Eugene Sandel ’22 crowned new Champion of the Hill

The most arbitrary and fun of St. Olaf’s homecoming traditions is Champion of the Hill, an event that is part talent show, part fashion show and part pure chaotic energy.

Seven contestants competed in four rounds on the steps of Boe Chapel The show started with a no-elimination newlywed game where they brought friends to guess their favorite pizza toppings, professors and pooping spots. 

Next, they moved on to the talent portion, the most popular part of the competition. This year was no different. Each contestant demonstrated their wide arrays of talents. Well, they demonstrated a wide array of ways to do the same talent. It is very apropos to St. Olaf that every single contestant sang for their performance. From a Carl Wheezer voiced parody of “Stacy’s Mom” to an ironic song about the greatness of the singer (“I am the goat, I am the greatest, I drive a toyota prius”, he sang), each contestant brought something fun and exciting to the show. 

Sawyer Johnson ’23 and Eugene Sandel ’22, the final two contestants, took opposite approaches to their talents. Sawyer sang a personal and earnest original song of “indie singer-songwriter” quality, and Eugene gave a parody of indie songs that ended with a satirical attack at St. Olaf’s “quirky” culture (institutionalized racism and all). 

The final three contestants — the two mentioned above and Moses Young ’22 — each gave similar responses to the final question portion of the competition, stating that they want to call the St. Olaf community to love and respect one another. 

Ultimately, Sandel was declared the victor. He expressed his gratitude and gave advice to aspiring champions, dispensing his champion wisdom to the whole of the campus.

 “Just be yourself, the whole purpose is for your personality to come through”, Sandel said. “Love each other and create space for your marginalized friends, brothers and sisters. Let St. Olaf be a place where people feel loved, accepted and welcomed.”