It was a sparkling Fourth of July for the newly crowned Miss South Carolina and Miss South Carolina Teen. Miss Hartsville Kelly Annette Sloan beamed while wiping away tears after hearing her name called as the 2009 Miss South Carolina.
Miss Laurens County Teen Ali Rogers was announced as this year’s Miss South Carolina Teen.
“I’m pretty much in shock,” Sloan said minutes after being crowned by outgoing Miss South Carolina Anna Perry on stage at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium. “This is my last year to compete. I’ve competed for four years and never made top 10, so I am in such shock right now.”
Sloan, 24, of Gray Court, received high marks from judges for her vocal performance of “For Once in My Life.” Sloan looked the part of a queen in her evening wear — a long, backless white dress with silver accents at the waist.
The crown, she joked, is something she’s looking forward to getting used to as a regular accessory — she almost started her acceptance walk without it. Another thing she’s looking forward to is eating one of her favorite snacks again.
“My mom has a jar of pickles for me because I haven’t been able to eat them because of the sodium,” Sloan quipped. “So, I’m going to eat some pickles and call all of my friends.”
Her year as Miss South Carolina will begin immediately, and as pageant emcee and 1994 Miss South Carolina Kristie Greene Lee said before announcing the winner, her life will be changed forever. Sloan will promote her platform, “Communities in Schools,” as well as the platform of the Miss America organization, “Children’s Miracle Network.”
Rogers, 17 of Laurens, again drew loud applause for her piano performance of “In the Mood” that won her the preliminary talent competition Thursday night. Wearing a black and white strapless gown, Rogers accepted the teen crown in front of a roaring audience.
She’ll spend the next year promoting her platform, “Teens Against Underage Drinking.”
Other highlights of the final night of the pageant included performances from the 2008 title holders, Perry, Miss South Carolina Teen Courtney Cisson and Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Taylor Fitch. Entertaining comedic and musical sets fitting with this year’s theme “Tribute to Television” entertained the audience between contestant performances. All of the top 10 finalists in both Miss and Teen competed in the talent, fitness/swimwear and evening gown categories.
Runners-up for the Miss South Carolina crown are: first-runner up Elizabeth Tate, Miss Greater Greer; second runner-up Susannah White, Miss Greater Carolina; third runner-up Morgan Dampier, Miss Capital City; and fourth runner-up Ellen Neely, Miss Lexington County Peach Festival.
Runners-up for the Miss South Carolina Teen crown are: first runner-up Leighann Bagwell, Miss Greater Carolina Teen; second runner-up Raimey Pike, Miss Columbia Teen; third runner-up Anna Beth Fields, Miss Liberty Teen; and fourth runner-up Leslie Spearman, Miss Greater Mauldin Teen.
Sloan wins $15,000 in cash scholarships and will compete in the Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas in January. Rogers will receive a $5,000 savings bond and will travel to Orlando, Fla., in August to compete in the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Competition.