Watson crowned Mr. Linganore 2018: Photo of the Day 3/11/18

by Kelsey Ward, Editor

The 20th annual Mr. Linganore competition took place on  March 10. In honor of the twentieth year of Mr. Linganore, the theme was XXL–Mr. LHS “Larger Than Life.”  Josh Watson,who portrayed The Fonz, was crowned Mr. Linganore; Erick Stutz (Mrs. Doubtfire) was first runner-up, and Devin Barge (Fresh Prince of Bel Air) won third place.

“The competition was excellent! Every contestant will tell you that the event is an amazing experience, but you never really understand that until you are in it yourself. I enjoyed performing my talent, getting to wear a white tuxedo and being escorted by Kelsey Ward,” said Watson.

The competition started with Mrs. Natalie Rebetsky and Mr. Jeremy Brown introducing the show as the Masters of Ceremony. Katie Constantine and Adrianna D’Amore were student coordinators for the event. Each of the contestants then entered the stage as their character. Barge won the entrance category after strutting down the aisle and executing two cartwheels.

Joel Tate entered the stage as Walt Disney. He was accompanied by Sophia Posada, Carolyn Payne, Jacqueline Ryan and Emily Sedgwick, who were all dressed as different Disney Characters and watched him as he “imagined” his characters to life. Everyone laughed when Cinderella came on stage and lost a shoe.

courtesy of Susan Boroff
Joel Tate dressed as Walt Disney for his entrance.

“I thought my entrance went really well. I feel like people really understood what was happening as my ‘characters’ walked out on stage. I like how it came together,” said Tate.

Brown and Rebetsky added a new twist this year, inviting an audience member to be a guest judge for three of the competitions:  entrance, formal wear and ballroom dance.  This sixth judge joined Seth Bowman (Mr. LHS 2004), Beverly Lloyd, Jeff Maley, and Chris Eckard, and Amanda Venable.  All of the judges have strong connections to the school.

courtesy of Seth Bowman
2004 Mr. Linganore, Seth Bowman, takes a picture with Josh Watson.

“Fourteen years ago, I wore this very crown. Congratulations to Mr. Linganore 2018, Josh Watson – a very thoughtful and talented guy,” said Bowman.

After the parade of characters, Brown and Rebetsky announced the preliminary competition scores.  Two days earlier, the competitors had decorated cakes, made sweetheart letters, and built towers of gumdrops. The overall winner of these competitions (including ticket sales and UNO’s night fundraisers),  was Stutz, followed by Andrew Nash in second and Watson in third.

Stutz kicked off the talent portion of the competition, followed by Lars Eklund. Along with Will Colletti, Luke Freeman, Mike Mauro, Jon Wheat and Jordan Swoyer, Stutz performed the “Jingle Bell Rock” dance from the movie Mean Girls. Eklund performed a piano skit.

“It was fun being in Erick’s talent and I really enjoyed it. It was awesome to be on stage with my friends and have a good time,” said Wheat.

Contestants then entered the stage, with their escorts, for the formal wear competition, provided by Men’s Wearhouse. Each contestant answered an interview question relating to the “larger than life” theme. The winner for the formal wear was Barge. He wore a black suit, red vest and red tie. Stutz came in first for the interview question.  He gave a moving answer about how his mother has been a role model in his life.

The next three talents were by Garrett Johnson, Nathan Lippy and Barge. Johnson did a dance with Stutz and Freeman. They dressed as janitors and danced with mops to “I Want it That Way” by the Backstreet Boys. Lippy did a hand-bone routine with his younger sister. Barge did a pom routine with current pom seniors Constantine, Kelsey Ward, Ani Bohossian-James and Sarah Hall.

Following these three talent acts, there was brief intermission. Audience members could bid on raffle baskets created by each of the contestants and other items that were donated to support Safe and Sane.

The second half of the show commenced with the ballroom dance competition. This year’s dance was the rumba and was choreographed by Mrs. Linda Sanders. The dance was to the song “Something Just Like This” by Coldplay and The Chainsmokers. Watson won the dance round with his partner Caitlin Peigh.

“It was a lot of fun to dance with Josh. He was really funny and would always count the music, even when Mr. Brown told him he couldn’t,” said Peigh.

Bridget Murphy
The contestants dancing the rumba.

Nash, Joel Tate and Watson then performed the last three talents of the evening. Nash performed a dance routine to the song “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls. Nash, Watson and Eklund, along with PJ Hinch and Joey Hall, each dressed up as one of the five spice girls. Tate performed a remake of “Saturday Night Update” from Saturday Night Live, with Boghossian-James. Watson did a jazz performance with Alex Tran, Matt Carney and David Wallace.

“Alex did a lot to help me through the event. He helped me find an escort, did most of the planning and went to the dress rehearsal when I couldn’t attend. I am extremely thankful for all he did for me,” said Watson.

Watson won the talent round and will be performing again at the National Honor Society Talent Show on March 21.

The contestants then came together for last dance to “It’s Raining Men.” This dance has been performed at every Mr. Linganore and is choreographed by Rebetsky.  Rebetsky surprised the audience by jumping into the arms of the contestants as the dance finished.

The judges then tallied their votes, and the final three were announced: Barge, Stutz and Watson. These three then answered one final question, which would determine who would win the crown.  The question was, “In your long life, what is one piece of advice, event or person who, at the time you thought was not significant, but you realize now was larger than life important. Watson talked about a time when he was helping a friend who’s mother died. His best advice was to “just be a friend.”

While waiting for the judges to deliberate, last year’s Mr. Linganore, Jacob Frey, delivered a few words about what it meant to him to win Mr. Linganore.

“Winning Mr. Linganore meant a lot to me. I love this school and I’ve always dreamed on being in the competition. Winning was beyond my wildest dreams,” said Watson.

Bridget Murphy
Mrs. Natalie Rebetsky with the Mr. Linganore contestants.