(Article published in Lavender Magazine, Issue #204, March 21, 2003)
If you thought of competing in this year’s Mr. Minneapolis Eagle contest but then decided not to, start kicking yourself (and also start making plans to enter next year’s contest). You missed a chance to be onstage with five great contestants, each of whom thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
The Minneapolis Eagle chose its representative for 2003 (and Minnesota’s representative at this year’s International Mr. Leather contest) on Sunday evening, March 2. Proudly sponsored by local chat line 1-800GAYLIVE, the contest crowded the bar to capacity with a lively, enthusiastic and supportive audience.
This year’s contest followed the same basic format as previous years. On Saturday afternoon the judges got their chance to privately interview each contestant. Then on Sunday night the contestants were introduced during the traditional “keg walk,” and were then judged in a question-and-answer segment. For the final competition category each contestant presented an 60-second erotic reading (quick but very effective).
Scoring for this year’s contest, like last year’s, was very close. Joe Alegrett, owner of Penetrations Piercings & Body Designs in Eau Claire, Wis. took second runner-up honors; Chris Boudewyns was first runner-up; and at the climax of the evening Mr. Minneapolis Eagle 2002 Wayne Butzer passed the title to his successor, Mr. Minneapolis Eagle 2003 Gregg White.
Minneapolis Eagle owner Ed Hopkins was very happy with the way the contest went: “It’s usually nerve-wracking leading up to the contest—it’s always a busy night at the bar and I’m usually paranoid about technical problems.” He was pleased, and somewhat relieved, that this year’s contest was “flawless—the contestants, the judges, the emcee [Brian Anderson, manager of The Minneapolis Eagle and The Bolt], and the crowd were all wonderful.”
The contestants felt the same way. Alegrett seemed pleased that “there was no competitive backstabbing. All the contestants seemed relaxed—I think we all thought that we might at least get a new friend out of the experience.” He had nothing but praise for his fellow contestants: “These guys were great! I couldn’t have asked for a better group of gentlemen to complete alongside.”
Contestant Ric Krohn also enjoyed the experience. “It was my first contest, it was a totally new experience, and it left me with a good feeling. I met people I’ve seen before but not had a chance to meet.” Krohn said his goal was “just to compete, to see what I could do.” What prompted him to enter? “I had thought about it since last year, and when we were in the bar a couple of weeks before the contest my friends encouraged me to enter.”
White summed up the contest by saying, “This was one of the few contests I’ve seen where no matter which of the contestants would have won, I would have been proud of our community. All the contestants were pleasant and encouraging to each other. And being on stage was awesome because the crowd was so supportive.”
As the new Mr. Minneapolis Eagle 2003, White will compete in this year’s 25th-anniversary edition of the International Mr. Leather (IML) Contest, which will be held in Chicago over Memorial Day weekend. (IML contest information is available at <www.imrl.com>.)