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Annual Mr. HHS pageant continues anticipated HHS tradition with another successful show

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Mr. HHS contestants, senior Harry Hochwarter, senior Liam Elke, senior Derick Gellangarin, junior Brennan Sorkin, senior Damen Velez, and junior Devin Martin wait eagerly, anticipating the announcement of the winner (J. Clavero).

The surrounding lights dim and the Performing Arts Center drops to a dead silence. Excitement and anticipation fills each member of the audience, especially those who attend the event annually and already know of its highly entertaining content. However, anxiety pulses throughout senior Mr. HHS competitor Harry Hochwarter. Scared of embarrassing himself in front of school staff and peers, Hochwarter cringes at the thought of messing up or doing something that the audience does not find funny. As the powerpoint slideshow of childhood pictures of each of the competitors scrolls on the projector, the room fills with warm chorus of awe and laughter. Hearing this, Harrison is assured that the show was going to run smoothly.

‘“I was just hoping that I wouldn’t look silly on stage, honestly,” said Hochwarter. “I had a lot of fun. I was really nervous, but once I came off,  I felt like a million dollars.”

The annual Mr. HHS pageant took place in the Performing Arts Center last night at 7p.m. With six competitors, two less than the typical amount each year, the show progressed to showcase the talents of each boy as well as entertain the staff and students of Huntley with their humor.

This year’s competitors included Hochwarter, senior William Elke, senior Derick Gellangarin, junior Brennan Sorkin, senior Damen Velez, and junior Devin Martin. Each proved to be tough competition to beat.

“When I first saw the competitors, I was like, ‘shoot!’” said Gellangarin. “Everyone loves harry, Liam’s a beast, Brennan Sorkin’s dope, Devin’s the nicest guy you’ll ever meet, and Damen is so friendly.”

All proceeds of the event went to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation for child cancer research.

After the opening presentation, the masters of ceremony, 2014 Mr. HHS senior Colin Worden and senior Kevin Klar, introduced the panel of judges which consisted of administrators and teachers alike.

The boys all showcased unique, creative wardrobes for the swimwear, school spirit, and formalwear. Velez, for example, showed up on stage with nothing but very short swimming trunks behind a massive sign that read, “censored.”

The portion that took the most preparation was the talent portion, the main event and one of the traditional segments of the show that brings in spectators. Some contestants spent months planning their pageant performances.

“I got a harmonica for Christmas and I taught myself how to play. I took guitar lessons in middle school, but I forgot, so I re-taught myself how to play the guitar,” said Hochwarter. “I taught myself how to do this thing called travis picking, which is a type of finger stound technique. I’ve always written jokes for Twitter and then one day I decided to write them all down. I have like eight pages of jokes. What you saw today was about one page.”

For other contestants, it was more than just showcasing their talents, but a way to ask their significant other to Prom coming up this Saturday, May 2. Each spectator was overwhelmed with joy and close to tears when Gellangarin surprised everyone with an original, composed song.

“I wrote a song back in December. I wrote the beginning part and I sat on in for a while,” said Gellangarin. “Then, I had my friend Craig come over and we started talking about Prom and I thought I should finish writing it and use it for Prom.”

Every member of the audience was also extremely impressed by Elke’s ability to rapidly solve Rubiks cubes, but even more impressed with his method of asking his date to Prom in which he inserted the solved cubes in a slot on a posterboard with the subes spelling out the phrase, “Prom?”

The competition concluded with the crowning of the new Mr. HHS. After the audience voted online through their cell phones for People’s Choice and the judges tallied up their scores for Mr. HHS, Worden and Klar announced the winners. Velez won People’s Choice, Gellangarin won Most Spirited and First Runner Up, and Hochwarter swept the competition by winning Most Talented and the 2015 Mr. HHS title.

“It [winning Mr. HHS] means that I represent Huntley and I honestly love this school so much,” said Hochwarter. “I’m sad to leave and I’m so happy that I have the chance to represent it.”

 

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