Miss UNA hopefuls get ‘Glee-ked’ out for pageant


young woman will take center stage Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. at Norton

Auditorium and be crowned Miss UNA. The pageant is divided into

five portions with percentages adding up to determine who will

represent UNA and the Shoals community in the Miss Alabama pageant

this summer.


pageant will begin with a closed interview worth 25 percent. The

contestants get the opportunity to meet with the judges

face-to-face before they step foot on stage. Contestant Brandi

Lewis loves the idea of getting to know the judges first-hand

because she believes that “first impressions are lasting



the interview, the judges read through the contestants’ resumes and

the women discuss their platforms. The platforms are created by the

women and are based on issues they personally struggle with or

issues they have seen others experience.

<span style=

“font-size: 14pt;”>Lewis’s platform is “A Chance to Dream” and was

created in response to her diagnosis of the chronic illness,

aplastic anemia. The rare blood disorder was discovered in 2008 but

her body has responded to treatments well and she aims to use her

platform to support children who are struggling with the



contender, Traci Hite, centered her platform on ataxia awareness.

Ataxia is a hereditary disease of the nervous system. Hite has

learned about the disease through her uncle’s diagnosis and she

hopes that members of the audience will find motivation to research



the interview portion of the pageant, the audience will meet the

women through the opening group number which will be choreographed

based on the hit TV show “Glee.”  The mastermind

behind the “All Glee-ked Out” theme is the current Miss UNA Erica

Gholson. Music from the show will serve as the soundtrack in

between portions of the pageant.

<span style=

“font-size: 14pt;”>Immediately following the performance, the most

anticipated portion of the pageant, the on-stage question, will

take place. The question is worth 5 percent and can cover a variety

of topics. The women do not have a technical method to prepare for

the on-stage question other than to make sure they stay polished on

current events, according to Hite.

<span style=

“font-size: 14pt;”>Thirty-five percent of the final score will be

determined by the talent portion of the pageant. The women are

given the chance to display their capabilities, with performances

spanning from ballet and baton twirling to piano playing and opera



pageant is really about the personal and professional development

of the women competing in it,” said Cheryl Mathis, pageant

director. “It’s beneficial in building confidence, interviewing

skills and on how to speak publicly. These ladies who compete are

put up there on stage and are expected to have enough poise and

grace to speak confidently. The more dedicated they are, the more

they get out of it.”


women then demonstrate their poise as they change for the evening

wear part of the show, which is worth 20 percent. During this time,

the audience will learn about the contestants’ platforms and other

valid information pertaining to the pageant. Following the evening

gown portion, the women are judged in the lifestyle and fitness in

swimsuit category, which is worth 15 percent.

<span style=

“font-size: 14pt;”>“Pageant girls wearing swimsuits has always been

a touchy subject,” Lewis said. “But I believe it just shows your

confidence. Confidence plays a big part in pageants and in loving

who you are.”


other 10 contestants include: Claire Stewart, D’Aria Booker, Paige

Bowen, Emilee Crosswhite, Anne-Marie Hall, Jessica McElvey, Norma

Mills, Celia Prince, Katherine Purcell and Ann-Marie


<span style=

“font-size: 14pt;”>Tickets are free to UNA students and are $12 for

the general public. They can be purchased by visiting


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