Fourth-year student of Biology Demian has just returned from the Mr World elections in England. For two weeks he lived and carried out assignments with nearly 50 competitors. He ended up in fourth place.
It is Monday evening. The phone appointment with Mr Netherlands was agreed on several days ago. But when Demian picks up the phone he sounds a bit hesitant. ‘I am backstage at RTL Boulevard. Is it OK if I call you back?’ Two hours later he is in the train heading back to Wageningen.
You sound quite tired. Was it hard work?
‘Not too bad. Yesterday we were out until four in the morning, but I have recovered from that. Physically it was not too bad. In the extreme challenge we trained with the navy for a day. I won the shuttle run test outright. The physical stuff was a walkover for me because I am used to it from my dancing.’
How did the talent round go?
‘Last month my relationship ended after seven years. I created a dance about that, and performed it during the talent round. Unfortunately, I heard just before I went on stage that I would not be able to win it because I had already won the multimedia challenge. I was very disappointed, because I wanted to give that trophy to my ex. As a mark of respect for her.’
Are you disappointed not to win?
‘The other lads and the camera crew said I was the favourite for the title. I won the multimedia challenge and I should have won the talent round, but in the end you don’t know how the jury think. It is quite disappointing that I wasn’t even in the top three. Mr Denmark won and he is certainly a cool guy.’
What surprised you during the competition?
‘I had expected a lot of bitching among the candidates but there wasn’t any at all. It really was very chill, a kind of holiday really. What is totally bizarre is the hundreds of emails I am getting every day. Especially from the Philippines, where they seems to be crazy about pageants.’
Back to your studies now?
‘Tomorrow I’ll be back in class, and hopefully I’ll manage to pass my courses and practicals this period. But because of this work I have got behind, and I hope I can finish. I am not a typical Wageningen student but I do always feel really chill here.’
Photo: Demian Overduijn catwalking in the final of the Mr World election.