Seniors compete for the crown in ‘Dartmouth’s Finest’ competition

Feb 28, 2024

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Dartmouth High School is rolling out the red carpet for this year’s edition of “Dartmouth’s Finest.” 

The annual talent show and pageant, which will don a Hollywood theme this year, allows a select number of Dartmouth seniors to showcase their respective talents by dancing, singing, lip syncing and performing magic. 

The show will include choreographed musical numbers from hit movies such as High School Musical, Dirty Dancing and Barbie. 

“All of the students that are contestants are really committed to making this the best show it can be,” said Class of 2025 Advisor and special education teacher Stephanie Church. 

And Church expects this year’s show to be a smashing success.  

“It’s great for the community to celebrate our seniors, especially those seniors who are willing to put themselves out there and in a talent show in front of 500 people,” Church said. “It will be sold-out most likely.”

The competition was originally called “Mr. Dartmouth,” until five years ago when they changed to a co-ed format. The show saw its first-ever female winner in 2022 when Mia Carter took home the title as “Dartmouth’s Finest.” 

The winner will receive free prom tickets, a prom picture package and either a tuxedo rental or $200 toward a dress. 

The contestants will be judged on their solo performances, their fashion sense and their ability to answer some on-stage interview questions. Sticking to its Hollywood theme, the contestants will be wearing tuxedos and dresses supplied by local tailors Margaret’s Boutique and Main Street Formals. 

Though only seniors can compete, the junior class has the honor of organizing the competition. Money raised through ticket sales and concessions will go toward funding the juniors’ prom next year. 

And with an expected revenue of $10,000, this year’s pageant is a valuable fundraising opportunity, Church said. The pageant will also help to raise money for the charities Helping Hands and the Shane Eric Martin Foundation. 

Caiden Demanche, senior, will be channeling his charisma as the pageant’s audience host. For the past few weeks, Demanche has been getting to know the contestants as well as fine tuning the pageant’s structure and script. 

“I’m really excited to be a part of it,” he said. “It’s fun to be with my friends here.”

Contestant Braylon Turner will be Rick-rolling the audience with a performance of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.” Turner feels a connection with Astley on account of them both having red hair. 

“Well, Rick Astley is a ginger, and I’m a ginger, too. And I don’t know, I can sing it pretty well, so I kinda wanted to do it,” Turner said.

As for the competition, Turner said his wit and charming demeanor will bring home the crown this year.

“I’m also pretty crazy at singing,” he said. “I’m a big deal around Dartmouth High School … I have a lot of interpersonal relationships with the judges that could maybe help out.”

Ben Harrington and his friend Ashton Machado will be reenacting the dance battle scene from the 2004 comedy “White Chicks.” 

Harrington and Machado have been busy practicing their choreography and getting their costumes ready. Harrington expects that their personalities and dance skills will put them ahead of the competition. 

Even though preparing for the show has been a lot of work, Church said the students are getting out of it as much as they’re putting in. 

“There’s a lot of memories and friendships that they’re building,” Church said. “They’re laughing with each other and having fun together.”

The pageant will be held at 6:30 p.m., March 15 in the Dartmouth High School auditorium. Tickets are $15 at the door and $13 for anyone who buys them ahead of time by calling the high school’s main office. 

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Event Date: 

Friday, March 15, 2024 - 6:30pm