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Beyond the booty pops: Get to really know the Mr. Georgetown contestants

Published October 5, 2022


Photo by Whitney Fils-Aimé

There’s something about seeing Georgetown seniors shaking their butts that gets Hoyas moving. Mr. Georgetown, the beloved male beauty pageant run by the Georgetown Program Board (GPB), will take to the stage at Gaston Hall on Oct. 7.

More than 600 tickets for the pageant were sold in less than 10 minutes, according to the show’s coordinator and GPB events chair, Sarah Silver (SFS ’25). With Gaston Hall at full capacity, this year’s show represents a return to pre-COVID normalcy, Silver said.

There are several noticeable changes from years prior. In the past, the competition included a group introduction dance, a spirit wear round, an elimination round, a talent portion, a second elimination round, and a final question-and-answer period. This year, GPB is removing the first elimination round.

“It always sucks, because [the contestants] put all this effort into planning out a four-minute talent that they can’t even perform,” Silver said. “It’ll be really cool to give everyone a chance to show what they’re made of.”

Tickets for Georgetown Scholars Program students were also free, an attempt to make the show more accessible and eliminate the $5 registration fee that typically accompanies entry for students.

With the show’s date rapidly approaching, the contestants have been rehearsing intensely. They’ve spent hours practicing their group dance with Groove Theory members, who have choreographed the show’s opening number for years and will perform a showcase at the event.

“It’s definitely focused on fun, bigger moves that everyone can have a good time with,” Annmarie Rotatori (COL ’23), captain of Groove Theory, said. “Think that you’re choreographing for younger kids, in the best way possible. Very cheesy, very corny, but definitely a crowd-pleaser.” 

The pageant was originally created to critique the sexualization of female beauty pageants, although the show has received criticism for its lack of non-male inclusivity

The judges for this year’s Mr. Georgetown include Jalen Arthur (COL ’22), the Mr. Georgetown 2021 champion, Elizabeth Grimm, associate professor of teaching, Kelvia Jaupi (COL ’22), Mr. Georgetown chair in 2019, and Patrick Ledesma, director of the Center for Student Engagement.

The Voice sat down with each Mr. Georgetown contestant and talked through their life stories and Georgetown experiences. The Voice also asked each contestant for their favorite dance move; the names of the dance moves were cultivated with help from the Groove Theory choreographers, as many contestants did not know them by name (they instead demonstrated their moves). Get to know the 13 contestants below.

 

Photo of Ethan Greer wearing a blue "The Georgetown Voice" cap and holding out the latest issue in Dahlgren QuadPhoto by Hannah Laibinis

Ethan Greer (COL ’23) — Mr. The Voice

“I’m a man of many contradictions,” Greer said.

Greer loves Chipotle dearly. His go-to order? A chicken bowl with white rice and cheese—nothing else. Greer is also a picky eater.

“I’m the least suited for the job, which makes me an underdog,” Greer said of his stand-out Mr. Georgetown quality. “I’m not competition for anyone.”

Being a Georgetown student has granted Greer an opportunity to step outside of his comfort zone, and competing in Mr. Georgetown has been no exception. “I’ve learned a lot about myself and the world here, but I’ve also met a lot of people I like a lot and just had a really good time overall,” Greer said.

Beyond the Voice—where Greer notes he is the go-to expert in student government—he is also a member of the debate team and works alongside labor unions, which he says has been an impactful aspect of his college experience.

Favorite dance move: kickline

 

Photo by Hannah Laibinis

Jacob Livesay (COL ’23) – Mr. Georgetown Improv Association

Inspired by comedy greats like John Mulaney, Allison Becker, and Nick Kroll, Livesay joined the Improv Association his first year, and stuck with it through COVID in part due to the club’s tight-knit community.

“I still wanted to be performing in some capacity and was interested in comedy, so I sort of found my home there,” Livesay said.

When asked repeatedly for a funny joke, Livesay eventually caved and granted the Voice this gem: “What did the DJ name her son?” “Er-ic.” (Livesay noted the joke translates poorly in writing).

Livesay is a self-proclaimed theater kid who often plays little boys on stage. He would frequently make one of the older improv students his father in skits, he recalled to the Voice.

In middle school, he won a dance-off competition, which could set him miles above his contestants, he said.

He also highlighted his humor as an asset. “If I get to the interview portion, I think it’ll be a goofy interview. I have trouble taking these things seriously, although I think that’s the point, to not take ourselves too seriously,” he said. 

Favorite dance move: bend-and-snap

 

Photo of Jola Bankole posing in Dahlgren QuadPhoto by Sarah Silver

Jola Bankole (COL ’23) – Mr. African Society of Georgetown

Although Bankole only recently joined ASG last semester, he is a model in the making. He helped run last year’s Abissa—the fashion show put on by ASG to highlight the variety of styles across the continent—and plans on modeling in the next. 

“A model walk isn’t easy, but it’s something that could be learned,” Bankole said.

Although Bankole is working on modeling, he’s new to the realm of dancing. “I’m not really a dancer, tall, hips are stiff. But I’ll make it work,” he said.

Personal touches will be how he stands out, he says. “I’ve added a little bit of charm into the dances I’m practicing.”

Bankole is a triple citizen (Nigeria, UK, and US) who wants to explore D.C. more. He loves going to concerts. He also knew Doja Cat was big before everyone else. 

His spirit outfit and talent will showcase his Nigerian heritage but draw inspiration from the other 54 countries in Africa. 

Favorite dance move: jazz squares or kickline

 

Photo of Lorenzo Pagdanganan holding a large musical instrument on the stairs of Old North.Photo by Hannah Laibinis

Lorenzo Pagdanganan (COL ’23) – Mr. Club Filipino

Pagdanganan isn’t new to performing. He played the piano as a child, where his facial expressions and stage presence helped him stand out— a feature that will prove an asset for Mr. Georgetown, he said. He has also performed for Georgetown’s Asian American Student Association (AASA) in the past.

He’s got another talent, although not one many may have the option to see. Pagdanganan has a knack for languages: a classics enthusiast and major who learned ancient Greek, he also taught himself Filipino—his proudest achievement.

“I was actually in the Philippines this summer just visiting family, and I went out drinking with my cousins’ friends who are the same age as me and I thought, ‘Wow, this is the final exam.’” Pagdanganan said.

Club Filipino was very different from the white, New Jersey neighborhood Pagdanganan is from. “[I] didn’t get to really experience this side of myself until I got to Georgetown and found Club Filipino. So a lot of the stuff I do on campus is mainly for them,” he said. 

Favorite dance move: beat drops

 

Photo of Ben Telerski sitting on the steps of Old North and holding a saxophonePhoto by Hannah Laibinis

Ben Telerski (COL ’23) — Mr. Pep Band

You might know Telerski from TikTok, where he has over 33,000 followers. “It was weird during NSO when students would come up to me and ask to take photos with me,” Telerski said.

New students have reached out and thanked him for sharing his experiences and accredit their college decision to him. His platform allows him to talk about the university in a negative light and highlight the student activism on campus, Telerski said.

Beyond shepherding new students to the Hilltop, Telerski also plays the alto saxophone and is the conductor for pep band. 

“More than anything, I’m here for a fun time,” Telerski said. “I’ve never danced before, so doing the dance rehearsals has been fun.”

Last January when COVID-19 restrictions were stricter, pep band was one of two groups permitted to attend games and support student athletes, which Telerski holds as a special experience.

Favorite dance move: flick and snap

 

Photo of Lawrence Trevette twisting a white founding fathers wig and sipping from a blue-gray Alexander Hamilton travel mugPhoto by Hannah Laibinis

LJ Trevette (SFS ’23) – Mr. Alexander Hamilton Society

Trevette has a big personality. “I’m a white bitch from New England. Fall is my favorite season,” he said.

He joined the Alexander Hamilton Society last semester and fell in with the group that runs it instantly. The organization is a nonpartisan foreign affairs club that hosts speaker events and discussions on various topics, according to Trevette. “I’m a big fan [of the club], as a resident SFS person,” Trevette said.

Trevette is one of two social chairs for the AHS. “This is the school where we work hard, but we also play hard,” Trevette said. “Everyone has their inner party goblin—as I like to call it—that we suppress to succeed academically.”

Although he wasn’t a dancer, he is now. “I now feel like I’m trained to hit the Vegas strip scene after what Groove Theory is putting us through,” Trevette said.

Favorite dance move: booty pop on the floor

 

Photo of Harrison Lee holding a map and sitting on a bench in Dahlgren Quad.Photo by Hannah Laibinis

Harrison Lee (SFS ’23) — Mr. Outdoor Education

“I am from New Jersey. I use that as an excuse for a lot of my actions,” Lee said. “I know how to pump my own gas now.”

Lee is no stranger to show-biz. He won GPB’s Funniest Human competition this past spring, and likes the change of pace entertainment and the arts bring from his usual STEM classes. 

He used to have more time to dedicate to his artsy interests, like improv and film-making, but being a pre-med student changed that. “Those fell away when I had to take organic chemistry,” Lee said. 

Mr. Georgetown has provided Lee an opportunity to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones in his last year on campus. “It’s nice to sit back and just be like, oh, we have two full semesters, let’s make the most of it,” he said. “Don’t grow up too fast.”

“I have an interest in being the personality hire. I think people recognize that. I’m here for the vibes,” Lee said of his unique Mr. Georgetown traits.

Favorite dance move: Charleston

 

Photo by Hannah Laibinis

(John) Elliott Clarke (COL ’23) — Mr. Club Swim

Clarke’s had a slow start with club swim. “I initially put my name down on the CAB fair thing, and then didn’t go for the first month,” he said.

After a party, however, things changed. “I realized, oh, I actually had fun with these people. And then I started going to practice and realized, maybe it is nice to work out with other people in a chill setting.”

A man accused of simultaneously having a thick southern accent and a fake British accent, Clarke brings a special level of intensity to Mr. Georgetown, he said. “What makes me the most unique is I can bring an utter, incongruous absurdity–I mean, it’s my personality—but also to the pageant,” Clark said. “I can give you whiplash.”

Clarke is also a church singer of many different styles, including Byzantine, Western Baroque, and more, which may be an asset to his performance on Friday.

Favorite dance move: spread eagle or Charleston

 

Photo of Paul Taylor holding a frisbee on his finger and smiling in Dahlgren QuadPhoto by Hannah Laibinis

Paul Taylor (COL ’23) — Mr. Ultimate Frisbee

Taylor was motivated to join Mr. Georgetown’s lineup by peer pressure, but he doesn’t regret it. “I’ve definitely gotten more comfortable about it,” Taylor said. “I’ve had time to be more excited about it.”

The ultimate frisbee player joined the club after playing in high school, but the college team helped him understand that frisbee went beyond simply hucking a disc. “It’s been a lot more than just the sport itself. It’s been a very significant friend group and a huge part of my out-of-class experience,” Taylor said. “I’m not just playing frisbee in a bubble, I’m playing with my friends.”

The highest he’s ever jumped is ten feet, eight inches, taller than a U-Haul. 

Favorite dance move: chest pumps

 

Photo by Hannah Laibinis

Justin Bustamante (NHS ’23) — Mr. ESCAPE

“I talked to my board and other staff people to ask, like, is this allowed?” Bustamante said. “ESCAPE is Campus Ministry. Mr. Georgetown is very ass, boobs, head—Can I do that? And the director was like, ‘Absolutely, yes you can.’”

Bustamante has been a member of the ESCAPE community for all four years, starting as a participant, then virtual leader, and then two years of program coordinating.

“I love the community I found. It was more than just going to the retreat center for me,” he said. 

Bustamante has dabbled in the entertainment industry before. He starred as ESCAPE’s dance party musician, leading everyone in songs like “Just the Way You Are.” He also did musical theater in high school—including a production of Newsies—and therefore has some level of coordination for Mr. Georgetown, he says. 

Favorite dance move: anything with hips or butt

 

Photo by Hannah Laibinis

Ed Shen (MSB ’23) — Mr. Asian American Students Association (AASA)

Shen has graced the big screen before, as a child actor at the age of ten years old for two Chinese television shows. “It was my first foray into the world of entertainment, and now I’m back here,” Shen said.

But, he said, he’s not a theater kid. “It ended up being, no one would do this but Ed, so I kind of fell into this spot,” Shen said.  “I never thought I would do this. It isn’t really my scene, but it’s been a lot of fun.”

“[There’s] nowhere I’d rather be on a Tuesday night than at the HFSC dance studio with ten of my other guys,” Shen said. 

Shen also has a tattoo of a sea lion on his shoulder and wanted to stress his love for the mammal. “I really love sea lions,” he said.

Favorite dance move: whipping hair

 

Photo by Hannah Laibinis

Carlos Rosario (MSB ’23) — Mr. Caribbean Culture Circle (CCC)

Rosario is a Nuyorican—a Puerto Rican New Yorker; born in Queens, then to Brooklyn when he was eight. “I took the Subway to school every day,” he said. “It’s a big part of my identity.”

He also does Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, inspired by a family friend who had a six-pack, he said.

“Something I’m trying to do as I’m thinking about designing my spirit wear and talent is how can I do justice to the diversity that lives in the Caribbean,” Rosario said. “I want to celebrate that, celebrate the diversity of countries in the CCC.”

He is balancing his identity, the CCC, and Georgetown in his performances. “We find ourselves in these clubs because we’re trying to find people similar to ourselves, who share similar interests to ourselves. In my head, a celebration of my club is a celebration of myself,” Rosario said.

Favorite dance move: booty shake with an arch up

 

Photo of Will Hammond wearing a purple shirt and smiling while enthusiastically shrugging in Dahlgren QuadPhoto by Hannah Laibinis

William (Will) Hammond (SFS ’23) — Mr. Mask and Bauble

Hammond is a die-hard theater kid. He’s a member of the Georgetown Chamber Singers, is starring in an upcoming student production of “Rent,” and most importantly to Mr. Georgetown, is in Mask and Bauble. 

His older brother was his inspiration to delve into the world of theater. 

It all started in elementary school, according to Hammond. He starred as the villain, Sir Baron Griswald, in a production of “Who’s Minding the Castle,” and the rest is history.

He has six siblings and is the youngest, which he acknowledges is evident in his “youngest sibling energy.” 

Hammond also has a Jack Russell terrier named Edmund— “my treasure, the best person I know”—whose name follows the long tradition of old English names, like William. 

Favorite dance move: sexy dramatic floor stamp

 

Ethan Greer is a member of the Voice as a staff contributor. William Hammond is also a member of the Voice’s editorial board. Jacob Livesay once contributed to the Voice. 

 

Correction: This article has been updated to accurately reflect Bankole’s participation in Abissa. 


Nora Scully
Nora is the news editor and a junior in the SFS studying Science, Technology, and International Affairs. She enjoys cats and dogs of all types and has been working on approaching D.C. dog owners to ask to pet their dog(s).


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