For Nicholas de la Canal, the newly minted 19-year-old (Friday is his birthday), it took a year, some tear-away pants, and a great pair of wedges to win this year’s Mr. Emerson.
The journalism major, double minoring in political science and history, auditioned for last year’s competition as a freshman, but sadly did not make the finals. Still hungry for the title, he decided to try out again, making the cut from the nearly 20 candidates to the 6 finalists.
Nicholas along with his competitors took the stage for the full-fledged male beauty pageant on Friday, September 13th. Although making it to the final 6, Nicholas confessed, “I was pretty nervous in the beginning, but as it went on I got more comfortable and relaxed.”
His nerves subsided after the talent portion when he not only sang and danced, but also performed an original rap. The act started with a classic rendition of “Come Fly with Me,” made famous by Frank Sinatra, but soon transitioned into a rap that he and his roommates had written just a few nights before. Nicholas knew that this would be a great talent if he could pull it off; he practiced the rap wherever and whenever possible. Even on a walk to the Apple store he was rapping to himself. He said, “People probably thought I was crazy because I was talking to myself, but I just wanted to memorize my rap. It was 4 verses long, that’s a lot to remember.” It all paid off though, between writing the lyrics on his hand and the constant practicing, the crowd loved it.
Despite the great reaction for his talent Nicholas says, “I really enjoyed the swimsuit competition.” Why would anybody like to have his or her full body displaced on a stage, you may ask? Well, Nicholas was not only rocking a swimsuit, but also some pretty high wedges borrowed from a neighbor. After the show the neighbor praised his walking skills. Nicholas was happy to find out about his new ability; “I promise I’ve never worn heels or wedges before, but…I guess I was just born to walk in very tall shoes.”
Despite his great performances, Nicholas knew the competition was tough and even as he stood on stage as a part of the final two, he was not sure the win would be his. He has had disappointment before, coming in as 4th runner up in last years Emerson’s Next Top Male Model. This time was different. The crown was his.
Now Nicholas reigns as both Mr. Emerson and sophomore Class President. With so much power, Nicholas is not quite sure what to do first. Maybe “run off to Hollywood for [his] big break.”