The Hall of Presidents was relatively packed on October 2 thanks to the annual Mr. Colgate Pageant. Contestants competed in swimwear/introductions, talent and an evening wear/Question & Answer portion. Hosts, senior Wendy Nicolas and junior Katy Welp, introduced the five men as they walked across the stage in their swimwear. Competitors included sophomore Henry Marshall, first-year Jabari Ajao, sophomore Danny Levy, first-year Clay McKee and junior Kegan Thompson; they represented Theta Chi, the Colgate Thirteen, Outdoor Education, the Rugby team and Link Staff, respectively.
The pageant commenced with swimwear and introductions. First up was Marshall, who demonstrated a model walk across the stage while donning a hot pink one piece swimsuit and a sweatband. The hosts formerly introduced him to the crowd as a kitten mitten- making, coin-collecting taxidermist who inspired the Ron Swanson character from NBC’s “Parks and Recreation.” Next, Ajao walked up, wearing only a speedo. His greatest accomplishment was listed as being rejected from the WRCU radio station for submitting an explicit application.
Levy, a self-proclaimed outdoorsman from Los Angeles, danced with an oar as the hosts told the audience he was a biology major who wanted to learn about nature to nurture it tenderly. Second-to-last was McKee. McKee’s accomplishments included sculpting his body and running a nine minute mile. Finally, Thompson took the stage. He sported American flag swim trunks and a scuba outfit while the hosts mentioned he was recently voted “nicest eyes” on Yik Yak.
Moving onto the talent portion of the pageant, contestants were given the chance to really showcase their personalities and skills. Ajao freestyled while Levy performed “Am I a Psycho?” by Tech N9ne. Marshall paid homage to his pink swimsuit and sweat band while dancing to the 80s song “Two of Hearts” by Stacey Q. McKee used the opportunity to show off his magic skills and mirrored Spy Kids sunglasses. First, he made a quarter disappear, then confided in the audience about the true mastery of his disappearing acts.
“I made my father disappear eight years ago!” McKee said.
An audience member was called up to the stage to pick a card and remember it. McKee guessed about 15 times before finally picking the right one. Link-staff member Thompson had more success with his talent, playing the recorder. Before starting, he assured the audience that it was okay to cry if they felt moved by his playing. A simple rendition of “Hot Cross Buns” followed the disclaimer. Thompson then asked if the audience had any suggestions for another song.
The evening wear and Question & Answer portion of the pageant rounded out the night. Ajao, looking sharp in a nice suit, was asked whether or not a picture is worth 1,000 words. His answer?
“Depends on the picture,” Ajao said.
Levy switched up the Q&A portion by attempting to interview the hosts instead. Next, Marshall, in a blazer and blue basketball shorts, decided the worst decision he ever made was wearing the pink one-piece swimsuit. McKee declared that his best feature was his torso and told the hosts to punch his abs. Thompson was asked what his life mantra was.
“Work hard, play hard. And thighs.” Thompson said.
After evening wear and Q&A, the judges left the room to choose a winner. The hosts entertained the audience with a game called Two Yik Yaks and a Truth. Finally, the moment everyone had been waiting for arrived. The first runner-up was Marshall, and the second runner-up was Ajao. Thompson was crowned Mr. Colgate.
Thompson won a $15 gift card to the Colgate Bookstore and a free Oliveri’s pizza pie. But the pageant was not only about winning; ticket proceeds are to be sent to the Hamilton Food Cupboard.