This weekend is the second annual Miss Buffalo pageant under the current director. The team has grown significantly since last year, and has great talent behind the scenes to make sure the Miss Buffalo pageant is a success. There are 17 ladies from Western New York competing for the coveted crown and chance to continue to the Miss New York pageant in May.
The Miss Buffalo pageant is one of the longest running (non-consecutive, with gaps and different directors) pageants in the country, with an extensive legacy and a handful of strong titleholders making a splash at Miss New York each year. Many Miss Buffalo titleholders have gone on to represent Buffalo at Miss America and others have captured the Miss New York crown. It is also one of the largest providers of scholarships in the local circuit, awarding $4,000 to the winner and more to the runners up. The Miss Buffalo title is a limited title, open to girls in Western New York only, with hopes of encouraging a stronger sense of pride towards their titleholder in the community.
Although there will not be an Outstanding Teen competition, this year the Miss Buffalo Organization has announced an Outstanding Teen. Ciara McDermott has assumed the title of Miss Buffalo’s Outstanding Teen and will compete at Miss New York’s Outstanding Teen.
Miss Buffalo 2015, Desiree Wiley
Desiree Wiley was no newcomer to pageants. She had competed at Miss New York, and made Top 5, for the past 5 years. This year, her final year, she took home both the Talent and Swimsuit Preliminary Awards. She was also the first runner up at Miss New York.
During her year she visited classrooms and held workshops to empower students to stay in school. She shared her personal story to encourage students to reach their full potential.
The Miss Buffalo pageant is held at Buffalo State College, and many of the contestants are students there; for many, this will be their first time competing.
- Ayla Davis Contemporary Dance (First MAO Pageant)
- Hannah Cooper Nail Art (Competed in Miss Finger Lakes 2016)
- Elianys More Rumba Traditional Dance (Competed in Miss Buffalo 2015)
- Carly Whisner Lyrical Dance (First MAO Pageant)
- Khadijah King Public Speaking (Miss New York Naturalista USA; First MAO Pageant)
- Sarah Soltish Interpretive Dance (Competed in Miss Finger Lakes 2016)
- Emmalee Stawicki Piano-Vocal (4th RU at Miss Buffalo 2015)
- Bailee Russell Baton Twirling (First MAO Pageant)
- Isabel Skormin Vocal (Competed in Miss Flower City 2016)
- Jennifer Tory Contemporary Dance (First MAO Pageant)
- Ruweyda Salim Spoken Word (First MAO Pageant)
- Taisha St. Jean Latin Dance (Competed in Miss Buffalo 2015)
- Laura Lucas Illusion Demonstration (Competed in Miss Copper City 2016)
- Baylee Simpson Ballet en Pointe (Miss Fulton County 2015)
- Evan Simone Vocal (First MAO Pageant)
With so many first timers it’s extremely difficult to know their skill levels. We have to look at other factors like if they’ve competed in their talent, do they hold leadership roles in school clubs, and do they model for any agencies. Miss Buffalo is looking for a girl who is Miss America ready. The girl with the highest talent who can impress they judges in interview will take home the crown. Unfortunately, that’s not how this works. It is far from unheard of when a first timer takes the crown. Both Lexi and Priscilla have competed in the Fulton County pageant before, learned from their mistakes, and will be back stronger than ever.
So who will take the crown? I think the winner will be between Baylee, Emmalee, and Bailee. Maybe the trick to winning is having a “double-e” at the end of your name. The Top 5 might be rounded off with Carly, Sarah, and/or Ayla. But who knows! We’ll find out on Sunday who will join the historic Miss Buffalo sisterhood.
My “Top”: Baylee Simpson, Emmalee Stawicki, and Bailee Russell
Fringe: Carly Whisner, Sarah Soltish, Ayla Davis
Who do you think will be the next Miss Buffalo? Who will join her on the podium? Sound off in the comments below.