On April 13, Jack Merritt of West Grove, Pa., won the title of Mr. Mature America 2019.
Merritt, 69, beat out four other contestants in the annual strut-your-stuff pageant for men over the age of 55. In its sixth year, held at the Ocean City Music Pier, its a hokey, weird, and hilarious competition for older beach-goers to reach for a moment in the spotlight.
The contenders sang and danced for more than 100 spectators and actress Barbara Eden of “I Dream of Jeannie" fame, who MC’d the event. Three judges evaluated each contestant on their poise, talent and interviewing skills. One recited his own poetry, another took shots on a basketball net, and Merritt strummed out his version of Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville.
In the end, Merritt stood out from the rest.
He also received a boost from a dozen members of his Brady-Bunch family, who held up cutouts of his face and vigorously cheered on their guy.
“You know, I really wanted to win," Merritt said afterward, “but mostly I wanted to make my family proud.”