Calling all ladies and gentlemen! Feast your eyes on the pure perfection as we search for this year’s Mr. MHS! They’ll show off their talent! Their muscles! Their personality!
Here are all the contestants: Pedro Lugo, Joshua Simon, Nathaniel Ilebode, Andy Tham, Samuel Pettigrew, Nicholas Ansaldi, Jeremiah Quessa, and James Mac.
Though first things first, here’s what you should know: Mr. MHS was brought back by the Maldonian Year Book in 2005 after going on hiatus. Ever since, the yearly performance took off. James Valente, the yearly MC, calls it his “baby”, though he cannot stress how much he owes to the crew, and contestants for allowing it happen.
Malden Mayor Gary Christenson and a few other faculty members from MHS served as the judges. If you have the Mayor on Snapchat you would be able to see his view of the show, and his shaking hands with the winner.
Many of the contestants’ debut on stage was during the beachwear competition. Wacky bathing shorts (and in Mac’s case, a bra), sent the crowd laughing and ready for the rest of the show.
The boys showcased their muscles and abs, whether it be drawn on, or real. Ansaldi and many of the boys enjoyed this competition most of all. Ansaldi described it as being his favorite part because he got to “go on stage and flex.”
Accompanied by a girl to compliment the eye catcher of this competition, people such as Simon displayed “what [they’re] working with” by showing people his muscles, a crowd pleaser, as he is known for doing many sports, and many females of the school being interested his person.
But it's all abs when it comes to Mac, as he went down the road of drawing them on, and wearing a nice bra to compliment his picture perfect physique.
Valente decided the boys would have to dance off to be able to select the best of the best. Two boys were selected from the line and had to dance to a song by Rihanna.
One other thing about this show, most--besides the major competitions--is unscripted. Senior Nic Acuna knows this, as he is one of the hosts for that evening and said, “there were two rehearsals,” and it was mostly just for the contestants and the hosts to try to get used to the stage. Acuna specifically remembers that he needed to practice some dancing for the beachwear competition.
In the talent competition, the crowd was able to see some musical performances, the contestants getting roasted, and the hosts of the night, Jesse Bouley, and Acuna learn a thing or two.
And this being a silly part of Mr. MHS, the contestants showed their worth.
The talent competition began with some hard core motivational training from Ansaldi, where the very happy hosts went from weak to strong in a matter of seconds. Bouley couldn’t even pick up a 15 pound weight, but after some jumping jacks, a protein shake, and very affective motivation from Ansaldi, he was doing reps like it was no problem.
Talent is lip-synching to Fresh Prince of Bel Air, accompanied by a fitting t-shirt with the writing “Fresh Prince”, and some amazing rapping, according to Ilebode. Lugo went along the same lines only this time, with some Lil Wayne. While Mac decided that, to spice things up, he would come out on a tricycle while singing a song by The Weeknd.
Mac also stated that the tricycle was a last minute decision, as recently MHS has been collecting people’s junk in order to raise money. He said “it was all kind of on the spot” with the convenience of a tricycle being near the auditorium at the time and his thoughts went to “‘oh, [he] should come out on a [tri]cycle!’”
As if Acuna and Bouley haven’t learned enough, it was time for Bouley to learn about how to talk in a British accent thanks to Pettigrew. He was given words such as “aluminium” and “schedule” to pronounce the correct way. Sam lived in England for two years at when he was younger, and is considered a total master in the teaching of the British accent.
A memorable topic that took the senior class by storm from the talent competition was Quessa’s “original rap,” which took a playful jab at each of his fellow contestants. Much of the audience noted that it was an original idea, and many people liked Quessa’s use of personal information, and using it in a light hearted rap.
Simon decided to recite a poem by Kanye West while Tham sang “Earned It” by The Weeknd.
After a brief intermission, the audience was lured in by the next section of Mr. MHS: impersonations. This is when each other contestants pretend to be a teacher, a coach, or any member of the faculty at MHS. They take on that person’s mannerisms, well-known qualities, and voices to try to become the best impersonator.
First up, was an impersonation of Timothy Lane, who teaches business and math. Ansaldi starts with giving his “class” a worksheet, and tries to answer some of the class’ questions.
Next, Valente introduces himself… but Nate Ilebode walks on stage. He holds on to his book and looks for his keys, as he talks to Jesse Bouley. Before he leaves, Nate shows the real Mr. Valente a picture on his phone… something many students of his class have seen happen.
Lugo takes on his best Charles Bowers persona, equipped with a tucked in shirt, a box of snacks and some stifled giggles. He at one point throws his snacks at a student and tries to answer a question leading to more laughter.
Mac comes in as. Kin Chan, a math teacher who is known for wearing a white puffy vest jacket. Besides the puffy white vest jacket, Mac is also wearing a small purse as he begins class. Then he starts explaining the properties of a quadrilateral on a whiteboard, in her accent, and nods enthusiastically as someone tells him about their homework problems. After that he dramatically rips up a student’s paper, and send the audience laughing.
Pettigrew decided that. Jason Payeur, a gym and health teacher, as well as Sam’s track coach, is a good person to impersonate. He starts off with reading people’s names while taking attendance, and does a lot of the hand gestures Payeur does. Next his students do some running drills with Payeur yelling his encouragements at the kids.
We all know her, if not, you definitely do not go to MHS, next is Paula Valente, impersonated by Quessa. This impersonation was so spot on, the entire audience was laughing. Some people remarked that the only thing Jeremiah needed was her signature whistle. With Jeremiah visibly annoyed by people on their phones, and asking everyone to sit down, Jeremiah showed the audience exactly how funny he can be.
Simon impersonated athletic director Charlie Conefrey. He began by lifting weights and greeting his pupil awkwardly. On to the lesson, where he gets to have a very Conefrey-ian conversation, only disturbed by his need to answer something on his phone. Thereafter more intense weight lifting. Then Simon peers in to take a picture with his student quickly, making the audience laugh. When another student comes in to talk, Simon talks about the new Malden Sports App then leaves while talking on the phone.
Last but not least, Tham decided to become Brian Morrison, who teaches physics. Strolling in very calmly, he begins class by writing on the board in scribbles. As he’s working with students, Andy sticks his butt out and eventually ends up laying all over his students’ desks whilst talking to another student. Acuna was a little phased by this, and awkwardly waited for it to end. We learn that Bouley knows nothing about physics, but Andy does, and can explain it using momentous body and hand gestures.
That concluded impersonations.
Now, the formal wear competition, though not as funny as the impersonations, still commendable. All the competitors walk onto stage wearing their nicest (and possibly from older proms) suites.
Now, in all seriousness, Mr. MHS has been around for a really long time, and has been a major event in the past. Though this year, people such as Valente believed that this year’s competitors were all of interesting backgrounds and culture, creating a well rounded show. He mentioned that in past years, since the competitors are picked by raffle, the types of kids from different cultures that were randomly selected, were not exactly the most reflective of MHS’s diversity.
This year though, things were spot on. Valente stated that he does not hope only one contestant will win, but all of them are worthy of winning, “if you have the courage, the self pride, and self worth to come forward and say ‘I think I can represent my school’ ...[he] thinks you are Mr. MHS”. Coming from someone who has seen Mr. MHSs come and go, Valente does often say that the best part of Mr. MHS is how there was no obvious winner from the beginning of the show. Any of the contestants this year could be a winner.
After formal wear, all of the contestants were asked why they want to be Mr. MHS, along with other questions. Many boys began with a statement about how they had a lot of fun on the show, and how much helping their school means to them. So many of the boys weren’t there to compete, in fact, Valente, states that backstage, the first people to help another contestant, were all the other contestants. They were all supportive, and glad to just be there.
The boys began their “I think I should be Mr. MHS…” statements with “because the song I performed earlier was pretty fun” (Mac) or “ because it was a new experience for me” (Pettigrew).
But there has to be one winner. When results were tallied, it turns out the winner had just been publicly thanking Valente on stage. Mac won for his hilarity, fashionable choices, and of course, sporadic taste in tricycles. The first and second runner ups were Pettigrew and Simon.
Even though Mac was “really nervous” before the show, he later believed that he had “no regrets.” He stated that he loved not knowing what was going to happen during the show, and he had a great time on stage and with the other contestants.
To all the competitors, this was a job well done, and congratulations to Pettigrew, Simon, and Mac for their achievements.