Seniors strut onstage in Mr. Wildcat pageant

Ore James, Staff Writer

The annual Mr. Wildcat pageant took place Thursday, Apr. 18, at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. The event, a fundraiser for NHS and the Senior Parent Organization (SPO), ended with the crowning of senior Morgan Milner as Mr. Wildcat 2019.

“It was exhilarating,” NHS sponsor Tancy Juliano said. “Preparation kept us on our toes every day for two weeks before the competition.”

The event began with introductions from senior Eu Jin Kim, the evening’s master of ceremonies. After the previous emcee became unable to host, organizers asked Kim to take on the position the morning of the event.

“Mrs. Juliano called me third period, so I picked up the phone, and she said, ‘Hey, our emcee cancelled,’” Kim said. “I was originally just coming to watch.”

The contestants, 24 male seniors, first appeared onstage in the pageant’s summer wear portion. Each wore beach-themed outfits, ranging from Hawaiian shirts to shark suits and scuba gear, all while performing a dance, choreographed by some senior Silver Stars, to “Surfin’ USA” by The Beach Boys.

“We had a lot of dance rehearsals to learn our opening act,” Milner said.

Afterward, competitors, each with two female senior escorts on their arms, moved on to the formal wear portion. Each donned formal suits, supplied by Al’s Formal Wear, while Kim read short, often humorous, summaries of the contestant’s interests, hobbies, and future plans. After a brief performance from the ‘Ohana dance crew, Kim announced the top 10 finalists.

“We were all standing up there and none of us had any clue who would be chosen,” Milner said. “As the spots filled, it got a lot more tense, especially since I was called last for all three rounds.”

After intermission, during which audience members bid on competitors’ decorated cakes in a silent auction fundraiser, finalists displayed their skills in the pageant’s talent portion. Acts included pie-eating, an air guitar battle, a slide whistle cover of “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion, magic tricks, “live” country singing, the recreation of a Vine featuring a trombone, WWE-style wrestling, and an electric guitar solo.

“For the talent portion, I played the ‘Power Rangers’ theme song,” Milner said. “It has a fun guitar solo so I was like, ‘Why not?'” I didn’t use a wired set-up, so I could walk away from my amp and be more of a showman, to hype it up more.”

The top five contestants were announced, following the presentation of individual awards for Best Smile, Mr. Congeniality, Best Eyes, Best Hair, and the cake which earned the highest bid. For the last round, finalists gathered on the stage to each answer one of 15 randomly-drawn questions.

“They asked me if I thought athletes were overpaid,” Milner said. “I stood there for about 30 seconds trying to think of what to say, because I could see an entire section of football players right in front of me.”

Finally, Kim announced the winners. Fourth runner-up was senior Sean Coburn, third runner-up was senior PJ Moore, second runner-up was senior Nicholas Saldana, first runner-up was senior Xavier Faucher, and the title of Mr. Wildcat went to senior Morgan Milner.

“They were taking bets backstage, and after Morgan’s talent, Mr. Ballew called it,” Juliano said.

By the evening’s end, the pageant proved to be a successful fundraiser and crowd-pleasing event.

“I just thought it was amazing how there were so many contestants just lined up and having fun their senior year,” Kim said. “It was a great experience.”


Click below for a gallery from the event: