Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Miss America 2012

Wow!! What a week (err…few days)!?! I’m just going to jump right in and say 

CONGRATULATIONS to Kaitlin Monte, Miss New York, 
2nd Runner Up to Miss America 2012! 

I arrived in Vegas on Thursday in time to visit with tons of friends and finally see the Miss New York board again—it had been too long.  I loved walking through the casino, spotting contestants going to rehearsal, seeing people from so many different states who have been such supportive friends of both the organization, and me and of course, turning the corner and seeing MY Miss America girls. 

I had quite a few nostalgic moments, but perhaps none that compared to arriving to the Planet Hollywood, having just missed the girls in rehearsal, to find the PH theatre empty, black, but with the Miss America stage lit up. I was the only one in the auditorium and it.was.awesome. Then my stomach turned to knots.

Thursday prelims, with amazing seats with Paul and Kenny on either side was a blast and to top it off, Kaitlin won swimsuit!! So incredibly exciting!  I got to see Teresa after the show and she really looked great.  Hearing her speak on stage, and afterwards in person, I was so happy to recognize her growth throughout the year. She really did make our class proud.

Friday, we lazed around all day in our awesomely ridiculous Miss A 2011 suite with Miss CA Arianna Afsar, VA Katie Uze, NV Cris Crotz and AZ Katy Bulkley with visits from OK Emoly West and WI Kim Sawyer. We had so much fun at our formers dinner, sponsored by TMG Pageant Network, where 13 of us had a fantastic dinner at LAVO in the Palazzo (the only time I left Planet Hollywood haha). Afterwards, we went to a reception for Teresa where we developed our inside “cupcake” joke that Teresa was able to carry out on stage on the live broadcast as her cued shout out to our class J Then it was back to the suite for all sorts of fun with our class, boyfriends and fiancés and friends!

Saturday, we had another reunion lunch (we’re obsessed with each other), and then headed off to the show. It all felt normal until we walked backstage through the hotel in the same hallway I stood in after the pageant last year, awaiting the announcement of our class into visitation. Cue chills. Throughout the show, I was so proud to cheer on so many friends, old and new, and in sitting with VA, CA, AZ from last year, all of our girls made it in Top 15 and 3 of our girls into the Top 5!

Kaitlin did a fantastic job throughout the entire show, and overall, the Top 15 was just so incredibly solid with one of the most beautiful Top 5s I have ever seen.  I got a cute text from my sister saying “Team Betty” referring to the 1st RU Miss Oklahoma, whose Irish Step Dancing talent brought the house to their feet.  Kaitlin was so great after the show in visitation, coming away with $21,000 in scholarships, and with the right attitude of excitement to return to New York and continue the amazing work she has done.  As much as we would have LOVED for her to win Miss America, we sure are lucky to keep her in New York! 

Miss America 2012, Laura Kaeppler, from Wisconsin is a stunning beauty and talented singer with a motivating story and platform that will tie in so well with Miss America’s strong initiatives of emphasizing education. According to Cris Crotz, Miss NV 2011 who was in the press conference, “She’s just COOOL,” and Kim Sawyer, Miss WI 2011 (to whom Laura was 2nd RU last year) vouches that Laura is going to be an amazing Miss America, with a great head on her shoulders and humility to keep it all in perspective.  Huge congratulations to Laura, Wisconsin, and the Miss America Organization!!

Some of the results:
Miss DC Ashley Boalch – Non-Finalist Interview
Miss HI Lauren Cheape – Prelim Talent, NF Talent, Quality of Life Finalist
Miss KY Ann-Blair Thornton – Quality of Life Winner
Miss NE Kayla Batt – NF Talent, Miss Congeniality
Miss OH Ellen Bryan – Quality of Life Finalist, raised over $35,000 for CMN
Miss UT Danica Olsen – Prelim Swimsuit
Miss WA Brittany Henry – NF Talent

Top 15
Miss AL Courtney Porter
Miss NC Hailey Best – CMN Miracle Maker (raised over $40,000)
Miss VA Elizabeth Crot

Top 12
Miss FL Christina Janolo
Miss SC Bree Boyce

Top 10
Miss IA Jessica Pray
Miss IL Hannah Smith
Miss LA Hope Anderson
Miss TN Erin Hartley
Miss TX Kendall Morris – Prelim Swimsuit

Top 5
Miss CA Noelle Freeman - 4th Runner Up
Miss AZ Jennifer Feldman – 3rd Runner Up
Miss NY Kaitlin Monte – 2nd Runner Up, Prelim Swimsuit, Quality of Life Finalist
Miss OK Betty Thompson – 1st Runner Up, Prelim Talent
Miss WI Laura Kaeppler – Miss America 2012, Prelim Talent

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