Taylor Hartman, a Shorewood High School junior, beat out 11 other male contestants for the title of Mr. Shorewood the night of June 6 in a fundraiser for the school’s ASB.
The competition categories were group dance, an interview and “fashion for passion” — an outfit that showed contestants’ interests. Contestants also were judged on talent, a pick-up line and a stroll across the stage wearing a tuxedo.
In the talent contest, Hartman covered his head and put his dog on his lap, making it look like his dog was playing the guitar. His pick-up line was: “Weee wooo weee wooo” — (that’s an ambulance siren sound) — then: “That’s just an ambulance coming, ‘cause once I saw you my heart stopped beating.”
His fashion for passion was the outfit he wears to coach a Special Olympics soccer team, and his answer to the interview question, “What’s the greatest lesson someone can learn?” was “To love and forgive and respect people, no judging.”
When Hartman said that, his mom started crying, he said.
The Enterprise caught up with Hartman a day after he won the title to ask him a few more questions.
How much time did you spend preparing for this?
It took a long time. I was gone for state track so I missed most of the dance routine, learning how to do it. I made up a lot of lost time, at lunches and break time, to learn the dance. We had to prepare every day after school. It was really fun.
Did you do any weight training or exfoliation-type things to get ready?
What’s exfoliation? The diet was just eating as much as possible…no (laughs.) Our goal was not to make it into a beauty pageant, not a popularity contest. It’s all about what’s on the inside.
Are you going to use that ambulance pick-up line any time soon?
Pick-up lines are so cheesy — I’ve never gone up to a girl and asked her out using a pick-up line. Actually one of my favorite pick-up lines (from the pageant was): “Hey, my name’s Joey, but you can call me tonight.”
Did you take home any prizes?
There was an XBox 360. You come out with a crown — a bunch of people came out and lifted me up on stage. I was kind of scared. I didn’t know who lifted me. (I was) wearing a tuxedo (and) afraid of falling down. The host was singing a song about Mr. Shorewood, but it was kind of funny.
What’s something nobody knows about you?
I’ve been studying for all these questions ‘cause we had an interview (at the pageant) and I’m glad I didn’t get this question! What makes me unique? I’m the type of kid who’s not trying to be out there all the time, in the spotlight. A lot of people come up to me if they’re having problems with school. My dad’s a psychologist and I follow that and try to help people out and try to relate to them. They asked me (at the competition) what made me unique, and you know that quote in “Toy Story”: “You have a friend in me?” A lot of people ask me for support and I’m here to help them.
Make sure to tell about the other contestants, ‘cause we all worked really hard and it was a toss up. Everyone was great and it was all about promoting school spirit and having a good time and showing the side that most people don’t see, up on stage. I loved being a part of it.