Mr. Norristown 2019 Brings Humor, Heart to the Stage

Christina Wong and Duyen To

High notes of the piano resonated through a silence in the auditorium. Then, laughter erupted from parodies. With both heart-wrenching and comedic acts, Mr. Norristown met its 18th year last Thursday March 14, when our very own seniors competed against one another for the title.

As the light dimmed,  a slideshow was presented featuring previous Mr. Norristown contestants to rile the audience up. Before the traditional opening dance, the audience all rose to the National Anthem, sung by Ruby Herrera and Bryanna Skipwith. Shortly afterwards, the contestants ran onto the stage and danced to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.”

Hosts Britney Morales and Ahnyae Hedgepeth walked onto the stage with charisma and began the show with their “Thank You, Next” gag, poking fun at the contestants. The two hosts’ routine livened up the show getting the audience ready for the first event.

Each contestant strode to the stage, showing off his tuxedo, accompanied by his lovely partner. The highlight of this event was when Luke Vitale was escorted by NAHS substitute teacher Rochelle Rebeeya, making the audience burst out in laughter from the surprise.

The casual wear event featured what the contestants wear on a daily basis, but many showed off their high sense of fashion. Santino Carlomagno wore clout goggles, while Doje Toussaint came out with a Louis Vuitton tracksuit. Vitale took off his shoe to mock the other contestants, who used their phones to take pictures with the audience.

When the swimwear event began, many girls in the audience edged forward on their seats. The boys came out with t-shirts and swimming trunks, along with accessories, such as surfboards and towels. Miguel Barcenas wore a sombrero, while Tamir Brice flexed his Gucci beach blanket. As Giovanni Piergrossi strutted shirtless onto the stage, all the girls went wild. Semaj Wray lead the stage with his two friends following behind and ripping his shirt in-two. The crowd went crazy when Wray’s friends picked him up onto their shoulders and carried him off the stage. Kinsey danced to the strangely popular “Baby Shark” while wearing a shark fin on his back.

Barcenas commenced the talent portion with a traditional Mexican folk dance alongside his partner Valeria Sanchez. Barcenas wore a charro along with a sombrero, while Sanchez donned a colorful Mexican dress. Barcenas popped confetti on the stage and finished up the performance with his sombrero tilted and leaning into Sanchez.

Nandin Patel lip-synced to “Wanted You” by Nav and Lil Uzi, acting distressed on the phone. His comedic heartbreak act gave the crowd a good laugh.

Contrasting Patel’s humorous heartbreak, Victor Walker played “Changes” by XXXTentacion. The crowd began to sing along to the instrumental, flashing their phones, slowly in the air. After his performance, Walker spoke of how he overcame his struggles in school, adding solemn perspective to the otherwise comedic evening.

Tyjshier Hill sang his heart out alongside his friends, performing “More than Survive” from “Be More Chill”, a musical about a boy not wanting any attention at school, yet feeling conflicted over whether to sign up for the school play.

With a mic in his hand, Carlomagno lip-synced “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars to his friend Alia Fischer. Their cute gestures, like holding hands, put smiles on the audience’s faces. The song ended with Carlomagno handing a rose to Fischer.

As a piano was rolled onto the stage, Toussaint approached for his act. He started off with “Moonlight Sonata” by Beethoven and transitioned into “Still D.R.E” by Dr. Dre. Toussaint was accompanied by his friend on the drums behind him, and the crowd was revved up by the move from classical to rap.

Brice’s video was postponed due to technical difficulties, but would be shown after Vitale’s performance. Acting as a sports announcer, Brice introduced the “NAHS Top Ten Plays.”  As the video finished, the lights turned on as drumline members played their way down the aisle, quickly exiting. Brice jumped down from the stage and took his partner’s hand. He handed her a bouquet of roses, romantically asking her to prom.

Piergrossi strummed the guitar and to the audience’s surprise, the guitar playing was quite bad, but luckily, everyone sighed and laughed in relief as he turned the guitar over to the correct side. He played and sang two songs,  one classical and the other the very popular “In my Feelings” by Drake.

Next, Vitale jammed out on the saxophone, with his friends playing the piano and the drums to back him up. They played a song Rabeeya playfully seemed to think was “too loud.” They switched their song to “Careless Whisper,” wowing the crowd and giving them a few laughs as well.

Wray played the piano and sang “High”by John Legend The crowd went silent, moved by his gentle voice and skilled piano playing. He jumped off the stage, and walked over to the judges, serenading them. Jumping back on stage, he finished the performance with his smooth vocals.

Accompanied by his dad and Assistant Principal Charles Brenner, Kinsey danced to throwback songs like “Hammer Time” by MC Hammer and “Hey Ya!” by Outkast. Unable to keep up with the young Kinsey, the old gentlemen were escorted off with the help of Kenya Prado and Taylor Kinsey, who took their places.

Bringing his mother onto the stage, Wilbert Richardson sang “Why I Love You” by Major with his brother, Nick Richardson, who accompanied him on the piano. His soulful voice captured the hearts of the audience as he sang to his mother. At the every end, he pulled out a single rose and handed it to her.

NAHS’ Dance Team showed off their synced and intricate moves; the crowd’s screams intensified.

Morales and Hedgepeth wrapped the show up by announcing Michael Kinsey as the 2019 Mr. Norristown’s winner.

“I’m ecstatic!” Kinsey exclaimed, “This is a dream come true. The reason why I did this was for my grandma, this is for her. But congratulations to everybody who competed today, they were all tuff(sic), and thank you for everybody coming.”