New York’s Sweetheart ’15

National Competitions

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Last year, Jamie Lynn Macchia was 2nd runner up to Miss New York and accepted the title of Miss New York’s Sweetheart. She traveled to Hoopston, Illinois to compete with her Sweetheart Sisters in a national pageant, similar to Miss America.

New York had made history as the only state to win Miss America three-consecutive years, but that wasn’t our only historic feat. Jamie Lynn came home as 1st Runner Up- the highest a New York Sweetheart had ever placed. She later announced that the pageant’s life stream statistics were able to determine that more viewers were from New York than any other state.

This year, Jamie Lynn has won the title of Miss New York 2015, and will compete in Atlantic City. We have come to expect big things from our New York representatives.

Sweetheart Love

Sweetheart Love

Just today, Nina Zesky, Miss Heart of New York, announced that she has accepted the title of New York’s Sweetheart and will be representing the Empire State at the National Sweetheart pageant. Like Jamie, Nina was 2nd runner up at the Miss New York pageant, coincidentally with the same 1st runner up turning down the initial offer.

Nina will be joined by State Finalists from across the nation for the opportunity to be crowned Miss National sweetheart. Although this is not officially affiliated with Miss America, the pageant follows the same categories and scoring procedure. Many Sweetheart representatives go on to claim their state title (as seen with Jamie Lynn and Allie Curtis, Rhode Island’s 2014 Sweetheart), and some have even gone on to with the Miss America crown. This year has also made history in a national way, as a record breaking number of 2014 Sweethearts have won their 2015 state titles. Last year, only 4 Sweethearts competed at Miss America. The state season is only half complete thus far, and there are already over a dozen Sweethearts with state titles.

The pageant will be held in August; we can’t wait to see how Nina will do. New York has certainly set the standards high, and we have every reason to believe Nina will continue to show America that an Empire State of Mind is the secret to success.

Top Pop Songs for Talent-Dance

Pageant Prep

Choosing a song for talent is difficult. You want it to be upbeat and catchy. The judges should recognize it, and possibly have an emotional tie to it. The lyrics should be meaningful. It can’t hurt for audience participation either.

It is generally a good idea to choose a song put out within the past 5 years. Some locals even push within the past 2 years. Miss America should be relevant, modern, and a trendsetter. More often than not, she will do this with a modern song. 

Bomber Beauties

Pageant Lifestyle, Titleholder Interviews

Nestled in the heart of the Finger Lakes, Ithaca is home to hiking trails and waterfalls, award winning coffeehouses and wineries, farmer’s markets, summer weekends of live music, and the first ice cream sundae. Often considered one of the best college towns in America, students from across the globe attending Ithaca College and Cornell University also call Ithaca home. Needless to say, Ithaca is gorges gorgeous.

10755031_10153270218570353_763409799_nBut Ithaca has three new rays of beauty, thanks to the Miss New York and Miss America Organizations known as the “Bomber Beauties”, a term pegged by former Ithaca Bomber cheerleader Lauren Crandall (a former “Bomber Beauty” herself).  Kristina King, Emma Silen, and Willa Hahn , three students at Ithaca College hold Miss New York local preliminary titles. They will not only be representing their respective regions through the year, but come together to promote the positives of pageantry on Ithaca College while using their crown to spread their personal platforms and serve the campus.

1939774_731079860305512_5164931644079590357_nKristina supported her friends as they competed, and even attended the Miss America 2014 pageant when Nina Davuluri, Miss New York 2013 America 2014, was crowned. “I remember when I first went to Miss America when Nina was crowned – when people asked if I competed, I said I was just watching, but the pageant bug certainly bit me! A year later, here I am with my first local title.” She finally decided to compete for fun in the Lioness Club of Central Square’s annual Apple Festival “Miss Apple Festival” Pageant on her birthday, and to her surprise and joy, she won. Taking the overall title, she was given the special opportunity to advance to Miss New York through a Fair and Festival Pageants clause. She will be competing as Miss Central Square’s Apple Festival. Willa, Miss Erie Canal 2015, had competed in West Virginia and even won a preliminary award for her talent. But as a student for 10 months out of the year in New York, she decided to compete in the Miss Syracuse triple crown pageant and give New York a chance. Emma, a self-proclaimed “accidental pageant girl” had competed in the 2014 pageant season. Hooked, she competed in the new Miss New York State Fair pageant for practice over the summer, and won. She too will be utilizing the Fair and Festivals Pageant clause and competing.

10375061_10152799920142931_2413599849877711451_nThe role of a titleholder is more than glitz and glam, and nothing like how the media portrays these women. They are responsible for maintain an active presence in their community, promoting their personal platform and the sponsors, and representing the brand standard of the Miss New York and Miss America Organization. Being an integrated marketing communications student helps both Willa and Kristina not only in their personal branding strategies, but understand how to market their organization as well. Furthermore, Miss America is a sisterhood. Miss America contestants will fly across the country to watch their pageant sisters get married. Local titleholders will drive across the state to support a sister at a special event. The three Bomber Beauties are no different. Since the three of them received their crowns, they have already attended events together on campus to promote their individual platforms, attended fundraisers for non-profits, and general campus pride. They are also seeking out local sponsors in the community to help them prepare for the state pageant.

The tough courses and tougher terrain make it important for these queens to balance school with personal time, extracurricular, and pageant prep. Although they may not be able to wear heels to class, with winter running from October to May, but the hills are surely a contributing factor to these ladies’ define calves muscles. Kristina has gotten very good at pinning her crown on in the car, zipping off to a volunteer event. Thankfully, competing comes with a prize: scholarship. From her first Miss New York pageant alone, Willa received a $500 scholarship which will cover the price of text books.

1381401_1003336159694152_6845437837732072626_nThese three ladies aren’t the first Bomber Beauties to compete for Miss New York. In fact, this isn’t the first time three pageant girls attended at the same time either. In 2010, Alexandra Palombo (a senior writer for the Ithacan at the time) explored the motivation for competing, and highlighted the scholarship aspect, while featuring Lauren Crandall (Miss Fonda Fair 2009), Michela Moe (Miss Maui 2010), and Morgan O’Brien Bocciolatt (Miss Thousand Islands 2011). Bianca Lupi, a graduate of Ithaca College, also competed in Miss New York preliminaries during her last year of eligibility. On the other side of the hill, Cornell University student Camille Sims, Miss Finger Lakes 2013, made Top 10 at Miss New York 2013. Neetu Chadak, Miss Upstate New York’s Outstanding Teen 2013, also attends Cornell University, and is currently competing for the chance to compete at Miss New York. The excess sparkle from the Finger Lakes region schools has actually inspired a potential Pageant Club, for students at both Ithaca College and Cornell, as a networking program for students in pageantry across the region and the state.

Who knows what will happen at Miss New York. Perhaps Ithaca College will send a student to Miss America! But until then, these Bomber Beauties have launched their year and are bound to make an impact.

Miss America’s Homecoming 2015

National Competitions

Last month, Kira Kazantsev was crowned Miss America in Atlantic City, New Jersey. I am so proud to be able to say I watched this girl compete at Miss New York last year, just make Top 10, then come back with a vengance and not only take the state crown but go all the way to Miss America. The shock is still there. Miss America is from New York, three times in a row. This is certainly why we always have a New York State of mind. Everything’s better in New York!

10383009_917135998315179_4432357664803991469_nThree Miss Americas in a row made history. But also, we have three Miss America homecomings in a row. This homecoming should make history as well, as one of the best.  Following recent Miss America tradition, after a handful of appearances, performances, and hospital visits during her first month as Miss America, Kira would return to where it all began- The City of Lights.

And the New Miss New York is…

State Competitions

Following the crowning of Miss America, the state has the job of filling the gap. Who will be the next Miss [state]? Recently, with New York’s prior wins, we have had the honor of crowning Shannon Oliver and Amanda Mason as Miss New York 2012 and 2013, respectively, following the crowning of Mallory Hagan and Nina Davuluri as Miss America.

This year, as Kira took the national stage for the first time as Miss America, New York had the difficult job once again. Who will take the title of Miss New York?

Being called in Top 5, normally that is the end. There is that statement muffled about “should the winner no longer be able to fill her responsibilities, the first runner up will take over. But normally that goes ignored. Why would a titleholder be unable to fill her responsibilities?  In this case, because she now has a new job; Miss America.

And so it came down to the Top 5 to decide, who will be Miss New York 2014?