1. Glow sticks are the new face paddles. Hundreds came to see a record number of contestants compete for the title of Miss Massachusetts’s Outstanding Teen 2012 in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The contestants rocked denim jeans and sparkly tops for a not-your-average opening number introduction to Lady Gaga’s Edge of Glory for the judges and audience. Dancing in 4 inch stilettos is one thing, but dancing in the dark with flashlights in hand is a whole ‘nother ball game! The audience showed support for their favorite teens by waving glow sticks in the dimly lit auditorium; what a unique idea.
2. Talent is the most heavily weighted portion of the Outstanding Teen competition at 35% of a contestant’s overall score. After my interviews with Molly Whalen, Miss Massachusetts 2011 and Sydney Levin-Epstein, Miss Massachusetts’s Outstanding Teen 2011 I had a rare opportunity to speak with one of the judges. When asked what he was looking for in the next titleholder he responded, “I’m looking for someone that’s well rounded. The girls are all very confident…it’s going to come down to the talent.” The newly crowned MissMassachusetts’s Outstanding Teen 2012 Amy deSilva sang the Beatles classic “Let it Be,” dedicated to her grandmother. She wore a bright, printed one shoulder mini dress, a nod to 70’s style but still modern and appropriate for a teen competition. Other talent presentations included country inspired jazz routines, soft shoe Irish step dancing and classical piano.
3. It pays to be SMART. The contestants themselves determined what questions would be asked of their fellow competitors on stage. Issues included time management, role models and the impact of social media, celebrity and rap music on our society. The hottest topic of the evening? Bullying. Winner Amy deSilva talked about her SMART plan for dealing with the issue at her school: Seek help, Make a plan, Assert yourself, Report bullying and Talk about bullying.
4. Anything can happen at a live show. Amidst an entertaining talent competition, a contestant’s cd began to skip before it cut out entirely. Testing your music before pageant weekend is critical and having a back up copy just in case is a must! But if you find yourself in a similar predicament know that there is no shame in walking off. This courageous young woman took a moment to regain her composure, returned to the stage and didn’t skip a beat during her lyrical dance performance to Leona Lewis’ Happy.Bravo!
5. Spring is in the air. Although blue and purple were popular evening gown color choices, the ones that caught my eye were printed, floral and shades of pink. 4RU Avery Stump showed off her tall thin frame in a white empire waist, 3RU Gina Lightner chose floral prints for both evening gown and talent competitions, 2RU Hayley Morais was an audience favorite in a red strapless that lengthened her petite frame, 1RU Kristina Ayanian wore my favorite gown of the pack, a light pink one shoulder ball gown and the winner shined in a ball gown with metallic floral details.
Congratulations again to Amy deSilva and best wishes on your journey to Miss America’s Outstanding Teen 2012!