The blue and gold carpet was rolled out Monday for Ithaca College’s own royalty.
More than 500 students cheered on 20 seniors as they battled for the titles of Mr. and Miss Ithaca in Emerson Suites.
The contestants, who were nominated by their peers, wore their best beachwear and spirit outfits for the judges: Class of 2012 president Jimmy Knowles; senior Kirsten Quinn; Jen Walsh, Office of Student Engagement and Multicultural Affairs program coordinator; and Michael Lindberg, associate director of intercollegiate athletics.
Contestants were not afraid to show some skin, especially Top 10 finalist senior Steve Grosso.
“I was trying to shield Tom Rochon’s eyes from Steve’s strip tease,” Knowles said. “That was a highlight and a low point, but it was fun nonetheless.”
Based on their school spirit, preparedness and charisma, the judges selected 10 finalists to move on to the talent portion. After a text message vote from audience members, college president Tom Rochon presented seniors Tim Lewis and Amanda Pulver with their crowns.
Mr. Ithaca — Tim Lewis
Shading his eyes from bright stage lights, Lewis donned sunglasses and a winter hat during his talent performance.
“I want to thank my parents for coming out to see me tonight,” he said, pointing to his mother and father seated among the sea of students.
The backtrack to “Never Been” by Wiz Khalifa blared while Lewis wowed the crowd with his talent, a creative freestyle that incorporated words members of the audience wrote on paper plates. Words such as “puppy” and “pomegranate” were thrown into Lewis’ impromptu rap, sprinkled with some expletives.
“Sorry for all the f-bombs, you can blame that on my mom,” Lewis rapped.
The audience’s attention shifted to Lewis’ mother who was laughing along in her seat.
“Tim’s freestyling was very impressive,” Knowles said. “I don’t think I could ever do that.”
Lewis has always maintained strong social connections. On campus, he’s involved with club lacrosse and intramural soccer teams.
After winning, Lewis said he was thankful to have the support of his friends.
“It’s great knowing that so many people have my back,” he said.
Quinn said Lewis’ fun-loving attitude shined through in the competition as he showed of his humorous side.
“Tim had some really funny answers, and a great bathing suit,” she said.
Lewis wore a swim cap, mask, snorkel, shell bra, a swim drag suit and flippers for his swimwear, and donned club lacrosse shorts, a sombrero with streamers and a megaphone for his spirit wear.
While many of his fellow seniors will be graduating this spring, Lewis will be staying at the college for another two years to complete his doctorate in physical therapy. But he plans on having some adventures first.
“I want to become a scuba diver and shoot video for Planet Earth for a little while,” he said. “I want to see the world.”
Lewis has plans of eventually opening his own practice that combines sport rehabilitation and personal training.
An adrenaline junkie at heart, he doesn’t like to play it safe.
“I’m notorious for doing stupid stuff off the gorges,” Lewis said. “Lots of flips — double front flips off the 40, gainers off the 60, just ridiculous stuff.”
Feeding his infatuation with dangers, Lewis hopes one day to test his limits further and skydive.
“It’s just a matter of time,” he said.
Miss Ithaca — Amanda Pulver
Posed on the edge of the stage, Pulver’s turquoise eye shadow glittered under the lights as she waited for her mix of pop songs to pulse through the speakers. An original take on the popular “Evolution of Dance” video featured on YouTube, Pulver “dougied” her way to victory, with some shirtless dancing assistance from senior Ryan Clarke.
“Amanda really put herself out there and had some spectacular help,” Clarke said.
A transfer student from the University of Colorado Boulder, Pulver has only been at the college for two years studying Integrated Marketing Communications, but is prepared to graduate in the spring.
“The thing I love about this school is the instant connections,” she said. “It’s big enough where you can meet new people, but it is small enough where you can have friends and build relationships. You can actually get involved in the community and the school.”
Despite her short stay, Pulver plans on leaving a lasting impression as a part of the Campus Center Events and Services and the American Advertising Federation.
Pulver also brings her marketing skills to the senior class cabinet serving as a social media strategist.
“You could see how excited Amanda was about the competition through her enthusiasm and spirit,” Knowles said.
Pulver is also driven to achieve career aspirations related to her major.
“I definitely want to become the director of marketing at ESPN,” she said. “Ever since I was a little girl I’ve dreamed of living in the city. Bye, Colorado!”
In her free time, Pulver plays the guitar and piano, challenges her friends to Mario Kart, and watches “Modern Family” and “Wilfred.” She loves cheering on the Bombers football and lacrosse teams. Her exceptional school spirit showed throughout the competition.
“Amanda had an awesome spirit outfit with her blue and yellow spandex,” Quinn said.
Pulver’s spirit outfit consisted of blue spandex, yellow underwear, a crop top and sweatpants she ripped off after doing a roundoff. For her beach gear, she carried a beach ball and put on a bikini top that had bombs cut out on it, floaties that read “boom baby” and male swim trunks.
Pulver said she couldn’t believe it when she won the crown.
“I was in complete shock and surprise,” she said. “It really helped kick off the spirit week and brought our school together.”
Pulver looks to take full advantage of her year as Miss Ithaca, in hopes that she can return her thanks back to the college.
“I really want to be a good representation of the school,” she said. “The school has done so much for me.”