Empire Girls Compete in Pennsylvania and Illinois

State Competitions

This past weekend, two beautiful and intelligent young women took the state stage after competing in New York with eligibility earned from school.

Julia Rae Schlucter, former Miss Metropolitan 2014, grew up in Pennsylvania where she held the title of Miss Pennsylvania’s Outstanding Teen in 2008. While in Orlando at the national competition, Julia took home the 1st Runner Up spot at Miss America’s Outstanding Teen. She took a few years off from competing, until 2014 when she competed in the New York Local pageant and earned the Miss Metropolitan title with Kira Kazantsev, who earned the Miss New York City title, and Christina Moore, who took the Miss Cosmopolitan title. Julia secured a spot in the Top 10 at Miss New York, but decided that she was ready to compete for her home state. Competing in New York gave her valuable experience, and kept her stage ready until she returned this year to vie for the Pennsylvania crown as Miss Philadelphia.

Michela Moe competed as Miss Maui 2009 at the Miss Hawaii pageant before moving to New York for college, and was a Top 7 finalist. It wasn’t until her final year in school that she decided to compete for the Miss Thousand Islands title. Although she did not win, she took the 1st runner up spot, and potentially re-sparked her interest in the Miss America title. She returned to Ithaca College, finished her degree, and found a job in Chicago Illinois. It wasn’t long before she competed for the Miss Chicago triple crown pageant and earned the title of Miss Windy City.

Night 1 Preliminaries

The Miss Pennsylvania pageant had two nights of preliminary competition. On Wednesday, June 10th, Julia competed in the talent competition, and tied for the talent preliminary award with Rebecca Potts.  She pushed through to finals, landing a spot in the Top Ten on the finals night. Julia wowed the judges with her prelim-winning talent, as she performed a pop country vocal piece. As the Top 5 placement was called, Julia was left standing with Ashley Schmider. Ashley took the crown, leaving Julia with the 1st Runner Up spot.

On Wednesday, Michela had her private interview with the judges in the morning, then later during the first night of preliminaries, Michela competed on-stage in the Lifestyle and Fitness competition. On Thursday, she brought a taste of the islands to the Windy City, and performed a hula dance. Although she did not win a preliminary award either night, she secured a spot in the Finals as People’s Choice. During the finals, her composite scores were still high enough to launch her into the Top 5. Crystal Davis won the title of Miss Illinois, but Michela didn’t go home empty handed. She placed 2nd Runner Up, and shared the Top 5 with Lily Arendt, Kogan Murphy and Janna Harner.

New York may not be their home, but there is no doubt that once the experience and education earned in New York indicates their greater destiny. Great job, Julia Rae and Michela!


Miss America’s Homecoming

National Competitions

Two months ago, Nina Davuluri was crowned Miss America in Atlantic City, New Jersey. I watched as the girl I’ve competed with, had lunch with, discussed platforms with, and judged a local pageant with was crowned Miss America. It was fricken amazing, and I’m still in shock. New York won twice. Upstate New York. First Bollywood Talent. First Indian descent. It was just truly unbelievable.

Two Miss Americas in a row seems like a great reason to Party. So in line with Miss America tradition, after beginning her reign as Miss America, she would return to where it all began.

After a quick evening in New York City to jump start the Homecoming celebration, Nina and her gang flew (or drove) upstate to the place where it all began: Syracuse. Here, the real celebration began. I of course wanted to be involved and chose two of the events to attend: the autograph signing and the breakfast.

Miss America Preliminaries

National Competitions

Even though I am not participating in Miss America this year (I have two more years to get there. Who knows, maybe I will.), I do follow Miss America Organization, Laura Kaeppeler, Teresa Scanlan, various pageant coaches, and at least 50 of this year’s Miss America contestants. This means I get countless perspectives on all things pageants.

Which is important because this week is Miss America!