10 November 2010

MIR2011 - Part 2 (From the Judges Box)

Well, its wednesday and I am back home from Chicago. Resting. For some reason I am exceptionally tired and with a bit of a cough, and spent most of monday and tuesday doing nothing. (FYI, my hypothyroid levels sometimes leave me fatigued and the 5-hour energy blast I took saturday didn't help a bit! Grrr . . .). Back to MIR. This year's was probably the most fun I've ever had at an MIR. Being a Judge this year was a very special and personal honor and I am deeply grateful for the invite (and would love helping out at your event too!). So what was it like? Not nearly as much work or stress as being a contestant as I can tell from personal experience on both sides of the equation. As any of the contestants can tell you, and I've been a few times, it is an exhaustive effort and you are on your toes all weekend long. They say it should be fun and it is but it is work. There are so many components to be involved in that time for relaxing is prized.

Here is how it all went. When not "working" I spent most of my time at the Kink Mart and other events like everyone else. The judges all met for the first time friday afternoon where we were briefly introduced to the contestants (all 9 of them). We then left to join up with all the other hot rubbermen during the friday evening "greet the meat" social event. Here the contestants are supposed to mingle and be sociable. The judges just stand around looking important! (that's a joke, mostly) The judges were introduced by name during the opening ceremonies, my brief fleeting moment in the spotlight of fame . . . Entertainment included the "Rubber Pryce is Right," featuring two random audience members bidding on selected rubber items (including a 6-pack of beer?!?), a convocation by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and a flashback to a popular "wet rubber fantasy scene" from years past. Good News! Apparently the Wet Rubber portion of the event will return next year!

The first official judges task was the Friday nite "Rubber Image", where the contestants were introduced on stage for the first time. Each contestants walked on stage, and in 2 sentences or less told us who they were! A short paragraph they wrote before hand was also read out loud and the judges were supposed to judge "Rubber Image." Sorry guys, kinda hard to put it any more clearly than that! Not a heck of a lot of time to do it either . . . judging was based on essentially on composure and presentation of rubber. After this portion, most everyone went off to one of the numerous parties going on and unless they were bursting with raw sexual energy, most contestants and judges were too worn out to do much of that.

Day 2: Contestant Interviews. Everyone met at the center around 1 PM. Here each judge gets to ask one question of each contestant, with possibly more as time allowed. I usually got a second question. There being 9 of them and 7 of us, we were limited to 10-12 minutes per contestant and even so it took more than 2.5 hours to complete the interview process! Needless to say a break or two was required and using my rubber pants for on-the-spot water sports was not a convenient option. I have to admit I was a little nervous going into this. What one question do I ask? What can I learn from each man that helps me as a judge determine who is best qualified? We were briefed beforehand on how to judge from a technical standpoint but each judge carries his own experience and expectation into something like this, hence there are more than 1 judge.

One thing we discussed beforehand is the idea that there are no right or wrong answers (okay I can think of a few extreme answers that might be deemed inappropriate, but I think you get the point), rather we were looking for how well the contestant responded during "the moment", whether they could support their answers, and whether they could be informative, complete, and yet succinct. This is not an easy assessment, let me assure you! For example, humor is sometimes regarded as important but it can also detract from the ability to converse or convey effectively. It can be a tricky balance.

We had one hour before interviews to review the 9 applications. This does not seem like much and it isn't. Because the deadline was only the evening before, any prior access to applications might bias early submissions, hence we only got them on saturday. One comment that might be useful to future applicants: Make you applications concise and complete. If there is a point you would like to make about your qualifications, be sure to be explicit about the details (within reason)! Time is so short that judges cannot go off and prowl the internet looking for background information, or read a lengthy tome. It is less helpful if we need to use one of our questions simply to find out what you have done. It is more fun to explore your application in detail, rather than to go fact-finding. Tell us why you should be voted this title, your qualifications, and what you want to do with it! (I must say that when I ran for this title a few years back I made damn sure the judges knew these things up front and the interview went very well as a result. It was on stage I ran into trouble.)

Anyway, I digress. We did have a lot of fun with the interviews. Some of the less serious questions included: Use one word to describe each judge (I won't mention some of the words selected for me - "hot" was not one of them so some points were definitely missed!!!); If you could be reincarnated as one rubber object, what would it be and what would you do to me; Describe (explicitly) your perfect date, etc. . . In part, these types of questions are intended to test sponteneity and a command of the rubber lifestyle. In general I think most of the contestants missed these golden opportunities to show their more "randy" sides and stuck to less risque answers, but everyone did well enough.

After an interlude at the Kink Market upstairs and quick bite at the Whole Foods next door, I awaited the final part of the event, Saturdays show, which opened with Eddie's now infamous on-stage parody of Ladi Gaga, perfoming a corrupted version of Bad Romanse. I must say here that the view from the judges table was very nice: like front row seats we had at that Cyndi Lauper concert a few years ago . . . There were some hot outfits as you can see in the pix. I had a few favorites, including the white seamen's outfit and the smokey rubber suit. The two formal parts of the evening included: Question and Answer (If stranded on desert island with a fellow contestant, who and why?), and the Grab Bag (take a bag of random kitchen impliments and abuse the hapless test subject with them as if they were bondage gear). I may be wrong but sometimes I think the Grab Bag favors Tops, as they know more instinctively how to use such things. This usually gets the crowd howling as things like pudding and turkey basters end up in strange places.

Once our final scoring was submitted for counting we all moved into foyer and awaited the results like everyone else. So during the break at the bar I overheard some interesting speculations about who might be selected and who were audience favorites. Since the judges had not seen each others scores (and I couldn't remember mine any more), even we had no idea of the results (G-man was the winner). Enough for now I will have more perspectives in future posts, so let me know what you might like to hear about. In the meantime, here are a few more pix!

Sisters, sisters . . .

I have a thing for smoky transparent latex . . .

Rubber Dawgs during Friday's Greet the Meat.

The Rubber Pryce is Right!
Another scene from Friday nite show, Part 1.

A clean urinal is a happy urinal, at least early in the evening . . .

Horsing (or wolfing) around with a good friend, Int'l Mr. Leather 2010 Tyler McCormick.

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