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Mr. TJ Through Fresh Eyes

Posted 04/26/2017 by Lucy Peterson

Mr. TJ contestants anxiously await the announcement of the winner of this year's Mr. TJ. photo by Daniella Kuta

The annual Mr. TJ pageant returned with new men ready to impress the judges.

On Friday April 14th, a group of spartan men and their escorts took the stage to compete for the title of Mr. TJ, Mr. Talent, Mr. Spirit, and Mr. Congeniality in a series of pageant-like events to show off their talents to the panel of judges. Seniors Justin Vigil, John Turner, Alex Kah, Alex Tate, Corbett Tate, Sirak Hailemichael, Brandon Pietrs, Evan Domagala, Eric Stolz, Jacob Hermelink, Oscar Nurmat, Sean McNearney, Colton Hook, and Jesse Axelrad worked tirelessly for three months, preparing for the talent portion of the show, the rose ceremony, and their opening number – a compilation of songs with corresponding choreography.

The show kicked off with a dance number to the song “Raining Men,” among others. Accompanied by their escorts, seniors Allison Accola, Kate Lepry, Brooke Moore, Maisie McCord, Helena Lawrence, Olivia Palizzi, Sarah Miner, Genevieve Dzikowicz, Caroline Cech, Aminah Nomin, Kendall Richter, Annie McAninch, Morgan VandeRiet, and Paula Mortel, the men were introduced to the crowd and the competition began. During the talent portion of the show, the contestants each showed off a specific skill, vying to get the title of Mr. Talent, if not Mr. TJ. Kah, on the electric guitar, Turner on the bass, and Vigil singing along were all collectively crowned “Mr. Talent” for their rendition of Andy Grammer’s “Fresh Eyes.” “My favorite part was just being up there with my brothers and being able to win something together and making another good experience before we start new chapters of our live,” commented Vigil. Following the multiple displays of talent, the men then participated in the rose ceremony, a dance number including both the contestants and their escorts, where the men presented a rose to each of their escorts.

After the contestants wrapped up the show, the panel of judges (consisting of staff members Stephanie Stone and Tambyr Reed, TJ alumni Tyler Cobb and Andy Andolsek, and seniors Kieren Cecil and Sam Mattei) left the auditorium to discuss who would take home the titles of Mr. Talent, Mr. Congeniality, Mr. Spirit, and the coveted Mr. TJ. After winning Mr. Talent alongside Kah and Turner, Vigil was also crowned Mr. Spirit. Stolz took home the title of Mr. Talent and Axelrad was named this year’s reigning Mr. TJ. “I didn’t expect to win at all from the beginning, but I think after people saw my talent the expected me to at least win Mr. Talent. Overall, winning wasn’t as important as having a good time,” noted Axelrad. Athletic Director Anne Rice experienced her first Mr. TJ explaining, “You could tell that the contestants worked really hard on it and it was neat to see them put out a final product and have so much fun with it.” After another successful year of the show, incoming seniors are already brainstorming their talents for next year and are ready to carry on with the school tradition.