BUST A MOVE Contestants of all experience levels will be dancing on stage. NATALIA ORTIZ FOR THE HOYA
BUST A MOVE Contestants of all experience levels will be dancing on stage.
NATALIA ORTIZ FOR THE HOYA

College experiences are molded by the quirky traditions and odd rituals that only other students and alumni would understand. At Georgetown, where practically every aspect of student life is infused with that spirit, Homecoming Weekend is more than just another hallmark event. Sure, the tailgate and football game draw alumni and students to campus, but the pinnacle of the experience is undoubtedly the Mr. Georgetown Pageant.

If you don’t already know someone in the pageant, you’ve probably seen posters in Red Square or at least heard rumors about the dance routine. The Mr. Georgetown Pageant, a Hilltop tradition since its founding in 2005, is back, and this year, the participants aren’t just contestants — they’re tributes.

“We thought the Hunger Games theme would add a little more flair and make the pageant more interesting,” TiaraKawser (MSB ’15), the special events chair for the Georgetown Program Board, said.

Every year, each club on campus has a female member nominate a senior male to represent the organization in the pageant. This year, the 14 contestants hail from a wide variety of organizations. From Mr. Caribbean Culture Circle Malik Stevens (COL ’13) to Mr. Residence Life Danish Zaidi (COL ’13), seniors with very different interests and personalities will show off their talents to the audience.

After the opening performance by Groove Theory, the contestants will “fight to the death,” which has the campus buzzing with excitement. This more suspenseful format has upped the stakes, so naturally, the contestants are upping their sex appeal.

“There are a few parts of it that may be a little risque, but people will think it’s fun,” Stevens said.

After the contestants have been introduced, they will start the first round, which will start with a question-and-answer portion. Next will be the highly anticipated swimsuit competition, in which the tributes will strut their stuff for the audience.

While presenting yourself half-naked to a large crowd in Gaston Hall may be most Georgetown students’ nightmare, the Mr. Georgetown contestants are unabashed.

“I’m looking forward to being in my swimsuit. It’s going to be 1960s style: Think high-waisted, Elvis dancing on the beach,” Stefane Victor (COL ’13), Mr. Black Student Alliance, said.

The fun atmosphere will turn into suspenseful excitement when the judges eliminate four of the tributes after the first round. The judge panel is comprised of Henry Thaler (COL ’14), last year’s victor Jed Fienman (COL ’12), Assistant Director for Student Programs, Tanesha S. Stewart and theology professor Tod Linafelt. In true Hunger Games spirit, the judges will be decked out in eccentric wigs and costumes and cannons will blast to declare the fallen.

In the second round, the 10 remaining tributes will suit up and again strut their stuff as part of the formal-wear competition. Only five will advance to the final round of the night: the talent portion. All of the contestants have a talent piece ready to perform, but only the final five will have the opportunity to showcase their talents on the stage in Gaston.

“I did this not only to represent BSA and try to win for them — because someone from BSA has never won the pageant — but also to get the chance to perform solo on the stage in Gaston. Having the chance to perform up there would be the highlight of my entire Georgetown experience,” Victor said.

Doors open at 7 p.m. tonight at Gaston Hall. Tickets are $10 pre-purchased and $13 at the door. Get there early to secure your spot to see these guys duke it out as they show Georgetown what they are made of.

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