“Firsts” are always a gamble. To break tradition and invent a completely new idea is strenuous in itself, but to put it into action requires a whole different level of determination. It is always difficult to have a first-time event end up as a success, and without strong willpower and preparation, the whole attempt may simply end up as a failure. The Mr. KIS event was Student Council’s attempt to bring a fun change to the list of annual KIS events, which have been carried on unchanged for many years. The process clearly required risking a great deal of stakes and taking on much skepticism from students and teachers, but those obstacles did not stop them from commencing Mr. KIS as the brand-new event of our year.
Q: Who came up with the idea for Mr. KIS?
A: It was Mr. Quirin’s idea. He said this started over 15 years ago at his old high school in America, and he wanted to replace KIS Got Talent with this event. It was designed to be our last prom fundraiser.
– JD Choi (‘18)
But what exactly is Mr.KIS? Mr. KIS is a male talent competition featuring 12 male seniors who represented the diverse departments of sports, music, forensics, and theatre. A fun, light-hearted event to present some of the most talented and well-known seniors in KIS in a memorable way. The idea started as a satire of the overdone beauty pageants that generally featured females. This event was to show how the idea of ‘beauty competitions’ could be butchered by the show having the contestants showing off their knowledge, talent, and personalities instead.
The one and only Mr. KIS was determined by the scores given by the three teacher judges, who were Mr. Collings, Ms. Cuellar, and Mr. Van Moppes this year, as well as the audience votes. There are no exact “qualifications” to become Mr.KIS—the seniors just need have put themselves out there and show who they are to get both the judges and audience to love them!
The contestants’ impressive yet hilarious dance to Wanna-One’s “나야나” opened the show, and got the audience eagerly rooting for the Mr. KIS candidates. The show was broken down into three portions: The Style Walk, The Talent Show, and the Q&A. In the Style Walk, each contestant all distinctively showed off their unique character with their different concepts and how they entered with their escorts.
The Talent portion was definitely the highlight of the show. From Noah Kim’s phenomenal monologue performance to Alex Han’s beach ball ballet act collaboration with Mr. Bunting, the audience was either left in awe of the contestants seriously skilled talents or cracking up with their original and hilarious acts.
The final Q&A portion wrapped up the Mr. KIS event. There were simple and silly questions that let the audience know another fun-fact of the contestant as well as complex questions that challenged candidates to share out deeper thoughts of their mind.
Despite the tight competition, Kristian Noll was crowned as the first ever Mr. KIS, with Matthew Kim in second, and Noah Kim in third place. It was a close call, but they all definitely deserved their title.
Questions to Contestants
Q: What were your initial thoughts on Mr. KIS?
A: My initial thoughts on Mr. KIS was that it was an absolutely ridiculous idea where twelve boys would go up on stage and try to embarrass themselves as much as possible. But it’s my senior year, so I thought that I could afford a bit of embarrassment 🙂
-Noah Kim (‘18)
Q: Why did you volunteer as a candidate?
A: It’s my senior year and it just seemed like something fun to try!
-Matthew Kim (’18)
But the fun of the event was far beyond the results— everyone, both the contestants and audience, had a great time with endless laughter filling the PAC. It was like everyone had forgotten that it was a competition and simply enjoyed their time of a memorable Friday night.
Q: What is your view on how the event went?
A: It went well for a first timer. I know there was a lot of speculation and criticism of the event leading up to it, but I think anyone who came will know for sure that they were wrong about Mr. KIS. I’ve heard from many students that those who came said they were glad they did, and those who didn’t, regret not coming.
-JD Choi (‘18)
It is clear that the success of this event directly reflects the painstaking planning process of Mr. KIS. Student Council says that this was one of the most challenging events they prepared for and that it took a long time with a full agenda packed with various preparations leading up to Mr. KIS. This short interview with Student Council President JD Choi gives us a brief insight into what the whole process looked like.
Q: What was the planning process like?
A: It was well-timed and strategically marketed; more so than most of our other events. We met with the boys in early March to pitch the idea of the event to them. Q sent them a list of questions to get to know them better. – StuCo and I sat down to decide a “concept” for each of the boys, whether it be “E Block Napper” or “Fitness Center” that well matched what they are known for at KIS.
-JD Choi (’18)
Q: How did you advertise the event?
A: We had to have an advertisement timeline ready for the month before. We had to reschedule, delay video posts, spend hours sound-mixing interviews, etc. We’ve probably never advertised and promoted an event as much before. There were everyday lunch rehearsals and meetings the week leading up to the event to organize the show and rehearse their unified dance opening.
-JD Choi (’18)
The first Mr. KIS was definitely a big success for a first-time event. The whole show was run smoothly and all contestants were absolutely amazing with each part of the show—both the audience and contestants having a great time. Despite the speculation surrounding this event, most of those who were at the event said that it was a great way to spend their Friday night and that those who didn’t come would have regretted not.
The Mr. KIS event is yet another representation of this year’s main theme: Legacy. To be remembered as Mr. KIS is a memorable way to leave your mark at KIS and have another special memory made with the soon-leaving seniors. The success of this event brings high possibilities of this new event being carried on as a new tradition, and gradually becoming something people anticipate to be a part of their senior year. So, who will it be next?
– Sophie Yang (’21)
Featured Image: KIS Student Council