SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Paolo Bayotas III danced his way to the coveted title of Mr. Spiffy High at the annual talent/fashion show featuring nine Scotch Plains-Fanwood seniors on Monday, Jan. 7, at the high school auditorium.
This year's talented contestants were (finalists in bold):
- Paolo Bayotas III (hip hop dancing)
- Drew Burfeindt (juggling)
- Peter Canevari (acted the Chicago scene from Victorious)
- Tommy Ryan (speed painting)
- Marcello Cappuccio (1980s throwback dancing)
- Ben Kuperschmid (playing piano and singing a Billy Joel song while being fed Goldfish crackers)
- Max Steele (Carpool Karaoke)
- Tyler Stines (dancing)
- Danny Wright (dancing)
The show began with a modeling portion in which the boys -- dressed in tuxedos -- are accompanied by an escort of their choice. After they answer a personal question, the talent portion of the contest begins. Following a fan vote (in which dollars are donated in each contestant's name to a charity), the field was cut down to a "final four."
The final judging was done on lip syncing. At the end of the evening, Paolo Bayotas, a crowd favorite, was crowned Mr. Spiffy High for 2019.
"To be Mr. Spiffy means to have Raiders spirit and be the person everyone can come up to and talk to," Paolo said in an interview with TAPintoSPF. "It means being a good person and a welcoming person."
Sponsored by SPF DECA, the event raised funds to benefit Summit-based Bridges, which delivers meals with compassion and respect to the homeless in lower Manhattan, Newark, and Irvington.