posted on: Thursday April 12, 2018
by Hannah Langley ’21
Last Friday night, Providence College held its “Mr. PC” competition, a fun-filled event and “night of hope for all you ladies,” according to Father Dominic Verner, O.P. One male senior from each of the major clubs and organizations on campus competed in various rounds to determine who was the best of the best. Ryan McSweeney ’18, BOP’s representative in the event, was reluctant about competing, saying, “A lot of people did get nominated by their clubs… I did not. I was just asked to step up and do it.” Despite this, however, the odds ended up being in his favor, as he came away with the title of Mr. PC 2018.
McSweeney is a marketing major who, along with being one of the leaders of BOP, is known as “DJ Chicken Parm” on PC’s WDOM radio station. “My friends and I started our show sophomore year, and we wanted to think of the lamest DJ name,” McSweeney said, “so I suggested DJ Chicken Parm, and it stuck.” McSweeney began the competition strong, walking in to the song “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” by Kanye West, dressed in a turtleneck, overalls, and gold chains. When asked why he chose the song, he answered, “It’s like the biggest narcissist song, and I’m just like the most average human being of all time, so I thought it would be funny to come out and be like ‘I’m the man.’” The whole crowd began laughing and cheering as McSweeney entered.
The competition then proceeded with the talent portion, in which McSweeney used his creativity and ingenuity to come up with his talent, a PowerPoint presentation of “really good ideas.” When McSweeney was asked what he was going to do as his talent for Mr. PC, he figured he would do something different. “A lot of people do like singing and dancing and stuff,” he was saying, “but I’m just gonna make it a complete joke and have fun with it.” He explained how he has been keeping an idea journal since the beginning of freshman year, saying, “Basically, any time I thought of something funny or random, I wrote it down… you know like hypotheticals and stuff.” For his talent, McSweeney compiled some of his ideas, such as ‘SMOT, the opposite charity of TOMS, playgrounds for adults, and KONY 2018, into a PowerPoint presentation that brought the entire audience to tears from laughter. He knew the presentation would be risky, but he figured, “If the crowd’s into it and everyone’s into it… the only one I’ll really be disappointing is Fr. Dom.” Overall, the judges found the presentation to be a great success.
While McSweeney seemed confident and calm on stage, he was actually extremely nervous. “I genuinely thought there was a chance I would pass out or throw up on stage,” he said, “but like you can’t win if you’re in the ER.” Although he was nervous and anxious, he explained how he calmed himself down, saying, “I honestly thought I had no shot at winning, but I was like, ‘This is just stupid, and I can have fun with it.’ That’s why I was just having fun on stage.” He also mentioned how his friends were really excited when they found out he was participating in the competition. “My friends all came, and I knew they’d get a kick out of it,” he was saying, “They know I get nervous, so they were just hyping me up all day.” His friends continued to cheer and give him standing ovations all throughout the competition.
After the talent portion, the candidates were asked to come back on stage to answer one question each. McSweeney was asked which one word he would choose to describe himself best. “I said goofy, which is probably the goofiest answer I could have chosen,” McSweeney was saying. When asked why he chose that word, he said, “I don’t know, it’s just a funny word that describes something funny.” After the competition, though, McSweeney mentioned how he was between the words goofy and sweaty. “I went from wearing overalls and a long sleeve to a turtleneck to a tight tux, and I was so nervous, so I was just drenched,” he was saying, “but I just felt like I needed to give a genuine answer after that nonsensical PowerPoint.” Even though McSweeney was not thrilled with his answer, the judges seemed impressed with his overall performance, and (literally) crowned him with the title of Mr. PC.
Afterwards, McSweeney emphasized how he and all the other candidates just had fun with the whole competition. Being a senior, he talked about how he is going to really miss fun experiences like this and fun times with his friends. When asked what one of his favorite parts of the whole Mr. PC competition was, he talked about how he and Ben Capuano ’18, his friend and fellow Mr. PC candidate, were having fun setting up beforehand. “He started playing piano and I was singing poorly,” he recounted, “I just had fun that half hour before, like messing around.” When asked what he’s going to miss most after graduating, he replied, “I think it’s gonna be living with my friends.” He then went on to say, “I lived in Aquinas, and doors were open all the time. Even now I live in a house with all my best friends. It’s going to be weird not being with my friends all the time.” Above all else, McSweeney is grateful for the experience he has had being a member of BOP at PC and the amazing friends he has made these past four years.