Mr. C’est La Vie serenades his way to victory

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Mr. C’est La Vie serenades his way to victory

Ruane sings his way into the audience's heart for his talent portion.

Ruane sings his way into the audience's heart for his talent portion.

RM SGA

Ruane sings his way into the audience's heart for his talent portion.

RM SGA

RM SGA

Ruane sings his way into the audience's heart for his talent portion.

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On Friday, March 8, the RM community congregated in the auditorium to witness 16 boys fight for a crown. On the outside, this event might have seemed purely competitive. In reality, one unbreakable bond was forged between this group of seniors as they joined forces to leave a mark in RM’s history.

At 7 p.m., Mr. RM opened with all 16 boys on stage performing a brilliantly choreographed dance routine. The audience became enamored with the boys as they showcased talents, modeled various outfits, and delivered pick-up lines to woo the girls on stage. The audience had a blast, but the fun of the Mr. RM experience extends far beyond the surface.

For 8 weeks, the competitors worked incredibly hard to create a great production. “It’s similar to drama but a little bit more grueling because you’re in everything. You don’t really get to take a break,” senior Nicholas Leiva said, otherwise known as Mr. Floof, a thespian.

Despite a rigorous rehearsal schedule, the contestants explained that they didn’t feel much pressure. “There’s no expectation of perfection. The whole thing is a little tongue-in-cheek; it’s a little crazy and over the top,” senior Sean Boyce, or Mr. Punslinger/Mr. Coingeniality, said. “The standard you need to hold yourself to is very different—you have freedom to do whatever you want.”

As the contenders prepared for the show, they developed different strategies for success. “I watch a lot of RuPaul’s Drag Race, so I know how reality TV works,” senior Derek Yao said. Boyce opted for a more daring approach. “The best way to win is to go as ham as possible and be so ridiculous that people have to fall in love with you,” he explained.

Due to the light-hearted nature of this event, goofing off during rehearsal was inevitable. “My fondest memory was when we were practicing the pick-up lines and Hassim forgot his. He looked at the spreadsheet and saw it, forgot it again, looked at the spreadsheet, saw it, and forgot it again—unironically,” Boyce related. “It was such a great moment; we were all messing around and we had a blast.”

This brotherhood was destined to persevere throughout the entire performance. “No matter what happens tonight, we’re all going to stay friends and we’re all in this brotherhood together,” Leiva shared before the show.

After the show was over, the competitors continued to hold each other in high regards. “You might not see half of these people your first four years in high school but after this, you become a family,” senior Gideon Wikina, AKA Mr. HTML, shared. “They’re like my brothers–I would do anything [for] them,” senior Rajan Agarwal said.

Thus, when Mr. C’est La Vie became Mr. RM, he was surrounded by complete love and adoration, especially from his family. “I remember giving my roses to my sister and a big kiss on her forehead because I was really happy. My mom came to me [but] she hadn’t realized what the show was about; she was so surprised,” Mathew Ruane said. “My dad couldn’t be at the show, but as soon as he got the news he [sent] me two or three messages saying how proud he was of me.”

Although Ruane’s win came as a shock to many, some of the other contestants had predicted the victory. “I knew there was just something unique about him that would push him over the line to the final five,” senior Emmanuel Corporal said. According to his fellow contenders, Ruane truly shined in the spotlight. “As soon as he pulled up with that pick-up line, I was like, ‘Oh nahhh, he’s winning!’” Agarwal said.

Throughout the show, there was hardly a moment when the audience was silent. The crowd was constantly roaring with laughter, whether it was at Mr. Africa’s high quality cooking tutorial or Mr. Air Pods’ extemporaneous comedy routine. However, when Mr. C’est La Vie stepped onto the stage, the noise levels went down and iPhone flashlights went up.

Anyone who witnessed Ruane’s performance can attest that it was phenomenal. Ruane concealed his fears flawlessly, even though this was only his second time performing in front of such a large audience. “I was not that confident in my singing, and I was scared that I would mess up my guitar [or] blank out,” Ruane said.

Some people become conceited with success, but Ruane remained humble and admirable of his fellow competitors. “We created a really deep bond, and I want to give a shout-out to them because they’re really awesome,” Ruane said. “Now we have this sort of link that we didn’t have in the past—it’s really cool.”

Even though Ruane was modest after his victory, winning meant the world to him. “I’m really proud of winning and showing [everyone] what I grew up to be in the [past] four years,” Ruane said. “It really built up my confidence and showed what I’m really capable of.”

As 2019’s Mr. RM, Ruane has words of wisdom to impart on everyone. “Be confident in yourself. If you see that you have an opportunity like I did, don’t hesitate, just take the chance. You [can] achieve incredible things.”