Will Mauricette says goodbye to Ringling Feud, but the show will go on

Ringling Feud: Photography vs. Film.
Jesse Clark ’23, Photography and Imaging, and CJ Callins ’23, Film, representing their majors on set.

Will Mauricette says goodbye to Ringling Feud, but the show will go on

Ringling Feud: Photography vs. Film.
Jesse Clark ’23, Photography and Imaging, and CJ Callins ’23, Film, representing their majors on set.

After two seasons and 16 episodes, Ringling Feud host and co-founder Will Mauricette ’24, Film, graduated from Ringling College of Art and Design on May 2, saying goodbye to the popular ART Network production. But fans and hopeful teams can rejoice: Plans are underway to continue the show into the 2024-25 academic year and beyond.

“This show means a lot to not only the students but the school as well, which is why we will continue to produce Ringling Feud next year,” said Marquee Doyle, director of the ART Network and a senior production manager at Ringling College.

Melanie Perez ’25, Graphic Design, will produce Ringling Feud next year, and Lauren Avila Santana ’25, Illustration, will take over hosting duties from Mauricette, who first helped to pitch the idea of an ART Network gameshow during his sophomore year. (Co-founders Daniel Webster ’23, Film, and CJ Callins ’23, Film, both graduated in 2023.)

Mauricette’s charisma and natural presence in front of crowds and cameras helped the show gain popularity. (His exceptional wardrobe also earned raves.) He said that he and his peers created the show, in part, to give ART Network students a project of their own to work on.

Ringling Feud has hosted participants from almost every major, student group, and department on campus. The show has attracted the attendance of local community leaders, including the City’s mayor. 

“We didn’t have anything that was for us,” said Mauricette. “Our job is to record and document things and put a video together. We pitched this so we could film our own thing.”

He and his co-founders also liked the format of Family Feud, which features two competing teams of four instead of individual contestants. And a game show, he argued, was a great excuse for different majors, faculty, and staff departments to come together casually—and often comically. “To show up, to sit, laugh, and yell at each other for the fun of it,” he said.

The Ringling Feud format focused on information about Ringling College and the Sarasota area in general—as gathered from surveys of Ringling students themselves—that could enlighten new students and their families. Students who had answered the surveys could come to the filming in person to shout their answers and even groan about the more popular responses.

The show found its audience and then some. Students have enjoyed competing against other majors and supporting their fellow students while playfully arguing about the correct answers. Then, as staff and faculty teams got involved, audiences showed up to see the adults on campus participate in the fun.

This enthusiasm from the “grownup” teams was one of Mauricette’s favorite parts of the whole experience. “Dr. Thompson (Ringling’s President) and the donors and Student Life and Public Safety—seeing how happy and childlike they’d be in the show,” he said. “The kids, I understand [being enthusiastic]. Seeing the grownups, I absolutely loved.”

Ringling Feud co-creator Mauricette was such an enigmatic host that he was invited to host multiple Ringling College official events, including Best of Ringling, for two consecutive years.

And what about those famously fashionable suits he sported for every episode?

“I was doing theater at West Coast [Black Theatre Troupe], and Cristy Shields ran the wardrobe department there,” he remembered. “I had an event coming up and asked her if she had a suit I could use. She actually bought me my first suit—she got it from Amazon for like $30. Then she fitted it to my body, and that made a big difference. It sat on me so well. Ever since then, I’ve been addicted to wearing suits.”

While Mauricette admitted he’s sad his time as host is ending, he leaves with great memories—not to mention a showreel highlighting his hosting talents and a newfound appreciation for how deep those talents truly run.

“When I was a kid, people just liked being around me,” he said. “In the past year, I understand that now. I like seeing people be stoked. I could be having the worst day, but if I could be your hype man, then I’m doing it. I’ve loved it all.”

A few memorable moments from Ringling Feud.

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