In an out-of-this-world evening filled with laughter, performances and song, Taydin Macon was crowned Mr. Warrior 2017 at Tehachapi High School Friday night.
The THS Associated Student Body presented the 9th annual Mr. Warrior contest, with 25 contestants.
"It's pretty great, and I'm just speechless," Macon said after receiving the coveted crown. "I'm just so thankful to have this title because I love being a Warrior, and I love Tehachapi."
The competition opened with an introduction of all contestants to the songs of "Blister in the Sun," "Counting Stars," "Starships," "Drops of Jupiter," "Fantastic Voyage" and "Rocketeer."
Next, the contestants showed off their physical fitness to "All Around the World," followed by a dance with their lady partners to "Blank Space." The lady partners then performed to "Starstruck."
Five of the Warrior contestants performed as finalists in the talent competition, including Jack Watson on electric guitar, Brycen Jacobson who sang and played guitar, Ricky Peregrina who also sang and played guitar, Ethan Teare who played piano, and a group dance featuring Eddie Graham, Nikoli Hackleman, Dawson Cass, Edwin Corpus and Philippe Vachon.
Following intermission, the Warriors and their mothers took to the stage and danced to "Lost Stars" and "Walking on Sunshine," with Bo Perez and his mother Shawnee Perez winning first place in dance.
The Warriors then performed in a group dance to "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing." The competition wound down with each contestant escorting their lady partner to center stage and answering the question, "What does it mean to be a Warrior?"
In addition to winner Macon, the other 24 Warrior contestants were:
• Sean Manes, son of Jennifer and Rick Manes. His partner was Sierra Self.
• Troy Noda, son of Anna Noda. His partner was Gina Angelone.
• Micah Vaughn-Jackson, son of Carrie and Leonard Jackson. His partner was Gracie Nicholas.
• Eddie Graham, son of Angeles and Scott Graham. His partner was Hannah Beauchamp.
• Tharold Dill, son of Devin and Terry Dill. His partner was Fiona Ferry.
• Jackson Caudle, son of Leslie and Jason Caudle. His partner was Emerson Fisher.
• Tyler Savage, son of Heather and Richard Savage. His partner was Annette Hertz.
• Edwin Corpus, son of Marisol Aldana and Mary Lou and Eli Corpus. His partner was Ashley Bishop.
• Ricky Peregrina, son of Daniela Peregrina. His partner was Jamie Moser.
• Nigel Rosenberg, son of Monica Haskell. His partner was Julie Dieken.
• Jacob Heier, son of Lisa Archie and Joe Heier. His partner was Daniela Tinajero.
• Jack Watson, son of Debbie and David Watson. His partner was Stephanie Choa.
• Bo Perez, son of Shawnee and Ryan Perez. His partner was Danielle Hipp.
• Ethan Teare, son of Ylfelynn and Shawn Teare. His partner was Lindsay Nava.
• Sean Kepler, son of Jodi and Marty Kepler. His partner was Lea Mason.
• Keyron Scott, son of Ronnie Scott. His partner was Cody Murphy.
• Nikoli Hackleman, son of Oly and Ken Hackleman. His partner was Emma Grimes.
• Oudey Tadros, son of Nancy and Dahabreh Tadros. His partner was Daisy Hernandez.
• Dawson Cass, son of Jennifer and Clint Cass. His partner was Dayna Salter.
• Chris Kight, son of Burton Hestand and Randy Kight. His partner was Brittany Kochanski.
• Philippe Vachon, son of Mary Lou Corpus and Jacques Vachon. His partner was Toni Ward.
• Zach Noblett, son of Marie and Sean Noblett. His partner was Hannah Gibson.
• Wes Poulson, son of Annette and Robert Poulson. His partner was Gina Angelone.
• Brycen Jacobson, son of Amy and Steve Jacobson. His partner was Claire Holmes.
Additionally, Theodore Kielpinski was to compete, but couldn't due to illness. He is the son of Tim and Melissa Kielpinski.
Macon, who said he plans to pursue a career in international relations upon graduation, offered congratulations to his competitors.
"I'm just so proud of everybody that participated in this event, and everybody did a great job," Macon said. "I am thankful for everyone. It's really an honor."
His family was excited. Mother Paula Macon said, "He is a wonderful young man."
Added Taydin's father, Johnny Macon, "He's got a wonderful heart, and that is what I am most proud of."
And sister Tarryn Macon got in on the praise, too, saying, "I feel like he definitely showed off his Warrior pride, and dedicated his time at this school."
That sentiment was echoed by Taydin's partner, Sky Xavier, who said, "He is a wonderful young man, and he really represents the school well."
Competition judges included Jessica Durham, Karson Gilbert and Heather Richter, with Denise Hall as the tally master. Evening hosts included Ariel Anderson and Megan Heitman.
Show choreographers were Gina Angelone, Amy Watkins and Sky Xavier. Slideshow creator was Hannah Beachamp, and music masters were Lauren Ashley, Caren Aviles and Araya Yuprphat.