So how does the competition work, you ask?
For me, competition began on Wednesday morning when my private ten minute interview with the judges took place. It felt amazing! Started off focused on my platform logo and weekly blog posts highlighting aspects of my platform, “Let’s Talk: Skill Sets 4 Success.” I was able to talk about President Trump and Ivanka being in Wisconsin Tuesday to talk about the workforce and blatant skills gap in our state and country and just how important it is to empower our youth in order to foster college readiness and success in their careers. I also was able to talk about my struggles with academics in college and finding the right degree that fit with my interests and passions! I am so at peace with how that chat went and wish (as always) I could’ve had more time to talk with them!Preliminary on stage competition began on Wednesday evening, with all twenty-six women taking the stage to compete in different areas.My group (contestants 14-26) participated in On-Stage Question and Swimsuit. While the first group (contestants 1-13) competed in Talent and Evening Gown on Wednesday. The energy and excitement were emanating backstage prior to the show and from the audience as soon as the curtains opened, still gives me chills! I will admit, as soon as pre-show prayer wrapped up I had to wipe away tears as all of my emotions culminated in that moment. Before I knew it the music cued up and the show began, leaving me little time to process things but rather embrace the adrenaline and go forth!The questions included current event topics ranging from healthcare, to Bill Crosby’s trial, to the Russian investigation. I was asked if transgender individuals should be able to compete within The Miss America Organization. How did I answer? I touched on how this program promotes inclusion and opportunities and I believe I someone wants to compete, they should be able to do so. However, currently it states in the contract a contestant must be female at birth so unless the Miss America Board chooses to change that in the future, it’s out of my indivisible control.I also competed in swimsuit on Wednesday evening, feeling oh so confident and sexy as I strutted across the stage in my blue suit from Everything But Water. I would like to thank stadium stairs, extra protein and fresh fruit, and kale chips for my abs (ha)! Remember, 80 percent of how you look when trying to tone up, look good, and most importantly feel good is what you eat! Congratulations to Erin O’Brien on winning preliminary swimsuit and Gina Milliacca on winning talent Wednesday evening!Thursday, we (the contestants) got to sleep in a little bit, leaving the hotel a little before 9 a.m. to drive to Citgo and take a photo in our “Fueling Good” shirts they sponsored for the day. If you aren’t aware, Citgo is one of the major sponsors of the Miss Wisconsin Scholarship Program, providing Miss Wisconsin with gas money to utilize throughout her year of service.
After the photo, we had dress rehearsal at the auditorium to walk through the entire show in wardrobe for Thursday evening. Following that, we were able to go to lunch with our parents and give them a tour of the backstage area.Thursday evening I competed in Talent and Evening Gown. My dance this year is a lyrical piece to a rendition of “Lean On Me” by The Tenors, an acapella group. I chose this piece to represent my struggles and perseverance over the course of this seven year journey I’ve been on within the Miss America Organization. I’m extremely stubborn and have had to learn that it’s okay to lean on others when I need that extra support, rather than constantly being the one exuding compassion. This dance is for all of you: family, friends, and people within this program that have been a part of my experience.I’ll be honest, my dance didn’t feel incredibly perfect, but I nailed my triple at the start of routine and felt as though I radiated more emotion that ever before. I laid it all out on the floor and that’s all I could have hoped for. Congratulations to April Haldeman for winning preliminary swimsuit and Catherine Smith for winning talent on Thursday night!Today (Friday) we have our annual Swinging for Scholarships golf outing, a laid back afternoon and then the Miss Wisconsin’s Outstanding Teen Pageant later tonight! Best of luck to all the ladies, especially my girls Savannah, Annie, and Sarah-rock it!