The crowd gathered, the Dining Commons were set, the pumpkins were ready and junior Shaant Shishmanian was in a dress.
Things got extremely interesting on Friday, November 5, when over 150 students packed into the Dining Commons to watch Mr. Eastern contestants strut their stuff for the ninth consecutive year.
The excitement was palpable as the judges took their places. They were looking for a talented candidate who was also interesting, creative and funny, possessing “overall awesomeness,” as Professor George Saba of the Psychology department said.
The contestants knew the competition was steep. Junior Timothy Wotring said he would need to impress the judges with a “cheerful personality and a willingness to do just about anything.”
The night started with an inspired dance number choreographed by members of the dance department. Junior Mike Giachetti, sophomore Steven Green, first-year Josiah Peffer, Shishmanian, first-year Andrew Whitehead and Wotring introduced themselves to the audience by shaking their butts to a medley of popular songs.
Competitors were then asked to don their Halloween costumes, which ranged from Green dressing as the suave Calvin Skinner to Shishmanian sporting a mini-dress as Minnie Mouse.
They were then required to paint pumpkins, showing the judges their artistic side which ended in a dinosaur for Whitehead and Disney’s “Doug” for Wotring.
During intermission, as the men readied for the talent portion, the audience was given a peek into the love story of the show’s emcees, junior Alleigh Riggs and senior Paul Charles. The proposal asked during the Variety Show this August was given a “yes”, and the wedding is set for summer. And while there will be no actual wedding bells heard in the near future for these two, the audience did enjoy their witty, banter and watching Charles squirming.
As the evening progressed, Whitehead took viewers “Down, Down” with a song from Fall Out Boy, Peffer reminded the girls of what to look for in a real “Manly Man” and Shishmanian made first-year Hannah MacLean turn scarlet as he serenaded her with Justin Bieber’s “Baby” in front of a crowded room.
During the Question and Answer portion, girls’ hearts broke as Giachetti told everyone how he took himself off the dating market, and now everyone knows about Wotring’s desire to be able to summon fruit at will.
The judges had a difficult decision to make: How would they choose a winner among so many sassy studs?
Ultimately, it came down to skin. Shishmanian’s skin to be exact. His bare legs had claimed the win. He is this year’s Mr. Eastern, taking the crown from last year’s winner, Dominic Baruffi. Wotring and Green took home second and third place, respectively.
When given the crown, Shishmanian was in complete shock. He had not expected it at all, “When I came here (to Eastern), I had no intention of getting involved in student life, so for this to happen to me is a big surprise,” he said.