Pageant event draws huge crowd

Sunday, March 28, 2004
Justin Hou, representing the Drama Club, has a little bit of trouble with his "dummy" while performing a ventriloquist routine during the Nevada High School Handsome Male Pageant Friday night.

By Nick Wright

Sponsors of the second annual Nevada High School Male Handsome Pageant were expecting a sell-out crowd Friday night, and they were not disappointed.

"Last year we didn't know what to expect, and it was full. I mean the whole place was full and flowing over ... and from what we're hearing it's going to be even more so this year," said sponsor Debby Bogart before the event.

Even though the doors were not scheduled to open until 6 p.m., there were people waiting in their cars at 5 o'clock. And at showtime only a handful of the auditorium's 684 seats remained empty.

The Male Handsome Pageant is a fund-raising event that benefits the Nevada High School Renaissance Program. Nineteen contestants were judged in three categories; formal wear, talent, and clubwear/sportswear.

Acts for the talent category ranged from breakdancing, to a comedic mock ventriloquist, to singing, to foreign language recitations, to story telling. There were seven judges; two of whom hailed from Nevada, and the other from around the area.

The night of entertainment opened with a dance performed by all of the contestants set to the tune of "Sharp Dressed Man," by ZZ Top.

After the three categories of competition were performed, the Renaissance Girls were allowed to take the stage with a dance number set to "Dude Looks Like a Lady."

Of the 19 contestants, seven were chosen by the judges as finalists. Judges asked each of the seven who they would choose as king and princess if the U.S. had a royalty.

Junior Cole Headrick, representing the Spanish Club, was chosen as Mr. NHS, his answer to the question was his parents. Senior Thomas Pitts, representing football. was first runner-up and senior Jordan Leininger, representing the National Honor Society, was second runner-up. Leininger was also voted Mr. Congeniality by the rest of the contestants. A plethora of prizes provided by sponsors were divided among the three winners.

There was a dinner before the event and a dollar dance afterwards.

"This is a cool way to keep kids involved and off the streets, because they love stuff like this," said Bogart.

The Nevada High School Renaissance Program is a nation-wide program to motivate students and staff by rewarding individual academic excellence, according to program literature.

Students who meet specified Renaissance criteria for grades and citizenship are eligible to receive various discounts and prizes.

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