The best part about being in Editors is behind-the-scenes access to MUSA events and thus, through the pretext of informing the student populace of Monash Annual Ball (MAB) 2013, we managed to wheedle some exclusive insider passes into the prep-work that goes into creating what is set to be the best ball everrr. This will be the first of a series of articles covering the work leading up to the biggest event of the year.
Over 3 days last week, 14 short-listed nominees were interviewed by the Ball committee and their answers (and some talents) were also filmed for posterity. Activities Chairperson Aina Nordin was really enthusiastic about the candidates this year in our interview with her, “they’re more different.. they’re not all the same, they don’t speak the same, they don’t have interests in the same things.” She also cheekily added that the candidates “look different, so it’s good”, a jab perhaps at the homogeneity of previous year’s contest!
The candidates were indeed a motley crew of diverse individuals and I wondered at how the committee would narrow down the finalists. Dexter Teh, the other Activities Chairperson, revealed that first impressions count a lot to their final mark (yep, this was certainly the case based on the quips I heard) so if one were to theoretically enter the interview room all sullen and unfriendly, it’s more likely that marks will be lower. The candidates were graded on a scale based on personality, confidence, creativity, leadership and communication skills with a bonus of 5 marks based on talents, if any.
There were only a few candidates coming in with talents and those few really wowed those present. That said, Mr & Ms Monash (MMM) this year will not be the main event so the talent portion of the contest will not be enacted on stage for the enjoyment of all. As Dexter puts it, “[MMM] will be a highlight but not really the main event cos the main event is the students themselves.” And indeed, when we’re there with our friends to have fun, particularly for those graduating this year, the last thing we’d want to do is sit through a vanity pageant.
Through the interview, both Chairpersons emphasised the difference in this year’s MMM as the focus is on personality rather than purely looks and popularity. Dexter described an ideal candidate who’s a friendly and sociable face on campus but also kind and thoughtful enough to hold doors open for just about anyone. Many of the candidates interviewed, in my opinion, definitely fit those criteria and I think it may be difficult for the students to pick the ultimate winner.
Like Aina, I’m particularly interested in seeing how the ‘underdogs’ perform, well underdogs according to the Confessions-based popularity that is, since it’s way too early in the game to really discern who’s leading. Next week will be campaigning week and because it can be anyone’s game at this point, as Aina pointed out, “It’s gonna be interesting to see what they’re willing to do for votes”
Just going by their answers though, I think interesting is an understatement. If the candidates will be as wacky and awkward-awesome in their interviews during campaigning, Week 6 is set to be a really, really exciting week. Keep your eyes peeled next week to find out who the 8 finalists are. Wearing a King Kong suit to climb a fake Empire State Building, anyone?