“It’s raining men! Hallelujah,” sounded in the men of Dixie.
The annual Mr. Dixie pageant opened with the one-hit-wonder song “It’s Raining Men” and was welcomed by an audience of screaming women.
Contestants competed in four different categories: best on-stage answer, best sportswear, best talent and best evening wear.
A cross-dressing escort, a magic display, a giant polar bear and a Tom Cruise tribute were all a part of this year’s show.
After a dance-off and a Macklemore knowledge competition, the new Mr. Dixie took the crown from John Berger.
Rhett Sullivan, a senior communication major from Hurricane, is the new Mr. Dixie and won the judges’ votes by using his magic, witty responses and swimsuit body.
“It was the sheer manliness of my chest hair during my events,” Sullivan said. “I have to pay tribute to the character Gob, off of ‘Arrested Development,’ who inspired my magic.”
Sullivan has plans now for his Mr. Dixie title.
“I’m excited to make a difference in this world as Mr. Dixie,” he said. “I feel like this is a perfect opportunity for me to now grow a mustache. And I am sure it will help with the ladies.”
Sullivan wasn’t the only winner. The Mr. Dixie Spirit award is voted on by the contestants who they thought displayed the most vigor during practices and the event.
Ezra Hainsworth, a sophomore communication major from Mt. Pleasant, took the prize.
“The Mr. Dixie Spirit award is given to the contestant who made the pageant experience fun, who has been uplifting, fun, helpful and happy,” said Greg Noel, a senior psychology major from Las Vegas and co-host of the event.
Hainsworth said he was the best at every practice and tried to have a lot of fun since he didn’t have any expectations.
But his saxophone talent exhibition is what may stick in some attendees’ memory.
“My talent inspiration came from the ‘Sexy Saxophone Man’ video on YouTube,” Hainsworth said. “And I clearly bombed it, but I had a lot of fun.”