Timothy Dwight College’s Alex Werrell ’13 danced his way to the top of the Mr. Yale competition last night in Sterling-Sheffield-Strathcona.
Werrell beat out an eclectic group of 11 other aspirants, including Davenport College representative Caroline Smith ’14, who was the second female to compete in the last two years. Just behind Werrell were Alex Kramer ’13 of Branford College and Brian Douglass ’11 of Saybrook College — but all three were heckled by the rowdy audience after the results were announced.
“I’m ecstatic. Everybody was so nice, so I think everyone deserves it,” Werrell said. “That’s my stereotypical pageant response I’ve given since my first pageant at age 6.”
Werrell triumphed in three rounds of competition marked by frequent near-nudity and sexually charged sequences. Contestants strutted in their versions of “evening wear,” performed in a talent competition, and faced questions from host and last year’s Mr. Yale winner, Tully McLoughlin ’11.
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Dressed in preppy red pants, Werrell stripped off his top in the opening round to reveal a TD pinnie. In the talent competition, Werrell attempted ballet to the soundtrack of the film “Black Swan.” Before long, the music changed to Shakira’s “She Wolf,” and Werrell gyrated to the beat.
After Werrell was named the winner, McLoughlin said that he was satisfied with his successor.
“I think he’ll do a good job,” he said. “I set the bar very low, so I think even if he does something tomorrow that’s noble, he will have taken over my crown.”
Judging the competition were what McLoughlin called “four prestigious judges.” They included Carlene Miller ’14, a former Miss Teen of America winner; Jon Wu ’11, a former YCC President; Justine Kolata ’12, founder of the Movement for Beauty and Justice; and Vivian Yee ’12, the current editor in chief of the News.
The contestants used a variety of strategies to pander to judges, including throwing articles of clothing into the judges’ laps as they stripped for the evening wear display.
The Ezra Stiles College entrant, Austin Shiner ’11, relied on what he called a “culinary sexual fantasy” theme. He brought chicken tenders — which were served in the dining halls Thursday night — onstage with him each time he entered, and at one point smeared mustard over his chest while wearing what he called a “hot chef” costume and 5-inch pumps. Shiner made it to the final round.
Some of the representatives’ tactics were not reserved for judges alone. Throughout the second round, Smith tried out pickup lines onstage with her friend, Tia Ginakakis ’14. At one point, Smith pretended her phone was broken. When Ginakakis asked what was wrong with it, Smith responded, “Your number’s not in it.”
Smith donned a blow-up muscle suit in the first round of the competition as the song “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from the Disney film “Mulan” played in the background.
But Smith’s antics couldn’t save her, and she was eliminated at the end of the second round. With her went Trumbull College representative Paul Wainer ’11, who elicited loud chants from the Trumbull cheering section for much of the competition. Berkeley College representative Cyril “C.J.” Uy ’12 also seemed a crowd favorite, and he stayed in the running for the crown until the final round.
Uy began his quest for the Mr. Yale title in a full suit. He called two of his Berkeley suitemates onstage to engage in battle to the tune of the Pokemon theme song.
“This competition was awesome — I just love all those guys [who competed],” said Kelvin Vu ’11, the Jonathan Edwards College representative who was voted Mr. Congeniality by his fellow competitors.
The Mr. Yale competition was organized by the Yale College Council.
Carolyn Lipka contributed reporting.