A crowded Centre Stage audience that included family, friends and students saw Parker Olsen crowned as the 29th annual Mr. UVU pageant winner Jan. 29.
The mock pageant, held consistently every year since 1989, draws UVU’s “best and brightest” men on campus to compete for the title. Hoping for a cash prize, bragging rights, one of the school’s coveted plush blankets and the title of Mr. UVU, the pageant saw 10 contestants enter and perform.
The pageant, which was emceed by UVU Student Association President Rob Smith and Senator for the Woodbury School of Business, Clint Madsen, saw great entries in three categories: swimwear, talent, and evening wear.
Each of the contestants received loud laughs from the crowd as demonstrations in each category got more and more outrageous with each appearance on stage. Beau Ballard, Mr. Spirit Squad, made an explosive impact starting his entrance on stage skating out on Heelys to loud techno music sporting a red, white, and blue speedo for his routine. Ballard then topped his swimwear performance during the talent segment with a three-man re-enactment of Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” dance routine.
Each competitor had stage names that showcased the various colleges, sporting activities and interests that makes him unique and a great representative as Mr. UVU.
Alex Abbott, Mr. College of Technology and Computing, returned for a second year intent on winning and swooned the crowd during the talent showcase with a guitar and song dedicated to his wife in the crowd. Various family members and friends helped each entry showcase their talents and unique personalities: Mr. Business, Spencer Wabel, had the assistance from siblings and parents during his talent showcase in a throwback to songs like “Low” by T-Pain and Flo Rida in a gimmick comprised of actual apple-bottom jeans, boots with fur, and Reeboks with straps on stage.
In addition to showcasing talents and physique, candidates shared some of their wit and comic ability by answering questions regarding their favorite spots on campus such as Taco Bell and Costa Vida, their favorite traditions at UVU such as True Wolverine and answered questions prepared prior to the event. Mr. College of Science, Shane Gunnerson, asked how he might spend $12 were he given the large sum, responded confidently that he would invest in World Peace and purchase a meal from Costa Vida.
Each of these contestants were rated by a panel of judges including recent Miss UVU winner Natalie Jaco and former Mr. UVU 2015, Joey Whitaker. Parker Olsen, won votes from the judges and the audience. Olsen pulled a double win by being selected as Mr. UVU by the panel and People’s Choice via an online poll completed by the audience after performances. “I just wanted to have fun,” Olsen said. “Honestly, [winning] People’s Choice had me floored because I’ve wanted, since day one, a UVU plush blanket. When I got that blanket I was good to go, I was like, ‘I’m a happy guy.’”
As Mr. UVU and in his last semester, Olsen feels a great love for UVU and is ready to serve.
“This is my last semester for me at UVU,” Olsen said “This is a way for me to leave a part of myself and my legacy at this school. I’m excited to take that and represent my royalty out in the community.”