I’m back in DC, and boy have I got stories for you! I started my 11-day excursion in McKinney, Texas, right outside of Dallas. The lovely Shannon Schambeau Patterson, Miss DC 2005 and top 5 at MissAmerica, and her husband John Patterson hosted me at their home for a 5-day Beauty Boot Camp.
Beauty Boot Camp (BBC) – I know, it sounds like Major Payne meetsAmerica’s Next Top Model – but it was actually more about me learning to be the best Miss DC I can be. Since I’m “the rookie in blue this year with no pageant experience ”, I learned how to make my eyes look their biggest and brightest by moving my eye-liner inward, walk with confidence and self-assurance, and speak like the Miss DC (and Miss America) I want to be. Shannon and John were so patient, and I learned a great deal about myself during those 5 days. Thanks guys!
Then I jetted over to Orlando for the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen pageant to support my awesome little sister, Lauren Seely, and to meet my other 52 MAO sisters. The RosenPlazawas definitely in for a special treat. Night 1 of Preliminaries was exhilarating. It was like being back at July 10th: The lights were dimmed, the music was playing, and 53 talented and beautiful young women were dancing their hearts out on stage. Can we say AWESOME? Since I was on the other side of the stage, I was impressed to see how composed these ladies were! If they were nervous, we certainly couldn’t tell – they all spoke with self-assurance and moved with poise and grace. You go girls!
Of course when Lauren came across the stage, tears came to my eyes. Honestly, you would think I was watching The Notebook with how emotional I became. But I was so proud to see that her hard work paid off on-stage, and she blew the crowd away with her song, “Popular” from the Broadway musical Wicked.
The next few days went by so fast and were packed with fun activities. On Thursday, we filmed our Tall Pony viral videos, where we got a chance to talk about our quests to become Miss America 2012. I’ll definitely keep you posted about when those are available – and I know my fellow Capitals fans will be happy! After the video session, we had a skin care consultation with Artistry. A HUGH THANK YOU for the great skin care products and make-up. Artistry sure knows how to make a girl feel pretty. :)
We then got dressed in our finest attire to have dinner at Maggiano’s Little Italy, hosted by the lovely Mary Sullivan and Regalia Magnificent Apparel. If you haven’t been to Maggiano’s, I highly recommend it! The food is delectable, and the atmosphere is very welcoming. Before we got a chance to dig in, we went around the room and introduced ourselves and shared a fun fact. I must say, the most memorable fact for me was Miss RhodeIsland, Robin Bonner, who can lick her own elbow after breaking it a few years ago. I wish I snapped a picture! My fun fact: I used to compete in rodeos as a barrel racer – YEE HAW! I had such a fun time with everyone and ate some great food! Thank you Mary, David, and Carry for treating us.
Friday was the day we had all been waiting for: DISNEY WORLD TIME! After waking up bright and early at 5:30 a.m., we made our way to Disney World where we met up with Miss America 2012 Teresa Scanlan. I was brimming with excitement to see the Magic Castle, and then it happened: Belle, Cinderella, Mickey, and Minnie walked with us on the main street through Disney World. Life for a 23-year-old woman doesn’t get any better than walking through the most magical place on earth with the Disney crew. We filmed a commercial that will air during the Miss America show, which was super exciting! The singing, dancing, and faces of smiling children are what makes Disney so wonderful. I highly recommend riding The Hollywood Tower of Terror, and the Star Wars ride. I love roller coasters and adrenaline, and these roller coasters definitely lived up to my expectations!
After a full day of excitement, we did a quick change and went to a party hosted by the Miss Florida Organization and the Miss America Board of Directors and supporters. The food was fully catered, and consisted of sushi, grilled pineapple, an assortment of cheeses and meats, and a full table of deserts. Of course there was a huge line for the desserts with crème brûlée in a chocolate shell, yum! The highlight of the night, get ready, was a performance by The Jersey Boys! They serenaded us 53 contestants and Teresa Scanlan with their 1960s love ballads and Elvis Presley-style good looks. Swoon!
On Saturday, the final day of the MAOT competition, we had an orientation meeting with the Miss America Board of Directors and CEO, Miss America Teresa Scanlan. It was during this meeting that it all sunk in: I could be the next Miss America. Of course I’ve dreamt and fantasized about it, but sitting with everyone and listening to Teresa, a wave of emotion came over me. I somehow managed to hold back tears, but it was no easy feat. I feel so inspired to work my hardest and shine my brightest as MissDCand at the Miss America Pageant on January 14th, 2011 on ABC (had to get that in there!).
A huge congrats to Miss Florida’s Outstanding Teen Elizabeth Fechtel for becoming Miss America’s Outstanding Teen 2012!
Until we meet again, friends, live life to the fullest and be cautious of aftershock!
Miss DC 2011