“There he is. Mr. Rappahannock. There he is. Your ideal. The dream of a million girls.”
Last Thursday’s senior class fundraiser was not on par with the Miss America pageant, but the evening was entertaining on a grand scale.
Fourteen guys — nine Rappahannock County High School students and five teachers — vied for Mr. Rappahannock and Mr. Senior Rappahannock honors in three rounds of judging of their casual and formal wear and their talent.
Teacher Karen Sanborn served as emcee of the competition. Young ladies from the class of 2010 served as escorts for the contestants during the formal wear competition: Katie Hartman, Lauren Settle, Hanna Kopjanski, Clarissa Rutherford and Ashley Collins.
The casual-wear round featured the men doing the traditional pageant walk before the judges. Each competitor chose his own theme music. Personalities shined as several of the men winked at the all-female judging panel and blew kisses to the audience.
During the talent phase, Malcolm Perry and Matt Beck took the audience on a nostalgic journey with their humorous version of the song “Ebony and Ivory.” Sounds of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” filled the auditorium when Andrew Kopjanski and Tom Nicklin lip-synced to that song.
Several contestants decided to show their dance moves. Edwin Cruz wowed everyone with his Latin-style dancing; Grayson Love showed off his hip-hop steps; and Jesus Lucas danced the macarena in a performance joined by the female escorts.
Audience laughter reverberated during the “Redneck Sumo Wrestling” skit performed and directed by seniors Jacob Heflin and Dennis McGillivray. Their choreographed antics were highlighted by the camouflage duct tape holding the oversized pillows they used as padding.
The RCHS teacher-contestants engaged the audience with their talents, too. Dave Naser sang an a cappella version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Justin Maffei played Keanu Reeves, George Bush and Jay Leno in a comedy skit. In a blast from the past, Russell Paulette and James Sharpe did the Abbott and Costello comedy routine “Who’s on First?” And the show-stopper was a pink-jacketed Steve Hrabek as a Jersey Shore-style make-up artist plying his trade on student Katie Hartman.
Intermission gave judges time to deliberate. Jackie Tederick, Stacey Devine and yours truly worked with table leader Sarah Buzzell to choose the semi-finalists.
In an impressive display of “they clean up well,” contestants returned to the stage for the final round. Students Jacob Heflin, Dennis McGillivray, Edwin Cruz, Andrew Kopjanski and Matt Beck made the cut for the finals — as did Steve Hrabek, Russell Paulette and James Sharpe for the teachers. The men answered questions like: “If you could be any household cleaning product, what would you be, and why?”
Suspense hung in the air as the judges tallied scores in the final round. Then, Jacob Heflin was announced as Mr. Rappahannock of 2010 and he received his crown from retiring royalty, Taylor Yowell (2009).
The new Senior Mr. Rappahannock, Steve Hrabek, received his crown from retiring Mr. Rapp, Ben Beasley.