MC’s second annual Mr. Sundevil pageant was a blast and the senior boys really set the bar high for next year’s contestants. Mr. Sundevil is a pageant for senior boys to compete to see who most exemplifies the Sundevil Way.
Contestants showed off their nicest threads in the dress wear portion while they were introduced to the audience through their video interviews. Then came the talent portion where contestants did everything from interpretive dance to spoken word poetry to playing the air piano with a skillful grace. Then the final interview round riled and ? the audience with each participant’s ad libbed answers.
Seniors Jimmy Nguyen, Quin Kirwen, Taylor Schmidl, Nathan Dunford, Johnny Hymes, Michael Yang, Michael Tran, Izk Vongpakhdy, Kennan Billimoria, Michael Keegan, Kevin Tran, and Ian Thompson were all contenders, exemplifying frankly amazing talent and personality.
For Kirwen and most of the other boys, the pageant was the perfect opportunity to celebrate senior year in the best way possible: to just have fun.
“It seemed like something fun to do and I knew I didn’t really have to take it seriously even though a lot of people were,” Kirwen said. “I knew I wanted to do this dance and change everyone’s life.”
Kirwen’s dance was undoubtedly one of the most memorable moments of the high school experience. It rendered the judges speechless and the audience a bit confused, but nonetheless entertained.
“I knew I wanted to do an interpretive dance so I found a good [song]. I was eating a box of ice cream sandwiches, so I was like ‘Hey why don’t I eat half a box of ice cream sandwiches while I do this interpretive dance?’” Kirwen said.
Kirwen went all out for his performance. He wore a felt leotard while his escort, Kelly Cota, wore footy, cheetah printed pajamas as they danced with faux flowers and played leap frog over one another, amongst other memorable movements.
“Mr. Cher was like, ‘That was probably one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever seen,’” Kirwen said.
Despite what the judges thought, the audience loved it. But in the end his unique performance was detrimental to his overall score.
“It was fun but I got 12th place because of it; I looked at my talent portion and I didn’t receive a single point,” Kirwen said.
However, this loss hasn’t deterred Kirwen at all and Sundevils can be expecting another performance from him in the near future.
“You’re going to see another dance from me at the talent show and there’s probably going to be six [ice cream sandwiches] this time instead of three,” Kirwen said.
Mr. Sundevil is a special opportunity for senior boys at MC, but Kirwen admits he’d definitely do it again.
“I would probably take some of it more seriously or I would get a nicer tux and I would try to convince them to let me do drag even though it was the Mr. Sundevil,” Kirwen said.
After attending Mr. Sundevil, MC’s Got Talent should be an eclectic show. The two most interesting performers at MC may dance together.
Everyone put up a good show but in the end the well deserved win went to Jimmy Nguyen who, ironically, thought Kirwen would be crowned.
“I was just being myself. I didn’t expect to win. I thought Quin or Isaac would win,” Nguyen said.
Nguyen dazzled with escort Hannah Vollet; for the talent portion they also performed a duet, then broke out his impressive B-boy skills. His performance was quite riddled with back breaking stunts that prompted audible responses from the crowd. Dance is a major part of his life and high school has allowed him the outlet to just have fun and express himself.
“When I went on stage I didn’t try to be someone I wasn’t. I feel like some people try to go out there and try to be funny and try to entertain the crowd and that was their main purpose and I feel like you just have to be you and do whatever you do,” Nguyen said.
Nguyen also expressed his love for his mother in his video interview and made many references to AP Literature where he’s drawn quite a bit of inspiration.
“I like Into The Wild because I feel like that book defines who I am,” Nguyen said. “Basically, Chris went out and did what made him happy and he didn’t care what people thought. I liked that one line he said,‘Everyday is like a new horizon’ That’s a good line because everyday you don’t know what’s going to happen so you have to just go out there and explore and experience.”
In the novel Into the Wild the main character, Chris McCandless rejected society to be a nomad. The ills of society didn’t appeal to him, so he dived head first into what made him happy. Nguyen’s relates himself to McCandless but his passion is found in dance.
“I feel like I can relate to him because through dancing, I get to travel a lot,” Nguyen said. “I’ve been through Chicago, Missouri, and other places outside of San Diego and I feel like when you travel, you learn more and when you meet new people and get to observe different cultures. I feel like you can learn a lot more than inside a classroom.”
In the end, Mr. Sundevil was an experience centered around being yourself and showing off your talents. But the only way to truly win is to stay true to yourself.
“I just went out there and acted myself and I won,” Nguyen said.