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Mr. SBHS 2021: A New Experience

Contestants in top row from left to right: Jishav Kohli, Hakeem Azam, Connor Gong, and Ronaq Sahni. Contestant in bottom row: Matt Li

Lights! Cameras! Model! One of the most anticipated events at the South Brunswick High School, Mr. SBHS, is just around the corner. On Friday, April 30 at 6 pm, students will be able to view a live performance from the comfort of their couches.

Mr. SBHS is a school tradition of a “male beauty pageant”. The senior boys selected for the pageant must pass a series of rounds in order to be crowned the title Mr. SBHS. This includes dances, a talent showcase, dress to impress, spirit wear, rhyme, awards, and a q&a round.

“As Vice President of Student Council, I thought it would be really cool to join something that’s been a school tradition for so long,” said senior Hakeem Azam.

Along with Azam, four other senior boys will be competing for the crown: Matt Li, Ronaq Sahni, Jishnav Kohli, and Connor Gong. Since early April, these five competitors have been working hard to prepare for this event.

“I did Mr. SBHS because Ms. [Ira] Dixit encouraged me,” said Kohli, “I thought ‘senior year, we ought to have a little fun rather than sitting in our houses.’ And then I thought, let’s do this! What’s there to lose?”

Senior Ira Dixit is the Student Council Corresponding Secretary. She and the rest of the student council have been planning for this event since early February. While first planning it as a webinar, thanks to the changes in COVID guidelines and great excitement from the student body, Mr. SBHS will run its regular program as close to a normal year as possible.

There’s a lot to look forward to this year. While similar to past years of Mr. SBHS, student council advisor Mrs. Harlee Olsen said to look out for some additions to the show this year. Going along perfectly with the theme of “Taking on the Big Screen”, some parts of Mr. SBHS are pre-recorded. Participants will be showcasing talents never seen before on the stage.

“I think people should look forward to my talents, my rented tuxedo, and the overall opening dance from everyone. It’s amazing,” said Li.

According to Mrs. Olsen, there’s also been a huge change in judges. In past years, four teachers usually judge the group of boys participating in the pageant. This year, seven former SBHS students will be judging all aspects of the show.

For the past few weeks, the student council, class council, and the participants have been hard at work preparing for the show. Students have put hours of work decorating the school, learning and teaching dances, and preparing the show script.

“We’re so happy to give this to the boys, back to our students, our class council…. It gave so many more opportunities to be involved and that’s what this is all about,” said Mrs. Olsen.

Mr. SBHS brings together participants with many different tastes in music, movies, and more. Kohli’s favorite song is “Down Under” by Men at Work, while Li loves “God’s Menu” by Stray Kids. Gong’s favorite movie is action-filled “Deadpool” and Sahni’s is Dreamworks’ “How to Train Your Dragon.” Even with all these differences, all five boys are brought together by this school event.

“I haven’t been very involved in the school in terms of extracurriculars, so I thought ‘might as well do something amazing and cool for senior year!’ I was encouraged by a bunch of friends and thought it would be a great time,” said Gong.

“I’m excited to have the show, have everyone see it, have all my friends and family to see it, and to just have fun,” said Sahni.

Mr. SBHS can be viewed live on Friday starting at 6 pm. The link to view will be posted in the student council’s Instagram (@sbhsstudents) bio and on VTN’s youtube channel.

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