Instead of congratulating her for being crowned Miss South Carolina Saturday night at Township Auditorium, Brooke Mosteller said Attorney General Alan Wilson called to fire her from her summer internship. She was joking.
Affable and quick-witted, Mosteller peppered her sentences at the pageant’s Sunday morning press conference with punch lines.
“The good news is I’ve got something else to do,” the University of South Carolina law student said.
Mosteller also won Miss Congeniality, and her personality shined throughout the pageant, especially after she made the top five. Mosteller punctuated her answer to a question with a joke about her Hollywood-glam fashion sense.
“I’ve always kind of thought, ‘Eh, if I’ve got a joke, I think I’m just going to say it instead of holding back,” said Mosteller, a Taylor Swift fan who identifies with the pop singer’s fearless mantra.
Mosteller doesn’t get polite laughs because of her crown; people guffaw, bellies heaving, because she has genuine comedic charm.
“She’s an intelligent, articulate young lady,” Ashley Byrd, Miss South Carolina Scholarship Organization’s president and executive director, said. “There was an ‘It’ factor I think that the judges saw in her, and I think that it will definitely show on the national stage.
“It carried over in every phase of competition. It’s just that confidence that she has on the stage.”
Brook Sill, Miss SC Teen, coaxed laughter when she used historical data mixed with superstition to break down the probability of her chances at Miss America’s Outstanding Teen next month.
Two years ago she was Miss SC Teen’s first runner-up as a 14-year-old high school freshman. She took a year off before returning.
Taylor Fitch competed as a freshman in 2006, but didn’t win. In 2008, after a year away, Fitch took the crown on her way to winning MAOT. In 2010, Rachel Wyattwas the first runner-up as a freshman. She also took a year break before returning to capture the state crown and MAOT. Like Sill, Wyatt was Mauldin Teen.
“So I’m really, really hoping that this works out,” Sill, a 16-year-old Duncan, native said.
Sill, who was crowned by her cousin, Sydney Sill, who ascended after Wyatt won the national crown, is a pageant maverick. She wore a two-piece, custom-made gown that bared maybe an inch of midriff. The look, with its highlighter-blue bottom and white top that covered her shoulders and back, was conservative — and also considerably risky.
“I didn’t know how the judges would take it, because it was so different,” said Sill, a contemporary dancer who won an evening wear/question prelim. “That is my dream gown. I was in love with it from the start.”
The winners were given necklaces, bracelets, earrings and watches. Mosteller also received a fur jacket and use of a car from Jim Satcher Motors in Johnston.
“Dad, you’re going to have a lot to live up to for my birthday,” said Mosteller, the Mount Pleasant native who turns 24 Friday.
“I see that,” Rick Mosteller, who was sitting in the front row, replied.
Mosteller, a Furman University graduate, was the third runner-up to Miss SC 2012 Ali Rogers. This year Mosteller, Miss Mount Pleasant, won a swimsuit prelim and her vocal talent was remarkable. Her platform is Go Higher! College Application Day, a program for high school students to apply for college during school hours with the assistance of teachers and guidance counselors. The program, which began in 2008, reached 32,000 students and 152 schools in 2012.
Mosteller’s mother, Cyndi, passed out a report on the program. Both Cyndi and Rick agreed Mosteller’s humor comes from her.
“She gets responsibility from him. She gets her personality from me,” she said.
The Miss America pageant is moving back to Atlantic City after being held in Las Vegas the previous seven years. But instead of a January pageant, Miss America will be crowned in September.
The MAOT pageant begins Aug. 13 in Orlando. After the press conference, Mosteller and Sill traveled to Miss SC’s home office in Hartsville, where they have access to a three-bedroom apartment, to prepare for national competition. The MAOT paperwork had to be filed in 24 hours.
Byrd said there would be little rest for the two. Asked if she was ready for what amounts to a pageant boot camp, Mosteller didn’t hold back.
“Strap up,” she said.
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