February 14, 2013
Hundreds of Hamilton students crammed into the Tolles Pavilion to watch the annual campus male beauty pageant, Mr. Hamilton on Monday, Feb. 11. The show was sponsored by the Social Traditions Committee and FebFest. The contestants were Jamie Azdair ’13, Knute Gailor ’13, Tae-Wook Lucas Kang ’13, Lyman Munschauer ’13, Nico Keller Sarmiento ’13, Dennis Tung ’13, Felipe Garcia ’14, Noah Levinson ’14, Mike De Percin ’15, Dyllon Young ’15 and Michael Dyer ’16. Men were representing organizations on campus including athletic teams, fraternities and clubs.
All proceeds of this year’s show went to Operation Smile, a medical non-profit that provides free surgeries to children with facial deformities like cleft lips and cleft palates. These children live in developing nations, and a simple procedure could be life changing for them. Co-Presidents Leah Krause ’14 and Kara Shannon ’14 created the Operation Smile club at Hamilton last fall in order to raise awareness about facial deformities and money for surgeries to correct them. Leah started working with the organization in July 2011during a conference in Beijing, China. The club raised over $1000 through ticket and T-shirt sales. Leah estimates that at least four children will receive surgeries from the pageant.
Similar to the Miss America pageant, the show comprised four sections: evening wear, swimsuit, talent and question and answer. Five judges offered comments and criticism throughout the night. The show also featured performances by HEAT, the dance team and the finesse team.
Michael Breslin ’13 and Ashley Vanicek ’13 hosted the event. In addition to announcing new rounds and communicating with the judges, they even managed to squeeze in a few costume changes.
Social Traditions implemented a twitter feed display as a way of keeping the show rolling even as the men changed costumes or set the stage. Members of the audience could “live tweet the event” themselves by tagging @mistahammy or #MrHamilton2013. The tweets were then displayed on a screen adjacent to the stage for the audience’s enjoyment.
The talent portion was when the contestants could really showcase their personalities. They ranged from sweet, Mr. Hamiltones, Keller-Sarmiento and Mr. Ultimate Frisbee, Levinson both sang and played piano, to obscure, Mr. IMF Azdair, taped flags to his chest and flexed to the beat of a song. Mr. Geology Society, Munschauer performed a patriotic gymnastics routine in a spandex suit.
Some of the Mr. Hamilton hopefuls even invited friends to help out with their talent portion. Mr. HEAT, Young, was able to perform a routine with the very group he represented. Mr. Silent Disco, Kang, sang a couple songs with a live band.
By the end of the night, the judges brought the pageant to a conclusion and it was Mr. Student Assembly Garcia who walked home with the crown.
Garcia dazzled the crowd by performing a dance routine to a medley of popular songs, including “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore and “Sandstorm” by Darude. The dance routine ended in a rifle spinning routine, a talent Felipe has been practicing for years. He was a captain in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) during high school where he competed statewide and placed first in the state of Florida as a junior in high school.
Garcia competed in last year’s competition but did not manage to place. On getting nervous, he said, “even though I get crippling stage fright and my asthma almost knocks the breath out of me during a big performance, the feeling that I get when I put on a good show is euphoric.” He credits Beyonce as his inspiration and wanted to appear as “effortless” as she did when she performed the Super Bowl half time show.
Young was named the second runner up, and Keller-Sarmiento was the first runner up.
Tara Huggins ’14, who helped organize the event, said, “compliments to the guys who participated; it takes a lot of guts and we had really great guys this year.” She was thrilled that so many groups on campus came together to participate in one event.
On his participation in future shows, second runner-up Young commented, “I can’t wait for senior year. I’m after the crown.” Whether he will follow in the footsteps of Garcia is yet to be determined.