Braden Weinel’s day off goes perfect at Mr. Linganore 2020

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Contestants hold up Braden Weinel in celebration after he's crowned Mr. Linganore

by Bailey Spore, Editor-In-Chief

The short URL of the present article is: https://lhslance.org/b15wv

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller

Although the day was long, life moved fast for the seven contestants for Mr. Linganore 2020:  Men of Vision, and, before they knew it, Mr. Jeremy Brown was reading the top three winners: Braden Weinel, Jacob Blue and Max Ross.

Weinel, who chose Ferris Bueller as his character, was the one who stopped to take a look around. He didn’t miss his chance and worked hard to be crowned Mr. Linganore.

“I wish I could go back and re-live that night. It was so much fun,” said Weinel.

March 7, contestants, escorts, managers, helpers and everyone else involved with Mr. Linganore spent a long day filled with stress and struggle at the school. Early in the morning, contestants and escorts went through one final dance rehearsal, followed by a run-through of the entire show. Brown and Mrs. Natalie Rebetsky offered contestants advice and critiqued the entire rehearsal to make sure the show was perfect. After 22 years of producing Mr. Linganore, the two adults have plenty of experience.

“A lot of my plans fell apart. We had to switch my audio and learn a completely new dance. It was a long and stressful day for me,” said Maximus Ross, who was portraying Alexander the Great.

While the audience filled the auditorium, contestants and escorts prepared for a big night back stage. The first event was the entrance. Contestants were introduced as the character they chose to portray. Ross won this event, as he had his friends dress as peasants in togas and carry him in on a fur-covered throne as Alexander the Great.

Another great entrance was Jack Maerten’s as John Lennon. Maerten folded into a mini Volkswagen van and rolled out on stage in it before presenting himself to the crowd.

The talent portions of the show were in two parts, one before and one after intermission. David Kominars and Jeremy Hilton tied for the talent portion. Kominars gave an outstanding performance of “Fly Me To The Moon” by Frank Sinatra. The performance left the crowd stunned by Kominars’ incredible singing voice.  He and Jeremy Hilton tied for best talent performance.

“David did amazing! The audience got really excited when they heard what his song was. He looked like he had a lot of fun on stage. Everyone loved his performance,” said Elizabeth Hall.

Hilton sang “Grow As We Go” by Ben Platt. Hilton pulled off something more impressive than anyone else the night of the show. Due to family emergency, Hilton wasn’t able to attend the dress rehearsals, so his first time going through everything was during the show itself.

One of everyone’s favorite talents was Luke Goundry’s. Goundry did a comedy skit that was simply making a peanut buter and jelly sandwhich, and it was a hit.

“I was a little nervous for his talent because it was a very last minute idea, but I think he did a great job making something as simple as PB&J so entertaining. I was proud of him,” said Clare Beiter, Goundry’s escort.

There was also a formal wear competition, which was won by Jeremy Hilton, and a dance competition where all the contestants and escorts performed the samba. Jacob Blue won the dance competition.

“It felt really great to win the dance portion, but without the encouragment from my partner, Rhiannon, I don’t know what I would’ve done,” said Blue.

In the second half of the show, Brown re-appeared with a red glitter beard.  Modeling it on the Instagram trend, he and Rebetsky researched how to get the glitter to stick and determined it’s just liquid Elmer’s glue.

Marco Recchia
Jacob Blue dances with his partner Rhiannon Seyfried in the samba dance

After the “It’s Raining Men” finale dance, the judge’s scores were in, and the finalists were announced.

The three finalists were Blue, Ross and Weinel. All they had to do was answer one final question and the best answer won.

Incorporating the theme of “men of vision,” all three were asked about who their visionary role model is.

All three contestants gave heartfelt answers, but Weinel’s was just a little more touching than the others, in the judges’ opinions. Weinel said his biggest role model is his older brother Nick. Nick Weinel participated in Mr. Linganore six years ago, which is the reason Braden was on the stage Saturday night. Braden said how much he looked up to Nick in life and thanked him for all his support, all this as Nick sat in the crowd, proud of his little brother.

“I hope to one day be half the man that he is,” said Braden.

Bailey Spore
Nick and Braden Weinel hug each other while celebrating Braden’s win

Noah Price, last year’s winner, gave a speech about how the experience influenced him.

As the winner was announced, all the contestants and escorts rushed the stage and congratulated Weinel. A few of the contestants even picked him up and help him on their shoulders, it was a great moment to witness, but perhaps an even better moment was when Nick Weinel came on to the stage and hugged his little brother, telling him how proud he was as they embraced each other.

Everyone was happy for Weinel.

“If I had to lose, I’m glad it was to Braden,” said Blue, who placed second behind Weinel.