Mr. Flash contestants turn up the heat in the all-male beauty pageant

Gabrielle Martinez

Mr. Flash 2014 was awarded to Homecoming Court candidate Andrew Cappuzzello. Along with the honor of Mr. Flash, Cappuzzello also won the “audience choice” award in the all-male pageant.

“FLASHanthropy has had a great tradition of winning here, so I knew I had some big shoes to fill,” said Cappuzzello, a senior integrated mathematics major. “I love this place so much, and it has done so much for me. Being Mr. Flash is one of the greatest honors I could have.”

The third annual Mr. Flash pageant, sponsored by the Center for Student Involvement, was held in the Kiva the night of Thursday, Oct. 16 and the venue was filled to capacity.

Mr. Flash was chosen by the judging panel, comprised of Jennifer Gunnoe, assistant director for Center for Student Involvement; Jennifer Kulics, ombud for Student Affairs, and Marvin Logan, executive director for Undergraduate Student Government.

“I look for someone who is exciting and creative,” Logan said. “Someone who embodies what makes us proud as a KSU community.”

Emcees and Kent Student Center Programming members, John Camargo and Katrinka Stephens, kicked off the event with the evening round, introducing the 10 contestants, each representing a student organization.

Celebrity impersonations took over the second round where Cappuzzello portrayed “the common white girl” and strutted through aisles to the song “#SELFIE” by The Chainsmokers. Cappuzzello even took a selfie on stage with the entire audience in the background.

During the talent portion, some contestants recruited female volunteers from the audience onto the stage for provocative dance numbers to various R&B hits, making the crowd applaud and cheer.

Osmel Morales, a junior international relations major, impersonated Fez from That 70’s Show, and the audience participated in singing along to the show’s theme song.

Other acts took a more serious approach. Girls’ hearts melted when senior marketing major Laurent Che, who represented Fluidity Crew hip-hop dance team, performed spoken-word poetry of his childhood love.

The pageant got a little wet during the swimsuit competition when contestant Denzel Washington, a senior theater studies major, sprayed the audience with a water gun.

“I am an entertainer, and I love making people have a good time and inspiring them,” Washington said. “I was nominated by my organization, Epic, an organization dedicated to breaking cultural, social and economic barriers through creativity and artistic expression.”

After the talent contest, the competition slimmed down as five contestants were eliminated; however, those contestants were still eligible for the runner-up “Mr. Congeniality” and “audience choice” awards.

Audience members voted for their choice by using the hashtag #KSUFlash, followed by the contestant’s pageant number.

With Cappuzzello winning both Mr. Flash and audience choice, Mr. Congeniality was awarded to Deondre Washington, a freshmen fashion merchandising major.

With the venue filled to capacity, hundreds of students were left disappointed outside of the Kiva when not enough seating was available.

“We are definitely going to look into another venue for next year,” Logan said. “We didn’t think so many people wanted to get in, and we want everyone to be a part of this event.”

Contact Gabrielle Martinez at [email protected].