The 2022 Mr. Norristown would be one to remember. For half of the student body, this was their first time hearing about Mr. Norristown, so it was important to the school community to make sure this one was better than ever.
This year’s show was brought to the school by English teacher Kate Bartlett with help from alum Kennedie Licwinko, featuring Adan Vidrio Araiza, Edu Perez, Jhonny Cedillos, Zaki Coleman, Jovanny Ortiz-Flores, Joseph Gomez, and Osmar Abreu, who was crowned Mr. Norristown at the end of the show in a tight contest.
“This is a community event,” said Perez. “I am happy to have it back.”
The stage was set with a beautiful backdrop designed by senior Alondra Torres, which included seven special Norristown locations, each chosen by the guys themselves.
Hosts Maddie Plummer and Damere Jackson brought a juxtaposition of comedy and seriousness to the hosting roles. Jackson was the first male host in the 20 years of Mr. Norristown. The hosts would introduce the contestants and their outfits to open the fashion portion of the evening. This year there were three outfit categories: formal wear, casual wear, and swimwear. The boys didn’t come to play and went all out in the formal category. Most sported suits while Coleman wore fur. The swimwear category was a lot of fun. Coleman came out dressed as a Barbie doll, which included a wig snatch from his younger brother at the end of his runway walk.
After all the fashion was presented, it was time for the talent portion of the show. Jovanny Ortiz-Flores started the show off with a ballroom dance number that meshed bachata, cumbia, salsa, and huapango styles. The grace and energy of Ortiz-Flores and his dancing partner got the audience clapping along.
Once the couple left the stage, the lights went dim and a hush fell over the crowd. Coleman stepped on stage in a cloak with the lightsaber in hand. He reenacted a Star Wars battle that had the crowd shocked. As the battle continued, many watching were on the edge of their seats to see what would happen next. As Coleman and his counterpart traveled around the stage and even into the audience, everyone knew that the winner was going to be Coleman. Before his victory, he took down his enemy with a final lightsaber stab to the heart. No one was harmed in this show, and let it be noted all was done by professionals and should not be mimicked at home.
Perez lightened the tension after Coleman’s act by performing “Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber. Perez sang and played the guitar, taking control of the crowd and bringing emotion to a room.
Next up, Joseph Gomez came out on stage with dark eye makeup, which took the room by surprise. Gomez was in a classroom setup on stage and there was very little said about his act before he performed. But, when his performance started, you could tell he didn’t want to stop. He sang “Teenagers” by My Chemical Romance and “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” by Panic At The Disco. This act was definitely pulled out of the early 2000s. He was so into his performance that he accidentally broke the microphone stand.
The next performance was one no one will forget. Jhonny Cedillos, who happens to be verified on Spotify, performed his rendition of “You Belong With Me” by Taylor Swift. His performance included drill dancers and Joshwa Perez from the Cheer team, who stopped the show with his flips on stage. As the act started to end, host Maddie Plummer was pushed onto the stage, and Cedillos shocked Plummer and the crowd by promposing to her during his performance. We are all grateful she said yes.
It would be hard to follow such a performance, but Adan Vidrio Araiza surprised many with a show Disney Channel Original fans would be able to recognize anywhere. Araiza mimicked Demi Lavato’s choreography from the Camp Rock hit song “This Is Me”. He even rocked a wig.
For the last act of the night, Osmar Abreu performed a Baile Folklorico Dance with five others. This performance was one that really got the crowd moving. Not a beat was missed in the dance with the crowd clapping along to the rhythm. The beautiful color of the girls’ dresses captivated the audience and no one wanted to look away.
“I was so nervous but I loved it,” said Joseph Gomez “I can’t believe how many people cheered for me.”
After the talent portion of the show, all the contestants were brought out to announce the final three who would be runners up for Mr. Norristown. Coleman, Abreu, and Cedillos were the top three and would move on to questions. But before that, the LatinX dance team and the Norristown Step team performed.
When the step team stepped off stage, the final three contestants were brought on stage to hear the results of Mr. Norristown. Presenting the crown was the 2020 Mr. Norristown Max Guzman. With the crowd on the edge of their seats, it was announced that Coleman was the runner-up for Mr. Norristown. After the crowd died down, it was announced that Abreu would take his place as the 2022 Mr. Norristown. The auditorium was ecstatic as Abreu was carried off stage in all his glory.
“It felt so unreal, I can’t believe I’m Mr. Norristown,” said Abreu.
The final results capped a truly refreshing and important night for a school and community that has been through so much over the past two years. Mr. Norristown is a long-standing tradition, and thanks to everyone involved in the year’s production, it has come back stronger than ever.