Last Tuesday, UMaine’s Alpha Omicron Pi (AOII) sorority put on its 15th annual Mr. Fraternity competition. The event spotlights one contestant from 13 fraternities on campus in a male beauty pageant style competition. The event began at 7 p.m. and consisted of three rounds, beginning with an introduction and progressing into a talent portion. Contestants advanced based 60 percent on donations to their fraternities and 40 percent on judge’s scores of their performances, in which a representative from each sorority judged them.
All donations benefited the Arthritis Foundation, AOII’s chosen philanthropy. Many AOIIs could be seen organizing the event and collecting donations and Destiny Bureau and Carly Cosgrove, both AOIIs, emceed the event.
Erik Byrne of Alpha Delta was the first contestant to take the stage and his stand up routine started the event off on a positive note. He roasted UMaine’s parking services and student surveys, before concluding his performance with a very well received Donald Trump impersonation, boasting about a wall he would build at UMaine, which would be paid for in full by the University of New Hampshire.
Next up was Tim McGuire from Alpha Gamma Rho who entertained the crowd with his impressive violin rendition of “Something Just Like This” by The Chainsmokers and Coldplay.
The audience regarded the highlight of the night was undoubtedly when Alpha Tau Omega’s Jack Brown took the stage. Brown came out with nothing but an Orono House of Pizza BBQ chicken and bacon calzone, which he proceeded to sensually devour as Celine Dion’s powerhouse track “All By Myself” blasted from the speakers, much to the audience’s delight. The performance concluded when a crewmember rolled Brown a Natty Light, which he wisely declined to drink. Roses were thrown on stage and Brown finished his meal to applause.
But no male beauty pageant would be complete without an enthusiastic blond with a mullet, which in this case was none other than Beta Theta Pi’s Adam Fortier Brown. He displayed his comical talent of shooting propped beach balls with a Nerf gun, which was executed expertly every time and to which he advised the audience not to try at home.
Delta Tau Delta’s Sam Donnelly was next up and tried a few dad jokes on the audience. He harped on his nursing background, basing his jokes around it and even wearing his scrubs on stage.
The next performance amped up the crowd with dance moves, as John Laperle of Kappa Sigma showed off his flexibility and robot moves as MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” boomed.
At this point, the event was going pretty smoothly, but was admittedly hitting a lull. Ben Mahanna of Phi Gamma Delta saw this as the perfect opportunity to make things weird. After taking ten minutes to take the stage, Mahanna emerged holding a large bunny Simba style and proceeded to shuck raw oysters as Nelly’s Grillz blared throughout the auditorium. Occasionally eating an oyster, Mahanna shucked about 10 oysters before offering them to the audience. There were no takers.
In need of a solid performance to stabilize the event, Austin Swart of Pi Kappa Phi took the stage brandishing a gnarly white electric guitar. Choosing to attempt the 90’s Bush hit Glycerine, Swart instantly won over the audience. Smartphone flashlights were waving and Greek girls were smitten; the performance was a clear hit.
Keeping up the tempo set by Swart, Chad Morin of Sigma Alpha Epsilon confidently took the stage to Katy Perry’s Hot N Cold. Waving a hot pink streamer and sporting neon green sunglasses, Morin pranced around the stage as squeals of delight arose his fan base in the third row. It was a bold move to lip-sync to a song he clearly did not know the lyrics to, but what Morin lacked in technicalities he made up for with his contagious enthusiasm.
Sigma Chi’s Ryan McGinty graced the stage next, wearing an eye-catching Patriots suit and trying out a stand up routine on the crowd. Structured around his dislike for the movies, some jokes fizzled out. but McGinty finished strong harping on overpriced buttered popcorn.
But what’s a talent portion of a pageant without a little magic? Max Viega of Sigma Phi Epsilon wowed the audience with a few staple card tricks, which weren’t necessarily suited for a large audience. But Viega’s personality shone through and the audience lapped it up. His final trick involved audience participation and really piqued the crowd’s interest. It all went perfectly until Viega exposed the maneuvering behind his trick at the last minute before rushing offstage.
Tau Kappa Epsilon’s Aaron Zucker won over the crowd instantly with his natural humor and good-natured personality, joking about his bar-mitzvah and Jewish heritage before rolling a soil cigarette while singing along to the acoustic version of Sublime’s Bad Fish. Overall it was definitely a memorable performance, with bonus points for creativity.
The final contestant to strut his stuff came down to Cameron Guay of Theta Chi, who charmed all the ladies in the room with his free flowing acoustic version of Jack Johnson’s Banana Pancakes, followed by Buddy Holly’s Dearest.
After a short intermission, the final eight to advance were announced, which included Viega, McGinty, Swart, Guay, McGuire, Mahanna, Fortier Brown and Donnelly. A balloon-popping round followed directly after, to which contestants were paired off and pitted against each other for bonus points.
Finally, a quick fire question round elicited few memorable moments, and the winner was quickly calculated. In 5th place came Pi Kappa Phi, 4th was Theta Kai, 3rd went to Beta Theta Pi, 2nd place was Alpha Gamma Rho and Ryan McGinty of Sigma Chi was crowned Mr. Fraternity 2017.
Raffle prizes were divvied out, with students taking home gift cards to Aroma Joes, Woodman’s, OHOP and even a 2018 parking pass. In total the event raised roughly $3,600 for the Arthritis Foundation.