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Meet the New Mr. Harriton

Melanie Metz, A&E Editor

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Mr. Harriton 2018 was a huge success — charismatic contestants, impressive talents and over $30,000 raised for charity. Jacob Eiseman, the only junior contestant, won over the judges with his confidence, smile and incredible piano playing and was crowned Mr. Harriton 2018. We sat down with Jacob to get his thoughts on the experience.

 Harriton Banner: Were you surprised, especially being the first junior to win since 2012?

Jacob Eiseman: I was surprised, it’s still kind of surreal. It was an unreal experience. I kind of had a feeling once Alex and Max tied for second. It would’ve been surprising to anyone, everyone thought that anyone could win. I knew I definitely had a chance.

 HB: Were you nervous?

JE: Yeah, I was super nervous. Before the show everyone was lining up outside the auditorium doors and there were so many people and I was so nervous. Right before my act, I was super nervous.

 HB: Who did you think would’ve won?

JE: After talking to a lot of people after the show, with the reception of Nate’s jokes, the crowd loved him. He has a big personality and definitely could have won and no one would’ve been surprised.

 HB: How does it feel to be Mr. Harriton?

JE: Still does not feel real. Feels like it happened so quickly — the show was two hours and feels so weird after rehearsal for 3 months. (Mr. O’Brien walked by, asked, “How do you handle it?”) I’m just trying to keep a low profile. (laughs)

HB: How did you get the idea for that talent? Or did you just pick a known skill?

JE: Going in, I knew I was doing something on the piano — most people knew that about me. Then it was more of a conversation about what to do. I can play all this amazing stuff, but five minutes of just piano may not keep the crowd’s attention. I needed to be able to grab their attention; I thought about using background music or some other stuff. By the middle of January, I realized that I could play with my eyes closed and I could throw a blindfold over and make it look impressive. When you’re good enough at piano, you don’t really look at the keys, but looking is almost a security. And I had to memorize that 4 minute chunk, so that was a lot of work. Once I had the idea, it seemed like an almost obvious choice.

HB: Favorite memory from the night?

JE: My favorite memory wasn’t winning. Yeah it was great, but being onstage with everyone before the intro dance, all super nervous, then curtain opens and we start dancing. That was it.

HB: (This question is stolen from a past MH interview): Would you ever use your pickup line in real life?

JE: (His line was: If you were a transformer do you know what your name would be?… Optimus fineeee…) If I’m chilling and see a girl watching the Michael Bay transformer movie, then it may happen. But that is unlikely.

HB: What is the lasting impression that you want your legacy to leave?

JE: (After lots of thinking and some advice) Success is finding the balance in execution and ambition.

There you have it: wise words from Mr. Harriton 2018. Future hopeful winners, take note!

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