Miss SC Pageant

PHOTOS: Upstate woman crowned Miss SC

otaylor@thestate.comJuly 15, 2012 

You could say Ali Rogers had a good night.

Rogers, Miss Laurens County, was ecstatic when she was named the overall swimsuit competition winner at the Miss South Carolina Pageant Saturday night at the Township Auditorium. And when Miss Greater Greer Lauren Cabaniss was named first runner-up for the Miss South Carolina title — meaning Rogers had won the crown — Rogers had to catch her breath.

The 20-year-old Clemson University student, who was Miss South Carolina Teen 2009, was crowned by Bree Boyce, Miss S.C. 2011, who made national headlines by losing more than 100 pounds on her way to the title.

After she was named the new Miss South Carolina Teen on Saturday night, Rachel Wyatt, Miss Greater Mauldin Teen, didn’t clutch her chest or wipe tears when she was granted the runway. She dropped to one knee, and with her elbow on her knee and a fist to her head, she did what is commonly known as the Tim Tebow. (It’s the move Tebow, an NFL quarterback, does after scoring touchdowns.)

Wyatt, 17, will compete at Miss America’s Outstanding Teen competition next month in Orlando. The Miss America Pageant is in Las Vegas in January.

The winners will have a post-coronation press conference at 10:30 today at the Columbia Museum of Art.

Here’s a recap of some of the more memorable moments from the final night of the weeklong pageant.

SOLD OUT: Andre Holloman, the Township’s executive director, said that there were less than 100 seats left about hour before the start of the program. By Friday morning, the Township’s first balcony was sold out. Another Township employee said it’s an increase of 1,000 from last year.

STARDOM: Crystal Garrett, Miss S.C. 2007, looked extravagant in a gown reminiscent of an American flag when she sang the national anthem. The stripes were the bottom; the stars, part of the top. Her presence was Whitney Houston-like, and easily one of the best performances of the night. She should be a star.

MADE FOR TV: The Teen and Miss S.C. contestants were scheduled to be cut to 10, but the judges scored ties. So there were 22 talent performers instead of 20. It was made-for-TV drama, but wait, the pageant is no longer on TV.

FAMOUSLY LOCATED: The city of Hartsville is offering Miss S.C. a fully loaded apartment. (There’s an obvious question somewhere.) She was also given the use of a Jeep for a year by a state dealership.

DON’T STOP: The first rule of performance is not to stop, even if something goes wrong. That’s what Columbia Teen Jessica Aull did when her wireless microphone, affixed to her ear, dislodged and dangled near her collarbone. She still turned in a stellar performance of “Holding Out for a Hero.” Liked the bench, too. During her routine, Greater Greer Teen Sydney Sill, the Teen runner-up, had to contend with her dance routine being interrupted for a few seconds by the between-contestant house music.

QUESTIONING: The judges asked the top five Teen and Miss contestants questions. It disrupted the rhythm the host, Jane Jenkins Herlong, had beautifully set for the entire event.

THEME MUSIC: Kristie Greene Lee has been on a roll all week. Last year she called herself a jumbo shrimp. This year, she wore a watermelon pink gown. So, naturally, she referred to herself as a juicy and seedless watermelon. The next time she came out on stage she carried a barbell that included doughnuts as Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” played.

SIGNS: Folks in the audience support their favorite contestants with signage. The most popular: poster-sized photos held on sticks. But the glitter-covered C-O-L-A letters stood out during the evening.

KEEP SMILING: The hardest thing for contestants to do after being eliminated, but having to stay on stage, is keeping a smile on their face. This year’s contestants should be commended.

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