COLUMBIA, SC — The Miss South Carolina preliminaries wrapped Thursday night at Township Auditorium, and unlike the previous two years, there are no clear favorites heading into the final. For the first time in three years, there wasn’t a double preliminary winner in the miss or teen competitions. That should make good theater at Saturday night’s finale.
The night belonged to vocalists. Clarka Wickliffe, Miss Spartanburg, and Brooklyn Garrett, Lake Keowee Teen, sparkled vocally to win talent. Overall, voice hasn’t been stellar at this year’s pageant, but both contestants exhibited deft control.
Brooke Mosteller, Miss Mount Pleasant, won swimsuit and Brook Sill, Mauldin Teen, took evening wear/onstage question.
ON POINT: Miss Greenville Scottish Games Pasha Franklin’s talent was a performing as a balletic mime. Looking in the program, one might exclaim, “What?” On stage, Franklin’s impassioned reading was uniquely creative. And her en pointe Moonwalk was just that — on point. (Michael Jackson’s music and moves is especially popular this year.)
FAIR PLAY: As Miss Powdersville McKenzie Faulkner performed “Crystallize,” a cover of Lindsey Stirling’s violin-anchored dubstep song, her mic lost sound. Faulkner finished the song. She was allowed a second attempt. Columbia Teen Katie-Laken Weeks was allowed to go later in talent rotation than scheduled because of an issue with her tap shoes.
STAND-UP GAL: Greater Greer Teen Taylor Ross, who appeared on stage in curlers and a rope, performed comedic monologue about pageant tips. You know, stuff like how to keep, uh, things in place. She has a future in stand-up. She brought some comic relief to the stage, something that has been missing with the absence of Kristie Greene, aka Kristie Kreme.
WHAT TIME IS IT?: The timing for many of the preliminary piano players, especially those who had recorded accompaniment, was off. The disparity between players was evident. While Society Hill Teen Caitlan Walzer’s playing Wednesday night was exciting, there have been players simply pecking at keys.
SELLING OUT: There are fewer than 500 tickets left for Saturday’s finale. On Thursday, Township officials said about 1,900 tickets had been sold. The building’s capacity is 3,200, but the production’s size has eliminated almost a third of that. Basically, get your tickets Friday or you’re going to be standing outside in the rain on Saturday.
PAGEANT CONFIDENTIAL: On Sunday when we wrote that the SC pageant culture was red hot, we weren’t kidding. The Miss SC pageant was featured prominently on “Pageant Confidential: The Road to Miss America,” a special edition of ABC’s “20/20” that preceded the Miss America broadcast in January. The cameras followed Miss SC Ali Rogers to her hometown of Laurens. Rogers even had one-on-one time with the show’s host, Lara Spencer. ABC is back again this year. That’s what happens when you’re hot.
Reach Taylor at (803) 771-8362.