ARTS & LIFE EDITOR
The fifth annual Mr. & Miss Scranton competition will be hosted by USPB at 8 p.m. Thursday night in The DeNaples Ballroom.
Along with Christmas on the Commons, this event is one of USPB’s signature events, drawing in the biggest audience.
Executive Chair of USPB Katie Meyer said the event had to be moved from The DeNaples Theater to the Ballroom because of its expected audience.
“Last year, we maxed out the theater,” Meyer said. “We had about 250-300 people in there. There were people sitting in the isles.”
Meyer expects the crowd to be around 400 people this year.
USPB selects nominated students from a wide variety of clubs and organizations on campus. This creates a big audience from the contestants’ friends and from the clubs they are involved in.
“People want to come see their peers have fun,” Meyer said. “Students love to see their friends involved in events.”
The contestants include five male students: Michael Evans; Hayden Strickland; Aris Rotella; Brain Dolan and David Polanco, and six female students: Samantha Grimaldi; Kristina “Ishi” Aldera; Theresa Ann Restaino; Susan Pickup; Susanna David and Kelly Conlan.
Returning contestant Samantha Grimaldi said that the competition is mainly to make people laugh and be funny.
“Last year, my talent was Zumba,” Grimaldi said. “Then I had a flash mob come out, wearing masks of my face.”
Grimaldi loved the way her act was received last year, but she wished she had not told so many people beforehand. She did not make that same mistake this year.
“I have something really funny planned this year,” Grimaldi said. “No spoilers.”
The pageant is broken up into three parts: an introduction of the contestant, a talent contest and a formal wear category where the contestants will participate in a Q-and-A.
Judges will score each category based on creativity, originality, entertainment value and crowd reaction. The judges have used the volume of noise the crowd creates to influence their decision in the past; this year, the audience will be able to text their “fan favorite” to help the judges crown a winner.
“This is the first time we’re doing voting through texting,” Meyer said. “Our goal is to have a great turn out, put on a fun event and make students feel active.”
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/scrantonuspb.
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