Mr. & Mrs. Entertainment, Brian Stickler and Najah Brown, took home the crowns last night in Eisenhower Auditorium at the eighth annual Mr. & Mrs. THON Pageant after an impressive rap performance combined with a dance and gymnastics routine.
“We are gonna play ‘Closer’ eventually,” Stickler rapped. “We make the kids the centerpiece.” Brown, who’s also a Lionette, then danced to Beyonce’s “Crazy In Love” in the best possible finale for the talent portion of the pageant. Fittingly, the showing was extremely entertaining. Judges Mike the Mailman, Student Athlete Advisory Board President Meaghan Coleman, and THON Child & THON Volunteer Colin Hayes agreed, naming the duo Mr. & Mrs. THON 2017 at the end of the three-round competition.
Despite the entertaining qualities of the talent round, a special performance from six-year-old THON child Sydney Benner truly stole the show. Benner was probably the cutest dancer we’ve ever seen, and her dance performance riddled with professional-grade cartwheels and round-offs. Though she didn’t participate in the overrated fashion show round of the competition, Benner’s glittery rainbow leotard certainly would’ve been top-five material.
Four Diamonds child, THON volunteer, and pageant judge Colin Hayes also spoke to share his story of being diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer when he was 15 — he’ll be five years cancer-free later this spring. Hayes said at this age he was painfully aware of the financial burden the disease would have on his family. “I was about to finally become more expensive than my sister,” he joked. But thanks to Four Diamonds, the Hayes family never saw a bill.
Although Hayes himself was hesitant, his mother signed them up when they were given the opportunity to be paired with a THON organization. They all met for the first time on December 26, 2011, which Hayes described as “honestly one of the most awkward days of all our lives.” Once they all got over the awkardness, Hayes said THON 2012 was one of the best in his entire life, and inspired him to apply to Penn State. Now, he’s a senior studying biology. Hoping to become a pediatric oncologist, he enrolled with three goals:
- Get into medical school
- Dance in THON his senior year year (Hayes will find out about this goal next week with the IDC lottery)
- Find his future Penn State wife
“Some goals are going better than others,” he joked. The audience was captivated hearing his story, and Hayes was met with a standing ovation as he exited the stage.
Here’s a brief rundown of the other talent performances of the night.
R&R Event Safety
“This is for anyone who’s ever been personally victimized by Rules & Regulations Event Safety,” Mrs. R&R Event Safety Amanda Mitchell began. She and Devon Nguyen portrayed an upbeat dance battle including jump-roping over “The Line.”
DAR Alumni Engagement
In a Kim Possible-themed skit, Mr. & Mrs. DAE AE, Jimmy Wolf and Alex Ruff, took on a mission to bring alumni from every decade back to THON 2017. Though successful in dancing through the decades, we were disappointed by Wolf’s Backstreet Boys rendition to “Bye Bye Bye.” Apparently not everyone has the dance moves memorized…
R&R Volunteer Safety
Mr. & Mrs. R&R Volunteer Safety, Jon Morford & Becky Moyer, danced to a THON parody of “Pump It” by the Black Eyed Peas. The highlight of this one was seeing Moyer complete a somersault in a bright red sumo suit.
In an Eight Mile theme, Mr. & Mrs. OPP, Corinne Dally & Michael Druhot, faced off in a rap battle. While Dally held her ground throughout the performance, Druhot was the true highlight. The two exuded confidence, ending with “Sincerely, your new Mr. and Mrs. THON.”
Mr. & Mrs. DAR Development, Jack Rende & Natalie Crosson, showed the crowd what it’s like to be a THON Captain with “A Day in the Life of a Development Captain and His iPod.” While Rende performed the skits, Crosson showcased her incredible voice, even to notoriously difficult songs like “Hello” by Adele.
Entering in luxurious red capes, Mr. & Mrs. Special Events Allie Braconnier & Seth Ryberg already had the royal wave down to a science. Ryberg impressed the audience immediately with a standing back flip before the clearly well-rehearsed duo executed the rest of an incredibly well-timed dance routine.
Mr. & Mrs. Hospitality, Adam Kita & Olivia Decarlo, began with a short portion of the THON 2016 line dance and transitioned to a routine of Decarlo tossing food into Kita’s mouth at various distances. Unfortunately, Kita missed a few times in the short performance, rendering the duo relatively unimpressive.
Accompanied by a guitarist, Mr. & Mrs. Finance, Andrew Walter & Rebecca Cox, both sang through a compilation of THON parodied songs. Their “12 Days of Christmas” rendition of “100 Days ’til THON” was particularly interesting, citing a drone crashing into Old Main in place of a partridge in a pear tree. You could tell this pair was having fun on stage together.
Mrs. ADPi and Mr. TDX
For the first time ever, this year’s Mr. & Mrs. THON Pageant included organization duo Matt Callen and Jess Sallurday. While Callen played guitar and sang “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon while Sallurday danced beautifully across the stage.
“We went to auditions for a proper time and we were the only ones to show up,” Callen said of the experience. “It was a lot of fun,” Sallurday added. “All of the captains we performed with were so nice, too.”
A la Jimmy Fallon, Mr. & Mrs. Supply Logistics Mike Zula & Danielle Renner performed a lip sync battle to “Come On Eileen” and “All I Do Is Win.” When they realized they were on the same team, they combined efforts for an impressive performance of “Wanna Dance with Somebody” including actual singing when the music “malfunctioned.”
If you’re a Napoleon Dynamite fan, this performance was a special treat. Mr. & Mrs. DR Evan Azzara & Claire Sullivan danced to 70s disco tracks and part of the THON 2016 Line Dance in their Vote for Pedro shirts, wigs, and glasses.
In what was perhaps the cheesiest magic show we’ve ever seen, Mr. & Mrs. PR Andrew Kerson & Claire Schmitt “read the mind” of an audience volunteer and made Kerson disappear for a grand finale.
To the melody of “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid, Mr. & Mrs. Merch Joe Warner & Katherine Craig sang all about the magic of the THON store.
“Thanks for filling in for Veronica last minute,” Mr. Comm told Mr. Comm. We’re defying gender roles here, folks. In a dance routine, both Mr. Comms did the worm and used Fort Minor tunes to explain what percentage of Comm is centered on each branch of THON.
Mr. & Mrs. Tech Nikhil Bhat & Angela Urbano sang and danced to a professional-quality video featuring a powerful message about THON’s purpose.
We thought a Penn State themed version of The Bachelor could only happen in our dreams until last night. Mr. & Mrs. FR Lucas Pierce & (former line dance leader) Heather Grace Thomas were brought together in a beautiful hot loops ceremony.