Final Thoughts on Miss California USA

The past weekend has been such a journey and quite an experience for me. I definitely went there to win but not getting the crown or placing in the top 15 has not discouraged me in the slightest. If anything, it's invigorated me and makes me want to enter another pageant! Well, not right away but I will be taking some time soon to research other pageants. I think it's about finding the right kind that suits your strengths so that will be my strategy for next year. Regardless of what I decide to do, you will all be in the loop every step of the way! =)

While I didn't make the top 15, I was surprised to receive a call from my pageant coach (who is away at school in Hawaii, which is why he couldn't be there), telling me that while reading over the pageant forums online, he found that I had made the list of many people's picks for the pageant. There is a whole world of pageant followers out there and they devote a lot of time into blogs, forums, websites, etc. where they all discuss the latest pageants, before, during, and after. Just like sports fans choose their top teams for playoffs, pageant fans also list their top picks from who they think will make the top 15 to who they think will take the crown. I was happily surprised to learn that on a few sites I was ranked as a serious contender and many believed that I would place in top 15 or take the crown. That kind of support from people that don't even know me is amazing.

Looking back on everything, I don't feel I could have done any better (okay, maybe a bit better in the interview portion haha) but other than that, I rocked the swimwear and evening gown competition to the best of my ability during the preliminary competition. I feel like a winner and know that I stood just as good a chance at catching the crown as anyone else. I think it would have been different if I had totally bombed the pageant, but I didn't so I pat myself on the back for a job well done!

The good thing about participating in pageants is that you don't even have to win to boost your career. Many contestants get recruited by casting and modeling agencies based on their performance and not where they placed. The front row of the pageant audience were casting people and executives from acting and modeling agencies, TV networks, and print media so the exposure I've gotten from this pageant is immense. I also managed to submit my headshot and information to representatives from Disney that visited us during one of our rehearsal days. So it was all worth it in the end for me to be there. While the crown may not be mine this time around, my memories and new friends will last longer than a one year reign as beauty queen and I am so grateful to all of you for your kind words, love, and support.

So where do I go from here? Easy, I continue on the path upwards!

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