If Wednesday night’s victory during the Iron Chef competition was not enough to make Morsels celebrate, they can now also lay claim to this year’s Mr. Yale.
Sudler Hall was filled to capacity Thursday night as representatives of Yale’s residential colleges competed for the title. After an evening of karate demonstrations, glass harp performances and attempts to seduce audience members, Tully McLoughlin ’11 was crowned the victor.
Jennifer Ivers ’10 of Timothy Dwight — the first female ever to take part in the competition — was named first runner-up, and Seve Gonzales ’10 from Silliman College took second runner-up.
This year, only 11 of the 12 residential colleges sent contestants. Ben Wescoe ’10, Berkeley College’s representative, told the News on Thursday that he could not attend because of last-minute extracurricular obligations. Still, the competition was fierce as each competitor sought to win over the four judges: Allison Williams ’10, Paul Rice ’10, Timothy Dwight College Dean John Loge and Dean of Freshman Affairs Raymond Ou.
Avinash Gandhi ’10, the master of ceremonies and last year’s Mr. Yale, opened the event by greeting the audience and introducing the competitors’ first performance of the night: an energetic choreographed group dance to Akon and David Guetta’s “Sexy Bitch.” From there, the lights dimmed, and a video projection screen dropped in the front of the hall to display a video compilation of individual interviews with each Mr. Yale contestant. The judges then evaluated them in three categories: formal wear, talents and a question-and-answer session.
The theme of the formal-wear portion of the competition was described by Williams as “the lack of distinction between formal clothing and no clothing.” Branfordian Michael Boyce ’11, walked on to the stage sporting a Branford Snuggie and proceeded to strip to his boxers, while Jonathan Edwards representative Scott Snyder ’10 wore only green briefs that read “JE Sux” in white paint.
McLoughlin, for one, appeared on stage impersonating history professor John Gaddis by wearing white knee socks, a white collared shirt, a blue bow tie, a red scarf, a tweed jacket and no pants. With foam roses protruding from various parts of his outfit, McLoughlin munched on shredded cheese and stared out intently at the audience. Ivers, the runner up, took the stage wearing a three-piece gray suit and a Windsor-knotted tie.
“I’m sorry, ladies, I’m not going to take my clothes off,” she said. “I do have an important lesson for you, though.”
Ivers left the stage momentarily and returned wearing a sandwich board bearing the same text as the one 25-year-old evangelist preacher Jesse Morrell carried when he visited Yale’s campus in December and admonished passers-by to repent for their sins.
The talent portion of the pageant was the longest one of the night and included a short video of Gonzales “ghosting” — creeping up behind unsuspecting members of the Yale community such as the Flower Lady, people running at the indoor track at Payne Whitney Gymnasium and Professor Marvin Chun walking up to the podium before an “Introduction to Psychology” lecture. When Gonzales’ victims did not notice him, he pumped his fist; when they did, he walked away as if nothing had happened.
During Andrés Medina’s ’10 rendition of a now-popular Puerto Rican song called “Nananau,” the Trumbull College section of the audience raised and waved their flag emblazoned with the three-bull crest, and Trumbull Dean Jasmina Besirevic-Regan walked onto the stage to give Medina a mid-act hug.
Saybrook contestant Bryan “B.T.” Twarek ’10 also showcased his musical prowess when he played Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA” on water-filled glasses. Twarek rounded out his portion of the talent contest with a synchronized dance with three assistants to the real version of the song.
After the talent portion, it was time for an elimination round that would narrow down the contestant pool to six. When the deliberations ended, the only ones left remaining besides McLoughlin and the two runners-up were Twarek, Richard Ellis ’11 from Pierson, and Michael Gabriel ’12 from Calhoun.
In the final stage of the competition, Courtney Pannell ’11 (who is a multimedia editor for the News) asked each of the remaining six a personal question, such as whether McLoughlin, a frequent initiator of silent raves around campus, has a song in his iTunes library of which he is embarrassed.
“I have some Baby Einstein on my iPod,” he said. “I like to think even a 21-year-old’s brain can still improve.”
The original minute-by-minute Yale College Council plan for the event scheduled Mr. Yale’s coronation for 9:57. But because the first elimination round finished at 10:20, the event coordinators decided to cut the second round elimination and move to a final decision.
Ivers said in an interview Thursday that she did not think she had any advantage or disadvantage competing as the first and only female in the competition. But she added that it is now up to the YCC to decide whether to alter its procedures and make it more accommodating to females who may wish to compete in the future.
When asked after the competition what he would do to celebrate his victory, McLoughlin said he would return to Swing Space to work his weekly shift at the buttery.