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Phil Andrews of Gal­loway Dorm is this year’s Mr. Hillsdale. RACHEL KOOKOGEY | COURTESY

From Bob Ross impres­sions to musical per­for­mances and slam poetry, seven men of Hillsdale put up stiff com­pe­tition for the ‘Mr. Hillsdale 2019’ crown.

Pi Beta Phi’s annual phil­an­thropy event on Friday, Nov. 1 dis­played a typical share of unusual talents and awkward pick up lines from the rep­re­sen­ta­tives put up by dif­ferent fra­ter­nities, male dor­mi­tories, and the Track & Field team.

Junior Phillip Andrews, oth­erwise known as “Mr. Phillsdale,” took the 2019 Mr. Hillsdale title. His win in the pageant was most likely due to a piano and rubber chicken per­for­mance of “Bohemian Rhapsody” — after which the judges asked for an encore so they could film him.

Andrews said the rubber chicken per­for­mance was the main reason he decided to par­tic­ipate in the pageant.

“My friends and I were hanging out and someone showed me a video of a guy playing the rubber chicken with his hands,” Andrews said. “As a joke, one of them said ‘Phil, you’re doing that for Mr. Hillsdale,’ and I said ‘OK.’” 

When they found out the com­pe­tition was only a few weeks away, Andrews said, he decided to pur­chase the rubber chicken and actually learn how to play it.

Other con­tes­tants’ talents included junior Alpha Tao Omega rep­re­sen­tative Sam Swayze’s imper­son­ation of Bob Ross, in which he taught the judges to paint a seascape, and sophomore Simpson Dor­mitory rep­re­sen­tative Brant Siegfried’s con­tor­tionist dance routine that involved a flight attendant costume and suitcase.

Siegfried said he hadn’t known what talent he would use when he com­mitted to com­peting, but he knew he wanted to make people laugh.

“My goal was to make people laugh. I think that is how the sorority raises the most money,” Siegfried said. “I believe I am phys­i­cally endowed with a unique level of flex­i­bility which set me apart from the com­pe­tition.”

The rest of the event was con­ducted like a typical beauty pageant, including a for­malwear contest with ques­tions such as “how would you define a meme for Pres­ident Arnn,” and a swimwear contest in which the con­tes­tants said their best pickup lines.

Some con­tes­tants took liberty with the instruc­tions. For example, sophomore and rep­re­sen­tative for Delta Tau Delta Ben Garfinkle carried in a handful of limes, pro­ceeded to drop them and take a long time to clean them up, before saying “sorry, I’m not really good at pick-up limes.”

The Mr. Hillsdale com­pe­tition is Pi Beta Phi’s biggest phil­an­thropy event of the year for as long as the girls in the sorority can remember. The event raises money for mul­tiple children’s lit­eracy ini­tia­tives through the selling of tickets and a penny-raising com­pe­tition for con­tes­tants leading up to the event.

Pi Beta Phi Phil­an­thropy Chair Kristin Freeman, who directed the event, said the pageant has been a tra­dition for over a decade at least.

“It’s always been a Pi Phi event, Freeman said. “It’s always been fruitful because we get to ask dif­ferent parts of campus to work with us in order to do our phil­an­thropy.”