COMPETITION!






Well, I didn't win - or even make the top ten, but I feel so proud of how well I performed on stage. Here are a few pictures from the competition.. On-Stage Question, Swimsuit, Evening Gown, and Talent.

Talent





The last night of preliminary competition, and it was the Mu group's turn for talent. I performed a character jazz dance to the Peggy Lee version of "Fever" in a red costume inspired by the costume on Dacing With the Stars two seasons ago.


Although it did not win the preliminary talent award, I felt the dance was strong, and I enjoyed performing for the judges and a packed audience!


It's always great to see some family and friends at the end of the night and get ready for a new day and new possibilities. Stay tuned...

Swimsuit/Evening Gown Preliminaries



Tonight was the Mu Group's night on stage! We got to bask in the spotlight twice, for the swimsuit and evening gown competition.

I wore a white two-piece swimsuit (all were sponsored by Venus) and a very unique teal Claire's Collection gown. I love that stage!

The preliminary award winners for the night were Hawaii in Talent and Nebraska in Swimsuit.

After the competition we enjoyed a visitation with our families, friends, and supporters.

I compete in talent tomorrow!!

Interview and On-Stage Question - DONE!

I've finished with the interview and on-stage question portion of the competition, and I am so relieved! On-stage question is the portion that I dread most of all. I'm happy with my answer and proud of the show we put on last night!

FYI... Delta Burke is no longer on the panel of judges. Although I have not formally heard the circumstances, I was told that she fell ill and was not able to finish the contestant's interviews. We now have a panel of 5 judges, all fabulous, and I am looking forward to the swimsuit and evening gown competition tonight.

Day 6 - Not Much to Report

No big news of the day.
I will be preparing heavily tonight for my interview which will take place early, early tomorrow morning.
Keep all fingers and toes crossed for this interview, my first phase of competition. Thanks!

Day 5 - Planet Hollywood!






At the end of today's rehearsal (the last day in the ballroom - tomorrow we move on to the stage!) we had the opportunity to be introduced to the judges. Well, most of the judges. Chris Matthews was unable to be in Las Vegas yet due to the State of the Union address, but will be here bright and early tomorrow morning. The judges are all so excited to be here and seem eager to get to know us and choose the best possible Miss America 2007.


Our special treat tonight was dinner at Planet Hollywood in Caesar's Palace. This was probably the best meal we have been served in our time here! After we danced to music videos and took pictures with each other. As this is our last night before any of the phases of competition start, it was nice to have a chance to relax and let loose a bit.




An FYI about the picture with the flowers... The Miss America Organization asked friends, family, and supporters not to send flowers this year as an abundance of floral arrangements may have contributed to allergies for some of last year's contestants. Those flowers that were sent will be donated to a local Children's Hospital to be enjoyed, but in the meantime, we were able to see them, take pictures with them, and enjoy the attached cards. Thank you to those who send expressions of support and encouragement!

Day 4 - Venetian Gondola Rides






Of course we rehearsed for the larger part of the day, but that's not the exciting part...




Excitement Part I: Jennifer Berry (Miss America), the President of the Children's Miracle Network, and two "miracle children" posed for pictures with each of the contestants. A press release with the photo will be sent to newspapers in our states or local areas. Since this is the first time we have had the chance to see Jennifer since our arrival in Las Vegas, the contestants presented her with a rhinestone jacket that matches the ones we had made for ourselves.




Excitement Part II: We left the Aladdin by bus for the Venetian Resort & Casino. There, we were greeted by jesters and stiltwalkers, singers and trumpeteers. The Venetian treated us to a delicious dessert reception and rides on their famous gondolas! Grazie!




Excitement Part III: We found out that we will meet the judges for the first time tomorrow for a few minutes at rehearsal. Hope to make a great first impression!

Day 3 - More Rehearsals!






A quick morning trip to the gym before a long day of rehearsals started the day off right! Rehearsals were very productive... and not as long as they could have been. We finalized the opening production number and the swimsuit walking pattern.


The highlight of the day was the special screening of DREAMGIRLS offered to us by CMT. We all enjoyed the show (and our sodas and popcorn!) and were inspired by the moving story.

And after such a long day, we are very motivated to enjoy our beds!

Day 2 - Rehearsals Begin




Bright and early the alarm goes off and Jaime and I start the big decisions of the day... do we want to join the group going to work out this morning? are we going down to the buffet for breakfast? We pack our bags for the day and head down to the first of several days of rehearsal.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that Barry Lather, a choreographer that I worked with for the 1999 Power Pak Performing Arts Tour, was the choreographer for the pageant! It is going to be a spectacular show! We learned the opening production and the swimsuit walk.. with more rehearsals to follow in the coming days.

Then, the fun began! We prepared for an appearance at the Fashion Show Mall. We were raised out of the floor in a glass box to walk down an 80 foot runway surrounded by fans and supporters. We then signed autographs for the crowd.

Returning to the Aladdin, we attended another VIP reception and signed more autographs - I'm lucky I brought enough PR cards to last me through the day!

Tomorrow promises to bring even more Miss America excitement.

Day 1 - Arrival in Las Vegas




I had planned to travel with Adrianna Sgarlata, Miss Virginia, on the flight from Dulles to Las Vegas... so imagine our surprise when Miss West Virginia (Tiffany) and our Miss America photographer (Bruce) were on our flight as well!

Adrianna arranged for us to be treated royally in the Red Carpet room before our flight. There, we ran into Senator John Ensign, from Nevada, who chatted with us, gave us interview tips, and gave us our preliminary welcome to his home state of Nevada.

We were greeted in Vegas with limos for our arrival at the Aladdin. My roommate is Miss Lousiana, Jaime Wilson, and she is amazing. We are all set to have an incredible time!
But we set to work immediately with a wardrobe check, a welcome reception, and a preview screening of our CMT show, Pageant School: Finding Miss America. (My limited air time isn't that bad - be sure to watch on January 26th!)
Enjoy the pictures and be sure to check back as I will be adding updates throughout the pageant!

Send-Off to Miss America




My Send-Off to Miss America was generously hosted at the Home of the Ambassador of Taiwan and his wife and Twin Oaks estate in Northwest DC. Supporters from the community as well as community sponsors came out to wish me well and get a preview of a portion of my competition wardrobe.


Thank you to all who came to see me off the evening before my flight out to Vegas for the big competition! At the end of the evening, the Ambassador presented me with a good luck vase from Taiwan and many words of support and encouragement. I cannot thank the Ambassador and the staff of Twin Oaks enough for allowing us to use the estate for this special night. And I cannot thank DC enough for all of the support I have received on my Road to Miss America!


I will be posting to the blog during my time at Miss America, so check back daily for updates and pictures from competition week!

Bikinis in January


Preparing for the swimsuit competition at the Miss America pageant is probably most of the contestants' biggest challenges. What to do?? Eat right and maintain an active lifestyle... Choose a swimsuit that flatters the figure... Get a personal trainer!

I am extremely lucky to have as one of my sponsors for the year, ProFit Executive Fitness Center and John Morris, ProFit's General Manager, as my Personal Trainer. From the time of my crowning until just before I leave for Vegas, John works with me to tone and sculpt what will hopefully be the perfect Lifetsyle and Fitness body for the competition.

I'm in the best shape of my life and it's all thanks to John and ProFit. It's been hard work, but well worth it, and I can only hope to follow in the footsteps of my predecessor and bring home the preliminary swimsuit award.

Make sure to watch! Miss America airs live on CMT on January 29th at 8:00 PM.

Contestants Meet the Italian Stallion at Premier in Vegas



Prooving the benefits of opening and responding to e-mail quickly, the Aladdin (Planet Hollywood) Resort & Casino offered the first twenty contestants that responded the amazing opportunity to attend the Rocky Balboa premier in Vegas last month. I think I got my response in about 10 minutes after the invitation was sent!
Admittedly, I didn't know the first thing about Rocky, but I quickly did my homework - which was to watch the first of the series of Rocky films. Equipped with the background information, I was hoping I would be ready to understand the series finale.

We felt like stars on the big screen ourselves as individual limosines collected us from the Vegas airport for a whirlwind stay at the Planet Hollywood Resort. After a viewing of the movie (yes - it was very good - even for a Rocky novice... very good!) we mixed and mingled with such stars as Slyvester Stallone, David Hasslehoff, Carrot Top, Anthony Tarver, Boom Boom Mancini, and Robin Leach.
We all enjoyed ourselves so much!

Above you can see a picture of the twenty attending contestants before the premier and a picture of myself and one of my favorite contestants, Miss Virginia 2006, Adrianna Sgarlata.


"Legs" in the Running




This article was published in the latest online "issue" of www.Pageant.com. Enjoy!


The District of Columbia -- the "D.C." in Washington, D.C. -- is one of the most unusual places in the United States. It's smaller than the smallest of the 50 states, but in many ways it's more powerful than any of them. It's the custom-designed center of the mighty American government.


People from throughout the United States and the world come to work in D.C., mostly to promote the interests of folks back home. But after living for a while in the District, many people see it as their real home. That's what happened to Kate Michael, Miss District of Columbia.

Her first big pageant victories were in Georgia. Twice she competed at Miss Georgia -- once as Miss Gwinnett County, representing the home of PNB headquarters (a bit of pageant glory in itself.) But when she landed a job with one of the Peach State's U.S. senators, she moved to the nation's capital, and life changed. "I started to think of myself as a D.C. person," she recalls.
Ms. Michael chose to pursue her graduate degree at Johns Hopkins (after finishing the University of Georgia in three years), and she redrew her road map to Miss America. She competed for Miss District of Columbia, and she won. "I think now it was for the best that I didn't win Miss Georgia," she says, but hindsight can be a great anesthetic.


You're probably wondering whether Ms. Michael will run for office someday. Maybe so, maybe not, but she will be part of the process around the U.S. Capitol. She plans to become "not a lobbyist exactly, but an advocate." She wants to influence the kinds of laws that Congress passes, because she wants to make a difference in people's live.

And her nickname -- "Legs" -- rhat's short for "legislation," right? No. Ms. Michael is a tall dancer with a showgirl's body (we got her to admit it) and there's nothing short about those legs. To use the lingo of D.C., they're monumental.

Badgely Mischka Fashion Show for Children's Hospital



I've definitely seen a rise in my modeling career here in D.C. since the crowning and my shoot in Elle magazine! I'm loving it!

The best part is not only having the opportunity to walk the runway, but getting to meet the designers themselves. Increasingly, I'm offered jobs in fashion shows for charity causes, and the Badgely Mischka show at Saks Jandel in Chevy Chase was just such a runway show. The designers generously donated a portion of sales from the show to Children's Hospital.

Badgely Mischka is one of my very favorite designs to wear - their evening wear is simply exquisite. So, you can imagine how thrilled I was to OPEN THE SHOW! Here you can see my favorite gown... make-up compliments of Jody Rusnak, hair by Giselle.


Bright Beginnings




Have you ever wondered where children living in shelters go during the day? Where do they learn? Where do they play? Where do they go to feel safe? In DC, they go to Bright Beginnings!

Since 1991, this unique child and family development center has served more than 1,300 of the District of Columbia’s most vulnerable families with children between the ages of six weeks and five years old.

I was invited to attend the center's holiday party this year. I read stories, participated in crafts, and made many new friends. I think seeing the crown was fun for a lot of the little girls and boys, but the highlight of the day was almost certainly seeing Santa Clause. He brought each child a stocking filled with all sorts of goodies to make their holiday special.

Here's to hoping that your holiday was merry, too!

Reading is Fundamental Kick-Off in DC!



As you may know, reading is one of my very favorite things to do... and share with the children that I meet when visiting schools in the District. Reading is Fundmental, a national non-profit organization with which I have partnered this year offered me the opportunity to assist in their RIF DC Kick-Off. RIF President and reading enthusiast Carol Rasco, and Riffington, RIF's furry mascot, allowed me to join them at Peabody Elementary School in Northeast DC to celebrate RIF's birthday and donate a personalized book to each and every child that participated.

In the spirit of a birthday celebration, I chose to read Bunny Cakes, a delightful story about responsibility, remembering, and giving in a unique way!

The children loved the story and I loved sharing the day in such a special way!
K Street Kate - Voted "Best Local Online Magazine" by Metromix!