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Saturday, September 30, 2023


Tiebreaker determines winner of Mr. UH competition

Mathematical finance senior Chris Pinto took home the title of Mr. UH after a tiebreaker — the second in the history of the Student Program Board’s annual competition.

A musician, a cheerleader and a Navy veteran were among the seven student competitors. The competition featured three rounds that included formal wear, swimwear and a talent portion. The show opened with all competitors performing a choreographed dance to Drake’s “Controlla.

Along with the title, Pinto received a prize of $500.

“It’s a very diverse group this year,” Pinto said before the competition. “It feels more like a showcase because everyone has gotten along so far, and I’m more excited for what the audience is going to feel.”

The competition started with contestants walking on stage in formal wear to a song of their choice. Each had a distinct entrance — from forward rolls to handing out roses. For the swimwear round, there were conventional swimsuits along with a penguin costume.

“This is so far out of my comfort bubble that I felt necessary to push myself, and this is a step to do that,” said corporate communications senior and runner-up Seth Crawford.

For Jesse McGraw, a kinesiology sophomore and UH cheerleading captain, the talent round is the most exciting part of the show.

“I get to focus on what I can do through my abilities with cheer stunting, so I’m excited for everyone to see that,” McGraw said. He was named the event’s “Mr. Congeniality.”

The talent portion featured a lineup of acts involving poetry, gymnastics, rapping, cheerleading and two musical performances. The judging panel included Lowell Levo, the 2015 Mr. UH.

“Anyone who is charming,” Levo said, referring to what he is looking for in contestants, “You don’t really have to sing or dance, but if you are captivating and you’re able to charm the audience, I think that is the best way to win.”

Since there was a tie, the seven contestants had to answer a tiebreaker question: “If not Mr. UH, what legacy do you hope to leave after graduation?”

For Pinto, leaving a legacy of helping others was an integral part of his motivation to win.

“I have (strived) to change (the Third Ward community) by community involvement through fundraising and seeing to the needs of those around us and I’m grateful for the support I’ve seen on campus,” Pinto said.

CORRECTION: The original version of this article claimed that this was  the first tiebreaker in the event’s history, but it was actually the second. 

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