Last Friday night, Leone Cole Auditorium was booming with people who came to watch the singing, dancing, and funny jokes at this year’s annual Miss JSU scholarship pageant.
The Miss America program has 53 pageants throughout the country (including Miss JSU) and remains the world’s largest scholarship giver to young women.
Nine of our very own JSU students participated in this event which was themed “Old Hollywood.” Jessica Hill, Ashton Hamil, Jesslan Sharp, Alexis Gravlee, Kacey Jacobs, Marissa Law, Abbey Walker, Kaleigh Garner, and our new Miss JSU Cortlyn Watson were among the competitors.
The competition is scored is based upon the following categories: evening wear (20%), private interview (25%), lifestyle and fitness in swimsuit (15%), talent (35%) and the on-stage question (5%).
The talent competition was especially tough, with acts ranging from opera singing to piano playing to clogging and dancing and even several monologues.
This year there were many prestigious judges, including head judge Tanya Pettway, who in 1986 was the first African American to take home a Miss America title.
Before our new Miss JSU was crowned, however, our past Miss JSU 2014 Jayme Wagner took her emotional final walk. Wagner then joined this year’s contestants in a final dance to “That’s Entertainment,” and finally Kacey Jacobs took the second runner up position and Kaleigh Garner took the title of first runner up.
Taking home not only a scholarship worth up to sixteen hours for two semesters, a JSU Campus Bookstore scholarship, a free manicure and several other prizes.
Watson also took home the title for the Swimsuit competition.
When asked about her reaction to being crowned Miss JSU, Watson said she was “excited, speechless… I just busted out in tears, I was so happy.”
Watson’s father, Stan, was also very excited about his daughter’s new title. “She has worked so hard to get here ever since she has been a baby… Her dream has always been to be in the Miss Alabama pageant and now she’s just one step closer. We are very supportive of all these girls and are very proud of everyone who competed!” he said.
Watson will go on to compete at the Miss Alabama competition this June.