Mr. Samazing wins Mr. East title


On Friday, March 27, ten East seniors took the stage for the twenty-eighth annual Mr. East competition to prove that they had what it takes to be a superhero, but only one contestant flew, or in this case ran, away to victory.

This year, the superhero-themed pageant raised money for The American Diabetes Association. Broken into five portions, contestants showcased their abilities during the opening dance, the swimwear portion, individual talent portions, formal wear and a question and answer session. The chairladies for this year were Becca Morgan (’15), Pooja Rambia (’15), Lily Schwartz (’15), Brittany Yesner (’15) and Sarah Goldberg (’15), who was the dance chairlady.

The opening dance combined hero-themed songs such as Bonnie Iver’s “I Need a Hero” and “Heroes” by Alesso with songs fit for twerking, including Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” and “Starships.”

Following the opening dance, contestants took one to two minutes to explain what it is that they like to do on a warm summer day in their swimsuits.

Mr. Samazing impresses judges and audience members with his act, becoming crowned Mr. East.
Mr. Samazing impresses judges and audience members with his act, becoming crowned Mr. East.

Mr. Supermandeep (Mike Bhular), was the first to present his talents to the audience. A video portrayed his struggles growing up as a superhero, searching for a way to defend the city and protect his “superbae.” His act combined hip-hop dancing with Indian elements, making his act unique and original.

Mr. Jess do it (Jesse Viggiano) and his back-up singers sang a capella versions of popular songs such as “I Want it That Way” by the Backstreet Boys and “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder. He also serenaded one lucky fan to Justin Bieber’s “One Less Lonely Girl.”

Mr. Luke at Me Now (Luke Bonanni) took the audience onto the set of his new cooking show “Get Baked.” Master Baker Luke taught the audience how to make a pound cake, featuring a previously recorded video from “Luke’s kitchen.” He also showcased his brownies with a “secret” ingredient, throwing samples out into the audience and earning roars of laughter.

Mr. Captain AmERICa (Eric Grayson) voiced his own opinions at a presidential debate. Following his debate, Grayson broke into a duet with Patty Irwin (’15) of James Taylor’s “You’ve Got a Friend” to prove his dependable nature as president.

Mr. Happy Taps (Richard Kirby) told the story of how he began dancing through a tap number with a focus on happiness. Infecting people with his cheery personality and tap-dancing capabilities, he presented a tap routine to the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.

Following a brief intermission, during which free prom tickets were raffled off, Mr. Late Night (Kyle Billigg), took the audience behind the scenes of his show “Late Night with Kyle Billigg,” through which he performed various skits including one modeled after Jimmy Fallon’s “Tight Pants.” He also performed a magic act, his own musical number and incorporated his unicycling skills. Mr. Late Night also presented a video of him going into Akira Hibachi dressed in his Benihana uniform and pretending to be a Target employee, earning many laughs from the audience.

Mr. Samazing (Sam Amon) acted out a skit in which he took over the senior’s spirit week dance, transforming it into a winning number. The win allowed the seniors to redeem themselves from their defeat.

Mr. Boxers and Briefcase (Hari Asuri) told the story of how he earned his underwear, fighting off the dreaded Señor Itis. He finally revealed the secret within his briefcase- a banana. The act concluded with him singing Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” while walking down the aisles.

Mr. Noahpologies (Noah Ritz) opened his act with a jazz piece on the piano, accompanied by a drum set and a bass. He then transitioned to juggling, at one point turning off the lights to juggle glow in the dark materials, and concluding with a Mexican fiesta.

Finally, Mr. T (Tin Vu) demonstrated his breakdancing abilities in his talent portion. Accompanied by a beat boxer and an electric violin, he danced to a variety of familiar songs from Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” to the Wii theme song.

During the formalwear section of the competition, contestants walked on stage with their escorts to show off their new outfits. Handing one rose to their escort, they then walked offstage to present one to their mother. Bhular surprised his own escort Amitra Mitra (’15) by asking her to prom with not just one rose, but a bouquet of flowers.

Contestants each answered one question during the question and answer session before the judges made their final decision. Mr. T danced his way to a third place victory, and Mr. Late Night’s numerous talents impressed the judges enough to secure him second place. But only one contestant had the power to win first place: Mr. Samazing with his spirit week dance transformation.

Many weeks of hard work, dedication, and adoration from their loving fans all came together for this one night, where ten contestants from all corners of the school took the stage together to raise money for a good cause while entertaining the large audience. These ordinary seniors had the opportunity to transform into superheroes for a night, helping to save the lives of those affected by diabetes.