Hey Junkie Nation!
It’s time to talk Teens… As in, former Outstanding Teen state winners who are now competing for the title of Miss America!!!
This year – we have a record-breaking SEVENTEEN former state teen winners who are walking on the Miss America stage! That number is WAY up from previous years – and will be hard to beat (in my opinion) in years to come!
So – Why is recognizing former Miss America’s Outstanding Teen state titleholders a big enough deal to warrant an entire blog? Well – Let’s just say, it’s all about the trend…
OUTSTANDING TEENS are FLOCKING to MISS AMERICA
The first former Teen titleholders to walk on the Miss America stage did so back at Miss America 2009… That year, Sierra Minot (Miss FL OT 2005 – pictured above) finished as the 4th runner up to Katie Stam and set the stage for future Teen titleholders was set…
It wasn’t until 2013 when Nina Davuluri was named Miss America 2014, that a former Outstanding Teen state titleholder took home the title of Miss America… But considering the Outstanding Teen pageant only started in 2006, I’d say that’s a pretty darn good track record!
Overall, if my calculations are correct, 64 ladies who were former state OT winners have gone on to walk on the Miss America stage over the past 11 years (including this year’s class)… Now – you may or may not realize, several states were naming “Teen Winners” before there ever was a national Outstanding Teen pageant… The number above only includes those who were officially “Outstanding Teens” and attended nationals in Orlando, Florida.
But wait – There’s more reasons why we’re focusing today’s blog in this direction…
Because they’ve held a state-wide title, former OT state winners have the advantage of understanding what the role of a state titleholder is. Not only do they have the experience, they also have the contacts and the chance to get to know lots of different people in their state, as opposed to a local titleholder who only represents her local community.
In addition, if former state OT winners decide they want to try to become Miss titleholders, they have an understanding of what it’s like to do the job itself. There are plenty of former OT state titleholders who don’t go on to compete in the Miss division – Mainly because they understand what’s at stake – and for whatever reason, they’ve decided they’re not necessarily interested. Nothing wrong with knowing what’s ahead of you and then choosing to pursue what you truly want instead of what’s expected of you… Not a thing wrong with that!
OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES…
Finally – I’ve interviewed countless ladies on the podcast who served as both an Outstanding Teen and a Miss State titleholder – And without a doubt – THEY ALWAYS SAY the best preparation for them, was competing in the OT program.
It’s because of the reasons above… Being an OT gives you the chance to meet tons of people, it gives your platform a state-wide voice, and it gives you a small taste of what the real job of a Miss titleholder is.
Now, am I saying this year a former OT state titleholder will go on to win Miss America??? Not necessarily… Although considering the fact that this year, with ONE THIRD of the contestants previously holding an OT state title, those aren’t bad odds!
Overall – The Outstanding Teen program has proven itself as an excellent organization for finding future Miss America contestants. We didn’t even talk about the number of ladies who participated in their Outstanding Teen program, but didn’t win an OT state title, who still ended up a Miss America (and trust me – there’s plenty of those ladies out there too!).
Honestly – I’m very excited about the Outstanding Teen program. It’s the exact kind of “training ground” that does nothing but help the Miss America Organization – and obviously, young women who benefit from participating in pageants get the chance to hone their skills in a supportive and familiar environment. That’s a win-win in my book!
Thus far, 12 young women have earned the title national of Miss America’s Outstanding Teen… Of those 12 ladies, 2 have made their way to the Miss America stage! Caitlin Brunell represented Alabama and was a Top 10 finalist at Miss America 2014 – And Rachel Wyatt is the reigning Miss South Carolina. I just wanted to take a moment to commend each young woman for her journey thus far – There’s a different kind of pressure that can come with being a former National Titleholder (especially in the same system) that can make ones Miss America journey a bit more difficult. Both women were wonderful representations of MAOTeen and just like every other contestant, we wish them the best!
Alright! So – That means we’ll have one more post tomorrow and we wrap up our mini-series… Once Tuesday hits, we’ll start making our predictions! If you’d like to read more posts in our mini-series, just click here – and if you’d like to see our predictions for Miss America 2017 (starting Tuesday), just click here.
GOOD LUCK to EVERYONE competing at Miss America this year (former OT’s and otherwise!)
Carrie Lakey is kind of obsessed with Miss America…
So are 18,000 of her closest friends.
As an avid fan of the Miss America Organization, Carrie began
publicly predicting pageant winners over 10 years ago.
Now, she’s galvanizing an online movement of fans
known as “Pageant Junkies”.
Learn more about the Junkie Nation
by clicking here.