Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I'll Be the Judge of That

Tonight I served as a judge for the wackiest beauty pageant I have ever seen. It was the Miss(ter) Blue Hawk Pageant sponsored by the Theodore Roosevelt Honors Leadership Program at the university. (The blue hawk is our university's athletic mascot.) Students in the honors program came up with the idea last year as a way to bring people together for fun and silliness while raising money for a good cause. I don't know to whom they donated the proceeds last year, but this year all the money went to the Neufeld Gemar Williamson Account at Wells Fargo Bank for the families of the three students from our university who died recently (remember?).

I didn't attend last year, so I didn't know what to expect tonight when I arrived. I was one of five judges, and we were seated in the front row of the auditorium for optimal viewing of all the pageant events. There were eight contestants, all male, vying for the crown and competing in three initial events: formal wear, swim wear, and talent. We judges were given ballots to score each contestant on a scale using specific criteria for each event, and our scores were tallied to determine the top five, who advanced to the final round: the formal interview. Based upon their answers, we scored them again to determine the top three places. Highlights:
  • The auditorium was packed with students and some faculty and staff. There was lots of support for the event and for the gentlemen competing.
  • One of the men chose women's clothing for his formal wear event. His muscular legs (he's a student athlete) in fishnet stockings peeking out from a mini skirt, along with his dark skin and his wig of long black hair, made him look a lot like Tina Turner; and his I'm-acting-like-a-female mannerisms during that event contrasted sharply with his muscular build for a very humorous effect!
  • All the guys "worked" the audience with gusto, shaking their booties, winking at the ladies, sashaying across the stage, and generally being silly while walking around in their swim wear and dancing across stage in their formal wear.
  • One contestant, for his talent, announced that he had "outsourced" it due to his not having any talent of his own. He brought onstage a friend who performed an original rap song in his place.
  • Another contestant performed an extended dance routine while wearing athletic shorts that a football player would wear and insert a protective cup into. Except that he didn't insert the cup. And he didn't realize that the stage lights would make the material of his shorts essentially see-through. And he was directly in front of us judges. And the dance routine involved lots of jumping up and down. And the dance went on and on and on. I think you get my point. (We certainly got his.)
  • Another contestant, for his talent event, invited me and two other judges to come onstage and dance while he "deejayed" some music. When I hesitated to do so, he got the audience to coerce me, and I ended up displaying some funky dance moves that some of my students captured on video using their cell phones. Yes, I'm now a superstar.
  • The men prefaced the competition with a group dance routine that had been choreographed for them and that was well rehearsed. There was a tie at the end of the night that we broke by having them repeat that dance. We didn't tell them which two people were tied, so they all danced like mad to impress us one last time.

The students who organized the event did a terrific job and had everything for us judges well laid out, including clear scoring sheets, bottles of water, clip boards and pens, and gift cards to thank us for our time and effort. The audience enjoyed it, and the contestants were good sports about showing some skin and putting themselves on display for judging. The winner was a student athlete from Guatemala who wowed us with his Latin dancing in the talent event and seemed to be a favorite with the audience, too. And, thank goodness, there is a first runner-up who will be called upon to carry out the (non-existent) duties of Miss(ter) Blue Hawk should the winner not be able to at any point before next year's pageant.


  1. This sounds like way too much fun. I've also witnessed men dress as women in my day for various activities. However, never in a pageant! Cute!

  2. I was browsing through blogs, and I found yours by clicking "next"...

    I noticed that you wrote "COMMENT" or something like that, so here's my comment on this entry!

    It sounds like quite the experience, especially with the dancing male in shorts...