The annual King of Hearts pageant at Benjamin Russell High School benefits the American Heart Association. | File

Archived Story

BRHS pageant lets men strut their stuff

Published 11:45am Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Thirty high school boys are getting ready to woman up for the Sixth Annual King of Hearts pageant at Benjamin Russell High School.

Set for Feb. 9, the womanless beauty pageant is sponsored by the National Honors Society at BRHS.

“It’s an all-male beauty pageant,” said Lisbeth Pierce, one of the club’s sponsors. “Most of the guys wear evening gowns, but some of them wear costumes. We had one last year who wore a Krispy Kreme costume.”

Participants choose their favorite outfit and get coaching from high school girls on how they should walk, smile and carry themselves onstage – all in the name of raising money for the American Heart Association.

“We do it because it’s heart month in February,” Pierce said. “We are always looking for charities to support.”

The pageant raised about $1,000 last year, Pierce said.

Emily Sasser started the King of Hearts pageant in 2007 when she and Laura Pike were the National Honor Society advisers, Pierce said. When Pierce became the adviser in 2011, the student members voted to continue the annual fundraiser for the American Heart Association.

Hamp Haynes, vice president for the National Honors Society, was the pageant winner two years ago.

“It’s really enjoyable and laughable,” Haynes said. “You will laugh the entire time.”

Pierce said the boys make up fake names, hobbies and life goals – like aspiring to be a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader – to be shared with the audience.

Contestants are judged in a number of categories – walk, smile, legs, hair, outfit, crowd appeal and their answer to one question onstage – by three judges from the school and local community.

The top three scorers win cash prizes, the winner in each category receives a gift card and the boy with the highest “crowd appeal” score gets a gift card and the title of Court Jester.

“It doesn’t take a lot of work, and it’s really fun,” Haynes said.

Tickets are $5 at the door. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 9 in the BRHS auditorium.

“It’s always been a good community event,” Pierce said. “We’re hoping to fill up the auditorium again this year.”