The crowd filed into the auditorium and filled the seats quickly. There was a tangible sense of anticipation. Who would the Class of 2019’s Mr. Bobcat be?
Every year, the senior class hosts a competitive pageant for the senior boys during spirit week to fundraise for their class. There was concern that the event would not run this year due to lack of participation, and a schedule conflict with a boys’ varsity soccer game, in which many of the contestants were playing, but the boys and the organizers pulled it off. The highlights? Dallen Brown-Bloom’s scenic description of a football dream date, Jack Bishop capturing the win for both the push-up and limbo rounds, and an eclectic collection of talents. Max Carpenter’s talent stood out to the judges and he was crowned as the next Mr. Bobcat.
This year’s judges were Ally Marshall, Jordan Zercher, Wyatt Carlson, Laurel Gordon, and Matt Williams. They scored the contestants based on a series of rounds consisting of formal wear, pick up lines, questions, swimsuit, push ups, limbo, and talent. Competitors took every opportunity to stand out.
For the question and answer portion the judges randomly asked contestants one of four questions that they had prepared: where do you see yourself in ten years? what ORHS teacher would you want to be for a day and why? describe your ideal date, and what superpower would you want? Contestant Ian Miles said this round was challenging because contestants didn’t know which question they would be asked.
To kick off the talents, both Ben Sagnella and Brown-Bloom sang songs and Jack Harrington performed a comedy act. Cam Schiavo then danced to “Hot Stuff” and Oliver Cinq-Mars professed his love for Mr. Zottoli through his musical talents. Matt Cusack played an impressive tune on the piano, Tommy Velardi, “The Carrot Crusher,” took the meaning of a food fight to a different level, and Jack Bishop broke through plywood with his body weight. Clay Daniels, dressed in a crisp white suit, performed the male and female vocals to a couple of classic hits, with the help of a group of backup singers, all boldly dressed in red. Rhys Webb played the electric guitar as he sang “Allstar” with the help of drummer, Liam Weglarz, and guitarist, Colin Flores. Ian Miles performed an incredibly accurate recreation of Britney Spear’s “Hit Me Baby One More Time” music video in full costume, and Nick Cornejo, dressed as Demi Lovato circa 2010, performed “This is Me.”
“I really enjoyed the audience’s reaction to everyone’s talents. I knew most of them ahead of time so it great to see them actually on stage,” said Miles. Judge Carlson added, “I thought it was a fantastic Mr. Bobcat competition. The boys performed everything extremely well.”
Choosing the most acrobatic talent, Max Carpenter tested his agility with a rollerblading obstacle course to the song “Final Countdown.” He weaved through the cones and music stands, effortlessly skated with one foot across benches, then successfully made his way up and down the stairs in the aisles, perplexing the many spectators. He finished by blazing through the tape and received a standing ovation. This performance ultimately won him the title of Class of 2019 Mr. Bobcat.
Carlson said that creativity was the biggest factor for him as a judge, which was something that Carpenter brought to the table. Additionally, “I looked to see if the contestant enjoyed what they were doing and was having fun with it,” he added. Williams, another judge, noted that the whole table of judges wanted to give Carpenter more points than the scoring allowed for his talent; “he kept every member in the audience on the edge of their seat,” said Williams.
Carpenter was closely followed by Jack Bishop (first runner-up), and Nick Cornejo (second runner-up), who were all within two points of each other. “I didn’t expect to win, but it felt great. [Mr. Bobcat] is something that represents this school’s culture and it’s an honor to be the winner of it,” said Carpenter.
The show cost $5 for admission, and there was great spectator turnout. Senior Class Advisor, Heather Healy, said that the show raised over $1,900 which will go towards the senior trip. “The crowd was awesome and the overall atmosphere was great. People were loud and happy. It felt great to perform in front of them,” said Carpenter.
Grace Henry offered a spectator’s perspective. She said, “I’ve looked forward to coming to Mr. Bobcat every year and this show certainly exceeded my expectations. The talents were so fun to watch.”
Carpenter encourages future senior boys to participate. He says, “what people didn’t see was the backstage scene. All of the guys were really supportive of each other. We were laughing and having fun the whole time. It made competing a blast.”