Though senioritis has hit seniors nationwide, the candidates for MC’s prestigious title of Mr. Sundevil continue to dance, sing, and fall their way into the hearts of the Red Sea. Seniors Bobby Barton, Kevin Benavente, Jeremy Clark, Daniel Cope, Mike Devine, Daniel Fernandez, Connor Heinzman, Liam Lau, Ian Lemersal, James Mori, Bailey Sandstrom, Minh-Khoa Tran, Harvey Vu, and Alex Zamarripa competed on Thursday, Jan. 14 in a light-hearted tradition that helps raise funds for senior class activities.
The event faced a minor hiccup after the El Nino storm raged through San Diego the week of Jan. 4, flooding MC’s performing arts center and pushing Mr. Sundevil a week later than its original date. Yet, this did not phase competitors or the Red Sea.
Mr. Sundevil consists of four components: evening wear, a singing bee, a talent portion, and a question and answer segment.
Notable attire included Tran’s escort senior Kas Bakos’ navy blue skater dress and evening wear winners Lemersal and escort senior Jordan Tolbert who proved to be a power pink duo.
“Kas stole the show,” Heinzman said.
The subsequent singing bee featured a range of songs from pop to hip hop and required contestants to finish the lyric. Clark received full points for correctly finishing the lyrics of all 3 songs and extra cheers from the crowd for his accompanying theatrics. Whereas, Fernandez pulled the short straw of this portion when he received songs even the audience had never encountered before. This portion left even the most well-versed music aficionados stuck.
“I just relied on luck and hoped that I would just get songs that I knew,” Benavente said.
Those without knowledge of Billboard’s Top 40 also struggled.
“I was scared about the singing because I don’t listen to popular songs, like I didn’t know the words to ‘Single Ladies,’” Zamarripa said.
However, the talent portion of the competition erased all memory of the preceding singing showdown.
Highlights from this segment include Mori’s spotless rendition of Kermit the Frog’s “Rainbow Connection,” Fernandez’s dancing duo, Barton’s Napoleon Dynamite dance, Tran’s cover of Frank Sinatra’s “Come Fly with Me,” Benavente’s “History of Rap”, the many lip synchers, and the winner of the talent segment Devine’s original clean, school-appropriate rap stylings that left the audience gasping for breath.
“It was evident to me that everyone put in genuine effort into their talent and I could tell everyone rehearsed,” Benavente said.
Closing the night was the question-and-answer segment. Tran warmed the crowd by attributing his life-changing moments at MC to teachers Marti Martinez and Jodee Janda. Devine, when asked about what he would do if he won the powerball lottery, responded that he would give half to charity, a quarter to a house and a dog, and a quarter to MC. The winners of this segment were Mori and Tran.
After a short intermission, master of ceremony Jason Goldfarb asked for a drum roll from the crowd. The crowd responded, as Goldfarb announced, “The Winner is….Miss Columbia!” Thus, igniting an uproar from the Red Sea who had obviously not gotten over Steve Harvey and the subsequent meme made out of that Miss Universe moment. The real winner, Devine, was crowned shortly after, and the Red Sea piled out of the PAC for the four-day weekend.
For juniors and underclassmen, seniors offer sage words of advice.
“It sounds like I’m a broken record, but [Mr. Sundevil] is one of those things you look back on and it’s like wow I’m really glad I did that,” Lau said.
“Just go do it,” Heinzman said. “How many chances do you have to embarrass yourself on stage.”
“Just have fun and embrace the night and live in the moment,” Benavente said.