Thirty-six young ladies from around Louisiana have embarked on a week-long journey that will showcase their beauty, brains and talent as they compete for the title of Miss Louisiana 2013.
Representing Bossier Parish this year are Ginger Douglas, Miss Benton 2013, and Megan Miller, Miss Bossier City 2013. Both are familiar with the Miss Louisiana stage and will rely on past experiences to make this year’s pageant better than ever.
“I competed fresh out of high school when I was 17 and had the time of my life,” Douglas said. “I took a year off to mature a little bit more and I’ve learned to balance the things I need to do while having a good time doing it.”
Since winning the title of Miss Benton in March, Douglas has been perfecting her beauty walk, interview skills and working on her dance routine for the talent competition. With many years of dance in her repertoire, Douglas said she feels most confident in evening wear.
“You just feel amazing and you can’t wait for everyone to see the dress you’ve picked,” she said. “It’s the most simple and less stressful event and it allows us to showcase our beauty.”
All 36 contestants arrived in Monroe Sunday for a week of activities they will remember for a lifetime. Between rehearsals and daily pageant activities there are public events and community service projects to keep them busy before Saturday night’s live televised finals.
For Miller, this is her fifth attempt at winning the crown and title. Last year she placed fourth runner-up as Miss Greater Baton Rouge 2012 and was also named the preliminary talent winner.
“I’ve actually been a lot calmer than I have the past four years,” Miller said. “When you do something for a couple of years, you kind of get the hang of it. Now, I’m able to focus and not let my nerves get the best of me.”
Interviews began Monday night and continued through Tuesday. Rehearsals for the final pageant began Monday and will continue through Saturday with the preliminary competition Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
Contestants will compete in evening gown, swimsuit, talent and a final interview question. Miller said she has focused on preparing for the interview portion particularly.
“They can ask you anything about your platform, current events, about your morals and values or even political issues,” she said. “The most important quality of being Miss Louisiana is being a spokesperson and a role model. You have to be able to think on your feet so I definitely take pride in our interview process.”
Miller said she is really looking forward to the talent competition, which is the main reason she began competing in pageants. Her vocal talent has led her from the pageant stage to the American Idol stage.
“The only thing that sets us apart from any other organization is talent. I didn’t know how to walk in heels, but I had the talent part down pat,” she said. “It’s a moment when I’m the least nervous and it’s my most comfortable phase of competition. [American Idol] definitely helped prepare me for this week and I just like to have a lot of fun with what I do without letting my nerves get the best of me.”
A new addition to pageant-week activities this year will be the Miss Louisiana Variety Show, which will feature former Miss Louisianas performing their talent. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
With interviews behind them, there’s only one question left unanswered – who will win the crown and reign as Miss Louisiana 2013?
The final night of competition will be aired locally on KPXJ (Ch. 21) beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday from the Monroe Civic Center’s W.L. “Jack” Howard Theatre.
Miller said her goal for the week was to be prepared so much that she could enjoy the week and continue building friendships.
“Only one girl is going to win, but we will all be friends forever,” Miller said.
For more information on the Miss Louisiana Organization, visit www.misslouisiana.org