Junior Fernando Johnson II won the Mr. Esquire pageant on April 18, in Ida Waldran Auditorium and was awarded a $600 scholarship.
Five young men gathered on stage to show off their dashing good looks and talents, each competed to be the next Mr. Esquire.
“I think this is definitely a good opportunity to make a big difference on campus… I think that this will make me grow as a person, it will improve my work ethic. I think that this will definitely challenge me because there will be so many more people watching me,” Johnson said.
The pageant is intended to help Mr. Esquire with community service and networking.
“I’m excited about it, I think I’m a person that handles responsibility pretty well especially when somebody else depends on me,” Johnson said.
First runner-up was senior Denn-Warren Tafah and was awarded a $300 scholarship.
Second runner-up went to sophomore Tori Gaston.
The 41st annual Mr. Esquire pageant was hosted by Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and the competition was divided into three phases.
Johnson won the first sleep-wear phase. He came out shirtless, wearing grey pants, a bandanna and carrying a teddy bear. He also oiled himself up, much to the crowd’s delight.
Up next was the talent portion of the competition. Victory went to Johnson once again, who performed a monologue titled “Black Boys Don’t Break.”
His speech explained on the hardships of growing up a black man in the U.S.
“To be a black man in America is to have all your bones broken and still be expected to stand,” Johnson said in the monologue.
The final phase of the competition was the suit and tie portion. Gaston won wearing a pink suit, pants — and ironically — no tie.
Gaston was also the winner of the Most Ads Sales award.
“Behind the scenes of the pageant, it was stressful. It was definitely fun seeing the guys compete and just enjoy themselves,” Micaela Norment, pageant co-chair, said.
Johnson also won the interview portion of the competition that was conducted before the official pageant began.
Finally, Gaston won the people’s choice category, decided by members of the crowd put money in a collection jar to support their favorite..
Also competing in the competition were sophomore Chavis Spann and senior Jaylin Ware.
Photo by Waid Rainey.