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A New Mr. Oxford Crowned

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February 4th marked a notable day in Oxford College. It was a day where test studying was (temporarily) dropped, Saturday plans were postponed, and students and faculty came together in Tarbutton Hall to witness a historic moment in Oxford College’s long line of traditions. Indeed, it was none other than the annual Mr. Oxford that brought together a crowd of more than 150 students. Charismatic hosts, Chelsea Cariker and Yedoye Travis, lightened the atmosphere in the room by starting the night off with humorous puns and suggestive innuendos.

The students showed themselves not only as good essay writers, but also as cheerful, kind people who know how to create real entertainment.

Freshmen and sophomore boys—excuse me, men--with the looks, personality, and “talent” proved to be smooth talkers, runway walkers, and simply put, crowd pleasers. Mr. Oxford, generally known for spoofing pageants, was no short of comedy this year.

The show kicked off boldly with the scandalous swimsuit portion. Swimsuit styles ranged from a skin being covered, to skin being flaunted. Chas Abdel-Nabi chose a more modest suit, showing off his casual tank and trunks. On the more extreme side, there was everything from Fez Fayyaz’s head to toe blue man suit to Steven Claude’s photoshopped abs. Whatever the guys threw at the audience, they turned heads and instantly hooked onlookers, setting the tone for the rest of the show.

Judges Jeannette Holian, Megan Schaedel, Nick Missler, Tyler Isherwood, and Christopher Ryan added quirky comments intermittently, throwing out smooth one-liners about the contestants. Similar to talent shows like American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, the judges maintained a critical eye, pinpointing flaws and making occasional compliments.

The audience’s attention did not sway during the talent portion which comprised a unique twist on the word “talent.” Not having a talent became a talent in itself as proved unabashedly by Robert Finger, whose assistant, Griffin Murphy, stole the limelight from him. Will Heise’s rap about Oxford included shout outs to SAA and RES life (smart call) and put him in the judges’ good books. Borna Amalfard put a twist on the talent portion by caricature sketching Yedoye in a matter of minutes—impressive! Anil Shalwani’s comedy, inspired by Demetri Martin’s large pad, drew laughter from across the board. His witty take on Lil’s, Biology 141, and the tobacco policy among other things drew close to home for many Oxfordians.

The final and vital portion of the show ended with a question and answer. Dressed in formal attire, each candidate was escorted by an escort of their choice. Each couple added a new quirk to their routine (i.e. Will Burke and Ellen Kim’s booty shake). To truly make a lasting impression, the men had to be on top of their game to come up with quick and clever remarks to whatever they were asked. Questions ranged from “who do you think will win the Super Bowl?” to “describe your ideal woman.”

Laughs aside, the job at hand was taken in all seriousness. Crowning of Mr. Oxford is legitimate business! Points were officially tallied, and a secret envelope revealed the winners (just like the real thing!). The finale channeled a more intense tone with the dimmed lights and hushed whispers that spread across the audience. The Mr. Oxfords themselves seemed a little anxious as they lined up under the spotlights. SAC Chair, Morgan Liston, announced the results as everyone held their breath.  William Wilford Heise IV, with his eccentric swimsuit, mad rap skills, and charming answers, earned himself the title of Mr. Oxford. With the “crown” now in his possession, many things will be expected from Mr. Heise--starting from world peace.