Mr. Blue and Gold pageant returns to WKU

Casey Downey

Clarksville, Tenn. senior Symkia Carter, President of Sigma Gamma Rho sorority, says their organization likes to be different because they are not afraid to approach traditions in unique ways. They are currently organizing a pageant unlike any other at WKU. 

Mr. Blue and Gold is a male pageant in which the winner is awarded a scholarship of at least $500. Sign-ups will be held Feb. 4 and Feb.11 at 7:22 p.m. in room 1022 of Gary Ransdell Hall.  

Participants will compete in the categories of beachwear, formal, casual and question and answer. Six contestants competed last year but Carter says she thinks there will be a bigger turnout for the sorority’s third annual pageant.

“I’ve actually heard that people are more interested,” said Carter. “The last one, we had a pretty good turnout but a lot of people weren’t familiar with it yet.”

She said that many males seem reluctant to take part in pageant culture, at least initially. 

“(Last year) a lot of men were skeptical about it, saying “I don’t want to feel like (a) female,” said Carter. “Then you had the ones who were strong and didn’t care what people think, and came forward. Some were like, “Do we have to dance?”

There is dancing in the pageant, but it is not required of individual routines. Carter and her sorority sisters work with contestants to organize a choreographed number to open the show. Last year’s pageant opened with a step routine.

“Some of the guys don’t dance, so putting that together was crazy,” said Carter. “You had some who were uncoordinated and hated dancing. But it actually came along well. I was really proud of them at the end of the day.”

Sean Watson, Nashville, Tenn. senior, won the title of Mr. Congeniality at last year’s pageant.

“My experience as a contestant in Mr. Blue & Gold was simply unforgettable,” said Watson. 

“Never in a million years did I think I could perform as well as talk in front of such a large audience,” he said. “Throughout this journey, friendships were gained and my weaknesses transformed into strengths.”

Carter encourages anyone interested in the pageant to participate, whether competing in or attending the show.  

She has her own ideas of what it takes to become Mr. Blue and Gold.

“Somebody that’s strong, and willing to succeed,” said Carter. “Somebody who’s not afraid to stand out, with ambition and talent. They are more than just men, they’re icons.”

The pageant will be scheduled for this April in the Downing Student Union auditorium.