Senior accounting major Daniel Boland ‘threw caution to the wind’ and won both The Voice and Mr. SVC over spring family weekend after entering both competitions just to have some fun.
Boland said he wanted to end his senior year having as much fun as possible, which is what inspired him to sign up for both of the competitions. He noted that while both were great events to be a part of, they were each very different experiences.
The Voice was a lot more nerve-wracking, Boland explained, because it was more of a serious competition and oftentimes he was alone on stage. It was also a lot more time consuming because he had to prepare for multiple shows over the course of a few weeks.
Mr. SVC was a more relaxed competition, explained Boland.
“You’re expected to embarrass yourself. It’s a male beauty pageant for a good cause. Everyone is laughing,” Boland said.
Boland mentioned that this wasn’t the case with The Voice, because it is based solely on talent.
Boland has a background in musical theatre and choir, but hasn’t been on a stage since high school. He explained that having a coach for The Voice was extremely helpful, however. He spent a lot of time with Brother Cassian Edwards going over songs and receiving feedback.
Edwards said that working with Boland was a really positive experience, especially because he was so encouraging to his fellow teammates, who were ultimately his competitors.
Edwards said he was filled with pride when Boland was announced as winner. He expressed that he was shocked, not because Boland didn’t do a great job, but because he thought any contestant could have won.
Nonetheless, he was proud and said that Boland’s performance was fearless, which is what led him to win.
“He put it all out there on the stage and brought high energy, emotion, and excitement. He didn’t just sing, he performed, and he did it very well,” Edwards said.
He also mentioned that before the finale Boland, “seemed nervous, said he wasn’t feeling his final songs.” Although, Edwards said he knew Boland was ready and that the performance was a beautiful tribute to his friends and family.
Mr. SVC, on the other hand, wasn’t only about Boland’s ability to sing. The show includes various skits that he had to execute. He turned to his good friend Samantha Sluger, senior communication major and fellow contestant on The Voice who has an eye for all things show business.
Boland wanted the opinions of someone he trusted to help him brainstorm ideas for the fashion portion and critique his overall performance.
Sluger was beyond excited and jumped at the chance to work with Boland. She helped him come up with and choreograph his Pokémon skit, where he jumped out of a pokeball.
The crowd and the judges loved it Sluger said, and she was not surprised at all when he won.
“Overall his confidence is what made him win. Dan has swagger and you could feel the confidence oozing out of that man. During the runway, he took a rose out of his jacket and gave it to Veronica, one of the judges,” Sluger said.
Sluger explained that the rose was her idea and she knew that the gesture would “scream Dan Boland.”
She also mentioned how Boland was the contestant that raised the most money for The Banana Project. He drove home to Pittsburgh multiple times to speak at his church and ask for donations.
Boland mentioned that he had no expectation to win either competition. He said it came as a big surprise.
“I knew I was going to give it my all for both competitions, but I had no idea that I would win,” Boland said. “I’m glad I threw caution to the wind and took the chance. I would have regretted not doing it.”
Boland said he celebrated with all of his friends after both wins, making the weekend especially memorable.
After graduation Boland will move to Pittsburgh to work at the accounting firm, Baker Tilly. He is thrilled to remain close to SVC, which will always have a special piece of his heart.