Mr. NVHS 2022: Neuqua’s male pageant lives on


Aarti Gupta

All the Mr. NVHS contestants hold up Sachin Fong after he is crowned Mr. NVHS for the Class of 2022.

As yet another entertaining Neuqua phenomenon bouncing back from the COVID-19 hiatus (that many events had to take), Mr. NVHS returned for its 13th show, bringing back the joy and excitement it has brought to families and the student body. Mr. NVHS is essentially a pageant show that focuses on school pride and a senior who embodies the spirit of a Wildcat, while also serving as an enjoyable and fun time.

The interesting combination of hopeful Mr NVHS applicants, Sachin Fong, Jared Zhang, Danny Appel, Noah Castillo, Henry Scriven-Young, Adi Taire, Shivam Patnik, Jeb Wu, Zach Thompson and Sanjar Areeb were to be judged off of their stage presence, appeal, charm, talent and audience reaction, with outfits also being a deciding factor with contestants showing off formal wear, vacation wear and lastly, but most importantly, spirit wear. 

Junior, Vidhi Arora shared her perspective before the show started saying, “I think the judges are going to choose someone unexpected, choosing off of the actual performances.” It was important for this and standards to be met and reinforced, as necessary in order to stay unbiased because of the magnitude of support each one of these contestants had received (which was seen throughout and before the show, with students and parents filling the auditorium). 

The show started with a short opening performance by all the contestants to the popular song Rasputin by Boney M, allowing the audience to get a glimpse of their dancing skills. All the contestants were dressed to the nines, decked out by graciously donated customized suits by Men’s Warehouse, checking the box for formal wear. Their performance, with an impressive kick line included, set the tone for a promising show. 

Hosts Emma Spires and Saathveek Gowrishankar were in charge of leading the show smoothly, as well as asking the important hot seat questions like “What animal would you create if you could?” and “Which faculty member would you be for a day?” and of course, “Why should you be Mr. NVHS?” They organized the show, intermingling questionnaires and talent performances, keeping audience members on their toes.

All contestants kept energizing and competitive performances, engaging the crowd and certainly giving them a show. Some highlights included Sachin Fong and Henry Scriven Young’s musical talents, with Fong performing an enchanting saxophone rendition of “Careless Whisper” and Young singing a heartfelt performance of “My Way” by Frank Sinatra. Both felt like a concert with the audience singing along and using their phones as flashlights to wave along. Jeb Wu and Jared Zhang both took the comedic route, entertaining the audience and judges with a comedic skit. Wu took on the honorary role of the Vegetable Samurai, a playoff sequel to the Fruit Ninja, protecting the world from vegetables and even ended it with a moral of the story about being true to yourself and self identification. Zhang was absolutely hilarious with his Milk skit, with a legendary feature from Beanie, his famous squishmallow. Dressed in a comfortable robe, Zhang explored and rated the different flavors of milk, getting a standing ovation from all the Michaels in the crowd. (Zhang opened by doing a “mike check” by asking all the Michaels to stand up, getting his show rolling.) Zach Thompson then led a very relaxing and not at all funny meditation session, setting a calm tone for the next performance. Danny Appel wowed the audience with his insanely fast rapping skills, performing Rap God by Eminem. The last performance was by Neuqua Valley’s own rapper star, Junior, aka Shivam Patnik, who got the crowd bumping to his own original song. 

Other notable performances were by Sanjar Areeb who,  as the very first talent, impressed the audience with his high notes. Audience members also did not want the music to stop for Noah Castillo’s dance to “Don’t Stop the Music” by Rihanna, as well as Adi Taire dazzling the crowd with his beatboxing and flute fusion performance. 

All the contestants made the night incredibly entertaining and memorable with their creative quips, talents and outfits, going out on all aspects. Zhang showed up the rest of his opponents with the best spirit wear, dressing up as Dr. Fuhrer (bald cap included). These components, along with everyone being a crowd favorite, made it quite difficult for the judges to choose. However, there could only be one winner of a $25 Amazon gift card, bragging rights and two free prom tickets. Ultimately, it was Sachin Fong who took the 2022 Mr. NVHS title, with Jared Zhang as runner-up, receiving a $25 Amazon gift card and a standing ovation from all. Everybody was incredibly passionate and supportive making this show, once again, a memorable night for all.