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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Mr. Brandeis Pageant raises money for cancer

Published: April 4, 2014
Section: Arts, Etc.

On Thursday in Levin Ballroom, Brandeis Relay for Life and Student Events teamed up to put on the annual Mr. Brandeis Pageant. Contestants were announced on the event’s Facebook page in mid-March and have been training since then to put on this show as Bronstein Week comes to a close.

The event opened with a group dance, featuring all 15 contestants. While the guys had clearly rehearsed, the act was a little clumsy. However, it was helpful to note throughout the show that this was not a prestigious pageant featuring scary dance moms but simply a fun event for a good cause.

All of the contestants seemed to have a lot of fun. The competition was broken into four rounds: formal wear, swimwear, talent and Q&A. Max Berner ’16 could not arrive at the pageant on time due to a rescheduled baseball game, so in the middle of contestants walking on stage in suits (or other strange adaptations of formal-wear) a large screen scrolled down to show Berner in his own formal and swimwear, recorded in his room earlier in the day.

There were many highlights from the formal and swimwear portions of the show. While most of the participants went for the classic suit and tie look, a few diverted from this to stand out from the fierce competition. Joe Graffy ’15 went the complete opposite direction, sporting a black sparkling halter top dress and heels. Ryan Molloy ’16 came out later wearing a shiny gold jacket, tie and what looked like boxer briefs.

The swimwear portion of the evening again saw some great creativity from the contestants. Felix Liu Ku ’15 wore an apron with a flattering picture of a buff torso and speedo bathing suit. A few students opted for the lifeguard look—Jared Swezey-Gleason ’16, however, stood out from the others by doing a headstand on stage. Unfortunately, this was not enough to get him through to the second round. Ten contestants made it to the next round of the evening: Andrew Savage ’16, Liu Ku, Grady Ward ’16, Graffy, Joe Robinow ’14, Jonathan Bywater ’14, Berner, Max Bernstein ’15 and Molloy made it to the talent show.

If you were at last year’s pageant, you may remember strange and only slightly impressive talents such as being able to pick a sandwhich up with one’s feet. This year’s contestants brought their A-game. Robinow, eventual Pageant winner, went up against the world record for the number of pies thrown in one’s face within one minute. The previous record was 56 pies. Robinow smashed this record, with a video rolling for the “Guinness Book of World Records,” having 60 pies thrown in his face in the span of one minute.

Other talents were as exciting, including singing performances ranging from acoustic to rap. Berner sang John Legend’s “Ordinary People” to an acoustic guitar accompaniment. Liu Ku sang and rapped to Justin Beiber’s “Baby” ft. Ludacris. Finally, Molloy sang the classic “Believe” by Cher.

Robinow won the competition, and Graffy was runner up. The proceeds from the event all went to the American Cancer Society. In addition to ticket charges, each contestant had a jar in the back of the room in which the audience could put money, where each dollar was an extra point. The Mr. Brandeis Pageant was not the most smoothly run event, but it was a fun night for a great cause.