Mr. Panther 2019 Recap

Nicole Markus, Print Editor-in-Chief

 

On Dec. 11, 2019, 23 contestants took the Miami Palmetto Senior High’s auditorium stage to participate in the Television Production club’s annual fundraiser, Mr. Panther. The event, one of the most popular of the year, took place earlier than normal in the school year, since the auditorium soon will undergo major construction in the beginning of 2020. 

This year’s Mr. Panther contestants rehearsed and prepared for over 18 weeks, a majority of the school year so far. They took the time to learn multiple dances, choreographed by Variations captains Sierra Taylor and Paige Samuels, and junior officers Sydney Rouviere and Melissa Guillen, and filmed videos that were featured in the morning announcements. The theme for this year’s event was “The Greatest Panther,” a play on the hit movie “The Greatest Showman.”
Each contestant also had to sell several tickets in the weeks leading up to the event, entering classes and reaching out to friends in hopes of selling the most tickets. Selling tickets contributes to the contestants’ overall score going into Mr. Panther.

After the 23 contestants participated in the initial introduction and the swimsuit round, the judges narrowed them down to 10, where they picked a pageant question out of a hat and had to answer within 15 seconds. 

Based on their answers to these questions, and their scores from previous aspects of the competition, the judges selected the five finalists for Mr. Panther 2020. The five finalists, in no particular order, are Mr. Boys’ Soccer (Dillon Metoyer), Mr. Boys’ Volleyball (Alvaro Grande), Mr. Photography (Zachary Lapin), Mr. TVP (TJ Peacock), and Mr. No Place for Hate (Brian Rodrigues). These five contestants showcased their individual talents during this time, ranging from rapping to dancing to lifting weights. 

After the final round, the audience got the opportunity to vote on Mr. Showman (the audience favorite from the five semi-finalists who did not move to the finals) for the first time. A QR code was put on screen that the audience could scan and vote from the five semi-finalists that did not make it to the final round on who was Mr. Showman. This award went to Mr. Girls’ Soccer, Malik Menzie.

The judges assigned points to the five finalists based on their talents, and the finalist with the highest amount of points was awarded Mr. Talent. This award went to Mr. Boys’ Soccer, Dillon Metoyer, who rapped on the Mr. Panther stage.

In addition to Mr. Showman and Mr. Talent, another award given to a contestant was that of Mr. Congeniality, the contestant who showed the most kindness, patience and positive attitude to the other contestants and the process in general. This was an award not chosen by judges, but instead by those involved with the process of planning and performing in Mr. Panther, and the award went to Mr. Italian Honor Society, Ariel Colodner.

The final award, Mr. Panther 2020, went to the contestant with the overall highest combined score for stage presence, talent, ticket sales, audience enthusiasm, and more. This award went to Mr. TVP, TJ Peacock. 

Mr. Panther will continue as a celebrated aspect of Palmetto in the years to come, and the impact of it has been seen in graduated members of the Palmetto community. Many previous contestants of Mr. Panther were in the audience, including last year’s winner, Mr. Creative Writing, Jose Iglesias. In addition, two graduated members of Television Production, Koby and Zack Rouviere were in the audience who helped pioneer Mr. Panther and make it into the well-known, highly-attended event it is today.

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