Mr. CUA

Mr. CUA contestants and Program Board members pose with their vegetable awards after the competition. Courtesy of Rachel Stevens

By Abby Anderko and Rachel Stevens

Students gathered in the Pryzbyla Center Great Rooms on Saturday night to attend the Catholic University County Fair in support of their favorite Mr. CUA contestants. The event, hosted by Program Board, began with a booth-style layout, with the contestants taking turns serving country-style food such as corn, pretzels, kebabs and cotton candy, asking their fellow students to vote for them in the first round of competition. Jake Walsh, a senior, won over the students and judges to secure first place for this event.

Contestants in the Mr. CUA competition, comprised of juniors and seniors, were Frank Scalfaro, Christian McCarren, Luke Cocchi, Jake Walsh, George Isaacs, Matt Finley and Luke Morris.

The event began with the contestants running through the crowded Great Rooms, joining on stage to dance the “Hoedown Throwdown.” The contestants then introduced themselves and performed individually for the talent portion of the competition. Some of these performances included a rendition of “Dancing on My Own” by Walsh, a satirical poem by Morris about the Catholic University fight song, and Isaacs attempting to eat a McDonalds Happy Meal in less than 30 seconds.

These were only the first competitions of the night, leading to even more laughs and good times. Events that followed included a pie eating contest, pig call contest, and a cow milking contest, all intermingled with funny commentary from hosts Emma McCoy and PJ Connolly.

“Hosting Mr. CUA this year was so rewarding, because it let me combine two of my favorite things: building community and making people laugh. Not many people get to dress up like a maroon, velvet-clad cowboy and joke around with their friends on stage for an evening! And of course, all of our contestants were so much fun to work with—truly a fantastic group of guys,” Connolly said.

At the end of the competition, every contestant received an award, specific to their personalities and performances throughout the night. The awards included the Spiciest Contestant, awarded to Finley, Best Beats, awarded to Cocchi, Star in Our Hearts, awarded to Morris, Can Eat Anything, awarded to Isaacs, and Most Unique, awarded to Scalfaro. The last prize was presented was the Blue Ribbon for best-in-show, given to Walsh, crowning him Mr. CUA.

“Participating in Mr. CUA was an absolute blast,” Walsh said. “It was an honor sitting on that stage, and winning was a dream come true.” Walsh is a Media Studies Major from Long Island NY, and is known around campus for his participation in Take Note Acapella, his job at Murphy’s Grill, as well as his weekly vlogs which he posts on YouTube.

“All the contestants brought their A-game and arrived with talents that really impressed me,” said Christian McCarren, runner-up of the night. McCarren stated that participating was one of his best experiences at Catholic U.

In lieu of a runner-up award, Christian was awarded the title “Squash King,” complete with a squash presented to him by a Program Board member.

Overall, students found Mr. CUA a great event. Julia Kelley, a sophomore vocal performance major, attended the event and said, “everyone was hilarious! I’m so glad I go to a university that hosts such creative events for me to go to on the weekends.”

Each year, students look forward to nominating their friends and seeing who gets picked. Students are already expressing their excitement to see what next year’s theme and group of contestants will be.

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