By Catherine Wilson
Dodd Auditorium sizzled on November 28 as over a couple hundred Mary Washington students watched the finest men of Mary Washington compete for the coveted title of Mr. UMW.
Hosts Alyssa Lee and Sean O’Brien introduced the representatives for this year’s competition: Jake Mitchell, Mr. Bushnell; Thomas Johnson, Mr. Apartments; James Waalkes, Mr. Alvey; Jake Farinholt, Mr. Ball; Frank Devar, Mr. Framar; Stephen Harrison, Mr. Jefferson; Brent Cavedo, Mr. Marshall; Patrick Connelly, Mr. Mason; Nate Delano, Mr. Randolph; Colin Monks, Mr. Russell; Steven Karkos, Mr. South; Peter Morrison, Mr. Westmoreland; and Joe Cirenza, Mr. Willard.
All gathered on stage for the opening group dance, during which the men leapt, spun, and even leap-frogged across the stage to the Backstreet Boys.
The following act consisted of the men showing off their remarkable and sometimes unique talents.
Mr. South chose to perform a magic trick, and before starting announced, “I’ve been performing this trick since I was three, and it’s recommended for ages three to seven.” He then proceeded to pin the tail on the donkey.
Mr. Mason was rewarded with thunderous applause as he lip-synced and break-danced across the stage. He concluded his performance by moon-walking backwards off the stage.
Perhaps most noteworthy for its uniqueness was Mr. Alvey’s unique performance of a song he wrote about a robot uprising. Dressed in a black garbage bag, he performed the song on the piano and was accompanied by robot dancers in cardboard boxes and orange recycling bags.
Other performances included a dramatic recital of “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Mr. Ball, Mr. Randolph’s speed-reading of Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham,” and Mr. Willard’s river-dancing.
Concluding the talent portion of the competition was Mr. Apartments, who decided to take the opportunity to clear up some misconceptions about himself.
Walking around the stage with a microphone in hand, he admitted that around campus “I’m known as the white guy with dreadlocks.” Following this confession, he performed a song that he had written about “the hair you choose to wear.”
The sportswear portion of the competition revealed the men’s favorite sports and activities. Among those represented were tennis, weightlifting, cross-country, lacrosse, soccer, and even scuba diving.
However, the two contestants who received the most applause were Mr. Bushnell, who appeared on stage in a bathrobe which he then ripped off, revealing that he was clad in only two Frisbees strapped around his waist with duck tape, and Mr. Apartments, who strutted, or rather staggered, across the stage dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow.
By the time the Question and Answer section of the show rolled around, only five contestants were left: Mr. Alvey, Mr. Marshall, Mr. Framar, Mr. Randolph, and Mr. Apartments.
Mr. Marshall was asked to name which room at Seacobeck best described him. He responded that he would have to choose the Faculty dining room “because no one really knows what goes on in there.”
When asked what song would describe his life most appropriately, Mr. Framar promptly and assuredly responded that it would most definitely be the classic, “Eye of the Tiger.”
Asked who he would dine with if given the opportunity to dine with anyone, Mr. Randolph answered ‘Alyssa Lee’, which earned him major points with Lee – who unfortunately was not judging.
Mr. Apartments was asked if he could serenade any loved one, what song would he sing and which loved one? He replied that he would sing for his mother, and because she would be pleased with whatever he sung, he would sing “We Want the Funk.”
The judges for this event included Dean Rucker, Sarah Goodrum, Stephen Gregg III, and Mary Pilger. Each act of the competition had its own criteria for judging. The talent portion was judged on originality, audience appeal, and execution.
The Sportswear and Evening wear sections were determined by attire, originality, poise, and audience appeal.
The final act, Question and Answer, was based on the contestant’s confidence, thoughtfulness, originality, and elocution.
Mr. Alvey was awarded third place in the competition, Mr. Framar second place, and Mr. Apartments was crowned Mr. UMW.
“This has been so much fun like in high school, and I guess in college too. I’ve enjoyed getting to meet all the dudes – it was an immediate, quick bond,” said Thomas Johnson, the 2007-2008 Mr. UMW.
In his parting words to the audience, he urged, “If you take one thing from this night, don’t let the man get you down!”