First ever Ms. Blazer crowned


April 19, 2004, midnight | By Feza Kikaya | 16 years, 6 months ago

Anticipated spring competition turns out successful


Blair's premiere Ms. Blazer competition delivered an evening of talent to an interested and supportive crowd in the auditorium around 6 p.m. on April 16.

The senior class leaders—Seniors Lynn Favin, Ayo Cole, Martha Gould and Isatta Mansaray—enthusiastically and creatively hosted the evening's competition.

The evening began with Blair's first ever Ms. Blazer competition, which was scheduled to begin at 5:00 p.m. but began about an hour later due to technical difficulties. Nevertheless, the show got off to a good start with Blair Idol. This portion of the show got the audience into the mood. Blair's senior class leaders each auditioned for Blair Idol (a spin-off of American Idol) and were subject to criticisms from judges and seniors Alysia Isong (acting and dressed as Randy Jackson), Crystal Santos (as the sweet, encouraging Paula Abdul) and Nicole Gray (as the extremely harsh Simon Cowell).

Mansaray auditioned first and sang (or rather, made an attempt at singing) "The Star Spangled Banner," but did not win over the judges' hearts, who all believed her voice to be pitchy and not qualified for the show.

Next up was Gould, who performed as Martha Mathers and sang "The Real Slim Shady." She wasn't able to impress the judges either; however, she was quite popular with the audience, who found her enthusiasm entertaining.

Favin auditioned next and was able to amuse the crowd even before she began singing because the people realized what she would be performing. Much to their delight, Favin reenacted William Hung's version of "She Bangs," complete with stiff waist movement and arm gestures. After receiving negative criticism from the judges, Favin admitted that she had "no professional training" and confidently marched off stage after reporting that she had "no regrets."

Cole wrapped up this segment, as he appeared on stage with a wardrobe that fully resembled Steve Urkel's (from the popular sitcom "Family Matters"), complete with glasses and unflattering costume. His voice, however, blew the audience away as he sang "I Don't Want to Bore You With My Troubles" with vocals that warmed up even the coldest of hearts. Even with his voice, the judges could not look past Cole's choice of dress and decided that he didn't meet the show's criteria. At this point, out of utter frustration, Isong, Santos and Gray quit. As an effective transition, three new judges were chosen, all of which would decide who would be this year's Ms. Blazer.

Blair teachers Lansing Freeman, Cindy Villavicencio and Julia Smrek judged the competition according to "personality, enthusiasm and talent," according to Favin.

The show began with the talent portion of the competition. First up was junior Jenny Metellus, who walked on stage wearing a brown top, a matching brown skirt and black high heels, and immediately received recognition and support (in the form of cheers) from the audience. Metellus sang Kelly Clarkson's "A Moment Like This," and quickly became engaged in the words of the song, as was evident through her facial expressions and by the emotion in her voice. Metellus carried each note perfectly, as she informed the audience that "everything changes but beauty remains." If her intentions were to leave the audience with a performance to remember, she succeeded in doing so—the applause she received upon the close of her rendition left no other impression.

The curtains opened for the next act, performed by senior contestant Brittany Ruffin. Ruffin sang a rock tune with guitarist Priscilla Mulumba, a senior. In an outfit of black and red (black pants, a red tank, a black hooded zip-up sweater, black hat and a red bandana), Ruffin managed to cause the audience to bop their heads and appreciate her song choice and genre.

Ruffin then danced to a number of selections by artists such as Justin Timberlake and showed the audience her flexibility and agility, two skills which made her moves look simple yet complex. She, too, received a burst of applause from the crowd.

Junior Peart Wiwitworakit was next to grace the stage in a white, knee-length dress, white flower hair clip, necklace and earrings. Supported by instrumentals over the speaker, Wiwitworakit sang "My Immortal" by Evanescence and captured the crowd's attention with her steady tunes and expressions of emotion and hand gestures. The audience applauded her as she curtsied upon the end of her performance.

Senior Diva Dancer Diane Mba performed next. All who were previously aware of her dancing abilities eagerly anticipated her energetic routine. Mba danced to popular tunes, such as "Yeah" by Usher (featuring Lil' Jon and Ludacris) and Timberlake's "Rock Your Body," and executed clean moves with little repetition. Mba's entire routine reminded the audience of the importance of Blair's Diva Dancers at school events. As the audience looked on with awe, Mba ended her segment with her head down and her hands clasped behind her back, facing away from the audience.

Senior Maya Jackson ended the talent portion of the competition as she sang "Where Did Our Love Go?" dressed in full make-up and a classy black tube, knee-length dress. Accompanied by seniors Katie Aboudou and Jojo Ruf (both of whom looked fit for the occasion in their red tube dresses), Jackson informed the audience of her "burning, burning yearning feelin' inside," as she accurately imitated The Supremes. Despite the microphone's inability to fully pick up Jackson's voice, the senior managed to wrap up the talent section of Ms. Blazer and received cheers from the audience.

The event continued with the interview portion of the show in which contestants had to describe their ideal prom and date, and then answer why they believe they should be Ms. Blazer. Metellus was first to respond to these questions, and did so wearing a dressy white collar shirt and classy, long, patterned black skirt. Metellus answered that an ideal prom would be one at which all of her friends were present and one at which she was escorted by her ideal date—a guy who's "tall, dark and handsome." She stated that she and her friends would sit at a table, "chillax" and reminisce about their high school days.

Ruffin marched confidently on stage in a black, dressy, flowy and flattering dress. She responded that her ideal prom would be one which she spent with friends; she stated that her ideal date would be her boyfriend because he cares for her and she knows he will always be there for her (to which an "aww" sounded from the audience). She believed she should be awarded the crown because she was the mascot in the last pep rally and has lots of school spirit and experience.

Wiwitworakit stated that her ideal prom was one where everyone would have fun, and that her ideal date would be someone she really would like to go with. She believed she is best for the title because she is herself.

Mba's ideal prom would be one at which she could get actor Will Smith drunk in a bar, and on a more serious note, have fun with friends. She stated that her school spirit and the fact that she performed at every Mr. Blazer competition since her freshman year justifies her being crowned Ms. Blazer.

Jackson amused the crowd with her response as to her ideal prom and date. She stated that her ideal date would be someone who is "bald, funny and teaches NSL," referring to Freeman, who in turn "fainted" and uttered "my baby girl." Jackson stated that her (theatrical) involvement in Blair and her love for the school both justify why she should receive the title.

Each of the contestants marched out once again and lined up facing the audience, stepping forward to receive applause when each of their names was called. After a brief moment, the judges informed the hosts of their decision, and with a bouquet of flowers the Senior Class announced Ruffin to be the winner of the competition. With big smiles and loud cheers from the audience, Ruffin reported that it "feels good" to be crowned the first ever Ms. Blazer.

Thanks were given to the judges, stage crew and the audience, as well as faculty sponsors Norman Stant, Linda Wolf and John Kaluta.



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Feza Kikaya. Feza Kikaya is finally a SENIOR in the CAP program at Blair. She enjoys driving, hanging out with friends and laughing. Most importantly, Feza is counting down the days to graduation so she can begin a new chapter of her life in college. Her favorite … More »

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