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Keough ‘Take[s] Back the Love’ at Mr. ND

| Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Keough Hall freshman Nick Barrella took home the top prize at Walsh Hall’s annual Mr. ND competition, held Tuesday night, with an original song, “Take Back the Love,” and piano performance.

“It feels great to win, really a huge honor,” Barella said. “There wasn’t a lot of competition from Keough to [participate in the competition], so I jumped at the chance. I really enjoyed it.”

Barella, a management and economics major from outside of Chicago, said his main goal in competing was to serve as a strong representative for his new home under the Dome.

“I wanted to be Mr. ND because we in Keough Hall are champions, and I came here to be a champion tonight,” he said.

Cavanaugh Hall rectress Lauren Donahue, who served as a judge, said the judges loved Barrella’s originality in both his act and his interview answers.

“I think we collectively chose Mr. Keough because he took it seriously, but we also got to see his fun side as well in all aspects of his performance,” Donahue said.

Last year’s Mr. Notre Dame, Tom Boyle of Carroll Hall, stepped in as a celebrity judge for the event.

“We saw a lot of great talent tonight; everyone really did an excellent job,” Boyle said. “It was an honor to be a part of this great tradition.”

Senior Taylor Roberts of Siegfried Hall took home the prize of Mr. Congeniality. Despite some technical difficulties at the beginning of his performance, he impressed the judges with his acoustic guitar rendition of “No Diggity.”

“I’m really happy to win this, especially after the way I started off my performance,” Roberts said. “It took two tries, but the third time’s a charm.”

Other highlights of the night included a serenade by junior Adam Soisson of O’Neill Hall, a ribbon dancing routine by freshman Teddy Edwards of Sorin Hall and a paper airplane-making demonstration by junior Rob Bruns of Keenan Hall.

“I’m an aerospace engineering major so you can really trust me on my demonstration here,” Bruns said.

Sophomore Devon Roura of Knott Hall took home the title of Mr. Walsh, as decided by the residents of Walsh Hall. Roura, originally from Miami, Fla., knows all the words to every Beyonce song.

Commissioners of the event, sophomores Mary Trainor and Meg Dalton of Walsh Hall, worked to prepare Tuesday night’s event since the end of last year.

“It was really tough, because the event is usually held in mid to late October, but obviously it’s earlier this year. We’ve really been under the gun,” Trainor said.

While most of the men signed up to participate over the weekend, freshman Dean Swan of Dillon Hall had to step up to the plate last night after the dorm’s original competitor, freshman Steve Nash, injured his foot playing squash.

Sophomore Danny Burns of Alumni Hall garnered substantial laughs from the crowd during his stand-up routine, and proceeded to earn the title of Fan Favorite.

“Winning really has been my dream … for the past three days,” Burns said.

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About Rachel O'Grady

Rachel O'Grady is a senior Political Science major living in Ryan Hall. She most recently served as Assistant Managing Editor. Hailing from Chicago (actual Chicago, not the suburbs) she's been a Cubs fan since birth.

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