COLLINSVILLE – Thirteen Collinsville High School students took the stage to ‘strut their stuff’ at the 2016 Mr. Homecoming pageant.

The pageant consisted of three portions for the contestants: native-wear, the talent portion, and evening-wear.

The acts varied from a unique interpretation (unlike anything you have ever seen before) of Beyonce’s ‘Formation’ by junior Austin Tipton, of Maryville, to a phenomenal performance of Lukas Graham’s ‘Seven Years’ played by junior Michael McVickar, of Collinsville.

The six finalists for the event were asked the question: “When you leave Collinsville High School, what do you want to  be remembered by?”

Ben Carlson: “There are a lot of great things to be remembered by, but being part of the cross country team is [very special.]  The way that there’s so much camaraderie between us. We act together as a team even though cross country is  seen as an individual sport. To me that’s important because it shows that together, we can build a better community.”

Austin Tipton: “When I leave high school, I want to be remembered by my ability to make people happy even in the darkest of times. No matter what, I like putting a smile on people’s faces even if it means making a fool out of myself. I just want to make people happy.”

Emmanuel McGee: “I want to be remembered not just as ‘that strange guy’ walking in the hallway; not just ‘that short dude who was on homecoming court but didn’t win. I want to be known as a leader; as someone that helped the people. I would like to be remembered as a ‘somebody.’”

Jadon Marlin:  “I want to be remembered by the joy I want to bring [to] everyone. I’ve touched a lot of people. I want to be remembered by how I’ll go and help people as much as I can.”

Jason Landfried: “I would like to make some sort of impact [on someone], no matter how small. Even just being here, I’m supporting Latin club. I want to become a Latin teacher and maybe I can impact someone’s life.”

Dakota Tostado: “I would like to be remembered for the amount of passion I put into every single drop of work I put in here. I really felt as if it was my responsibility to step up as a leader and lead; especially those in the arts department. I feel as if I want to be my own footstep, rather than in one of those who preceded me.”

After much deliberation, the judges named Tipton as Mr. Homecoming 2016, with runner–up Emmanuel McGee, of Collinsville, and second runner–up Dakota Tostado, of Fairmont City.

“I cannot believe that I actually pulled this off somehow, someway, I don’t know. A lot is going through my head. It’s a lot to process,” Tipton said shortly after being crowned.

Tipton’s act was inspired by a recent trip to a ‘Formation’ tour concert held at the Dome at America’s Center earlier this month.

“A few weeks before Mr. Homecoming, there was a Beyonce concert that I went to; I was inspired by Queen B, herself,” Tipton said.

Junior Emmanuel McGee, of Collinsville, was ‘grateful’ for the placement that he received from judges.

Tonight was amazing. I didn’t expect to place, but gratefully, I did,” McGee said.

With an acapella rendition of ‘Love Yourself’ by Justin Bieber, McGee swooned over the crowd.

“The competition was tough and Austin won, he’s also a close friend of mine. It was a great experience overall,” McGee added.  

Second runner–up Dakota Tosado offered remarks about his thoughts on the results.

“I’m happy and not disappointed at the result. It is what it is and I’m glad I was able to come back and compete one more time,” Tostado said.

Event organizer Barbara Lindauer gave high regards to the contestants.

“ I thought tonight was great. I thought that we’ve had some of the most talented students we’ve had in a long time,” Lindauer said.

“I feel like we had a lot of underdogs out there and I’m always for the underdog. I am very happy with how things turned out but I would have been happy whatever the results may have been, they’re all winners in my book,” she said.

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