Mr. Wildcat show lives up to its heroic proportions


Heroes crowded the stage — and the aisles — in the Dougherty Valley theatre on Mar. 31.

The Mr. Wildcat competition, the annual twist on a “beauty pageant” for senior male DV students, was superhero-themed this year, incorporating involvement with a non-profit charity, Capes 4 Heroes. Capes 4 Heroes focuses on giving superhero capes to children who face disabilities and life-threatening illnesses. Over the course of two months, the 14 Mr. Wildcat candidates worked hard to not only put on an entertaining show, but also visited the charity, even presenting capes to some of these children.

Each of the candidates represented a specific superhero: Kyle Acma as the Flash, Joseph Bradley as the Hulk, Christian Campbell as Thor, Robin Duka as Robin, Jarrod Hoyer as Superman, Jared Lee as Hawkeye, Imon Mashayekh as Spiderman, Thomas Nelson as Batman, Jake Ottley as Iron Man, Sebastian Paine as Aquaman, Jackson Phillips as Captain America, Bibhav Poudel as Arrow, Anirudh Vadrevu as Wolverine and Siddarth Yadav as Green Lantern.

The show started with a group dance, all in their superhero costumes. After introductions from esteemed teachers Mr. Colin O’Haire and Ms. Julie Lazar, Dean Nick Tisa announced the first act, the interview portion. Each candidate selected a question randomly and had to answer the chosen question truthfully. While some answers left us in a fit of laughter, others had audience hearts melting.

After a heartwarming video of the group connecting with kids through Capes 4 Heroes, Bradley kicked off the talent portion with his lip sync to the classic song “1000 Miles” and dancing that followed.

All of the contestants talents were creative and original, but a fan favorite was Yadav’s belly dancing act to Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie”.

“Someone once told me I can move my body really well, so I was thinking ‘alright, what can I do to move my body really well? Since everyone else can do a dance; I should do a belly dance!’” Yadav said.

The night’s Mr. Wildcat winner, Mashayekh, performed the Napoleon Dynamite dance for his talent. He had an overall winning presence in all portions of the competition. The hilarity in his expressions had the crowd entertained all night and as the show wore on, it was clear he was a clear favorite to win the title.

The second winner of the night, Phillips, was named Mr. Congeniality. It was obvious how well they all connected with not only Phillips but also each other.

Nelson stated, “What I’ve enjoyed most about Mr. Wildcat is seeing it all come together, because it’s been a long process and we really struggled at the beginning, especially since most of us hadn’t really danced before. I just really liked seeing everyone come together and work hard.”

The talent portion of the night concluded when each contestant brought out the real heroes of the show — their mothers — inducing a symphony of “awes” from the audience.

After the crowning of Mr. Wildcat, the boys concluded the evening with an epic dance to “Crank That” by Soulja Boy Tell’em, a throwback enjoyed by the audience.

The general audience consensus was that overall, the show went above and beyond. Not knowing how it would compare to last year’s phenomenal performances, many people declared it definitely lived up to its standards, if not surpassed them.

Commenting on the performance as a whole, seniors Shruti Mishra and Meenakshi Pandiarajan confirmed, “[We’re] basically in love with all of them. Everyone had something different that was good about them, like some people’s talents were their strong suits whereas some people’s answers were.”

Although the superheroes of Marvel and DC classics remain American legends, the unrecognized heroes of everyday life hold the most merit, a message clearly conveyed through the event.