Winning the title of Mr. Carson High is every man's dream, according to the students who vied for the honor Sunday night at the community center.
"Every guy wants to be him, and every girl wants to be with him," joked Adrian Zeh, 17. He sat backstage in a sombrero waiting for his talent performance - singing the "Macarena."
Wearing a white headband, James Reavis was warming up for a soulful ribbon dance.
"I'm going to do the performance of a lifetime and bring honor to my family," he said with a laugh. "This ribbon dance is an expression of my inner being."
Justin Menesini had a hard time deciding which talent he exhibit do for the show. He settled on singing "The Little Mermaid" in a starfish bikini top.
"I've been thinking about this since like the eighth grade," he said.
Dancers, contestants and the emcees - English teacher Joe Thornburg and math and physics teacher Mark Johnson - milled around backstage as the show progressed.
"My legs were shaking so bad," said junior Tara Rispin when she came back from singing the National Anthem.
After his "Pirates of the Caribbean" introduction, Robbie Liebherr came hobbling back with a toilet plunger tied to his knee. Nearby, Robert Ghiglieri was wearing Elvis glasses, Mickey Mouse Gloves, a ski racer's Lycra skin suit and a coconut shell bra.
"I'm here for a whole bunch of humiliation," he said.
"That's the name of the game," added Jared Wulff.
"This is a blast," said Pedro Cortez-Rangel, who sang "It's Raining Men."
"It doesn't matter to me if I win. It's just a lot of fun to act like fools and get prizes for it."
Ben Adler was one of the few contestants who wasn't in drag. He performed an original monologue which he described as a sales pitch to raise your own children in a Third World country for less than a dollar a day.
"Just call 1-800-KID-LABOR," he said as the crowd roared. "Act now, and we'll thrown in free immunizations."
The pageant started 13 years ago as a spoof on Miss America to raise money for the high school's cheerleading uniforms.
"We really appreciate it," said cheerleading team co-captain Sarah Currie. "This is our biggest fund-raiser. It pays for uniforms and mats for stunting."
The cheerleaders, coached by Trish Stephenson, wore formal dresses and acted as hostesses.
"They're hostesses, backstage workers, sellers, cleanup crew - everything," Stephenson said.
Western Nevada Performing Arts Center members performed between sets.
"We're doing a jazz song by Madonna and a really fun tap number called 'Rubber Biscuit,'" said dancer Allie Williams of Carson High.
Whitney and Scott Myer played guitar, and the Carson varsity cheerleaders did a performance called "Hey, Big Spender."
Being named Mr. Carson High is a huge honor, said Ryan Henry.
"If you win, you're pretty much the king of the school."
Donning spandex and a big-hair wig for his talent portion, he played a medley of guitar songs by Van Halen and Jimi Hendrix.
Menesini said winning the award can be good for a man's social calendar.
"If I win, I'll probably get some more dates -that'll be good."
At the end of all the antics and anxiety, jdkkfaklkaj
Contact Karl Horeis at email@example.com or 881-1219.