CHICAGO – Max, Mr. Rubber Netherlands 2014, took home the Mr. International Rubber title over Halloween weekend. And in what may be a first, all three of the top places were won by contestants from outside the country. Franz, Mr. Rub Club of Germany, won first runner-up and Alejandro, an independent contestant from Mexico, won second runner-up. Alejandro was also the first contestant to ever come from Mexico.
The three won out of a field of ten contestants, six of whom were from outside the U.S. Along with representatives from New England, the Midwest, Southeast and Florida, there were also contestants from Great Britain, Canada, Netherlands, Germany, Mexico and Italy.
Chicago entertainer Teri Yaki again emceed the contest for a capacity crowd at the Center on Halstead. Along with the contest itself, the weekend also included classes, a vendor market and parties across the north side of the city.
The judges for this year included Andy “CosmicRoom” Coatham, the outgoing MIR; Bob Donaldson, International Mr. Deaf Leather 1992; Christoph Lehner, MIR 1998; CHC President David Katzenberg; Mr. S Manager Edward Hibbs; International Ms. Bootblack 1999 Leslie Anderson; and Pup Snuggles, co-founder of the Chicago Puppy Patrol.
Michael Kaplan, Mr. Heartland Leather 2014, and Miguel Torres, Mr. Chicago Leather 2014, served as tallymasters.
The contest nights also included costume contests to take advantage of taking place over Halloween weekend. The winners for each night’s costume contest got a package for MIR 19 next year. The categories for the main contest included rubber image, interview, fantasy and the ever popular “mystery bag.” This year, the judges were supplied with goggles. Except for one incident with cottage cheese, they were not needed.
Max, who is also hearing impaired with a cochlear implant, will represent the rubber community at events around the world over the next year. MIR 19 will be in Chicago during the weekend of Nov. 6-8.