Miss California USA Competition Day 2: Interviews


Day 2 was all about our interviews with the pageant judges. This is a huge section to score points in for the competition. My interview time was 10:20am so luckily I got to sleep in for a bit. I got up, did my hair and makeup, and put on my interview outfit. This time around, they changed the rules for attire. In the past it was mandatory to wear business wardrobe, but I guess this year they wanted to see more of the contestants' personalities so the attire for the interview portion was completely up to us.

I personally love wearing business clothes so I choose a happy medium: black, capri slacks, black, strappy peep-toe heels, and a maroon, sleeveless top with a chinese neckline. I kept it dressy casual. I wore my hair down and had my makeup more natural, since I wasn't required to be onstage.

I checked into the Grand Ballroom and waited my turn. Then I was escorted into one of the conference rooms of the building, where I stood in front of the panel of the six Miss judges. There had been some last minute drop outs so we weren't sure who our judges were going to be. Holly Madison from "The Girls Next Door" and Cindy Margolis (one of the current Playboy Playmates) dropped from the panel of judges (I totally wanted to meet Holly, too!). The judges I met were Kenya Moore (Miss USA 1993), David Allen (a famous celebrity nutritionist), Alec Shankman (Head of the Alternative Programming Department at Abrams Artists Agency), Michael Voorhees (a famous photographer), and one other person I did not recognize.

I greeted them warmly and they began to ask me questions, which came from the bio that all contestants had to fill out when we first applied to be in the pageant. The questions they asked me were:

1) It says you want to start your own art business. Can you tell us a bit about that?

2) How old are you?

3) What is your favorite graphic novel?

4) If you're such an artist, why do you want to be Miss California USA?

5) Are you part Filipino?

I answered with a lot of energy, smiles, and made eye contact with each of the judges. Some were smiling and interested in what I had to say, while others remained pretty quiet and had "poker faces" so I couldn't tell if they liked me or not. Pretty nerve wracking. Only 2-3 of the judges asked me questions, so it was just a conversation back and forth. I do know that I talked a bit too much, which I know cost me points. I couldn't help talking about my passion for art and wanting to be Miss California. But aside from that critique, I was warm, genuine, and commanded the room when I spoke. I wish I could have done a few things differently but I gave it my best and I can't ask for anything more than that.

After my interview was finished, I was directed to a team of photographers for a quick photoshoot, and then interviewed on-camera with a few of the other contestants. There was a large group of photographers and videographers there, putting together footage for the DVD of the pageant (which I ordered and will be waiting eagerly for in the mail!).

When that part was done with, I headed back to my room where I changed into comfortable clothes and then spent the remainder of the day with the other contestants rehearsing our open number. We also had a former Miss Venezuela there who helped us with our walks and stage presence (she said my walk and presence didn't need any work! Sweet!).

The cool thing about the DVD this year is that you can buy different versions. The one I choose shows the pageant, but has a menu so that you can go straight to the parts of the competition that I am in, and also contains a special montage of all the pictures and video footage the crew has of me, from the competition, rehearsals, candids, etc. They finally realized that people don't care about the other girls when they watch the DVD--they want to see the girl they are supporting! LOL. So I'm glad that I ordered that version. It won't be mailed out for a month and a half from now (that's a lot of footage and pictures to go through!) but when I do get it, I'll be having a DVD viewing get together at my place with my friends that want to see it. Although I've been in the spotlight for some time now, I still get embarrassed when people want to watch me hehe so it'll be gut wrenching to have my family and friends watching me compete, even though it's on DVD! Unfortunately, the event was not televised so the only way to watch it is on DVD but I'll see if I can possibly put it online.

When rehearsals were over, it was time to get ready for our Beauty of California dinner, where all of our family and friends could join us for food and dancing. That post (and pictures) are coming up next!

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