Manly men vie for ‘Mr. BFHS’ title

by Mandi Bateman
Editor | March 19, 2020 1:00 AM

BONNERS FERRY — Ben Tompkins proved how manly he was by taking the title of Mr. BFHS last Friday, March 13.

In one of the last gatherings before the COVID-19 pandemic began shutting down events in Boundary County, the Mr. BFHS competition had the packed Becker Auditorium roaring with laughter as the young men strutted their stuff, whether it was in jeans or a tutu.

Boundary County Middle School Principal Kevin Dinning was the emcee of the event, naming the 2020 Mr. BFHS Battle of the Decades, and the contestants were divided into two groups: the 2000s and the 1980s for their opening number.

The manly contestants of the competition were Hunter Smith, Cody Kersteins, Carver Copley, Ben Tompkins, Austin Donn, Mitchell Falck, Kalen Pintler, Michael Youngwirth, Ben Tadlock, Jake Jelinek, Matt Morgan, Justin Mendenhall, Ryker DeRosiers, Cameron Rae, Nick Lederhos, and Ty Bateman.

The fitness round kicked off the 2000s group, and they went all out to prove how fit they were for four minutes, followed by the 1980s group. The contestants were given an overall score based on strength, coordination, flexibility, timing, and style.

Ben Tompkins stood out to the judges, winning their hearts, and earning the Fitness win of the evening.

The talent portion of the evening followed.

Falck, who lists his hobbies as football, baseball, and his personal favorite, women’s spin class, kicked off the talent show by showcasing his dance moves to the song, “Panini.”

Jelinek followed with a juggling act that included light bulbs and basketballs. Morgan and Pintler then showed off the grace and delicate beauty of the ribbon dance, while Kersteins dazzled the audience with telekinesis powers.

DeRosiers, whose hobbies include eating excessively and watching Disney Plus, awed the audience with his painting skills, followed by duo of Bateman and Tadlock, who showed off their smooth stylin’ moves to 24 Karat Magic.

Youngwirth took on the ever popular upside-down speed painting, but before he finished, the stage lights went dark.

“If we have to, we will go all phone lights,” said Dinning to the audience.

After a short break to fix the lighting, the next competitors were Copley and Lederhos performing the graceful beach ball dance. Rae was up next and he proved his talent with a performance of “You’re Welcome” from the movie Moana.

Smith showed that a real man can rock a tutu as he showed off his ballet skills for his talent.

Mendenhall followed with a unique solo synchronized swimming routine that had the audience laughing from beginning to end, and securing the win of the talent part of the competition.

Donn, who claims he is the manliest man because he is a professional waterboy, displayed his talent by performing a little ditty from 1958 by the Champs.

The last to take to the stage for the talent portion of the show was Tompkins, who lists his hobbies as ferret racing, playing dead, soap carving, and competitive mooing. Tompkins wowed the audience with his belly dancing skills.

The show then came to the popular lip syncing portion, which was added in 2014. The young men all performed their hearts out, but it was Rae that impressed the judges, earning him the win.

The last portion of the contest was the Pick Up Line and Self Expression. The winner of the Pick Up Line was Tadlock, and Tompkins won the Self Expression category.

After a brief intermission for judging, the young men then took turns escorting their mothers out onto the stage before the winners were announced.

Kaleb Pintler won the Spirit of Mr. BFHS award, which is voted on by the contestants.

Judges Dick and Melanie Staples, Alana Temple, Sarah Jenkins, and Debbie and Mike Davis had their work cut out for them, but in the end Tompkins was named Mr. BFHS, and First Runner Up went to Rae.

“I didn’t expect it but it was really awesome,” said Tompkins about the win. “I am really proud of everyone — all the boys really. Staying late practicing was a lot of work — but at the end we all came together and did pretty well overall. It was so much fun.”

To view over 40 more photos, please visit our Photo Galleries.

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Photo by MANDI BATEMAN Ty Bateman performs a backflip during the Mr. BFHS competition that took place at BFHS last Friday.

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Photo by MANDI BATEMAN Jake Jelinek perfomeed a juggling act for his talent during the Mr. BFHS competition last Friday.

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Photo by MANDI BATEMAN Ben Tompkins taking to the air during the Fitness Routine which he won.

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The 2020 Mr. BFHS talent routine winner, Justin Mendenhall, jumps into his “pool” to perform a solo synchronized swimming routine during the Friday, March 13, event at Bonners Ferry High School.

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Photo by MANDI BATEMAN Ty bateman and Ben Tadlock showing off their moves during the talent portion of the competition.

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Photo by MANDI BATEMAN Paul Bonnell took to the stage with the competitors as a surprise guest.

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Mr. BFHS winner, Ben Tompkins, shows off his belly-dancing skills to the audience.

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Photo by MANDI BATEMAN Ty Bateman performs a lift with Carver Copley.