By Amanda Smith

Each of the contestants in Friday night’s Mr. Hobart competition seemed to bring something unique to the table. From a banana suit to an adorable furry friend that won the crowd over, each of the Mr. Hobart hopefuls chose unique costumes and props that set them apart from the other contestants. The event began at 7:00pm in Albright Auditorium and marked its 4th annual run as a fundraiser for the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

The evening started with an introduction to each of the contestants who entered through the audience and took the stage for a brief moment to show off their outfit or their dance moves with their escort. Lincoln Young of the class of 2014 strolled up to the stage accompanied by a small, black, four-legged friend that immediately won the crowd over. The introductions were followed by a group dance, but while the contestants were getting changed the audience enjoyed some hilarious stories from Arthur Piantedosi who was crowned Mr. Congeniality 2011. The group dance was to Lady Gaga’s “Boys Boys Boys” and was performed in boxers and jackets which elicited enthusiastic laughter and applause from the audience. The sportswear portion of the show seemed like a male pageant take on the swimwear portion of most traditional beauty pageants. There was one contestant to represent most of the major athletic teams on campus plus some other athletic aspirations. Cody Rivera ‘15 came out last in a life jacket with a kayak, which was then carried off stage by the rest of the contestants.

Photo courtesy of Nick Stewart.

The next part of the show was the Talent Portion which was an opportunity for each of the contestants to show off their unique talents, some serious and some purely for fun. Lincoln Young’s rendition of “Just The Way You Look Tonight” while he serenaded Betty Walther (who we all know as Betty from Saga), was uniquely touching and sweet. The audience went crazy for Walker Ward’s adaptation of “My Heart Will Go On” which he performed in drag. Just before the climactic moment of the song, he turned away from the audience and then turned back and belted out the key change. In a word, it was hilarious and the audience went wild at that moment. This performance earned him the title of Mr. Congeniality 2012 by the end of the night. Another notable performance was an original step piece performed by Nick Stewart ‘15. His piece showcased his obvious talent for rhythm, song and dance, which the audience had gotten just a glimpse of in the earlier group dance performance. Even without a microphone, his voice rang out clear as he sang an introduction to his step piece. His effort to display an actual talent must have won favor with the judges because he received the honor of being crowned Mr. Hobart 2012. A final remarkable performance in the talent portion was Cody Rivera’s dance in a banana suit while actually making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the judges. It was a unique idea and an original one that made his presence in the competition memorable. After the talent portion concluded, contestants were asked questions from the audience before the judges made their final decisions. While the judges deliberated, the audience was treated to a performance by HWS’ co-ed a capella group Perfect Third. There performance of “Some Nights” was catchy and interesting due to the use of multiple soloists.

In the end, despite many hilarious attempts to win over the audience and judges, only two Hobart students could be given a title Friday night. Walker Ward and Nick Stewart must be happy to celebrate their wins as the semester draws to a close.