Mista Vista: The Male Beauty Pageant


Mista Vista contestants and judges pose for a group shot

“Beyonce, of course,” said junior Lucia Brancoli, who, with the help of Kaitlin Brooks, choreographed the opening dance for Mista Vista. “She’s fabulous, and these boys need to be fabulous.” Drawing inspiration from the pop diva, Brancoli and Brooks choreographed a number that opened Mista Vista.

On Friday, Dec. 6, Vista del Lago held its fifth annual Mista Vista. Mista Vista is a male beauty pageant that focuses more on comedic skills rather than glitz and glam. John McIntyre, Danial Hootkani, Ryan Larocca, Andrew Schantz, Logan Dearborn, Dalton Ostrander, Patrick Roche, Maxwell Rudelic and Noah Wardell competed in three categories: talent, question/answer, and best photo. The male with the highest score was crowned Mista Vista, while the male who won the most student body votes was crowned Mister Congeniality.

This year, Mista Vista was John McIntyre and Mister Congeniality was Ryan Larocca.

Did these boys expect to win? “No. I thought I had a shot. My performance was the only non-song and dance. But I didn’t know what to expect,” said McIntyre, who drew his talent inspiration from a “The Office” skit with Will Ferrell. “I tried to add small things to keep it fresh.”

With nuances and the extensive commitment of the contestants and student government, the fifth annual Mista Vista is considered the best yet. “I think it’s because of a few new components, like bringing in Miss Sacramento as a guest judge, and having the best photo category with the judges using the score cards. Every year, the video packages improve and the themes are more developed,” said Activities Director Heidi Schultz. In fact, it raised $3000 for ASB who will use the money for rallies, spirit weeks, advisory challenges, and other school activities.

With performances ranging from a Bohemian Rhapsody vocal performance, to a blast-from-the-90s ‘N Sync routine, to ballet and twerking, to an invisible juggling act, the talent portion lasted a majority of the show. “I think watching everyone’s individual talent was fun,” said Larocca.

“The acts were different. You can tell the boys put a lot of work into it,” said judge Janice Johnson.

For the opening act, Brancoli and Brooks worked with the contestants in six separate practice sessions. The sessions were around one to one and-a-half hours. Performance instructors say that short attention spans and teaching difficulties were burdensome, but they persevered. One contestant, Danial Hootkani even extended to say the experience was pretty awful. “No one in that group took it seriously,” said Hootkani.

“You could tell some acts put more time in, but that isn’t to say they didn’t care,” said Johnson.

Hootkani put in around 20 hours with dancer and Vista graduate Andrew Zuniga to perfect his comedic dance act.

But, the contestants were not the only ones putting in time.  Student Government had been planning up to two months before the event.

This year, they thought on a larger scale by advertising to both the school and community, involving the contestants in the ticket sales, holding the event in the large gym instead of the small gym, introducing a new color scheme and categories, and bringing in an improved judging arrangement. “We wanted it to feel bigger. We wanted to get judges from outside the school,” said PRC Christian Patterson, who successfully brought in Miss Sacramento into the judging panel.

“The judging forms were more organized and easier to work with,” said Johnson.

“When we see the result of all our hard work, it brings us all together” said Patterson. This is true for not only student government, but also the school.

“All the dance practices, getting to know all the guys, the headaches, and the gratification [are] worth it,” said Brancoli.

And it is this work which leads to the continuance of the Mista Vista tradition. Next year, Student Government and ten lucky senior boys will find themselves participating in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, whether they expect it or not. “I definitely saw myself being in it, but I also saw myself vomiting of stage,” said McIntyre.

Hopefully, next year’s Mista Vista will exceed this year’s and continue to expand throughout the community.