They wait on stage, dazzling in their suspenders and sequins. The music begins, the crowd cheers—especially the young ladies—and 12 glamorous bachelors dance to “Stayin’ Alive,” each vying for the title of Mr. BYU. Hearkening back to the days of BYU’s Homecoming Queen and Most-Preferred Man traditions, this lighthearted event, now in its third year, is becoming a popular part of Homecoming.
On stage in the JSB Auditorium, the 12 finalists (out of 45 contenders) share their talents, ranging from guitar serenades to a demonstration of how to befriend Sasquatch. But it is Eliot G. Wood’s (’14) impersonations that bring down the house. His transformations from Jack Sparrow to Timon and Pumbaa to Smeagol and beyond win him a standing ovation.
In on-stage interviews, contestants answer such defining questions as “If we were to look in your fridge right now, what would we find?” and “If you could be a lion or an alligator, which one would you be and why?” When the emcee asks, “Which Jim Carrey movie defines your life?” Wood responds with a perfect Carrey impersonation. Hoisted on stage by his competitors, Wood won the Mr. BYU crown and trophy, $100, and a ride in a ’95 Jaguar in the Homecoming parade.
“I didn’t get any cooler just cuz [I won], but more people know about my coolness,” laughs Wood. But glory was never his motivation: “I just thought, ‘OK, this is going to be fun.’”