Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Miss Brooklyn 2009 Pageant!

Friday Night: Rehearsal- Friday night was the first official meet and greet for all of the contestants. I had met some of the girls at previous fundraisers for the pageant, but this was the first time we were all together at once. I won't lie- I was intimidated. Each of the other contestants was beautiful and well put together. It was going to be a good show, and a tough competition! Special thanks to Christina Joseph, our choreographer, who eased our nerves with her wonderful sense of humor! After rocking out to Ne-Yo's "Closer" and Rihanna's "Don't Stop the Music", we learned walking patterns for swimsuit and evening gown. As the night progressed and I became better acquainted with my fellow contestants I realized that not only were they all gorgeous and poised, but they were extremely friendly and intelligent to boot! I could easily imagine each one of them winning. Brooklyn should be proud!

Saturday Morning: Interviews- The personal interview is one of my favorite phases of competition, without a doubt. This certainly doesn't exclude me from the pre-interview jitters that afflict almost every contestant. Our six judges came from widely diverse backgrounds, and were knowledgeable on a variety of topics relevant to the program. I felt good about my interview, though the judges' poker faces made them tough to read!

Sunday Morning: Final Rehearsal/ Talent Run-Through- By this time, all of the contestants had gotten to know each other, so Sunday morning was fun and rather relaxing. We danced around a bit with our opening number, solidifying our blocking in the space, then practiced swimsuit and evening gown walks again, followed by a talent run-through in costume. I grabbed a quick bite to eat (I had packed a cooler full of snacks) and then headed to the dressing room to prepare for the afternoon pageant!

Sunday Afternoon: The Pageant- The media was allowed a few minutes with us in the dressing room to capture the frantic last minute preparations, but surprisingly, the mood in our dressing room was very "chill". Most everyone was ready on time, and had a few minutes to sit and relax before the show. I'm fairly certain I was the only person rushing to finish my hair! Before going on-stage, the Teen and Miss contestants formed a circle and took turns addressing the group with a few words of encouragement- my new favorite pre-pageant ritual!

After a slightly delayed start, the production went off without a hitch. All phases of competition ran smoothly. Intermission was held after the competition itself was completed, so that the scores would be ready for the crowning after Cherelle Gaines (Miss Brooklyn 2008) and Keyana Williams (Miss Brooklyn's Outstanding Teen 2008) said their good byes.

And then on to the awards! Congratulations to Jennifer Velasquez- Miss Community Service Winner, Carlon Alexandra- Miss Talent Winner, Claudia Zakrzewski- Miss Lifestyle & Fitness in Swimsuit Winner and Melanie Gowrie- Teen Talent Winner.

The teens were a truly adorable group! 3rd Runner Up-Kellie Cesaire, 2nd Runner Up- Kashema Ancrum, 1st Runner Up- Joelle Bracco, and my new pageant sister, Miss Brooklyn's Outstanding Teen 2009- Melanie Gowrie!

The Miss Court was- 3rd Runner Up- Christine Florio, 2nd Runner Up- Claudia Zakrzewski, 1st Runner Up- Carlon Alexandra and Miss Brooklyn 2009- Keelie Sheridan! Wow! I was completely taken aback. As I mentioned earlier, I could have easily seen ANY of these contestants as Miss Brooklyn 2009! Claudia, Jennifer, Diana, Jenesha, Christine, Brittnay, Nadia and Carlon, it was a true pleasure getting to know each and everyone one of you! Thank you for making this experience so enjoyable!

After what seemed like a million pictures and a brief interview, I was finally allowed to see my family and friends! Thanks Mom, Dad, Kieren, Courtney, Aunt Mooney, Uncle Chet, Mike, Shawn, Daniel, Laura, Jarred, Gen and Joe for coming out to support me!

In addition to a generous scholarship, I also received some beautiful gifts! Thank you to Nature Pure Spa for the amazing basket of beauty treats, Collage Jewelry for the beautiful necklace and earring set, North American Crystal for the stunning Crystal Vase, Spartak Chocolate Company for the decadent chocolate assortment, and Floral Art Company for the elegant floral arrangement!

And finally, thank you to all of the hardworking, dedicated volunteers and judges that donated their personal time to help the Miss Brooklyn Organization with the pageant. Special thanks to Kim Thomas, the Executive Director of the Miss Brooklyn Pageant, who has worked tirelessly to re-acquaint the borough of Brooklyn with this amazing resource for young women!

For media photos/ audio coverage of the pageant, please visit:

Brooklyn Ink: http://thebrooklynink.com/brooklyn/missbrooklyn

David Gardiner Garcia Photography: http://davidgg.zenfolio.com/

This week will be full of appearances and interviews- I'll be sure to update my blog!

Kind Regards,