Contestants hold nothing back in Mr. Hinsdale South pageant

Eleven Hinsdale South seniors showed talent ranging from athletic to mystical as they competed for the title of Mr. Hinsdale South 2014.

Alex Gomez, with support from a drummer, guitarist and a group of backup singers, sang and played guitar to the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ song “Under the Bridge.”

Ryan Cusick abandoned a unicycle to be tossed across the stage at a paper bulls-eye. Several times.

Oscar Gonzalez in a sombrero and serape did a quick walk across the stage shaking maracas.

Ryan Alsip demonstrated his gymnastic skill.

Jake Dorrance said his talent was making magical potions that enabled students to dance and to sing. Dorrance also made his wish come true, asking his on stage assistant, Erika Yamez, to go to prom with him.

But the winner was Michael Tomerlin, who lip synched and danced to a medley of 14 different songs, called the evolution of dance.

Maybe it was his answer to the question, “Why should you be Mr. Hinsdale South?” that clinched it for him.

“I have dreamed of this moment since my freshman year,” Tomerlin said.

Alsip had tried a different approach to winning, shamelessly playing up to one of the judges, math teacher Linda Korbus, by directing comments and attention her way.

Gomez and Ali Issa, too, got off the stage to ham it up with the judges and the audience.

For some, brevity was better. Isabella Romanazzi, a senior from Willowbrook, said Eric Uhlar’s talent was the most impressive. He downed a bottle of water and flattened the plastic bottle in one move that took about a second.

“That really kind of messed with me,” Romanazzi said.

But, she said, “I liked all the contestants. They are all worth of winning.”

“It was a very, very nice show,” said William Serritella, the grandfather of contestant Giancarlo Cianelli.

“I didn’t know it was going to be that good,” Serritella said.

Contestant Nicky Kuhlman’s father and brother were seated in the back row of the auditorium.

“He told us he didn’t want us sitting in the first 10 rows,” said the father, Rich Kuhlman.

Before the show, Rich said he did not know what his son was going to do for the talent competition.

“He is not one to divulge a whole lot of information,” Rich said.

Turns out, Nicky sang, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” accompanied by a piano player and violinist.

After the show, Nicky’s mother, Jamie, who was allowed to sit closer to the stage, said, “He’s got more guts than I do.”

The event, sponsored by the Athletes Committed to Excellence club at Hinsdale South, is a fundraiser for St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Admission costs and winning bids received after the top three contestants auctioned their services to carry someone’s books went to the foundation, which funds research into childhood cancers.

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