Royal International Miss: A Royal Celebration
Orlando, Florida was pageant central as the City Beautiful hosted the exuberant celebration of the 5th Anniversary Royal International Miss Scholarship Pageant. Representatives vying for the crowns traveled from across the country, ready to celebrate in grand style while keeping their eyes on the illustrious crowns of Royal International Miss.
Following registration, pageant week kicked off with each delegate receiving a shirt that could be decorated and worn during the opening Welcome Aboard Royalty of the Seas nautical themed party later that evening. It provided a wonderful team building opportunity and allowed each person to individualize their attire while presenting their own unique personality. In honor of the five year anniversary, a raffle was held with a free cruise in the offering and the chance to accompany the future newly crowned queens of Royal International Miss on the high seas. Amidst a highly energized crowd, the lucky recipient of the cruise was announced as Solei Thomas.
The next morning the journey to the crown commenced with the optional competitions of Royal International Miss, Royal Top Model, Casual Wear, Spokesmodel, Talent, Fitness Wear, and Purple Passion. The Purple Passion charity fashion show event is a fundraiser for Dream Royal, the national non-profit organization under the auspice of Royal International Miss, which supports special needs children. Children from the Special Olympics took the stage with the national delegates in newly donated fashion wear, and in the true spirit of pageantry, over $6,000 was awarded to various delegates, and another $2,000 was donated to the Special Olympics Organization. It was a night of fashion, smiles, and support of a worthy cause. The evening closed out with the annual luau party, replete with hula dancers, who taught the delegates the finer points of the hula, and the Polynesian fire twirlers. It was definitely a “hot” ending to an eventful day.
Still exhilarated by the previous day’s events, the contestants earnestly began the quest for the crown in the required competitions of Personal Introductions and their Personal Interviews. Professionalism was abundant as each representative eloquently stated her personal goals and ambitions and deftly answered the questions posed by the panel of judges.
With introductions and interviews ready for tabulation, the onstage competitions of Fashion Wear and Evening Gown were next on the agenda. As each division of excited delegates took to the stage, the crowd loudly voiced its appreciation. The stage was now set for the Royal International Miss Finals. However, the day would not be complete without another royal celebration… A Royal Masquerade! Complete with a Queen and King greeting each person, everyone enjoyed a dinner, photo opportunities, and the presentation of the Optional Awards. Following the presentation, in recognition of their commitment to the ideals of helping others, over 25 delegates were awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award.
Finals day began with the traditional Secret Sister Breakfast, where the delegates discovered the person they had been exchanging gifts with throughout the week. After receiving words of encouragement and best wishes from their “secret sister,” the Royal International Miss Queens and those vying for the crown prepared for the final show and the crowning of the new Royal International Miss court.
With the crowd murmur beginning to rise, the contestants and dancers took to the stage for the opening number of the Royal International Miss finals. Bathed in purple, the Royal International Miss signature color, the stage came alive with the explosive energy of the production number. As each representative approached center stage for her personal introduction, the roar of the crowd increased. Immediately following the introduction phase of the event, the delegates were resplendent in the glamorous Evening Gown presentation. The top ten in each royal division, who would continue the journey towards the crowns of Royal International Miss, were then announced.
Fun Fashion Wear, following Evening Gown, is just as the name implies… fun! In apparel of their choosing, the top ten took to the stage and runway in high energy routines while expressing their personalities and individual fashion sense. The decision of who would capture the crowns of Royal International Miss, as well as the national Role Models, was now in the hands of the judges. While the scores were tabulated, Pageantry CEO Carl Dunn was welcomed to the stage to present a very special award. In honor of her dedication and years of service to the organization, the Pageantry Spirit Award was presented to Robin Nelms. As if recognition from the Royal International Miss Organization was not enough, the crowd erupted in cheers with the announcement and rose to their collective feet in a standing ovation.
In an extremely emotional tribute, the reigning royalty prepared for their final walks. Backed by a video montage of highlights from throughout their year, each queen tearfully acknowledged the impact her year as Royal International Miss royalty had on her, while emotionally embracing her sister queens at center stage.
With the lights coming alive and the beat of the music rising, Royal International Miss was ready to acknowledge its new recipients of awards and titles. Special Awards took the spotlight, followed by the sought after Role Model titles. In acknowledgment of her leadership and community service, Jessica Brinson received a $3,000 scholarship to attend the Envision Empowerment Conference this year. The tension grew as the Royal International Miss Ambassadors were announced, while the top ten in each division were asked to convene at center stage where they were narrowed to the top five.
Holding hands and anxiously awaiting the announcement, the top five finalists within each division awaited the decisions of the judges. With the proclamation of each finalist and each new queen, the crowd roared its celebratory approval. Ambassador Megan Hunt and Role Model Queens Liliana Scott, Chloe Almond, and Maylin Bannister were named to grand applause. It was now time to welcome the 2016 queens into the Royal International Miss family and the newly formed RIM sisterhood sorority of Delta Sigma Kappa, which will foster leadership, sisterhood, academic achievement, and excellence of its members. The 2016 royalty are: Princess Taylor Randolph, Sweetheart Reese Hollingsworth, Preteen Sky Herbig, Jr. Teen Madison Lichtenwainer, Teen Caityn Stupi, Miss Helen Yousefzadeh, and Ms. Heather Zeka. As the purple hue of the stage lights began to dim and the music faded, the newfound queens of Royal International Miss celebrated in a style befitting a five year anniversary… in true royal style.