Written by Kyle Campbell
On Friday, Jan. 31 I had the amazing opportunity of representing HBA in the Mr. McCombs Pageant. This fundraiser, organized by the org reps of the Undergraduate Business Council, pits representatives from other McCombs organizations against each other in a fight for the title of “Mr. McCombs.” The winner also gets to choose which charity the proceeds go to.
This experience was grueling, competitive and exhilarating all at once. The other contestants and I spent at least a month practicing the choreography for our opening dance, and trust me it took a LOT of practice until we were ready for the big stage. Every week we would show up to rehearsal, and our choreographer, Tenci, would ask if we wanted to run through the whole thing to see what we remembered. After stumbling through the few twists and fist pumps we could recall, we would share embarrassed looks, pat each other on the back, apologize to Tenci, and start learning the dance all over again. The coolest thing is that after suffering through a dance none of us had any business attempting we became friends. We added our own moves, started to learn about each other, and we were no longer competitors, but just 10 guys trying to get through a performance without embarrassing themselves because a few of our cheekier friends tricked us into agreeing to compete (Natalie Parma if you’re reading this I’m talking about you.)
Finally the night of the competition came. We all had to somehow make it through a choreographed dance, Q&A period, swimsuit competition and talent portion without falling or fainting from the pressure of performing in front of hundreds of UT students. As the opening notes of “I’m Too Sexy For My Shirt” started to play I wiped the sweat off my palms, ran out on the stage, chest bumped Archie Agarwal, the UBC Representative, and began maybe the most exciting hour and a half of my college career. While being escorted by the lovely Jemma Miller and wearing a batman onesie, I talked about how if I could have lunch with anyone it would have to be Dr. Seuss. I showed off what I would wear to the beach. But the highlight of the night definitely came out of the talent portion. I began by playing Chopin’s “Revolutionary Etude” on my piano, but after about half a page I ripped the sheet music off and broke into what I hope was an extremely moving and powerful rendition of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball.”
In the end I lost the crown, but I came away from the experience with nine new friends, and memories that will probably stay with me for a very long time. The Mr. McCombs pageant was an incredibly fun and fulfilling way to raise $2,158.81 for a great cause, and I consider myself extremely lucky to have been a part of it.