I TOOK PART in my high school's annual Mr. Congeniality "Competition" friday. (It's in quotes because while there is a winner declared, nobody really cares about winning.) Any Senior boy can apply to "compete", and this year nine other guys signed up with me.
The competition consisted of an opening dance with all the contestants, a nightwear portion, indiviual talent, swimwear, and a question and answer segment. In short - it was a night for us contestants to goof off with an audience.
Before this momentous night is over, one of these boys will be crowned Mr. Congeniality...
Before the show started, all the contestants were petrified. We had heard that the school's theater (capacity ~250) was sold out and there were people standing in the aisle. Most of us were athletes, but we agreed that this was way worse. In sports, you've got your team behind you. But for this, nobody had your back, and you were completely exposed, at the mercy of the crowd.
Nobody took the competition seriously. For nightwear, I dressed a shirtless Batman; other costumes were a crossdresser (a given in a male competition), a shirtless firefighter, and a shirtless cowboy. Notice a theme here?
Can-can you spot Patrick?
For my talent I decided to exhibit my opera singing, which is largely an undiscovered skill, a surprise to everyone who listened to me belt out Por Ti Volare aka the Opera Song from Stepbrothers. I actually did pretty well, only having to resort to screechy falsetto once! The other talents ranged from country music, to stand up comedy, to terrible magic.
The last dress-up category was swimwear and I went hard. Taking my inspiration from Zoolander, I became a Merman for 30 seconds with duct tape scales all over my legs and my feet taped together with a tail to hold them there. I'd like to think that I at least won this round as my competition was only a scuba diver, a 6 foot 3 baby (complete with floaties), and Castaway with Wilson the volleyball as a prop.
Alas. I didn't win. In fact, I didn't even place in the Top 3. But I couldn't care less about the crown of Mr. Congeniality. I had buckets of fun, along with everyone else. I'm really glad I could do Mr. Congeniality, because I don't think I'll ever be able to do the things I did - with a live, sold-out audience - ever again.