Alright, people. Let's be honest: Sam Liebl is a stud. Everyone can appreciate his sculpted legs, his penchant for debate, and his right eye, which squints ever so slightly more than the left one when he smiles. So when Sam volunteered himself to compete in this year's Mr. Plan II competition, I naturally assumed he would win - both because we're attached at the hip and because, I mean, just look at him.
For those who don't know, Mr. Plan II is P2SA's annual male beauty pageant, an event that honors the manliest and most talented guys among us. With his win, Sam has joined the ranks of such illustrious figures as Dylan "I won $20,000 for my thesis" Bumford, James "Hot Catholic" VanMatre, and David "Caligula" Fisher. Past competitions have included dogs (way to go, Kevin Vermillion), bodysuits, full drag, banjoes, booties, and more. Under the scrutiny of a panel of P2 staff judges, which this year included Director Michael Stoff, Associate Director Alexandra Wettlaufer, Alumni Coordinator Phillip Dubov, Office Manager Elsie Rebolloso, Admissions Director Jennifer Scalora, and Academic Advisor Mary Dillman, the this year's competitors strutted their stuff in a dance, formalwear, swimwear, a talent, and an interview.
When we arrived at the Black Box Theatre before the event, I sighed. Sam had some pretty tough competition. I mean, the lanky, luxurious Edgar Walters was there. With TWO female escorts - Elyssa Klann and Jenny Kutner - who were looking pretty intimidating in their Orange Jackets attire. Bespectacled, quiet artistic type Russell Beaumont and his escort, the inimitable Courtney Lee, were planning hilarious-sounding gags. Goofy Naveen Pattisapu tuned his guitar. Famous Facebook-obsessed freshman Krit Mankhali folded his hands and looked like he didn't give a damn.
How was Sam going to beat these boys?! I'll be honest: he did a great job showing off his tush in a speedo, and he certainly wooed Jennifer Scalora with a collection of sexy Shakespearean monologues. But I thought it was totally over a few times - when, for example, Russell walked out for formalwear in a "Canadian Tuxedo" - all denim - and presented Courtney with a denim rose. Or when Edgar rocked out on piano to a song he wrote himself about our glorious honors program (see a recorded version here: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150658319952236). The audience gave Edgar a standing ovation.
In the end, Sam did win the crown, with Edgar and Russell coming in second and third places, respectively. And all the other boys fought a good fight, with some excellent improvised ribbon dancing from Ben Johnson and Loktao Shing, a delightful impromptu speech from Krit, and the most delicate "Blackbird" ever from Naveen. (Have I forgotten anyone?!)
You might ask how Sam's life has changed since winning the crown. Honestly...I don't think it has. But I sure am proud of him, and his name'll show up on that plaque in the Plan II office pretty soon. And in the end, we were all just thrilled to put on a good show and celebrate our honors program. It's pretty sweet to be dating Mr. Plan II, but it's even sweeter just to be dating Sam Liebl.