Pageantry PodCasts can be viewed by clicking the image or header where you will be redirected to it’s corresponding page. FireFox and Safari internet browsers work best. Click the play button and enjoy the presentation. If you do not see or hear the PodCast, you will need to download the latest version of your preferred media player: Quicktime, Windows Media Player, or Real Player. You can also download our PodCasts for FREE on iTunes. If you cannot view the video in your browser, download the file and play on your favorite media player.
She’s So Savvy: Following her historic night in bring the title of Miss America 2017 back to her home state of Arkansas, Savvy Shields sat down with Pageantry magazine to discuss her winning night and the goals she hopes to achieve as Miss America during her year of service especially those concerning a healthy lifestyle and her support of Children’s Miracle Network.
In Tune With Herself: As America’s newest teen representative and a member of the social media generation, 2017 Miss America`s Outstanding Teen Nicole Jia reflects on her winning pageant experience and her plans for a selfie-less generation.
Youthful Enthusiasm: Not many teenagers can say that their job has them traveling around the country, walking red carpets and runways, and focusing on charitable causes. These experiences are even more magnified when you’re a smalltown girl from Louisiana who hasn’t even begun her junior year of high school! Looking back at her adventurous year, Miss Teen USA 2015 Katherine Haik couldn’t be more excited to see what comes next.
She Is All She Can Be: She Is All She Can Be: Miss USA 2016 Deshauna Barber makes being “Army Strong” look better than ever. Deshauna, a lieutenant and quartermaster in the United States Army Reserve, called in to the offices of Pageantry magazine to discuss her historic win and what it means to the men and women who serve our country. She also reveals how the Army will accommodate her year of service as Miss USA, the secrets to the Miss Universe competition shared to her by her predecessor Olivia Jordan, and what was going through her head before her incredibly emotional win in Las Vegas.
She’s a Good Investment: After traveling across America promoting a fiscally responsible nation, speaking to potential Presidential candidates, and analyzing the benefits of fast food franchising, Allie Nault sat down with Pageantry and offered up financial wisdom beyond her years, while reminiscing about her year as Miss America’s Outstanding Teen 2016.
Reflecting on her Reign: During a year of service traversing the globe, Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell embodied the ideals of the Miss America Scholarship Organization through her charitable work and support of our nation’s troops. As Betty prepares to crown her successor, she graciously relives her exciting year and discusses her next goal of conquering Nashville as a country queen.
Enjoying Every Moment: Miss USA Olivia Jordan speaks with Pageantry about her responsibilities, rewards, authenticity, and outperforming expectations as Miss USA. With only a short time before she passes on the title of Miss USA, Olivia spent some time with us reliving her magical year and her goals to take the entertainment world by storm. While there are still a few items she hopes to accomplish as Miss USA, this Friends fanatic has her focus set on Hollywood success once she relinquishes the crown.
Pia’s Appeal: After what could be considered a stormy introduction to the world, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach is ready to take the world by storm. The Miss Universe Organization has moved forward, Steve Harvey actually received a multi-year contract to host again, and we had the wonderful opportunity to talk with Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurzbach about the crowning, her recent travels, and the goals she hopes to accomplish as she travels the world as an ambassador of the Miss Universe Organization and their many charitable causes.
Don’t Stop the Party: When Gabriela Isler placed the Miss Universe crown on Paulina Vega’s head on January 15, 2015 in Miami, it marked the end of some serious bad luck for Colombia. It had been 56 years since the last time a woman from the nation once declared the Happiest Country in the World had been crowned Miss Universe, but when you listen to Paulina talk about her country’s love of pageantry, you’d think that Miss Colombia wins at Miss Universe every year. But this one was truly special for Paulina and the people of Colombia, so they treated her as the incredibly important hero and role model that she truly is, and she certainly did not disappoint them or anyone with her reign as Miss Universe. Paulina Vega might be ready to crown her successor, but that doesn’t mean that she and her fans need to stop celebrating her success.
Pageantry magazine interviews U.S.A. Ambassador pageant founders Barbara and Kristin Thurston. The U.S.A. Ambassador Pageant is a charity driven organization that promotes success through leadership, integrity, character, and confidence to its pageant contestants. Established in 2010, the pageant was created to promote each contestant’s individual strength and to encourage its queens, contestants, and families to be involved in their communities to serve as ambassadors. To date, the U.S.A. Ambassador Pageant has donated to over 20 different charity organizations across the country and continues to support the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization which serves as their National Charity Beneficiary.
The first annual Miss Arnold Teen Fitness Pageant, to be held in Columbus, Ohio, is designed to promote fit and healthy lifestyles in today’s youth. The Miss Arnold Fitness Pageant is a true Pageant, as opposed to a Fitness Competition, featuring Interview, Evening Gown, and Fitness themed Talents. The winner, crowned by Arnold Schwarzenegger, will become the advocate for raising awareness of the importance of health and fitness in schools and communities nationwide. You read that right, Arnold Schwarzenegger will be in attendance. Pageantry magazine interviews Pageant Director Kylee Miller about the inaugural event and what contestants and spectators can expect from the world class production where $10,000 in cash will be awarded during the finals.
Sweet Fifteen: Katherine Haik is the second Miss Louisiana Teen USA to go on to capture the national crown, but she’s already cemented a legacy for herself by becoming the youngest girl to ever become Miss Teen USA. Age is certainly nothing but a number when it comes to the brilliant, charismatic, and confident young ladies that this organization consistently rewards, so Katherine believes that just because she’s the youngest, it doesn’t mean that she’s not capable of being the best of her kind.
She’s so Money: Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Allie Nault wants to solve the nation’s debt problem, and she’ll start by teaching kids how to save. Allie calls in to Pageantry magazine to discuss her platform, Making Sense: Becoming Financially Responsible, her dream-come-true winning moment when she was crowned Miss America’s Outstanding Teen 2016, and the renewed interest in Baton Twirling her talent performance is generating in the pageant world.
A Star in the Making: Miss USA Olivia Jordan is full of unparalleled ambition, from her desire to help children to becoming the next Meryl Streep. It’s just as much about the social awareness and desire to help as it is about the aspiration to star in Hollywood blockbusters or a sitcom as successful as Friends. We can’t predict where we’ll be ten or even five years from now, but we can sometimes tell when a person will achieve everything she has her heart set on. That’s the kind of feeling we get with Miss USA Olivia Jordan, not just because she has the right windows of opportunity wide open, but also because she’s willing to work as hard as she can to achieve it. And when Olivia does achieve everything that she’s working toward, this world will be a better place for it.
Georgia’s On Our Minds: Only the second Miss Georgia to ever win the title of Miss America, Betty Cantrell is ready to make America’s children happier and healthier. The newly crowned Miss America 2016 speaks to Pageantry magazine about her stunning victory, her goals for her upcoming year of service, the Miss America’s Organization’s special relationship with the Children’s Miracle Network, her Broadway dreams, and more.
[Photo by Matt Boyd Photography]
The First of Her Kind: Kira Kazantsev’s family has truly lived the American Dream, culminating with this first generation American’s very productive reign as Miss America. The third consecutive Miss New York to win the title of Miss America, Kira has spent her year promoting the Children’s Miracle Network and touring the world with the USO to support the troops, but she has always made sure to raise awareness for her own platform, “Vow To End It,” her campaign to end domestic violence.
Nothing She Can’t Handle: It can be scary for a teen to move to New York City and travel the world, but a girl like Miss Teen USA K. Lee Graham makes it look way too easy. With her year coming to an end, K. Lee has the opportunity to look ahead and ask herself, “What’s next?” Her answer? Eventually college, but like most of the Miss Teen USA winners before her, she can’t wait to hit the beach in the Bahamas and relax for once. Hearing her describe everything that she’s accomplished since August 2, 2014, she’s definitely earned a little vacation.
Living Her Dream: Olivia McMillan never thought she’d wear the crown of Miss America’s Outstanding Teen, but her incredible self-confidence and maturity have made her reign one-to-remember. At the age of 17, Olivia has already accomplished so much more than anyone, regardless of age, and everything that she has set up for her future is downright amazing. And although all MAOTeen winners are offered unbelievable scholarship opportunities, Olivia will be going in another direction, as she has received the prestigious Kovner Fellowship to attend The Juilliard School of Music.
Who Needs Sleep?: The first ever Miss Nevada USA to wear the crown of Miss USA, Nia Sanchez has embraced every last second of her whirlwind year of unparalleled royalty. Like her predecessors, Nia has spent her time as Miss USA on a nonstop tour of everything from local and national media outlets to other countries. But unlike many of the fabulous women who came before her, Nia almost completed the ultimate challenge when she fell just short of the 2015 Miss Universe title, becoming the ninth American woman to be named first runner-up, but that’s hardly a bad thing. Nia has already accomplished so much in her year as Miss USA, so it’s hard for her to be upset about anything.
Gretchen Gets Real: Pageantry CEO Carl Dunn interviews Gretchen Carlson about her new book, “Getting Real.” The Fox News host tells her personal story of overcoming stereotypes and stigmas associated with her 1989 Miss America title, but also how the crown helped her become the respected television journalist and personality that she is today. Through hard work and incredible determination, Gretchen has managed to find a balance between the family and career that she has always wanted. And now she’s sharing the secrets of her spectacular success.
Colombia’s Carnival: South Florida was the perfect setting for the lights and passion of the Miss Universe pageant, and no one represented the energy more than Colombia’s Paulina Vega. As the first Miss Colombia to win the Miss Universe pageant in 57 years, and only the 2nd Miss Colombia to win in the storied pageant’s history, Paulina promises her reign will be entertaining and unpredictable and that she will do her best to shatter any negative preconceived notions people may have about pageant queens.
Pageantry CEO Carl Dunn interviews Swati Thakkar of Envious Couture by Karishma Creations. Based outside Houston, Texas, Karishma Creations was established in July, 2008, as an affordable wholesale, formal, prom and pageant gown company whose founders have over 60 years of combined experience. Karishma Creations also offers Sweetie’s Shoe Collection as a national wholesaler of moderately priced formal, prom and pageant shoes.
The Pride of Every Nation: As her reign as Miss Universe comes to an end, Venezuela’s Gabriela Isler is taking things one day at a time. But even when that glorious crown is passed to the next incredible young woman [possibly the woman that she already crowned as her successor in Venezuela] Gabriela won’t be giving up the power and responsibility that came with it in the first place. In her exclusive interview with Pageantry magazine, Gabriela reflects on the impact that she has had—and will continue to make—on the entire world.
Teen Titan: Like the superheroes she emulated in the 2015 Miss America’s Outstanding Teen pageant, Olivia McMillan uses her crowning to empower other young women. Olivia talks with Pageantry about the challenges and obstacles she’s overcome on her journey to capture the crown. She speaks about her status as a role-model, and the unique responsibility and opportunities the title has awarded her.
Living Proof: Miss Teen USA K. Lee Graham proves that the crown represents character and takes her message on the road through her Live Beautifully platform. In her exclusive interview with Pageantry magazine, K. Lee talks about her astounding crowning moment, the incredible sponsors and perks that come with the title of Miss Teen USA, her purpose in pageantry, her time in New York, her personal relationships and more.
The Miss America Dream: A first generation American, Kira Kazantsev set her sights on her American Dream of capturing the title of Miss America. As the Boardwalk Hall audience burst into applause, history was indeed made as Kira Kazantsev, overcome with emotion at center-stage, accepted the title of Miss America 2015 along with the winning $50,000 scholarship on behalf of her state of New York for the third consecutive year. With an unprecedented three-peat of a state capturing the Miss America crown, the Miss America Organization, her supporters and partners, ABC, Atlantic City, and its live and telecast audience all won on that night in September. Kira speaks with Pageantry about the social media vitriol she received, the attacks on the Miss America Organization by cable talk show hosts, the incredible opportunities the Miss America Organzation has afforded her, her travels, her plans as Miss America, and so much more!
A Song in Her Heart: Leah Sykes sees the end of her reign as Miss America’s Outstanding Teen as a blessing, for the girl that she’ll soon crown and in taking the next step toward her own
musical stardom. Leah’s singing career is just starting to take off as her time as MAOTeen comes to an end, and taking classes in the same city where so many of the music industry’s biggest stars have recorded their best hits is simply going to inspire her like never before.
The Leader of the Pack: Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf is preparing for her next step, following her amazing title year in New York City after the serious privacy violation she conquered
before beginning her reign. In fact, while such a case might have lingered over her entire year as Miss Teen USA, Cassidy simply brushed her shoulders off and proceeded to make the significant impact that few young women before her have been able to generate. What lies beyond that ultimately remains up to her. Whatever she decides to do, there’s no doubt in the world that she will be able to handle it.
Head of the Class: As Miss America, Nina Davuluri has been a shining example of so much that the organization has to offer, including being set to return to school with her incredible scholarship earnings. But that’s only one bragging right that this wonderful Miss America lays claim to, even if she’s hesitant to talk about
herself and more likely to sing the praises of the other incredible people she has met during her year at the top. Nina’s year as Miss America may be coming to end, but her legacy is only going to get stronger.
This is How She Rolls: The Miss USA pageant may
have moved to Baton Rouge
this year, but Nevada still found
a way to capture the spotlight
thanks to Nia Sanchez. The first Miss Nevada USA to win the Miss USA title discusses her her martial arts background and 4th degree black belt in Taekwondo as well as her time as a nanny and Disney character while living abroad.
More Than Meets the Eye: Erin Brady went big at the Miss Universe pageant by invoking the pop cultural awesomeness of the Transformers, and she’s only just started wowing the world. Erin’s year has been an exciting and fast-paced one, as we always expect from the prestigious Miss USA titleholders, but as her year winds down and she prepares to be the first Miss USA to ever crown her successor in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, instead of Las Vegas, she’s not yet asking herself, “What’s next?” as much as she’s asking, “What’s left?” because she’s not done making her own dreams come true.
Something in the Water: Gabriela Isler is the seventh woman from Venezuela to wear the crown of
Miss Universe, and just like all of them before her, she’s going to use her crown to foster change and spread awareness. Hailing from the state of Guárico, Gabriela has sought a career in modeling since she was a teenager, although she’s the first to admit that her peers may have never seen it coming. But so often is the story in fairy tales and books, Isler shed her so-called “nerd” demeanor and soon rose to fame as not only one of the most beautiful and influential women in her country, but the entire world as well. Like most of the spectacular women before her, Gabriela is just trying to both enjoy and make the best of her title reign that began on that fateful and incredible day in Moscow.
The Home State Hero: Florida’s Leah Sykes emerged from a field of 52 state delegates to be crowned Miss America’s Outstanding Teen in front of a vivacious Sunshine State audience. The 2014 MAOTeen competition was perhaps the most incredible and exciting yet, as the “American Idol Experience” theme had the state delegates giving it their all in front of a massive audience filled with their friends, families and fans. Fresh off of her stunning victory, Leah was happy to share her excitement and enthusiasm of not only her crowning, but also her coming year as Miss America’s Outstanding Teen.
Culture Shock: Cassidy Wolf gave up the laid back California teenage lifestyle for the hustle and bustle of New York City’s red carpets and Fashion Week, and her star has only just begun to rise. But while Cassidy’s new title and crown have made her a shining example for young women across the U.S. in leadership, service and for generally just being a celebrity, she also became a role model in another sense before she’d even step foot in the Atlantis Resort & Casino in the Bahamas for that spectacular crowning event. Cassidy found herself the target of a far worse breed of bully and stalker, when she was the subject of an attempted blackmail and extortion.
Homecoming Queens: “Who says you can’t go home? There’s only one place they call me one of their own; These are my streets, the only life I’ve ever known, who says you can’t go home.” How apropos these truthful words from New Jersey’s favorite son, Jon Bon Jovi seem in retrospect. In a crowning moment of kismet, Atlantic City, New Jersey, welcomed her favorite daughter home, The Miss America Pageant. Who says you can’t go home? Certainly not Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri.
Logan’s Run: When Logan West was in the seventh grade, she made a decision that would essentially define her young life, as she created her very own anti-bullying initiative. But it wasn’t just some random cause for the Connecticut native, as she had been bullied for a good part of that year by one of her classmates, who took issue with the color of Logan’s skin. With her run as Miss Teen USA coming to an end, Connecticut’s Logan West is still focused on taking down bullies in America’s schools one state at a time.
Rising Temperatures: The viewing audience, along with the zealous live audience in attendance, agreed the hot, dry, desert wind of Las Vegas in June was no match for the 51 beauties from around the United States competing for the title of Miss USA 2013. The 62nd Annual Miss USA Pageant brought its unparalleled heat to the Las Vegas Strip, as Connecticut’s radiant Erin Brady took home the ultimate honor. Hear all about Erin’s epic odyssey to her crowning moment in her own words.
Setting the Stage: Through his Stage Success program, veteran actor Michael Schreiber is fulfilling a much more important dream in using his life’s experiences to educate talented young actors. Michael takes us on a journey of discovering his own love for acting to sharing his passion with young people from coast-to-coast and from all walks of life. If he looks familiar, you may have seen him and his fellow boy band mates performing their positive message at a school near you.
Next in Line: As she watched Olivia Culpo’s crowning moment as Miss Universe, Nana Meriwether realized that it was her time to step up and shine as the next Miss USA. Six months earlier, in front of a live audience of thousands
and with a TV viewership of millions, Nana’s name was called as the first runner-up at the 2012 Miss USA Pageant in Las Vegas. And as she watched Olivia’s joyous and tearful reaction, Nana suddenly realized that she was now Miss USA. With a shortened reign ahead of her, Nana knows that she’s going to need to make her efforts count.
Change of Plans: Just a week shy of Christmas, Olivia Culpo had barely tapped into her potential as Miss USA before receiving the present of a lifetime when she was elevated to a global icon as the 62nd Miss Universe winner. At just 20-years old, Olivia’s quickly been thrust from the spotlight of Miss USA fame to the position of global ambassador for women of all ages in all walks of life, throughout every country. And while she’ll only be able to travel to some of those countries, Olivia isn’t taking a single minute for granted. We were thankful to share a few of those minutes with her and look ahead at her year as Miss Universe.
The Last Vegas: With the announcement that Miss New York, Mallory Hagan, had beaten the odds and won the title of Miss America 2013, the Miss America Organization turned the lights out on a great run in Las Vegas. After record breaking ratings, the world’s largest scholarship program heads back to where it all began—Atlantic City.
Stepping Out into the World: As only the second Miss America ever to hail from the state of Wisconsin, Laura Kaeppeler never left her hometown until her year of service took her on a whirlwind tour. Laura stunned the crowd last January with her willingness to openly discuss her family’s past and her father’s time in prison, but it was simply evidence of what a spectacular and strong individual she had grown to be in the face of adversity.
Bobbie’s World: From her Miss Georgia crown to her recent Emmy award, Bobbie Eakes has proven that hard work and determination can pay off for a girl from a small Georgia town in a huge way. The youngest of five sisters, Bobbie is a story of true inspiration, the classic tale of a young girl who wanted to conquer the world and set out to do just that. She’s broken down the doors of almost every genre in the entertainment industry, as she has starred on stage, the big screen, as a musician, and on legendary soap’s The Bold and the Beautiful and All My Children. And while she’s willing to reflect on some of the greatest moments of her amazing career, Bobbie’s greatest success stories are yet to come.
Coming out of her shell: Logan West is the first girl from Connecticut to win the title of Miss Teen USA, and she’s going to use it to fulfill her ultimate dreams. Striking a blow against bullies everywhere, Logan has made bullying a centerpiece of her charitable platform, revealing that she had been a victim of bullying in middle school. She created her own anti-bullying initiative, Bully Proof, a five-step program that aims to empower student leaders to help prevent bullying.
A Dance to Remember: Rachel Wyatt left her small town to follow big dreams, and it paid off with her becoming Miss America’s Outstanding Teen 2013. With an earth shaking eruption from an elated audience, Miss South Carolina’s Outstanding Teen 2012 Rachel Wyatt was named Miss America’s Outstanding Teen 2013 and winner of a $25,000 scholarship. We had the pleasure of interviewing Rachel only weeks after her life changing transformation.
Performance of a Lifetime: More than 100 million people were introduced to Miss America’s Outstanding Teen this year, and as Elizabeth Fechtel awaits the day that she will pass on her title to another amazing young lady, she has only just begun to reflect on the many lives that she has touched over the past year. Between her visits to Children’s Miracle Network hospitals and the many other appearances she has made across the country, it hasn’t truly hit her yet, but perhaps as she continues her ambitious desire to help teenagers around the world realize their ability, she’ll realize that she has been one amazing role model.
Going Home Again: As her year as Miss Teen USA comes to an end, Danielle Doty is heading back to Texas for college, but the sky is the limit for her future beyond the title. Danielle made the most of every minute of her year as Miss Teen USA, from visiting American Armed Forces in Germany, to sharing the special message that we all go through awkward phases when we’re young with so many young girls who look up to her. Not a moment was wasted by Danielle, as she accomplished the dream of millions as Miss Teen USA.
The Rhode to Victory: In front of a capacity crowd and her dazzling Miss USA peers, Olivia Culpo became the first ever titleholder from Rhode Island. Pageantry magazine CEO, Carl Dunn, speaks with Miss USA 2012 Olivia Culpo, to relive her crowning moment and discuss her future plans as she embarks on her journey in representing the USA.
Recipe for Success: Ready to take on the world, Alyssa Campanella has paved a career path that could allow her to become an entertainment superstar. Alyssa’s DNA prepared her for a life in the entertainment and glamour industries from an early age, as she had taken up acting at just 6-years old. Just 16 years later, she’s now one of the most recognizable names and faces in the world, not only for her Miss USA title, but also because she’s been turning heads on the runways for a few years now. So what’s next for this ambitious 22-year old Dutch-Italian star?
Anything she wants is possible.
Whisked Away: After an evening of record-setting ratings and the exceptional standard of elegance, Laura Kaeppeler became only the second Miss America from the great state of Wisconsin. Laura’s triumphant walk across the stage was just the beginning of a journey that will take her to every corner of the country during her year of service as Miss America 2012. She discusses her upcoming 20,000 miles of travel each month speaking to audiences about her platform Circles of Support – Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents and her responsibilities acting as the official National Goodwill Ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
SCANNING THE HORIZON: After a year of unparalleled service and philanthropic efforts, Miss America Teresa Scanlan is ready to hand off her title and embrace the path before her. One might think that the reason no 17-year old had won the Miss America crown in 73 years was because all of the new fame, celebrity and daily responsibilities that come with the reign are too much for a teenager to handle. But Teresa simply laughs at that notion. Not only could she handle everything that came with her new title, but like the many women crowned before her, she took the title and fame to a new level, reaching out to not only the people who admire and aspire to gain her level of ability and grace, but also to the millions of people with eating disorders, who she strives to protect and enable every day through her personal platform.
AN EYE FOR TALENT: Fadil… one name that invokes images of celebrity, grace, and beauty. Fadil Berisha has already carved out quite the reputation for himself in the fashion industry. Having moved to the U.S. at a young age, Fadil learned about beauty and style right away, working random jobs in small stores and boutiques in New York City. A few decades later, he already has one of the most incredible portfolios most of us will ever see, as he’s photographed superstars like Halle Berry and global icons like Bill Clinton. It was only fitting that he took some time recently to tell us how it all began for him and his camera, seeing as so many of Pageantry’s covers and pages are filled by his incredible work.
THE TOAST OF TEXAS: Danielle Doty traded in her small town origins for a Big Apple life when she was crowned the newest Miss Teen USA in front of a wild audience and 51 of her peers at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. Of course with that comes a huge, spectacular life change that begins with a move to New York City. Hailing from a small town in Texas, that’s easier said than done for Danielle. Luckily, those famous friends are Miss Universe Leila Lopes and Miss USA Alyssa Campanella, who were more than willing to welcome their new sister and show her the ropes.
TO SERVE AND PROJECT: Elizabeth Fechtel borrowed a page from her sister by competing for Miss America’s Outstanding Teen before re-writing the book on winning. Elizabeth has started her senior year at First Academy – Leesburg. She is a busy young lady serving as the President of her student body, the Treasurer of the Debate Club, and Editor of the yearbook in addition to her duties as Miss America’s Outstanding Teen 2012. Fortunately, she found some time to talk about her expectations for the coming year.
ANGOLA’S NEW JEWEL: The Universe is a very large and encompassing concept. The Miss Universe Pageant is no exception. From the largest city in South America and the fourth largest city in the world, São Paulo, Brazil, a record setting 89 of the most beautiful and universe conscious Miss Universe delegates from the four corners of our humble globe, an estimated worldwide audience of 1 billion people, the Miss Universe 2011 Pageant presented a distinctly Latin flavored production during its 60th Anniversary crowning. Leila Lopes, Miss Angola, would forever be known as Leila Lopes, Miss Universe 2011 becoming the first woman from her African nation to capture the crown of Miss Universe.
PRIDE OF A NATION: As only the second woman from Mexico to wear the crown of Miss Universe, Ximena Navarrete has established herself as a global icon. Ximena’s path to stardom was paved just 7 years ago in her hometown of Guadalajara, when she began her career as a model. In 2009, after studying nutrition in college, Ximena turned her attention to the pageant world. On the advice of a friend—Karla Carillo—Ximena participated in the Nuestra Belleza México competition against 33 other women. Magic struck for Ximena as Karla crowned her that night, and the rest is Miss Mexico… correct that—Miss Universe history. As her title reign comes to a close, Ximena is already looking ahead at a long, successful career in television, modeling and possibly even personal branding.
To Serve and Inflect: As a child, Lacey Russ had a very simple, yet important dream—she wanted to be her high school’s valedictorian. While most kids aspire for stardom, Lacey simply wanted to make sure that she was the best person and influence to her peers that she could possibly be. In the past year, though, she managed to go above and beyond even her own expectations. Of course Lacey accomplished her childhood goal as she was indeed her class’ valedictorian at her recent graduation. Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Lacey Russ may come from a small town in Oklahoma, but she was more than prepared to inspire an entire nation during her reign.
Staying the Course: For 17-year old Kamie Crawford, it all came down to a decision—should she or shouldn’t she? Opting with the former choice, Kamie took a friend’s advice and decided to compete in the 2010 Miss Maryland Teen USA Pageant. On that advice, Kamie trained for 5 months and wouldn’t you know it—she won. First time’s the charm. From there she went on to compete for the Miss Teen USA title, something that she probably figured would be a much tougher feat. But just over a year later, 18-year old Kamie has been living a dream, having won both her state title and the national crown in what most girls would call a Cinderella story. Kamie never imagined that she’d even be involved with the pageant circuit, but it took just one shot to create an entirely new dream for herself and to make it come true. Kamie Crawford’s year as Miss Teen USA has come to a close, but that’s not stopping her from working to change the world one day at a time.
Heart of the Story: With unparalleled confidence, Miss USA Rima Fakih proved that she is above labels and is truly one-of-a-kind. Gifted with her own sense of determination and strong will, and not to mention the supportive force that is the Miss Universe Organization, Rima dodged the nonsense and gripped her fate by embracing the causes that Miss USA has become synonymous with and showed the entire world that this Miss USA is more than just a headline. She’s the top story.
Pride of the Plains: Nebraska’s Teresa Scanlan might have captured the crown at only 17 but she’s already the pride of her state and years ahead of her peers as Miss America 2011. As the nation welcomed her newest Miss America, the youngest Miss America in decades, and first from the state of Nebraska, Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan joined a sisterhood that has been celebrated for 90 years. With Miss America’s return to the ABC network with an estimated 7 million plus viewers by night’s end—an increase of approximately 50 percent—America responded in droves following a six-year absence of the pageant on live network television.
Once Upon A Time… With her reign as Miss America coming to an end, Caressa Cameron is proving that her fairy tale rise to the 2010 crown is simply the start of something greater. As the Miss America Organization prepares to celebrate its 90th anniversary in a glorious return to network television on ABC, Caressa is readying herself for the major role that she will play in this historic occasion. While her term as Miss America and her year of endless travel, promotion and goodwill are coming to a triumphant end, Caressa will of course soon crown her successor on stage in Las Vegas in front of perhaps the largest audience in the event’s history. But first she’s looking back at the gigantic shoes she is leaving behind, and she’s hardly saying, “The end.”
ONE FOR THE BOOKS: She may not have been the first Miss Venezuela to win, but Miss Universe Stefania Fernandez has established a legacy to ensure she won’t be the last. When Stefania was crowned Miss Universe last summer, she earned her place among the Guinness greats because she was the first-ever Miss Universe to be crowned by a fellow countrywoman. But global fame is hardly Stefania’s priority. She’s embraced the duties of Miss Universe strongly this past year, so much that she’s dedicated to remaining on a campaign to educate people in every country about the realities of HIV. For now, though, she’s going to rest up before she waits to see if she sets another record by crowning another Miss Venezuela.
THE COMPETITIVE TOUCH: Inside Edition’s Megan Alexander shares how a background in pageantry helped prepare her in creating a strong career in broadcast journalism and entertainment. An entertainer from the start, Megan and her mother decided to give pageants a shot when she was 12-years old by entering the American Coed Pageant, then run by Steve and Kathleen Mayes of current National American Miss recognition. Through a lifetime of devotion to the performing arts, student councils, speech and debate classes and teams, and a variety of important charitable associations, Megan paid her dues on the way to becoming a broadcast journalist with Inside Edition, the longest-running newsmagazine show in television history. Megan shared with Pageantry magazine what it took for her to break into the entertainment industry and become a successful broadcast journalist, while also holding onto her roots and core beliefs in the strength of the pageant and competition systems.
HAIL TO THE CHIEF: Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Jeanette Morelan is leaving behind a year of dedicated service and philanthropic passion to embark on her path for glory. Growing up, kids often have the wildest ambitions. Whether wealthy athlete or brain surgeon or the first astronaut to land on Mars, the creative minds of children introduce wild ideas that ultimately don’t pan out as they develop into teenagers because they eventually find something else to occupy their ambitions. However, when Jeanette Morelan decided as a young girl that she wanted to be the President of the United States, she locked out any distractions because she absolutely wants to be the President. And as her time winds down as the 2010 Miss America’s Outstanding Teen, Jeanette’s path is laid out before her thanks to a strong support system, plentiful MAOT scholarships, and a bevy of new friends she’s made this past year—all of them hopefully registered voters in 2039.
READY TO REIGN: Former Miss Michigan Rima Fakih became the 2010 Miss USA and is ready to defy the stereotypes in her crowning year. Born in Lebanon and raised in New York, her family moved to Dearborn, Michigan in 2003. She graduated from Henry Ford Community College and went on to earn degrees in economics and business management from the University of Michigan–Dearborn. Rima has made history as the first Arab-American to win the prestigious Miss USA title. What’s next for Miss USA? Listen to the interview as she becomes settled into her New York apartment and prepares to return to the scene of her triumph in Las Vegas for the Miss Universe pageant.
TAKING IT BY STORM: Miss Teen USA 2009 Stormi Bree Henley may have crowned her successor, but she’s already intent on establishing herself as a country music icon. After crowning her successor at the Paradise Island Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas, she’ll find herself in an entirely new situation. For the first time in a year, she’ll be back on her own without the responsibilities and privileges that her year as Miss Teen USA have awarded her. She’s determined to become a successful country music singer, and with her roots in Tennessee, talent, passion, and the dedication she’s shown for her platforms and crown, we’ve got a good feeling she may be gracing the big stage before she even knows it.
Bridal Elegance is Illinois’ largest bridal and prom store with locations in Ottawa and Bloomington. Their stores feature over 40,000 square feet of showroom space to suit any style or need. Come and enjoy the fun, friendly atmosphere at Bridal Elegance. Open 7 days a week, Bridal Elegance understands the importance of your special occasion, and want to help you look and feel your best. With their selection of thousands of dresses, you will be sure to find the PERFECT gown that fits your budget. And don’t forget about the shoes, jewelry and accessories, Bridal Elegance offers a large selection of great brands like Dyeables, Coloriffics, Touch Ups, Nine West, Art Effects and more. They even carry jewelry from Jim Ball, Carley, Marielle, Victoria Lee, Swarovski, Crystal and accessories by Jamie Lynn, Beverly Clark, Wedding Supplies Direct and more. Whatever your taste or style, Bridal Elegance has what you’re looking for, and more! Call and make an appointment today, and you’ll be glad you did.
Henri’s Cloud Nine is a locally owned and operated full service salon, specializing in bridal and social occasion. Henri’s Cloud Nine is dedicated to its customers by providing a comfortable shopping environment where service, value, and quality meets their customers’ every need. The staff at Henri’s will help with every step along the way to make your social occasion planning as easy as possible. Henri’s staff will always do what is right for the customer, such as, educating about the fabrics and designers. This is why Henri’s has been in business for over 50 wonderful years.
In the latest episode of our industry leading audio releases, it’s Pageantry’s PodCast featuring Paula Shugart, President of the Miss Universe Organization. Listen in as she discusses the triple crowns of Miss Teen USA, Miss USA, and Miss Universe. As head of an international company that advances and supports today’s women, Ms. Shugart oversees a global operation with offices in New York and in Los Angeles and with representatives worldwide, staffed by experts in fields ranging from marketing and TV production to licensing and travel. Pageantry is honored to bring you this timely and in-depth interview.
Taking Her Bow: Kristen Dalton is the epitome of Tar Heel royalty. Her mother was Miss North Carolina USA in 1982 and her sister Julie was Miss North Carolina Teen USA 2008 and was ever so close to the Miss Teen USA title that year, finishing as the second runner-up. But it’s Kristen who has the regal clout in the family, having spent the past year enjoying her reign as Miss USA 2009. And enjoying may be an understatement.
Quick to admit that the trio of Miss Universe Organization titleholders living in their fabled New York apartment might be a bit spoiled, Kristen’s hitting the home stretch of her whirlwind term as Miss USA. Grateful for the experiences she’s had and the doors her title has opened for her, Kristen is excited for what lies ahead as she prepares to crown her successor.
Caressa’s Conquest: Miss America has always been about tradition. Tradition in introducing the nation to some of the most beautiful and intelligent young women from throughout the country. Tradition in operating the largest scholarship program in the world to help our nation’s young women pursue their dreams of a higher education and for many of them, graduate debt free. But also with tradition comes change. Following her triumphant accomplishment in Las Vegas, Pageantry caught up with the newest Miss America, Caressa Cameron, and relived not only her crowning achievement, but also her goals for her upcoming year of service as Miss America.
Growing Confidence: Pageantry interviews Steve Mayes, the national director of NAM. National American Miss has created a revolution in the pageant industry. How did they do it? In a relatively short time, NAM has experienced tremendous growth. This program goes beyond performance, beyond awards, and beyond one winner. It is innovatively designed to build life skills and grow confidence in each and every participant.
NAM is perhaps best known nationwide as a recognized leader of the natural “no makeup” movement in pageantry for younger participants. Through an age-appropriate focus for all age levels, a concert-level stage and light production, and top notch judging, National American Miss has set new standards and inspiration for all of pageantry. The noticeably different feel of a NAM event, the documented improvement that the participants have had at school; everything says that this is something new, and could be the new face of pageantry as we know it.
Keep Dreaming: Katie Stam’s time as Miss America is coming to an end, but the dream she once had as a three-year old is fueling her to inspire the dreams of many others.
Less than a year ago, Katie Stam was a 22-year old student at the University of Indianapolis trying to fulfill a dream she carried since she was a three-year old girl tending to dairy cattle on her family’s farm. On January 24, 2009, Katie’s dream came true and she became a household name as she was crowned Miss America in front of a massive television audience with the backdrop of the Las Vegas lights.
Climbing to the Top: How her roots in the Miss Rhode Island USA system helped Claudia Jordan establish a never-ending road to success in entertainment.
It’s fitting that Claudia Jordan’s background features work on two of the most popular game shows in television history. Her entire life and career has played out like a girl’s dream prize package, jam-packed with success, TV and radio fame, and her very own spot on the greatest international stage. With her own universe rapidly expanding, Claudia explains the secret to her success, and offers up a glimpse of her blueprints to building a lasting foundation in the entertainment industry.