By Leah Antil
This year was Habitat for Humanity’s fourth annual Mr. Siena Contest where ten strapping
young lads competed for the title Mr. Siena being judged on talent, habitat wear, formal wear and a series of questions. While each of these contestants not only had to come up with a talent, pick out formal wear and creative habitat wear; they were also assigned the task of selling over 200 buttons with their shiny smiling faces upon them and let us not forget the rehearsals where they practicing their choreographed dance numbers. With all the work that went into it, there was certainly no question as to how bad they wanted it… and who
wouldn’t want to be Mr. Siena, after all?
Hosted by the ever beloved college Chaplain Father Bill Beaudin and 2006 Mr. Siena contestant, the sweet-as-pie Sam Ogden; the hosts lightened the mood with a little harmless jabbing before all 10 studs entered with a plucky dance number to kick off the night. The judges, Nick Noblett, Chairperson of SEB, Judy Doherty, the advisor to the Habitat Club and Br. Walter Liss, the Friar in Residence of Padua, certainly had their work cut out for them. Each contestant had their own little dance in the spotlight during the introductory montage that they all worked so hard to synchronize. It certainly got the crowd pumped at any rate.
Habitat Wear was first on the agenda as each contestant demonstrated his ability to look sexy and suave while doing manual labor. Highlights include: Vic Cristiano rocking a cowboy hat like nobody’s business, Dave Olek kicking some serious thug butt as (Jason) the Red Ranger defending a Habitat worker. Who couldn’t fall in love with the Siena Saint Bernard, as played by Adam Myott or the giant hammer chasing a giant nail, as played by Bryan Schroter?
The talent portion was up next and it was no disappointment. Leading off the first of many great ideas, Steve Hannigan invented his own workout regimen to increase testosterone and really get you pumped. A creative slideshow, a great group of cheerleaders and some sweet saxophone really won the crowd. He was followed by Vic Cristiano crooning “New York, New York” looking great (as usual) in a dashing tuxedo.
Dave Olek was next, impressing the crowd with his drumming and accomplices in white lab coats and goggles. Not only did he utilize black lights to their full capacity of awesomeness, no one will ever look at laundry detergent the same again.
Greg Maroux delivered a glass symphony on water glasses filled with various amounts of water which quickly escalated into an Apache “Jump On It” dance fest which everyone enjoyed. Dave Galvis looking positively handsome in a black tux performed a piano piece inspired by his frequent late night practices on the piano in Padua Hall which segued into crooning our favorite tune from “10 Things I hate About You”.
Bryan Schroter combined many popular jams, for full list please see, the Saga Soundtrack and Now 27 to tell the audience about the journey that many college students make in their pursuit of a true companion. He wined and dined a mysterious, but very sexy hot blond and wore what was likely the most uncomfortable electric blue spandex known to man.
Derrell Melton went before his very own panel of “American Idol” judges and sang a little Duffy for everyone to enjoy. It was great to see him go from “American Idol” laughingstock and hamming it up, to dancing it out to win the judges’ hearts.
Four-time Mr. Siena contestant Conor Geary performed an original song t
hat definitely was not “Wind Beneath my Wings” about the joys of being a college student, accompanied by a great slideshow that confirmed the joys of being a college student, Siena style. Dan Racciopo slowed things down at Mr. Siena but amped up his Open Mic Night performance by playing a little acoustic and crooning some very delicate originals to a swooning crowd.
Adam Myott brought the audience to the world of Super Nintendo with a game of Tetris, a convincing game of Duck Hunt and starred as our favorite stereotyped Italian, Mario! There was also a guest appearance by Princess Peach and Dr. Ellard.
Following the talents was a truly spectacular dance number with the three past winners of Mr. Siena, Patrick Farley (2006), Adam Mastroianni (2007) and Kristiam Gonzelez (2008). They combined some amazing dance styles and awesome music in their uniforms of cerulean shirts, white shorts and yellow knee highs to drive the crowd wild. It was something that Habitat’s Mr. Siena had not done in the past, but truly made it special.
Formal wear was the last part of the Mr. Siena contest and the last chance for the contestants to strut their stuff for the audience and the judges. Both contestants and escorts looked amazing in tuxedos and dresses of every cut and color. Highlighting this contest of course, was Conor Geary in his very form fitting evening gown that left little to the imagination but a lot to laughter as he eloquently flounced about on stage.
The time now came for the announcement of the winner of Mr. Siena 2009,
but not before another dance number by the contestants that featured a pretty impressive Can-can line. The judges debated, and the winners were announced amidst cheers and Mr. Siena induced euphoria by the crowd. Winning ‘Best Habitat Wear’ was Dan Racioppo with ‘Best Talent’ going to Conor Geary. ‘Mr. Congeniality’ was given to Vic Cristiano for being oh-so-nice and easy to work with. The first Runner Up to Mr. Siena was Dave Olek having a killer talent and defending Habitat workers everywhere from Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd. The coveted title of Mr. Siena was passed to Bryan Schroter from Kristiam Gonzalez and the sophomore who only took second place last year was crowned number one in 2009. Of course, every
contestant did a great job, and the Habitat members who worked hard behind the scenes to make it happen are just as worthy of crowns as well. It just goes to show, like Habitat for Humanity, a little hard work, can go a long way. Congratulations to all the Mr. Siena contestants !