It’s that time of year again: spring is approaching, students are looking forward to warmer weather, and the men of Elizabethtown College are preparing to strut their stuff on stage in this year’s Mr. Etown competition.
The annual male pageant is a favorite among students, who enjoy watching the representatives that they voted for from each residence hall compete in choreographed dances and lip-syncs as well as question and answer segments during the event. “I love the personal dances that the guys come up with,” junior Jessica Crebs said. “They’re hilarious and always unexpected.”
In the end, one participant is chosen by a panel of Etown faculty and staff as the best representative of the spirit of the College and is crowned Mr. Etown. The winner then returns to host the event the following year.
This year’s competitors will certainly have their work cut out for them when it comes to topping last year’s show-stopping performances, but with the ultimate goal of pleasing their adoring public in mind, they are more than prepared to rise to the occasion. Without further ado, meet the men who are vying for the crown in the 2012 Mr. Etown competition.
Representing Hackman Apartments this year is Sean Duetsch. This senior had a taste of the Mr. Etown experience two years ago when he helped plan the dance segment for his roommate, Chris Tjaden, who was Mr. Ober at the time, and is now eager for his chance to take the stage.
When not busy with school, work or Mr. Etown preparations, the self-proclaimed music and movie buff can be found writing for the Etownian’s Opinion section or playing guitar and piano at events around campus in the two-piece band that he and Tjaden formed. He also enjoys listening to artists like Katy Perry, Counting Crows and Radiohead and watching movies like his newest favorites, 50/50 and Drive.
Duetsch has big plans for his performance, which, if he has his way, may or may not involve gravity-defying stunts. “Have an open mind,” he said about what viewers can expect. For the most part, he and his fellow competitors have taken to remaining tight-lipped about their parts in the show, leaving students to see for themselves what will happen on the night of the competition.
The next competitor is Mr. Myer, Josh Riehl. The junior is nervous about the event, especially considering this will be his first time attending it. “I wasn’t even expecting to win,” he said of the initial rounds of voting that selected the participants. Riehl, who considers himself a bit of an underdog, is honored that he was chosen and hopes to live up to the audience’s expectations and keep everyone entertained.
As the president of Phalanx, as well as a player on the College ice hockey and tennis teams, Riehl hopes he can use these experiences and friendships to his advantage in the competition. When not participating in these activities he is fond of spending time with his friends and family, doing anything outdoors or competitive and cheering on whatever Philadelphia sports team is playing.
Representing the Schreiber Quadrangle is Riehl’s fellow Phalanx member, junior Brian “Buddy” Booker. “I take it as an honor that people voted for me and want to see me make a fool out of myself,” Booker lightheartedly said of his nomination.
Unlike Riehl, Booker has copious experience with the show after being a part of it the past two years, and finds this helpful because it gave him a chance to see what participating in the competition will be like.
A fan of traveling, Booker studied abroad last semester yet somehow still manages to take on a long list of activities on campus that include Phalanx, concert choir, Students Promoting Awareness and Responsible Choices (SPARC) and guiding tours. The Steelers fan also enjoys watching Forrest Gump and Bridesmaids, listening to Lady Gaga and said his favorite food is baked potatoes, while also making a point to mention that he dislikes tomatoes, cucumbers and Cool Ranch Doritos.
Booker spoke highly of his fellow Mr. Etown participants, stating, “It’ll be a really good show. With who’s in it, it’ll be a lot of fun.”
The next participant is junior Michael Anderson, who will represent Founders Residence Hall. “I was a little shell-shocked,” Anderson said of his nomination as Mr. Founders, but he is eager to focus on having fun and putting on a good show for the audience.
The resident assistant and tennis team member is still not completely sure what to expect behind the scenes for the show, but is looking forward to finding out in the coming month as he prepares with his fellow competitors. In his spare time, the Atlanta Braves fan enjoys staying active by playing tennis, spending time with his friends, hiking, biking and kayaking.
Next on the roster is the lone first-year in this year’s competition, Frank Capria, who is representing Royer Residence Hall. Capria refuses to be intimidated by his age, however, and is excited for the experience, particularly because he was never granted such an opportunity in high school. “It’ll be a show they can’t forget,” he stated.
Although this is Capria’s first year at Etown, he was given a taste of the competition when he met last year’s second place winner during his overnight visit while he was still only a prospective student. Capria also watched videos on YouTube of reigning Mr. Etown Dan Silver’s pop culture spoofs from his performance last year.
Capria is a member of the College’s swim team and also participates in SPARC. In his free time he enjoys collecting baseball cards and listening to his favorite band, The Beatles.
Representing Ober Residence Hall is sophomore Ryan Borzager, whose primary focus is entertaining the audience. “I want to put on a good show and make everyone laugh,” he said. “Be ready to have a good time.”
Borzager plays for the College’s men’s basketball team, and plans to use that to his advantage in his performance. The Nicki Minaj fan enjoys dancing in his free time and lists his favorite sports teams as the Philadelphia Phillies and the Etown men’s basketball team.
The next competitor is Mr. Off-Campus, David Ebsworth, who helped Dan Silver win the title of Mr. Etown last year. “I think I was more excited for Dan than he was when he won,” he said, which certainly reflects his approach to the competition. Ebsworth is highly enthusiastic about the Mr. Etown competition, and is eager to get to know the other participants.
The aspiring dentist works as a peer mentor, tour guide and tutor, and takes part in intramural sports as well as Emotion. He also enjoys playing and watching sports (particularly the Baltimore Orioles and Ravens and the Washington Capitols), fishing, going to the beach, listening to country music and watching movies like Bad Boys (the original as well as the sequel), Caddyshack, Tin Cup and Black Hawk Down. Ebsworth also insists that the only right way to eat lasagna is by loading it up with sausage, green peppers and onions.
Last but not least is junior Zak Schmidt, who is representing Brinser Residence Hall. Schmidt has plenty of experience making people laugh as a member of Mad Cow Improv and also played parts in his friends’ efforts as Mr. Etown competitors.
While he still has over a month to plan, Schmidt has some promising general ideas for his performance and hopes readers will attend the show to see them. “Just come out and enjoy it because it’s really fun,” he said. The Dallas Cowboys fan likes playing video games and listening to Lil Wayne in his free time, but his favorite activity by far is snowboarding.
With the lineup in place, preparations are underway to make this year’s Mr. Etown the best yet, and the participants are optimistic and enthusiastic about the upcoming competition. “Everyone should come and support all the guys,” Booker said. “It’ll be the time of your life.”