Monday, January 17, 2011

The Dream of a Million Girls...

Saturday night in Las Vegas the Miss America Organization celebrated its 90th anniversary in grand style by crowning a new Miss America, 17-year-old Teresa Scanlan, Miss Nebraska. Teresa, who played White Water Chopsticks on the piano, won a talent preliminary competition on Thursday evening.

I've written previously about my experience with, and interest in, the Miss America Pageant. In fact, when I judged a local pageant in Omaha last October, I had the opportunity to meet Teresa and spend 1-1/2 days getting to know her a bit. I remember that my fellow judges and I were absolutely wowed by her intellect and poise, especially at 17 years old!

I am proud of the contestants I know—Lindsay Staniszewski, Miss Maryland; Caitlin Uze, Miss Virginia; Kayla Martell, Miss Delaware and Lauren Werhan, Miss Kansas. Caitlin and Kayla both made the top 10 during Saturday night's pageant, but all four did themselves and their supporters proud with how well they did during the preliminary competitions. It's a pleasure to know them!

So, congratulations, Teresa, and best wishes for an absolutely amazing year ahead. And for those of you who wonder how a 17-year-old might get crowned Miss America, here's her post-crowning press conference. She starts answering questions around the 18-minute mark, and you'll see what I meant about being wowed!

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