Talent Presentation at the Miss America Pageant

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Passing of the Crown

Congratulations to Arianna Afsar, Miss California 2010!

Well, as promised, here is the summation blog of my last week as Miss California! Sorry it has taken me a week to write, I got home and granted a wish with the Make A Wish Foundation on Monday and had several events at work this week!

Preliminaries started off with a bang on Tuesday night as we pulled together a fantastic show from just a few short days of rehearsals! I have to say that the contestants were unbelievably flexible and they all had such a great attitudes! I was so impressed. The hostesses, and Patti and Bernie were full of laughs, 4th of July decor and hugs, which we all so appreciated! It was certainly different to be on the "other side" of things, and not to have the stresses of competing on my mind... I was able to spend time with my favorite backstage ladies and catch up with them! My roommates Vera and Chelle certainly kept me in good spirits throughout the week with our nightly comedy hour! We were so tired that we thought everything was hilarious and we had a lot of really great laughs! I already miss my roomies!

Each Preliminary night was filled with lots of dancing for me! I was so excited that I was included in the swimsuit and evening gown production number and even the princess dance, which I truly think stole the show. I had an absolute blast! Thank you Janet and Rob for working so hard to pull off a great show.
Swimsuit production number, "Too Darn Hot"

It was an honor and a privilege to announce each night's preliminary awards in evening gown and talent. Below are pictures from each night. (Oh, and I forgot to mention a little bit stressful too!) Stephanie Baldwin and Ashley Newton (Miss CA 2001 and Miss CA OT 2001) did an excellent job co-hosting together and I really enjoyed sharing a dressing room with the two of them and Jacquelynne Fontaine!
Miss Tustin, Sarah Salazar and Miss Ventura County, Ebony Taylor
Preliminary Talent and Preliminary Evening Gown Awards
Miss Yorba Linda, Sharanya and Miss City of Orange, Rachel
Preliminary Evening Gown and Talent Awards
Miss Culver City, Laura and Miss Briarwood, Jasmine
Preliminary Talent and Preliminary Evening Gown Awards

**I am missing one picture from one preliminary night, I am so sorry!
But congrats to Miss City of LA, Ruth and Miss Oakland, Holly
Preliminary Evening Gown and Talent Awards

Throughout the week, Monica and I had the special pleasure of attending several princess events!! It was so fun to see them so much throughout the week and to be able to get to know them while decorating cookies, rehearsing the dance, or during the official princess crowning! My favorite event though, would have to be the princess pajama party! Thank you Mary for the adorable crown pajamas! I think there are definitely some future Miss CA's in this bunch!

They are pro's at the "funny face" picture!
My favorite part of the princess dance!

Congratulations to Monica Stainer who made me and all of California very proud as she was a wonderful representative for our state and was truly and OUTSTANDING teen! Also, to Shelby Sinkler, California's Outstanding Teen 2010, Congrats!! We will all be rooting for you next month!!

Each day I became more and more ready to pass the crown on to the next Miss California. It was almost as if each day I got to know the contestants on a deeper level and realized that the crown was certainly in good hands, no matter who was to wear it. Each night as I was announced and walked down the stairs, I thought back to the first time when I stood on the Miss California stage two years ago... looking at the current Miss California and wondering if I could ever do that... wondering how it was that she was so charismatic, poised, elegant and well spoken... thinking to myself that she was what I wanted to be.

I seemed to be handling my emotions and sadness quite well... until the parent orientation meeting on Friday, that is. Then, when Bob spoke to the parents and explained what would happen if their daughter became Miss California, it was as if last year flashed before my eyes in a split second. I re-lived the meetings, the moving, the preparation process... and realized how much I loved it all. I got up to speak and began to cry (actually... it was more like "hyperventilate" as I never really have been able to breathe when I cry) and I tried my best to share my experiences with the parents. I may or may not have said this, but regardless I would like to say it here anyways. The one thing that is so unique and astonishing to me is that no matter who is crowned on finals night, the entire state of California comes together to cheer her on. We, as the Miss California Organization and supporters, are all now Arianna's cheering section... for Miss America, and throughout her entire reign. I am so grateful that everyone came alongside me to encourage and support and I am excited to do that now for our new Miss California!

Congratulations to all of the young ladies who competed last weekend! It truly is an accomplishment to have made it to the state pageant! I hope you all enjoy the rest of your year in your local communities! To EVERYONE who helped make the show possible, thank you!! It takes many hostesses, "bistro" ladies, seamstresses, executive directors, state staffers, choreographers, drivers, producers, audio technicians, etc. to put on the show, we appreciate all that you did!

Also, I have to say that one of the highlights of my week, was after the pageant on Saturday night when all of the former Miss CA's in attendance (at this point, I was a former too!) gathered on stage to take pictures... there is a deep bond that I think we all have since we all had the same job and similar life-changing experiences. I was honored to be with such amazing women! Thank you all for your warm welcome into being a former!
Stephanie Baldwin, Veena Goel (and baby!), me, Rebekah Keller-Negrete, Jackie Geist, and Jacquelynne Fontaine


One last thing... by request, and as promised, I WILL write about my trip to South Carolina in my next blog :)

Also, I just saw that Arianna posted her first blog! Woohoo!

Enjoy more pictures below...
Thank you Bob for an incredible year!!

The lovely ladies of my family!
Thank you PPA for my crown box!!
Woohoo!! Gala!