Grill Is Not Home” from SpongeBob, was very confident. He said, “We absolutely smashed the song.”
All of the contestants added to their performances by dancing, engaging with the audience, or wearing costumes.
The audience was included in the show in many ways. The viewers often cheered for particularly amusing answers or songs and even shouted out to the contestants at times. While waiting for one contestant’s music to be set up, the hosts even began to ask questions to members of the audience.
Senior Hope Gillon said, “I liked the show because it was entertaining and funny to watch.” The show was equally enjoyable for the contestants and the audience.
As the only underclassman competing, Whelan was crowned Underclassman King of Hearts. Piccininni was named Upperclassman King of Hearts. Haddad was the winner of the honorable title of overall King of Hearts. Upon hearing the results, Haddad removed the robe he was wearing to reveal a Hawaiian shirt and said, “I’m retiring.”
If you missed the show, or just want to relive the experience, the full video is available on the glhstv YouTube channel.