By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Royal Night Of Entertainment
0403 Mr Bruin 4
From left, Christian Torres, Luis Solorio, Antonio Perez, Thomas Castillo, Edward Guardado, and Ricky Hernandez were all in good spirits after Mr. Bruin for 2013 was announced. Thomas Castillo received the crown and title of Mr. Bruin with honor. VIRGINIA STILL/The News


Riverbank High School hosted a pageant to discover Mr. Bruin 2013 on Tuesday, March 26. Festivities in this first ever ‘Mr. Bruin’ pageant started at 6:30 p.m.

RHS teacher Christine Perez and a few others helped organize the competition that was filled with continuous entertainment.

The high school band, under direction of Dave Howard, played a few different musical numbers in the first half of the competition like “The Final Countdown” and “Semper Fidelis.” The Ray Fauria Gym was filled with a mixture of families, students, and RHS staff. The judges table featured the watchful eyes of judges Cassi Ross, Lupe Galindo, Artemia Harvey, John Tivald, and Susie DeWitz.

The master of ceremonies, Eli Vernon, welcomed the guests, introduced the contestants, and the entertainment began.

Each contestant had to perform a talent of some sort that they would be judged on. Thomas Castillo performed the Bachata and Salsa with partner Diana Barajas. At the last minute, he decided to do some freestyle dancing as well called “Dub Step.” RHS junior Eddie Guardado decided to showcase his singing as his talent, with his cover of “Baby, Baby.” Contestant Ricky Hernandez put on a spider costume and sang the “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” accompanied with a trumpeter. Antonio Perez demonstrated his dancing talents with a partner for the competition. The Magic Science Act was performed by Luis Solorio, which consisted of cards, fire, and dry ice to name a few items. Solorio ended his act by pulling a sign out his hat that had a creative invite that said “Erika, Prom?” The final talent of the night was a baking demonstration performed by Christian Torres, who premade a crème brulee for the judges to enjoy.

The Bruin Bears then took to the floor and showed their moves in a dance performance. The contestants then returned in RHS Bruin spirit wear for an energetic choreographed group dance.

Director Stacy Blevins brought out her drama crew to perform a medley from “The Little Mermaid” production. Caroline Shauff played Ariel and Ethan Lang in his vibrant red costume played Sebastian the maestro crab. Ursula, Emilee Jones made an appearance in a skit where she attempted to barter for Ariel’s voice. Chef Louis, Eli Vernon, entertained the crowd with his bit of trying to make a meal out of Sebastian. The entire musical medley was enjoyed by the audience and ended with roaring applause.

The young Mr. Bruin hopefuls came back out in their formal wear to answer an impromptu question. The questions were random, ranging from ‘how would you define success?’ or ‘what do you think about the state of our country?’ Vernon pulled the questions out of a container and the contestants had to answer quickly.

The festivities continued with a performance from the RHS Colorguard to the song “I Won’t Give Up.” The evening also included a solo performance by Erika Cisneros, who did her own rendition of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.”

Finally, the time to name Mr. Bruin 2013 arrived. The contestants anxiously waited for the announcement of who would be crowned.

After an appropriate pause for effect, emcee Vernon announced “Thomas Castillo” as the winner and then the crown was placed on his head.

Along with the title of Mr. Bruin, Castillo will also receive a free tuxedo rental from Men’s Wearhouse.

“I thought I did good on the dance, but I was pretty surprised I won (the competition),” said Castillo. “It was pretty fun and a pretty good experience.”