Mr. Hawthorne

Samantha Contrini, Staff Writer/Web Publisher

Hawthorne High School held its first Mr. Hawthorne Talent Competition on January 25, 2012 in the HHS auditorium.

The Mr. Hawthorne Talent Competition featured 10 junior and senior boys: Steve Walls, Cristian Cardenas, Nick Incorvaia, Chris Altemus, Kris Kozlowski, Mike Tamburri, Mitch Noordeloos, Ricky Grofsick, Matt Grimaldi, and Steve Kunze. The competition featured three rounds: a talent round, an evening wear round, and, for the top 5 candidates, a Q&A round.

Mr. Hawthorne was run by art teacher Danielle Russo, who is quoted in The Hawthorne Press saying, “We were looking for some way to raise money for our scholarships. We wanted it to be fun and light-hearted.”

To start off the night, the boys danced to “It’s Raining Men” and “Single Ladies.” While dancing, the boys shocked the audience by ripping off their shiny blue pants and showing off  multi-colored underclothing. The dance was choreographed by two announcers, Brooke Morton and Ashley Calamusa, along with Stefanie Young, Jenna Graziano, and Kelly Criscione. Other announcers were Jasmin Veliz and Nicole Vilardo.

Following the opening dance was the Talent Round where each contestant showed off  skills for the judges, teachers Cheryl Smith, Matthew Corvo, Gus Schell, Kelly Clifford, and Allison Banca. First, Walls showed off his impressions of popular faculty, including Vice Principal Patrick McQueeney. Next, Cardenas beat boxed his way on and off the stage. Incorvaia performed his own interpretation of dance moves as Napoleon Dynamite. Altemus rapped his own rendition of “Real Slim Shady” by Eminem. Kozlowski then rapped “Just a Friend” by Biz Markie. Tamburri sang “Sherri” by Frankie Valli and was accompanied by three backup dancers. Noordeloos showed off his balancing skills by balancing things like rulers, chairs, and desks on his face. Grofsick rapped an original song about HHS’s very own gym teacher, Woj. Grimaldi showed his artistic ability with assistant, senior Phil Polentarutti. Finally, Kunze closed off the Talent Round by singing the cover of “Wonderwall” with his band Lover Man and Lady Charming.

After intermission, the judges revealed their top 5 picks to move on to the Q&A Round. In no particular order, Kunze, Grimaldi, Altemus, Grofsick, and Tamburri were selected to move on. Each judge selected a question for a finalist. The questions included: “Can you sing while laughing?” “What is your spirit animal?” “If you could pick anyone, who would you have lunch with?” “What is the best lunch combination at HHS?” and “If you could have any superpower, what would it be?”

After a short deliberation, the judges made their final decision. But, before announcing the winner, Russo brought out World History teacher and HHS alumni, Wallace Masiak, posing as Mr. Hawthorne 1969. When the laughs were over, it was time to get serious. Pronounced as Mr. Congeniality was senior, Steven Walls, 1st Runner-Up Mr. Hawthorne was senior, Matt Grimaldi, and first ever Mr. Hawthorne was junior, Chris Altemus.