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.”