Miss NY 2016 Preliminaries- Night 1

On-Stage Question:

The On-Stage Question portion of the Preliminary Competition was based on the girls’ platform. The questions were very balanced and gave the girls an opportunity to shine with a topic they should be very familiar with. Each question was prefaced with, “Your platform is…” to give the audience a quick refresher without flipping through their beautifully prepared program books. The wording below is paraphrased as a result of quick notes, but the subject matter is not altered.

  • Ashley Thakur,Flower City: How can you present your non-profit organization to a middle school when the admin may not be comfortable with the subject (STD/Teen Pregnancy)?
  • Abigail Hoag, Apple Festival: What drives a teenager that taking their life is the only answer?
  • Salt City: What is the demographic at the highest risk for domestic violence?
  • Olivia Martin, Greater NY: What is the importance of cultural institutions?
  • Alexandra Harvey-Sprague, Mohawk Valley: How does Active Minds prevent self injury?
  • Cedar Chambers, Niagara Frontier: What do you say to someone who says they can’t change the world
  • Gabrielle Walter, Bluebird: Are college admin doing enough to prevent sexual assault?
  • Lauren Crandall, Colonial: How can you change the mind of a teenager who is openly against a gay classmate?
  • Shelley Jain, Upstate NY: How has social media impacted self esteem?
  • Meghan Sinisi, Syracuse: Do you feel parents should have their children tested to see if they have the gene for autism?
  • Baylee Simpson, Buffalo: How would your marketing program help art programs that are at risk of shutting down?
  • Jillian Larson, Excelsior: Why do you feel elementary/middle schools are facing challenges keeping funds for art?
  • Heather Wolf, Staten Island: How can you break the silence of a struggling not teen who feels they can be replaced?
  • Li Ling Rivera, Queens: Do you feel texting is hindering out youth’s ability to show their voice?


  • Syracuse
  • Colonial
  • Upstate NY
  • Excelsior


The contestants wore stunning blue swimsuits, sponsored by Kandice Pelletier- former Miss New York and swim wear designer.  The Blue Group performed a catchy production dance before the Gold Group came out to model.

Both Allison Carlos, Miss Finger Lakes and Lexi Swatt, Miss Fulton County had large visible tattoos. This could either be a hit or miss; it shows confidence, but also has that lingering stigma.

Standouts: Allison (Finger Lakes), Willa (Metropolitan), Kristina (Thousand Islands), Khajida (Heart of New York), and Mackenzie (Manhattan)


  • Ashley Thakur, Flower City: played a classical piece recognized from Lady Gaga’s “Alejandro” on violin. No background music.
  • Abigail Hoag, Apple Festival: a lyrical piece to See You Again
  • Meghan Cahill, Salt City: original monologue as the Little Mermaid, and a new version of happily ever after.
  • Olivia Martin, Greater NY:  speed painting to Thriller by MJ. Not choreographed and did not finish.
  • Emily Drooby, Empire Star: vocal performance of Hallelujah to honor the veterans.
  • Alexandra Harvey-Sprague, Mohawk Valley: a lyrical dance to Never Alone
  • Cedar Chambers, Niagara Frontier: an opera piece in an incredibly unique gown. Very eye catching performance.
  • Gabrielle Walter, Bluebird: a theatrical piece (Girl in 14G) from the perspective of a mouse
  • Lauren Crandall, Colonial: vocal performance of a doo-op swing version of Timber by Postmodern Jukebox
  • Shelley Jain, Upstate NY: a Bollywood dance in a bright pink dress
  • Meghan Sinisi, Syracuse: a self choreographed baton twirling routine to Limitless from Wicked. No drops.
  • Baylee Simpson, Buffalo: Ballet en pointe with tambourine to La Esmerelda
  • Jillian Larson, Excelsior: vocal performance of Home from Wicked in a perfectly emerald gown
  • Heather Wolf, Staten Island: an original monologue inspired by her friends who inspired her platform
  • Li Ling Rivera, Queens:  piano and dancing in a unique fusion performance to a Fur Elise remix


Flower City: Ashley has talent, no doubt, and chose a piece that people might recognize without choosing a pop modern song. Her unique gown brought personality to the stage. The only “flaw” was the lack of backtrack, which often pulls the performance together. Otherwise, flawless.

Upstate NY: Shelly’s performance was incredibly high energy and she has a great smile. Couldn’t help but wonder if she was subliminally compared to Nina Davuluri, which might have impacted her scoring. No way to tell.

Syracuse: Perfect song choice for Meghan’s baton twirling routine. High energy with no drops, and a beautiful smile that kept the audience on the edge of their seat until the end.

Buffalo: Baylee had near perfect execution of an iconic piece. Ballet en pointe is hard to enjoy for non-dancers, but the tambourine kept the excitement level there.


Evening Gown:

  • Amanda Abdagic, Empire Rose: a navy lace gown with intricate neckline and slicked back hair.
  • Allison Carlos, Finger Lakes:  a white beaded and lace low v gown similar to the popular jersey gown but with unique lace peekaboo around the knees.
  • Jessica Brosofsky, Erie Canal: a white gown with a Marilyn neckline halter, beaded waist, and lace skirt
  • Willa Hahn, Metropolitan: a fully sequined navy gown with a high neckline, low side slits, an open back and a fabulous train
  • Kristina Blackstock, Thousand Islands: a plum gown with square neckline, mesh side slits, low back and train. Very similar to Willa’s.
  • Abbey Naumowicz, NYS Fair: a strapless purple gown with beaded waist and low sweetheart neckline.
  • Cassie Paradise, Richmond County: a black and silver two piece with asymmetrical sparkles
  • Khadijah King, Heart of NY: a floral white ball gown with a simple beaded waistline.
  • Lauren Schwartzberg, Crown City: a simple jersey gown, blue, with swoop neck and low back. Similar to Willa/Kristina but different neckline.
  • Camille Sims, Pride of New York: a pale blue ball gown with interesting rouching up top and a simple beaded belt.
  • Rose Bolella, Liberty: a long sleeved lace dress with bell cuff wrists. Possibly a Mac Duggal.
  • Lexi Swatt, Fulton County: a wine colored velvet gown with fit and flare ruffled bottom
  • Ashley Davis, Copper City:  a sky blue jersey gown with ruffle peplum in the back and a criss-cross-esque top
  • Mackenzie Perpich, Manhattan: a strapless satin white gown with boning details on the sweetheart neckline.
  • Nina Zesky, Central New York: a jersey white gown with pink ruffle rose train accents, and gemstone chain accents across the neckline and back.


  • Finger Lakes: Allison’s gown was a unique variant of a popular gown, and her height and modeling skills show natural expertise.
  • Heart of New York: Khadijah has an effortless poise about her that really shines.
  • Central New York: Nina had my favorite gown of the night.

Preliminary Awards:

Blue Group Talent: ($250 Scholarship and 10k In-Kind) Meghan Sinisi, Miss Syracuse

Gold Group Swimsuit: ($250 Scholarship) Lauren Schwartzberg, Miss Crown City


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