The 29th Annual Mr. East Competition
April 15, 2016
On Friday, April 15, the 29th annual Mr. East competition will take place. This year, the contestants include Jack Tremper (Mr. Jock Tremper), David Kahn (Mr. I-Kahnic), Kennedy Omari (Mr. Black Mamba), Aaron Silverberg (Mr. Berger and Fries), Jacob DeBlecourt (Mr. Dinner for One), Shyam Handa (Mr. Shyampain Papi), Dipto Chakravarty (Mr. Fun DIP), Joey Tighue (Mr. Suit and Tighue), Jake Walsh (Mr. Van der Waalsh) and Sam Greenberg (Mr. Sam I Am). Come to East on Friday night to see who will be crowned Mr. East.
Mr. East Countdown: Mr. Sam I Am – 10 days to go!
Sam Greenberg (’16), also known as Mr. Sam I Am, is one of ten contestants competing in this year’s Mr. East competition. Greenberg says that he is “the best whistler in Cherry Hill East and possibly…in the world.” Greenberg discovered this talent at a very young age and believes it will set him apart from the rest of the pack.
“I’ve been annoying my family, most notably…my mother, with my whistling since she said about five years old, and I’ve just never stopped,” Greenberg stated.
When he noticed that he was an above average whistler, his love for whistling turned into a powerful passion, a passion that he hopes will get him crowned as Mr. East. Greenberg attempted, but failed, in creating a whistling club here at East, in which he had hoped to find other talented whistlers. Since the club never got off the ground, he decided to take a chance and put his talents on display at Mr. East.
Greenberg sees no other threat than himself in the upcoming competition.
“Among the participants, the other nine people I’m going against, …they are [all] very talented in their own respects, but I believe that my biggest competitor is myself. I would say I have a little bit of stage fright and I’ve never actually been in front of as many people as I would expect to come out for Mr. East, which should be a couple hundred people… I’m just afraid that I’ll slip up on stage or do something embarrassing, but truthfully, I think I’ll get past that and you know, just showcase my supreme ability,” Greenberg said with confidence.
Last year, Sam Amon (’15), Mr. Samazing, was crowned Mr. East.
When asked if he would like to see another “Sam” crowned as Mr. East, he stated, “I think another Sam winning would be great. It’s a great name and I would love to pass the crown down to another Sam.”
Although Amon will not be attending this year’s festivities surrounding Mr. East, he has some advice for Greenberg and all of the Mr. East contestants.
“My advice is just to go out there and have fun. I honestly didn’t expect to win and it didn’t matter if I did or not, but being a part of Mr. East is one of my best memories from high school and it is like that because I went out there with my friends and had a great time” Amon stated, reminiscing his Mr. East experience.
Greenberg, who is going to portray an elephant in this year’s jungle-themed contest, plans to enjoy every second of his Mr.East experience and he plans on keeping the crown in the hands of a “Sam.”
Mr. East Countdown: Mr. Van der Waalsh- 9 Days to go!
Although Mr. East is not, in a traditional sense, a talent show, most of the time talent wins out. This bodes well for Mr. East participant Jake Walsh (‘16), as talented a student as East has to offer.
Jake Walsh, a name that East students talk about with a tone of part-awe and part-reverence, exemplifies talent and intellect in all of his actions. His Mr. East name – Mr. Van der Waalsh – is just one example of Walsh’s wit and intelligence.
His name, Walsh explains, is “a pun on the van der Waals force, which is this intermolecular force. It’s basically – slightly simplified – what connects everything together. I’m trying to be someone who is, in a sense, a connector.”
Walsh understands that his wit and brains are not enough to warrant him a Mr. East win. Thus, Walsh plans to go into his performance with a specific goal in mind to win over the judges and audience.
“Primarily my goal is to just make the audience laugh. I feed off the energy. I think any performer just really enjoys just having a good performance essentially,” said Walsh.
Walsh was hesitant to describe exactly how he plans to do this, but he did say that the Mr. East audience should “prepare for a bit of satire, a lot of self-effacing comedy, and just good stuff.” Though Walsh was hesitant to use the cliché “expect the unexpected,” he hinted that his performance would not be an ordinary one.
Walsh also made it very clear that he is quite different than his competitors. Aside from “several inches,” the 6’4” Walsh detailed many other assets that make him unique from the rest of the Mr. East field.
“I think that I’m well prepared, I have a biting wit, I am multi-talented, I’m an instrumentalist, and I think the combination of my various talents will combine to make for an overall strong performance,” Walsh said.
These reasons, Walsh says, are what make him a worthy candidate to win Mr. East.
“I think, essentially, you can make an argument that I deserve to win Mr. East because I am someone who has a broad array of talents,” Walsh said. “I am someone who typifies the ideals of what this school has – this weird, sarcastic, very cynical culture that I think is sort of pervasive at East.”
While Walsh’s intellectual abilities are well documented, the school will wait until April 15 to see his many other talents on display. If his performance is as interesting as he alluded to, however, then Mr. East 2016 may belong to Mr. Van der Waalsh.
Mr. East Countdown: Mr. Suit and Tighue – 8 Days to go!
For those of you who haven’t seen him perform on his trombone with Inspiration East, get ready to see Joey Tighue (’16), otherwise known as Mr. Suit and Tighue, take the stage on Friday, April 15 at the Mr. East pageant.
Tighue first saw the pageant during his freshman year, when he was inspired to one day participate in the event.
Although he is keeping his talent portion on the down low, Tighue said that the audience can expect, “a little bit of film, a little bit of music, and a whole lot of fun.” He plans on showcasing two major talents, one that he has been doing since fourth grade and the other that he began pursuing seriously during his sophomore year.
After winning Mr. East, Tighue hopes to enter the film industry. He has taken both Broadcasting 1 and 2, and he has participated in the Moose Film Festival.
Tighue can often be found in D-wing playing in various ensembles including Jazz Band and Symphony Orchestra. In terms of personal preference, he enjoys all music except for country, especially jazz and classic rock.
Challenging opponents, such as Jacob DeBlecourt (’16) and Jack Tremper (’16) might pose as a threat to Mr. Suit and Tighue; however, Tigue brings a unique perspective to the Mr. East stage.
“[I’m excited for] how much fun I’m going to have,” said Tigue. “It’s going to be a good time, and that’s basically why I’m doing this.”
His variety of talents won’t hurt his chances at victory either.
Despite his honest, easy-going personality, Tighue does have one secret for the audience.
“Personally, I wanted to be more of a jaguar [than a cheetah],” he said on his Mr. East animal, “because I think they are prettier than cheetahs. I’m not really fast. I guess I’ve got the charismatic factor.”
Whatever his true spirit animal may be, audience members can expect an entertaining, exciting act from Mr. Suit and Tighue.
“Get ready for a wild ride,” said Tighue.
Mr. East Countdown: Mr. Jock Tremper-7 days to go!
Jack Tremper (’16), also known as Mr. Jock Tremper, will have the eye of the tiger as he claws his way to the title of “King of The Jungle” in this year’s Mr. East Competition.
Tremper can be found any day in D-wing whether it’s for the theatre department, singing for Stay Tuned or practicing with Casual Harmony and Voce.
However, for the 2016 Mr. East Competition, Tremper will be bringing out his athletic side and exemplifying the tiger in his split acapella and basketball routine.
“You need the eye of tiger when you need to aim, you need to have the drive to win and to finally get off the bench, which is my main goal,” said Tremper. “I really think that I exemplify the tiger in my determination and willingness to try new things and to get out there.”
Tremper believes his routine will be something to remember and will give him a competitive edge over the other contestants because his act has a combination of many different elements.
“I think I have an element of surprise in my act…I got basketball, a cappella, singing, a bunch of different things and I think no one has really seen so much of a mixture in Mr. East,” said Tremper. “You always have your singing, you have your dancing, you have your musicians which they are all great, but I think I brought a different spin to singing, and I think it will be very memorable.”
As one of the biggest events of senior year, Tremper believes Mr. East will wrap up his high school experience and give him the chance to show what he is all about, and what he has contributed to the school.
“It’s a great event to bring the entire school together, and I’ve always had so much fun [at East] so I wanted to be a part of it,” said Tremper.
Singing ever since his mom drug him to theatre camp in the fourth grade, Tremper fell in love with performing. Half of Tremper’s routine will feature a cappella backed up by his friends in Stay Tuned.
“Whether it’s through theatre or acapella, which is what I am doing with this, it’s a great way to express myself so I have been doing it for awhile and for four years at East.”
Ready to get on stage and show off his newly found basketball skills, and experience in singing, Tremper is anticipating Mr. East on April 15.
“I am really excited to show everyone from all different areas of the school what I do and what I have been doing for the past four years and really bring my activities to the forefront,” said Tremper.
Mr. East Countdown: Mr. Shyampagne Papi – 6 days to go!
Ready to become the Class of 2016’s King of the Jungle is Shyam Handa (‘16), also known as Mr. Shyampagne Papi. On April 15, Handa hopes to win this year’s Mr. East title. Handa’s interest in becoming a Mr. East contestant goes back to three years ago when he saw his first Mr. East show as a freshman.
“Every year—my freshman, sophomore and junior years—I watched [the Mr. East competition], and I just thought it was awesome. I thoroughly enjoyed watching other people’s acts. I thought ‘wow, this is something I want to do. I want to be a part of this experience when I’m a senior, so when [it was my turn] this year… I decided ‘why not? Go for it,’” said Handa.
As a Mr. East contestant, Handa has a lot to look forward to, whether it be showing off his special talent or having the chance to win a school-wide competition. However, Handa is most looking forward to bonding with his fellow Mr. East contestants.
“I am most looking forward to the experience as a whole and bonding with the other nine [Mr. East contestants] and making a dope show for everybody to watch,” said Handa.
Since Handa has had a chance to bond with the other contestants, he has seen and heard about the others’ special talents. After getting a sampling of some of the others contestants’ acts, Handa thinks that Sam Greenberg (‘16) is his biggest competitor.
“Sam Greenberg [is my biggest competitor] because I hear he is a great whistler,” said Handa.
While Handa admires Greenberg’s whistling, he is not willing to divulge what he will do for his special talent; he wants to keep it a surprise. However, Handa did say that a piano will make an appearance in his act. Handa played piano for four years, but he stopped when he was 14-years-old.
“I’ll be able to do [my special talent soon]. My special talent is a surprise. No, I actually can do the talent, but I’m just not too good at it yet… I will be playing the piano, though,” said Handa.
The animal that Handa will portray at the Mr. East competition is a monkey. He thinks that the monkey suits him best due to his physical resemblance to monkeys.
“I think I physically look somewhat like a monkey, and I can make a pretty good monkey face. People even say I look like a monkey. Monkeys tend to be wild, and I think I am somewhat wild, but I do not like bananas,” said Handa.
Handa is looking forward to becoming King of the Jungle on April 15.
Mr. East Countdown: Mr. Fun DIP- 5 days to go!
A true character, Dipto Chakravarty, also known as Mr. Fun DIP, is ready to “own” the stage on Friday, April 15. In fact, Chakravarty has actually been “owning” the stage for quite some time now.
“I did plays in my freshman year and I’ve been participating in Multicultural Day ever since 10th grade,” said Chakravarty commenting on his stage experience. “Outside of school I’ve also been performing in plays.”
Chakravarty notes this passion and love for the stage as his key reason for desiring to be a Mr. East contestant.
“I’m looking forward to showing people my talent and to perform again because I just like performing for people,” said Chakravarty, “Yeah, that’s why I’m doing Mr. East, I just like to express my talent.”
Despite his onstage talent, when initially selected as a Mr. East contestant, Chakravarty was undoubtedly in shock.
“I was actually very surprised when I found out I was one of the contestants,“ said Chakravarty. “I expected other people to win, but turns out I won a spot!”
Throughout his four years at East, Chakravarty has not only acted in plays, but also been an active member of the East Vocal Department. A proud member of Concert Choir, Chakravarty merely uses choir as yet another outlet to express his astounding creativity.
As aforementioned, Chakravarty is also extremely proud of his Indian heritage. Due to this pride, he wishes for that component of his life to be the forefront of his Mr. East special act.
“I’ve been doing Indian dances since I was a kid and it seemed like the perfect special talent,” said Chakravarty. “This year I’ve been trying to explore even more styles of dance, so you’ll see that in the act also.”
In terms of winning Mr. East, Chakravarty “doesn’t know yet,” as he feels that “only time can tell.” Nonetheless, Chakravarty did mention that another Mr. East contestant, Mr. Shyampain Papi, Shyam Handa, may give him a run for his money.
“Because he’s doing a similar act and basically we have the same friends who are helping both of us with our acts, I feel like he is my biggest competitor,” said Chakravarty.
Overall, though, Chakravarty manages to be resilient against all his competitors, for he knows that his uniqueness will shine through during his performance.
“What makes me different is that I’m outgoing, more out there and more open,” said Chakravarty.
Wondering exactly what kind of King of the Jungle Mr. Fun DIP is? Well, originally he was a cheetah, but recently he has recognized his true animal match— the lemur.
“I feel like lemur’s are outgoing creatures, and I’m out there a lot, so I feel like we really relate,” said Chakravarty.
Mr. East Countdown: Mr. I-Kahnic- 4 days to go!
David Kahn (‘16) has always been known to be an extremely unique, interesting character, and has seen the definition of the word “character” as it applies to him change through his frontal role on Lifetime’s Pitch Slapped. Although he and the rest of East’s award winning acapella group, Stay Tuned, have participated in much higher stakes competitions, on April 15, Kahn will vie for the title of “King of the Jungle”, and Mr. East as Mr. I-Kahnic.
Kahn named Jack Tremper as his biggest competitor. “We’re the only ones singing,” he said. Both contestants starred on Pitch Slapped together as members of Stay Tuned, and are now going head to head for the Mr. East title.
“I started [really] singing in high school, freshman year I did vocal workshop,” Kahn said. “But, you know, music’s been in my life forever.”
During the show, Mr. I-Kahnic will bring his lifetime passion to the stage, which he said he looks forward to sharing.
Kahn said he is most looking forward to “putting on a show that no one can really expect.” He added on by saying he plans to come in with a surprise.
“Even though in my act I’m singing,” Kahn said, “the theme behind it is kind of cool.”
As he hunts for the King of the Jungle’s crown, Mr. I-Kahnic will be competing as a bear. “I didn’t pick the bear, they picked it for me,” Kahn said. “But I’d say a bear goes out and gets what he wants [like me].”
In regards to the contest’s results, Kahn expressed optimism.
“I definitely have a shot,” he said. “Competition’s not easy, but I’m aiming for that W… I think that I bring a very unique personality to the bunch. I mean, we’re all unique, that’s why we’re out there, but I like to think there’s nobody quite like Mr. I-Kahnic.”
As the competition draws closer, Kahn said his excitement is staying up.
“I’m just excited for everyone at East to just experience the life of DKahn out there,” he said. “As much as I’m outperforming in being a goofball, it’s still me putting on a show for everybody, so I would hope that everyone enjoys it.”
Mr. East Countdown: Mr.Berger and Fries- 3 days to go!
Personable, outgoing, and incredibly vibrant, Aaron Silverberg (’16) channels his inner parrot in preparation for the Mr. East competition.
Silverberg plans to amaze his audience by performing a combination of juggling, singing, and dancing.
“I’m gonna be handling balls, I’m gonna be throwing them in the air, and juggling them, but I’m also gonna be singing and dancing a little bit, I’m a big multi tasker I can do both,” said Silverberg.
About six years ago after seeing a performance from Alex Feldman, also known as Mr. Al X Factor, Silverberg became inspired.
“I think it’s a very cool and unique talent that not many people can do, and when I do it I make a lot of people smile and they’re amazed by it,” said Silverberg.
Over the course of the next few years, Silverberg began to exercise juggling more frequently.
Silverberg said, “I just watched a lot of Youtube videos about other guys and saw how they handled their balls, and then I guess at tennis I ended up using the sticks and the balls on my own and started juggling them.”
Although Silverberg believes that he has a strong advantage over the other candidates because, being a parrot, he is the only competitor that can fly, he feels slightly inferior to other competitors, Jack Tremper and Kennedy Omari.
“I know that Kennedy is very funny and I know that Jack is super talented because he’s involved in the acapella groups. I sometimes feel like his talent might outweigh my juggling, said Silverberg.
Overall, Silverberg possesses a confident and appreciative attitude towards the competition. He hopes to elicit a lot of laughs and big smiles from his audience and the thrill the judges.
Silverberg said, “This is definitely going to be one of my favorite memories at East and I feel like a lot of people are really seeing who I am.”
Mr. East Countdown: Mr. Dinner for One- 2 days to go!
Jacob DeBlecourt (‘16), or Mr. Dinner for One, is a little hard to describe. He’s probably most well known for his roles in the theatre department, playing Stephano in this year’s production of The Tempest and Maurice in Beauty and the Beast. And he’s also a member of the Thespian Society, Model UN, and the Junior State of America. But, most importantly, he’s… well, he’s himself.
“You know, if you’re looking for the special flavor, I’m that,” said DeBlecourt. “I’m the garlic. I’m rosemary. I’m salt.” After a brief pause, he added, “I’m salty.”
For this year’s theme of “King of the Jungle,” DeBlecourt chose a peacock as his animal representation. “It’s flashy, it’s effective, it’s got a lot of passion, a lot of romance, a lot of sensuality… and I think I really convey that in my character,” he explained.
DeBlecourt plans for his performance to showcase a variety of his talents, including, but not limited to, singing, dancing, and what he calls “[using] my body for my art.”
“Since birth, I’ve able to use my body, my gift… my instrument, so to speak, in order to really convey a message to people,” said DeBlecourt.
According to DeBlecourt, his most anticipated rival in the Mr. East competition is not one of the other competitors, but Mr. Davis, whom DeBlecourt refers to as “the write-in candidate.”
“He just waltzes on stage… let me tell you how well he’s carrying it off, and it scares me,” said DeBlecourt. “I’m even afraid to say this in an interview. His X-factor worries me. But you know, I think I’m going to prevail… I think I’m going to beat Mr. Davis.”
Compared to the other, more legitimate Mr. East candidates, DeBlecourt has one thing going for him: the way he wears his shirt.
“…I tuck in my shirt,” he said. “I’m pretty sure that sets me apart from everyone else.”
Rest assured, the specially-flavored, shirt-tucking DeBlecourt will show off his feathers at this year’s Mr. East.
“I’m going to bring in a lot of people… who are like me, built like me, passionate like me, beautiful like me, modest like me,” said DeBlecourt. “I think people will be surprised but people will like… what we’re gonna do.”
Mr. East Countdown: Mr. Black Mamba- 1 day to go!
Despite the fact that he is not an actual African snake, Kennedy Omari (‘16), also known as Mr. Black Mamba, poses a tangible threat to his rival competitors vying for the title of “King of the Jungle” in the Mr. East competition.
While Omari made it clear that he will continue to keep the details of his act under wraps as he slithers towards the competition, he offered valuable advice to his audience.
Omari said, “Don’t have water in your mouth when I’m doing my talent.”
Since his assembly speech in his 2012 class presidential race, anyone in the class of 2016 knows the Mamba’s skill at eliciting laughter from crowds.
When asked how long he had been doing his talent for, he said it had been for “a long time, several years,” and added that it will be “a sight to see.”
For someone scheming to earn the 2016 crown, Omari and his animal persona have proven to be a more than ample match.
“You know snakes are cunning,” Omari said. “I think I’m a pretty cunning person.”
“Snakes are fast,” he said. As a freshman through senior year tracklete, Omari said, “I think I’m pretty fast,” which seems to be an accurate insight. How he will place in his race for this year’s title, though, is yet to be determined.
“It’s very competitive,” said Omari. “They’re all really good… they’re all really good competitors.”
According to Mr. Black Mamba, his biggest perceived threats in the competition are David Kahn also known as Mr. I-Kahnic and Jack Tremper also known as Mr. Jock Tremper.
“They have really good singing voices,” Omari said. “A lot of people know them.”
He also named Jacob Deblecourt, also known as Mr. Dinner for One, saying his “very good personality” and humorous skills mark him as another dangerous competitor.
Omari said he is most looking forward to the show’s talent portion, as he is eager to see the other contestants’ acts and have his own stage time.
“The talent portion is definitely going to be very funny, amazing, it’s gonna be great. That’s the thing I’m most looking forward to,” said Omari.
As Mr. Black Mamba and his fellow contestants approach the competition, Omari offered his prediction for the contest’s results.
“I think it’s very soon to say,” he said. “But I’m pretty sure I can come out with a dub.”