SUAB hosted this year’s annual Mr. FSU contest in DPAC on April 6.
The nine featured contestants entertained their peers with skits, magic, dancing, art, and lots of comedy. The show revealed hilarious things about each contestant and shined a spotlight on some of their talents.
To begin the show, participants were asked various questions from a panel of three judges and answered with comedic responses. Later, contestants each showcased a talent, followed by their style during the formalwear portion of the competition.
Mark Wadland, class of 2016, kicked off the talent portion of the competition with an original stand- up performance.
Senior Michael Palmer used his time in the spotlight to brighten a friend’s day. Palmer turned his peers’ attention to one of his past co-workers, who has recently been paralyzed. In her honor Palmer posed for a selfie with the crowd, creating a special moment for those present.
Dance skills from junior Ezequiel De Leon left students and judges in awe and tapping their toes. His talent, along with thoughtful answers in the Q&A portion, earned De Leon 2nd place this year.
Mr. Congeniality winner Michael Terra shocked judge and spontaneous act assistant, Loretta Holloway, with his magic routine.
Sophomore and 3rd place winner, Jack Capello, comically taught his audience how to take the perfect selfie.
Toward the end of the show, contestant Cam Zamagni brought his escort, adored Dining Commons employee Clara DeMoya, onstage and students went wild, breaking into a roar of applause.
Ultimately, sophomore Brian Leonard took home the crown as this year’s Mr. FSU.
After earning the title of 2016’s Mr. FSU Leonard said, “I’m still in complete shock. This is probably the most amazing thing to happen to me thus far in my life. I’ve always loved being on stage, it’s so great to be back up there.”
Co-hosts Chris Farrell and Mike Charles said they each have been a part of Mr. FSU in the past. Because Charles was unable to compete last year due to health reasons, organizers of the event made sure to give him an opportunity to perform as he would have last year.
Charles, owner of a successful DJ and magic company, prepared a magic act that stunned his audience and volunteer assistant. After the competition, Charles said of his performance and experience, “It’s very cool and fun to be back in front of the students here. It’s always a good time when I get to work with Chris.”
Farrell and Charles have been an inseparable duo for years. They are the previous hosts of a show on the school’s radio network WDJM and have worked side by side on many other projects as well.
Junior Sharinna Mendez said, “These are guys I have always seen around campus since my freshman year. They are very energetic, outgoing and represent the student body really well.”
Another audience member, senior Molly Dubrowski, found the performance to be “really great.” She added, however, “students should get to vote. The contestants represent the student body, not teachers or employees. We should have a say.”
[Editor’s Note: Mark Wadland is a member of The Gatepost editorial board.]