It isn’t often that a local pageant celebrates 50 years of titleholders. In fact, the Miss Thousand Islands pageant is the first local here in New York to receive this distinction. To celebrate this honor, the TI family spent the past year promoting the #GoldenSisterhood throughout social media, which brings back the glories of the 49 former titleholders’ years in anticipation for the young woman who would join this prestigious legacy and represent the Thousand Islands region at Miss New York.
After stopping at Dunkin and filling up on iced coffee (buy one iced coffee, get one free with the DD Perks Reward App!), Amanda Daley, Miss New York ANP and I made the 3 hour journey up to the historic Clayton Opera House, located right on the St. Lawrence River.
The contestants were welcomed out in Opening Number to the song We Are Family, all wearing a gold dress of their choice. They were joined by a handful of Former Miss Thousand Island titleholders, who had mentored the contestants through their prepping. The Formers then introduced their titleholders.
The hosts for the evening were also formers; Ann Walck Iannotta, Miss Thousand Islands 2005 and Morgan O’Brien Bocciolatt, Miss Thousand Islands 2011. Olivia Grant, Miss Thousand Islands 2014 and her Star Princesses, Reese and Julia, joined them on the stage to discuss their reigns.
The contestants were welcomed back immediately following for the On-stage Question. These questions, all submitted by formers, were very difficult! They were mostly political, but the ladies did great. Topics included gun control, immigration, and affordable health care.
The next phase of competition was the Lifestyle and Fitness competition in swimwear. During this time, the audience got to know about the contestants’ with some interesting facts, as the song International Smile was played.
Kira Kazantsev, the current Miss New York had drove all the way up from New York City to visit the Thousand Islands Region for the first time, watch the 50th Miss Thousand Island pageant. The hosts invited her to the stage to discuss her reign so far, as well as her prep for Miss America. She shared her personal hashtag, #kira-sistable, which can be used on social media to promote her leading up to and during Miss America.
When the judges were introduced, we weren’t surprised to learn that four of the five judges were former Miss Thousand Islands! The 5th judge, the lonely male, is a local news reporter.
After Olivia performed her Miss New York talent, an acoustic version of Roar by Katy Perry, the hosts thanks a few of the many sponsors, including Waterbury’s Fine Jeweler, Touch of Grace, Priscilla James Photography, Gray’s Flower Shop and Pageantry by Chris. The community support is wonderful.
• Kristina sang a classic version of Hallelujah.
• Marsaili performed a lyrical dance to Nostalgia.
• Ashley played In the Mood on the French Horn.
• Rachael sang the Broadway song, On My Way.
• Taylor sang So Small by Carrie Underwood.
• Michaela played Hedwig’s Theme on flute.
• Marivi sang the Broadway song Don’t Rain on My Parade.
• Lauren sang Just Keep Moving the Line from Smash.
• Allison performed a tap dance.
• Alexandra performed a tap dance to Get Happy.
Following an intermission, we were able to listen to an amazing rendition of No Day But Today from the musical Rent, performed by former Corrine Dartnell and Oliva Grant. There were many tears shed in the audience. The talent these women have is simply astounding and the love they have for this organization is beautiful. There were times during the song where Olivia and Corri’s voices blended together in perfect harmony and it was spectacular.
Current titleholders from local pageants and other systems, former titleholders, and Miss New York volunteers were introduced next. It is great to see the support the Thousand Islands pageant receives.
Joelle Leek, Miss Thousand Island’s Outstanding Teen came to the stage to have a chat with the hosts about her reign. She then read a heart wrenching letter to Olivia, thanking her for the friendship, sisterhood, and mentoring that they shared over the year. Anyone who did not cry during Corri and Olivia’s performance cried now. Who knew a girl so young could be so mature for her age?
Ellie Goulding’s song, Burn, played as the contestants were welcomed back one by one to model their evening gowns.
The competition ended, and the auditors had the difficult job of tallying scores, making the Top Five Final Ballot and determining who would be the next Miss Thousand Islands.
During this time, the best part of the show: the raffle baskets! Each contestant is required to acquire (either purchase items for the basket, or receive donations) a basket full of goodies that either represents their hometown, their platform, or is simply something they know interest people. Baskets included wine and cheese, lotto tickets, cookies, and spa items. Some people literally wait for this all year.
Joelle returned to the stage and performed the song she sang at Miss New York, then a farewell photo montage played as Olivia took her final walk. It was Crowning Time!
- Children’s Miracle Maker- Kristina Blackstock
- Community Service- Marivi Howell-Arza
- Highest Talent- Rachael Coon
- Highest Interview- Allison Carlos
- Miss Congeniality- Kristina Blackstock
- Golden Sisterhood Alumna-Ashley Loggins
- Third Runner Up- Rachael Coon
- Second Runner Up- Marivi Howell-Arza
- First Runner Up- Kristina Blackstock
And the new Miss Thousand Islands 2015 is Allison Carlos!
Congratulations, and welcome (back) to the Golden Sisterhood. We can’t wait to see all you do with your title.