An Exclusive Interview with Mr. Peninsula Himself


Cassandra Bundrick

Tyler Sommer decked out in his Mr. Peninsula attire.

Natalie Svinth, Managing Editor

Mr. Peninsula of 2017 has been crowned: Tyler Sommer, described by Alex Williams as “easily the sweetest person I know, who’s never met a stranger and is super down to earth.”

What readers may not know is, Mr. Peninsula almost didn’t do Mr. Peninsula. Concerned there would be too many people already signed up, Sommer didn’t turn in his forms until he was personally asked by Betsy Brunkow and Kristen Baker to do so, two leadership gurus who were on the hunt for more Mr. Peninsula sign-ups due to the drought of applicants this year.

“I thought I would do it because it sounded like a better than eating pizza and watching a movie,” said Sommer.

Many are overjoyed with his decision: One of the most impressive aspects of Sommer’s big win is his devoted fanbase, the audience was filled with friends of Sommer who went wild at his crowning. Screams of “WE LOVE YOU TYLER!” filled the Milton Boyd Auditorium on the historic night of March the 10th.

“When they called his name we just went insane, we were so happy,” said Williams.

“A lot of people were really excited that I won which was a weird feeling because I don’t usually win at anything,” said Sommer.

Escorted out out by Anna Marshall (Mrs. Peninsula), Mr. Selfors simultaneously introduced Sommer by reciting his favorite things to do: palm reading, time traveling, playing dead, crowd watching, joining flash mobs then quitting, and most of all, just being awesome.

Concluding the night was the talent portion, which included Sommer dancing his heart out to Tina Turner’s rendition of CCR’s “Rolling on the River” while wearing a dress and high heels ‒ a performance that Sommer himself describes as “Memorable, a unique interpretation of Tina Turner,  jaw-dropping, sassy, and most of all, funny!”

Prior to this year, one major critique of the Mr. Peninsula Pageant is that it weighed popularity over talent. This year proves it to be different.

“I’ll tell you that I know it wasn’t a predetermined popularity contest. It was really about who got up there and poured their heart out and Tyler did that,” said Williams.

Sommer hopes his win at Mr. Peninsula might inspire others who feel that they are living in the shadows to step out and take chances.

“I consider myself to be not well known. A lot of people don’t know I exist because I am not the type who stands out of the crowd. But hopefully through this win, it shows that you don’t have to be well known to be winner and it is good to get out of your comfort zone and take risks because hey, they might just pay off,” said Sommer.

Read more about Mr. Peninsula here and here.