Mr. OCHS Yo-Yos Way to Crown

first_imgBy TIM KELLYWorking at a Boardwalk toy store paid off for Ocean City High School senior J.J. Warrington.Warrington combined his skills with a yo-yo and hip-hop dancing to wow the panel of judges to win the title of Mr. OCHS 2020 Friday night at the Bill and Nancy Hughes Performing Arts Center.“I entered the contest just for fun, never expecting to win,” Warrington said. “It feels kind of surreal right now.”Performing in front of a packed auditorium, he bested the field of 12 candidates in the zany and raucous parody of a traditional beauty pageant.Warrington, who was born in the Philippines, also scored big during the interview segment when Master of Ceremonies John Bruno asked what it would mean to win the crown and title.“My Uncle (Rene Sese) won the Mr. Mature America contest (in Ocean City in 2016),” he said. “It would be nice to be the second one in my family to win the crown.”Second runner-up Billy Flynn does an Elvis impersonation by performing “You Ain’t Nothing But a Hound Dog.”Todd Reimet, took the People’s Choice award, earning the most audience votes, while Mac Young took the first runner-up honors and Billy Flynn was second runner-up.The panel of judges had a difficult task, as all 12 candidates would have represented the title well.The other entrants were Henry Souto, Lucas Mozes, Jim Swift, Jacob Hoffman, Micah Waid, Colin Quade, Julian Lechner and Issac Wilson.“I congratulate all the boys for working so hard and pulling for each other,” Bruno said. “It’s not easy to get up here on stage.”The fast-paced evening began with a parade of the contestants as introduced by student emcees Ava Cozamanis and Jillian Falvo.All of the contestants took part in an opening and closing dance number, decked out in tuxedos donated by At Your Service Formalwear. In between there were fitness and casual wear competitions.J.J. Warrington shows off his yo-yo skills during the talent competition.The “Free Expression/Talent” segment ran the gamut from Souto’s piano solo to a comical karaoke performance by Waid, and a song-and-dance routine by Flynn in tribute to Elvis Presley.But in the end it was Warrington’s winning personality and amazing work with the yo-yo that produced the loudest cheers.“I’ve been yo-yoing for about four years,” he said. “I started when I worked at the toy store and I kept at it.He became proficient at such classic yo-yo tricks as “rocking the cradle” and “around the world,” all made even more amazing when combined with some slick dance moves.“And here’s a fun fact: the yo-yo originated in the Philippines,” said Warrington, who donned traditional garb of his native land in the casual wear competition.Although the show played for laughs, Warrington was serious when he spoke of his post-high school plans.“I’m going into the U.S. Marine Corps,” he said, “so that I can serve my adopted home country.”J.J. Warrington is all smiles as he is named Mr. OCHS 2020. J.J. Warrington, sixth from right with other contestants, takes the title of Mr. OCHS.last_img read more