Ms. International, first ever Mr. International crowned
From cultural dances to formal wear and a talent show, the Ms. and Mr. International pageant took place Thursday April 14.
In its second year, the contest was held in the Student Union Ballroom and hosted by the International Student Council. For the first time, it also hosted a Mr. International competition with representatives from several countries and regions taking part. Five guys competed to win the first crown of Mr. International.
Annie Vu, a marketing major who represented Vietnam, was crowned Ms. International 2016, beating a competitive field — particularly in the talent competition, in which contestants flaunted skills like painting, magic tricks and a step show.
“I’m so happy. Never, ever in a million years I thought I’d be Ms. International,” said Vu. “Winning this means a lot to me because it’s more than just a beauty pageant; to me, being Ms. International is like being an ambassador of cultural awareness and diversity.”
Vu smiled as she waved and posed for pictures. Unlike the demur gasp and often teary reaction of young lady pageant winners, the announcement launched Mr. International, Steven Nguyen, into shock.
“I honestly had not expected it,”Nguyen said afterward. “I thought everybody did a good job; this is so unexpected.”
His smile radiated as members of his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, applauded, and he was awarded his sash and crown as he also posed for pictures for the crowd.
There were seven judges on the panel at the pageant — each being supporters of the ISC — and included faculty and staff like UPC adviser Ruben Henderson and current Miss UL, Kristal Marie Breaux.
“I loved it,” said Breaux. “I loved seeing the different kind of cultures and countries come together and display their representation of their culture. It’s amazing seeing their talents and all the aspects of the pageant.”
The pageant consisted of four rounds where each contestant took the stage to perform. The first round was introduction intro traditional wear.
All contestants introduced themselves while wearing clothing from their home countries, did a dance or skit related to their countries and were judged on creativity.
The second round was the talent portion and the third round was a formal wear competition.
The final round was the interview round, in which each contestant had to answer one question. One question posed was, “If you change one thing about the world what would it be and why?”
Behavioral science senior Brianna Gray said she enjoyed the talent portion most.
“My favorite part was the talent section because it’s always good to see how other cultures express themselves” said Gray.