National American Miss delivers stunning Hollywood glamour throughout their exciting show-stopping national finals!
Exhilarating! Fresh! Fun! These were just some of the words used to describe the excitement of the 2016 National American Miss finals in sunny California. This year’s prestigious 14th anniversary celebration took pageantry and recognition to the next level, as it presented more than a half million dollars in awards and prizes to inspiring young women of achievement from across the country.
The National Finalists were welcomed with a Neon Welcome Party held in the ballroom which had been transformed into a glowing masterpiece. The participants and their families danced the night away in a lit up, neon wonderland.
Following the Welcome Party, the finalists’ week was full of exciting California adventures. Between competitions and rehearsals, the National Finalists and their families enjoyed a chauffeured VIP Tour of Hollywood that included the Hollywood Walk of Fame, soaking up the sun at Santa Monica Beach, shopping at the historic Farmer’s Market where many were chosen to be on the set of Extra, cruising down Rodeo Drive, and many other iconic Hollywood destinations.
The families also enjoyed a five-star Day at Disneyland®, which started with an exclusive group photo in front of the famous Disney Castle, and continued with thrilling rides, exciting visits with Disney characters, the Christmas Fantasy Parade, and the famous Disney fireworks display.
Each attendee had a chance to take home the grand prize of the week … the title to a brand new Ford Mustang convertible. Bishara Dorre of Fox News hosted this year’s event, as thousands of viewers tuned in from across the country. This year’s Mustang was awarded during the live drawing to Rachel Peavley of Virginia, who is now driving the shiny new convertible through the blue ridge mountains of her home state.
The queen’s competitions included six age groups for both the National American Miss and All-American Miss titles. Each national delegate vied for these esteemed national titles, and a chance to walk away with one of the twelve massive national queen’s prize packages, including cash scholarships and an array of fabulous sponsored prizes.
The elegant Formal Wear Modeling competition featured each National Finalist on stage, where they modeled the gown of their choice, elegantly accompanied by a master pianist on a grand piano. They also took the microphone and introduced themselves on stage during the Personal Introduction competition. This was their chance to publicly share their hopes, dreams, and plans for their futures. Following this, they sat down for a one-on-one business-style interview with each of the judges to share their personality and show their confidence.
In addition to the overall queen’s competitions, each attendee had the opportunity to display their diverse passions and skills through optional contests. These included: Talent, Photogenic, Casual Wear Modeling, Spokesmodel, Actress, Art, Top Model Search, Academic Achievement, Heart of Service Award, and many more. At NAM, panels of judges, separate from the overall competition, score the optional contests. In addition to valuable experience, the optional contests also provide participants with extra opportunities to win thousands of dollars in cash scholarships, prizes, trophies, and prestigious national optional titles.
Many of the optional contests at NAM focus on performing arts and entertainment. National Finalists are taught how to audition in the Actress Contest, to address the public in the Spokesmodel contest, and to work the camera in a fashion photo shoot through the Top Model Contest. The performances are evaluated by modeling agents, actors, and professionals in the entertainment industry. An informative and inspiring acting workshop was hosted for the finalists by renowned casting director Pixie Monroe. The workshop included a surprise appearance by crowd favorite Christian Bishop of The Bachelorette 2016 season.
Those who participated in the Runway Modeling Competition got to learn about the fashion modeling industry through the Modeling Training Camp, experience a real-world modeling go-see with modeling agents, and then strut down the runway in a trendy outfit to vie for the chance to become the next “Face of Mon Cheri.” The winners of this year’s contest, Emily Ortiz of Arizona and Reagan McGuire of Florida, will be featured in a national digital campaign, followed by exclusive modeling opportunities through Mon Cheri. Both the Runway Model Search Competition and the gorgeous opening dance number dresses that each of the delegates wore were sponsored by Mon Cheri.
An annual favorite, the prestigious Red Carpet Awards highlighted the accomplishments of the National Finalists in a gala-level production. Top finalists in select categories got to compete in the exciting final round before a full ballroom of fans, plus thousands who viewed the live streamed events. Winners in each category received their very own “NAMMY.”
As always, NAM features the largest and most diverse panels of highly trained judges in all of pageantry. A total of 42 respected judges from across the country scored the competitions. Judges represented a wide range of fields, including casting directors, models, actors, corporate leaders, veterans, human resource professionals, philanthropists, stylists, pageantry experts, and more.
Miss USA 2014 and first runner-up at Miss Universe Nia Sanchez, served as head of the judging panel. Another celebrity judge was NAM alumna, Meagan Tandy, who is a featured star on MTV, Fox, Starz, and Lifetime. These qualified and experienced individuals selected the new national representatives based on confidence, poise, elegance, a heart for volunteering, communication skills, and personality.
NAM is a recognized thought-leader among youth organizations, providing innovative and authentically empowering experiences for its participants. That leadership was yet again exemplified through a ground breaking opportunity at this year’s national finals. The Birkman Method, a scientifically developed assessment used by leading corporations, universities, and nonprofits for leadership development, academic direction, and career exploration was hosted for the high school and college age attendees and their parents. Through a special arrangement with NAM, certified consultant Diane Van Zandt presented a seminar experience which informed and inspired attendees and families to a new level of understanding, communication, and empowerment. Each participated in an individual assessment where they not only discovered their own strengths and personality, but also learned how to enrich their relationships with others in all areas of their life.
National American Miss events feature the pinnacle of production and the light, sound, and stage presentations are always consistently concert level and stunning. More than twelve tons of suspended lighting and sound brought three dazzling stages to life as each participant enjoyed numerous magnificent moments in the spotlight and welcomed the experience of a lifetime.
Megan Alexander of Inside Edition hosted lively preshow skybox interviews with NAM alumni and surprise celebrities. As the exciting final shows began, each national finalist felt like a rock star as she was featured with an astounding array of light and sound on the prestigious main stage.
Every moment of this glamorous event helped further NAM’s goal to inspire future leaders and teach real life skills that prepare each participant for a successful future. A key ingredient in that future is giving back. Before arriving at Nationals, each National Finalist donated time throughout the year volunteering in their communities. Many contestants donate hundreds of hours with organizations of their choice, or even start their own nonprofit. NAM celebrates these achievements through prizes, awards, titles, and special scholarships provided by the NAM Alumni Association.
This magical week of events once again created picture perfect moments and memories to last a lifetime. This year’s event proved that NAM’s goals remain as steadfast as ever-to build confidence, to create future leaders, and to bring families together as the uniqueness of each and every NAM girl is celebrated.