Miss South Carolina Pageant

Best foot forward on Day 2

otaylor@thestate.comJuly 12, 2012 

Editor's note: This story was updated Thursday morning to correct the name of the swimsuit competition, Miss Clemson Cynthia Leighann Bagwell.

How many pageants allow Krispy Kreme doughnuts on stage? Probably just the Miss South Carolina Pageant. It happened Wednesday night at the Township Auditorium.

But Miss South Carolina 1994 Kristie Greene Lee only shared with the judges, which means after all the doughnut talk, Krispy Kreme might see an uptick in business. Lee hilariously gave directions. And to describe herself, Lee mispronounced the name of a local street.

“I’m a little Huger,” said Lee to an electrified crowd. (See a story on Lee.)

The winners of the night’s preliminaries in the Miss competition were Miss Clemson Cynthia Leighann Bagwell in swimsuit and Miss Darlington Clarka Wickliffe for talent. In the Miss South Carolina Teen competition, Summerville Teen Blythe Neal won evening wear and Greater Mauldin Teen Rachel Wyatt took talent.

Here’s a recap of the night’s memorable moments - and something to watch for Thursday night.

ENCORE: It’s not something the audience asked for, but the evening’s teen sportswear group had to perform twice. A contestant didn’t take her solo walk-rather, jump, since they were miming jumping rope to Beyonce’s “Get Me Bodied” – so the names were read out of order. “She just didn’t go when it was her turn,” said Steve Frocchi, chairman of the pageant’s board.

CROWN JEWEL: According to reigning queen Bree Boyce, being Miss South Carolina gets you out of speeding fines. Now that’s the ticket.

A STAR: Caitlen Patton, the reigning Miss South Carolina Teen, was the best performer of the night. Her golden voice belongs on Broadway.

COMEBACK KID: Tonight Miss Fountain Inn Anna Catherine English will get a second chance to dance on the pageant stage.

Last year, the 22-year-old Greenville native tore her ACL during rehearsals. She didn’t let the injury stop her from competing, as she joined the other contestants for the pageant’s opening number on crutches.

“I knew what I had to do as a contestant was to continue on,” English said. “I just wanted to be like everyone else. I didn’t want any special treatment. I was still a competitor.”

English, who will perform a contemporary dance to Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” can’t recall the exact move that led to her injury. After her August surgery, the orthopedist told English that she would not be able to compete at Miss S.C. Apparently he didn’t know who he was dealing with, because she won the Miss Fountain Inn crown in October. And she won talent, too.

“It was a very simple dance,” said English, who was Miss Wade Hampton-Taylors last year. “That was almost better than winning the title. That was a pretty big deal to me.”

English has been limited to 45 minutes of cardio three times a week because she has a cadaver ligament in her knee and her body could reject it. She’s had to slowly work her way back into dancing. Her moment is almost here.

“I think I’m going to wake up with tons of anxiety,” English said.

Um, break a leg?

Best exit: In a show so scripted, it’s nice to see an unscripted moment like when Piedmont Teen Megan Elizabeth Clark gave a high-five to an unsuspecting stage hand.

Reach Taylor at (803) 771-8362.

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