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Pride Hosts Misster UNH

Karina Krul, Student Life Section Editor

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Thursday (April 27) night Pride brought entertainment to Bucknall Theater as eight contestants impressed the crowd in a drag fashion show. MISSter UNH is an annual event for Pride, and it has been growing bigger every year. This year was the 10th anniversary of the event.

“Typically we get a maximum of five contestants, this year we got 13. Unfortunately we had to cut it down to 8 for time purposes,” said Pride President Steven Soler regarding the participation this year.

The two co-hosts for the show were CJ Senerchia as Amanda Playwith and Mary Marena as Oliver Klothesoff. They entertained the crowd with dances and humor in between contestants.

The show itself consisted of two rounds: a performance round and a formal round with questions. Contestants competed for audience and judge approval as they paraded up and down the aisles and around the stage in drag. The show also included a surprise performance by On the Fritz as well as several give-away baskets and gift cards, which were raffled off to the audience at intermission. One raffle ticket was given to each student in attendance, and more could be bought throughout the show. Proceeds from the show as well as the tabling Pride did for it were donated to the winner’s charity of choice.

“There was a real energy in the crowd and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. Especially the witty comments from all of the contestants. It was a night full of fun for everyone,” said Soler.

The 1st place winner of the night was Corey Potter as Ronda Reagan, followed in second by Ash Chase as Richard “Dick” Ryder and Gary Yeung as Mary Ann Oceans being named MISSter Congeniality for most money raised.

“Winning this competition is everything to me, and anyone who knows me would say that too. Honestly, I am not very involved in campus life, but this is my one contribution. I have had complete strangers congratulating me and it is just nice to know that I have made some sort of impression on my peers, even if it is just because of how lewd, flamboyant, and excessive I can be,” said Potter.

Potter expressed that this was his second time competing in the drag show, citing redemption as his reason for competing. He was defeated by the now co-host Marena last year, coming in second. His charity this year was the Lady Gaga Born This Way Foundation, a homeless shelter for at risk youth in the LGBT+ community. Proceeds from the show went to aid the charity in their work.

Potter detailed his preparations for the show, explaining that his “metamorphosis” into drag was challenging. He described his outfits as “anatomically ambitions” and expressed the difficulties in creating a routine that would allow him to connect to the audience.

“Finally, competing in the show itseld was a challenge both in that I actually am incredibly anxious in front of crowds, and also in that in order to show off the face I had created, I could not wear my glasses, and I do not own contacts, so during the actual show I couldn’t see anything!” he said.

Soler expressed the importance of the event in that it allows pride to recognize the stereotype within the LGBT+ community regarding drag. He also expressed that it was important to bring light to the many charities geared towards the LGBT+ community.

“We try to tackle the stereotype by showing that anyone and everyone has potential to be a drag queen/king and be great at it,” he said.

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Pride Hosts Misster UNH