Salem High Crowns ‘Mr. SHS’

October 25, 2013


by Marc Ayotte

Over 20 Salem High contestants vied for the 2013-2014 Mr. SHS title at the 15th annual pageant held in the Seifert Auditorium on October 10.  The senior class fundraiser proved to be a successful night filled with entertainment witnessed by hundreds of curious students, and when all segments of the pageant were complete, it was John Breen who emerged with the crown.

Senior class advisor Deb Wilmarth emceed the event along with fellow hostess Christine Jefferson and according to Wilmarth; “this is a male beauty contest,” and then added, “the boys think it’s really serious and everyone else is laughing.”

The contestants were judged in three different categories; casual wear, ‘Mr. Beautiful Legs,’ and the talent competition.  Prior to the casual wear segment, the contestants engaged in an opening dance act and then were escorted onto the stage by their respective female sponsors who gave their ‘sales pitch’ as to why ‘their guy’ should be voted the next Mr. SHS.

Jean-Luc Croteau, with Syrena Bemcivenga by his side, drew cheers from the crowd when he appeared on stage in traditional khakis with a purple polo shirt and brown ‘boat shoes.’  But it was Mike Johnston (sponsored by Alex Teuber), decked-out in black pants, grey and white long sleeve shirt with matching scarf and a pair of tan boots who walked away as the winner of the casual wear competition.

In the Mr. Beautiful Legs portion of the pageant, each student paraded his legs past a custom-made peephole in the stage curtain; soliciting cat-calls from the audience while trying to impress the judges.  After the display of some pre-Halloween, scary images including ‘guys in high heels,’ it was Alex Fredette than turned enough judge’s heads as he was awarded the title.

The talent contest was diverse to say the least.  Jordan Bowman performed an incredible dance act, exciting the crowd to Michael Jackson’s classic “Billy Jean;” John Breen sang a wonderfully upbeat rendition of The Temptations’ hit “I Can’t Help Myself,” and Austin O’Leary drew a laugh from the audience by announcing that the song he was about to sing was “for anyone who ever used my heart as a toy.”  But it was Ryan Fredette who completed the brother daily double; engaging the audience as they joined him in his strong and victorious performance of Billy Joel’s “Piano Man.”

In the end, the ultimate title of Mr. SHS went to John Breen whose cumulative score reflected strong showings in all three categories.  The energetic Breen, along with sponsor Catherine Simari, accepted the award after the contestants ended the evening’s festivities in the formal wear presentation