The Mr. UM crown went to senior Gilbertson Cuffy after he danced for the audience and impressed the judges with his personality and experience in giving younger kids campus tours and learning the valuable position we are in as college students.
He said that he is glad to win after his third time making it to the pageant.
“I just want to represent the school in the fullest way any ‘Cane would.”
On Tuesday at the RAT, contestants for Mr. UM represented Greek life and many other student organizations and clubs throughout campus.
According to Trysta Malm, who organized the event, the pageant encourages school spirit.
“[Mr. UM] gives students the opportunity to show their experience and enthusiasm in a different way,” Malm said. “It helps students express spirit through talents and interviews versus the traditional cheering at a football game.”
The homecoming committee, consisting of 30 students, narrowed the original 26 Mr. UM applicants to nine through a preliminary round where students showed a portion of their talents and answered questions similar to those asked during the pageant.
The judges for the competition were UM staff members Daniel DiResta, Lewis Ocasio, Jennifer Brack, and Erin Moyer.
“I liked the diversity in the contestants- I thought they had a wide range of talents,” Moyer said. “The hardest thing about deciding was judging…I didn’t know what the other judges were thinking.”
“The entire event was rowdiness- complete utter chaos,” Alex Cardenas said. “It was by far one of the most entertaining homecoming events ever.”
Enthusiasm, poise, stage presence, originality, response to questions, confidence and an entertaining talent were the focus of the committee when making their final decision.
Comedian Alonzo Bodden hosted the event. He has appeared at the Apollo and on Comedy Central.
“I would definitely do it again,” Bodden said.
The show was divided into three parts: introduction, talent, and interview.
During the talent round, contestants chose a performance included dancing, singing, a karate presentation, sharing animal balloon memories, and dressing in drag.
For the interview round contestants had to dress formally and answer a question that was pulled from a hat.
Among the questions asked were: “If you could be one of the seven dwarfs, who would you be?” and “Do you think UM is a typical American university, why or why not?
Students and contestants enjoyed the opportunity to show their spirit and support for the school through the pageant.
Dimitri Augustin, second runner-up saw the experience as an opportunity to meet new people.
“It was a great experience,” he said. “I want to congratulate everyone because they did a great job.”
Most audience members enjoyed the event.
“I really enjoyed the talent part of the show because it was not all serious like in the Miss UM contest,” senior Jodel Jerome said. .
“It was very fun and interesting to watch- I liked the talent,” freshman Soraya Farrell said. “I have to give it up for Gilbertson, he deserved it.”
Sponsors for the event included Books and Books, Big Cheese, Starbucks, Book Horizons, Miami’s Best Pizza, the UM bookstore and TGI Fridays.
Cuffy won two domestic round trip tickets as well as book certificates. First runner-up Chad Newman and Augustin, received gift certificates to the UM bookstore and to Book Horizons.