Mr. East transforms seniors into pop stars


East seniors compete as different pop stars to win Mr. East (Jiwoo Lee)

The 36th annual competition took place on April 20th at 7 p.m., as seven senior boys competed for the title of Mr. East and vied the hearts of the judges and the audience. Tickets were being sold leading up to the event, but students and families were able to purchase tickets when they arrived. As they competed for the title, the boys all showed they had what it takes to become famous, but only one contestant made it to fame and was crowned Mr. East 2023. 

Every year proceeds from Mr. East go to a specific charity and the chair ladies are in charge of picking what charity they will donate to. This year, they raised money for all departments at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia  (CHOP) which will help  with life savings research. Mr. East was divided into several segments, first the opening act, then swimsuit competition, the individual talent portions, formal wear, a question and answer session, minute to win it to collect money for CHOP and lastly, an announcement of the winner and runner ups. 

The opening dance incorporated all of the seven contestants’ pop stars that they chose, but also included songs appropriate to the theme. Some of the songs featured were “Applause” by Lady Gaga and “Famous” by Big Time Rush. 

Following the opening act was the swimsuit competition where the contestants explained what they like to do on a nice summer day in their swimsuits. The swimsuit portion ended with Mr. Chris (Chris Korneyev) being chased off stage by police officer Faller. 

Mr. Ji-sus (Erik Ji) was the first to show he’s got what it takes to make his way to the big screen. His act consisted of him singing “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield pushing and shoving his fellow classmates away to find his true love. 

Mr. Lunch and Learn (Christian Jamison) was next to show his talents. His act included making a pizza that he would deliver to the judges. Mr. Lunch and Learn works at Pizza Fresca and that included a unique twist in his act. 

After that, was Mr. Cheeks (AJ Cicco) as he voiced his opinions through a Ted Talk on bathroom policies and his proposed organization, the ICUP. Mr. Cheeks enforced bathroom edict especially for males and incorporated his name “Mr. Cheeks” into the act. 

Mr. Intangible (Lucas Tang) will always be seen having a camera in hand. He showed his talent through a tour of the high school and sang “Vienna” by Billy Joel switching up the lyrics, “The cougars care for you.” When the curtain opened, it showed a photo wall of all of the photos Tang had taken at East. 

Following a brief intermission, Mr. Rome-ance (Rome Ciocco) danced to “Canned Heat” by Jamiroquai, showing off his smooth moves. 

Mr. Saxxy (Siddarth Pejevara) opened his act with a jazz piece of the saxophone. Keeping  with the classical music, Mr. Saxxy showed his dance talents through what could be called an interesting interpreting of ballet, swaying across the stage. Lastly, he flexed his muscles as he lifted weights with the encouragement of his friends. 

Finally Mr. Chis (Chris Korneyev) demonstrated his talent through singing and playing classical music. However, Mr. Chris shocked the audience as he brought out the winner from last year’s Mr. East, Mr. Worldwide (Jonathan Caldes) and they both did a tuvan riff-off. Lastly, Mr. Chris told the story about peanut butter and jelly, using his stand-up comedy skills. 

During the formal wear session, contestants walked on the stage with their escorts and they showed off their new tuxedos from Formal Expressions. They handed one rose to their escort and as they walked to the end of the stage, they handed it to their mothers. Mr. Chris surprised the audience once again when his special guest escort turned out to be Dr. Perry. 

Next, the contestants answered specific questions related to them during the question and answer session. Tang has a particalry inspiring answer when he said his ‘mommy” was his inspiration for taking pictures. 

Lastly, was the minute to win the competition where the contestants ran around the auditorium collecting the most money for CHOP while the judges made their final decision. Mr. Rome-ance rose to fame coming in 3rd place and Mr. Saxxy’s talents impressed the judges as he secured 2nd place. But, Mr. Chris was the winner with his singing, storytelling and  throat singing skills. 

With many weeks of hard work, dedication and admiration, Mr. East was a huge success. Seven contestants with different talents from all over the school came together to raise money but to entertain the audience. These seniors had the ability to transform into popstars for one night, trying to become famous.