Bolingbrook, IL – I had the opportunity to visit Bolingbrook, IL for the Mrs. Illinois pageant which is a prelim to Mrs. America. I’m sitting with correspondent All American Woman Debbie Permoda for this pageant and we’re ready to have a good time. Also nearby was former Mrs. Illinois Internationals Bev Turkowski and Jennifer Naida.
Participants tonight include Pamela La Porte, Tammy Timm, Kelly Pedersen, Bryttanee Eaton-Jackowski, Laura Gast, Zara Johnson, Briana Cardone, and Colleen Kelly. For Miss Illinois Teen All American, we had Krista Lea Cline, Ashlie Zimmerman, Madeline Sell, Ashley Hornung, Catherine Love and Jr. Teen Kennedy Ann Niewolny.
Outgoing Mrs. Illinois America Amy Gregario and outgoing Miss Illinois Jr. Teen All American Taylor Ignofo both were second at their national pageant. I have known Amy for the past few years and she is wonderful young woman and a great pageant titleholder and a great friend.
Swimsuit competition was held first. Contestants were in one piece and carrying umbrellas for some reason not immediately apparent to the singing of Sting with the anthem of stalkers everywhere, “Every Breath You Take.” The stage, by the way, was wonderful. Featured multiple levels, stairs and chasing rope lights. Very elegant and glitzy all at once.
Pageant Pet Peeve: After an intermission, which is there so the participants can change anyway, don’t come out with the entertainment dancers. Why do they do that? Let’s keep the pageant going and use the talent when the ladies are changing. Am I right? Comment on this post if you think I’m all wet. I know I’m right, though. It’s up there with overuse of the word amazing.
This is not to take away from the talent. The dancing troupe and our master of ceremonies Jim Gibson singing was wonderful. However, when the pageant starts late, I like to see it move along a little more quickly. After evening gown competition, an on stage interview was held with our MC, who I believe did a wonderful job. Being a broadcaster, I always prefer someone other than the director or last year’s titleholders to be the master of ceremonies…and tonight’s was exceptional. In particular, considering he had not had much time to prepare, he did a great job interviewing the contestants.
I have to say, a funny extra to tonight’s show was to bring the husbands on stage to “walk the runway” on stage. It was funny, but I could see where some husbands would have some difficulty with this moment!
Miss Illinois Teen Special Awards:
Miss Photogenic (Teen): Catherine Love
Miss Congeniality: Krista Lea Cline
Mrs. Amity: Bryttanee Eaton-Jackowski
Mrs. Best in Costume: Zara Johnson
Mrs. Photogenic: Pamela La Porte
Mrs. Best in Swimwear: Bryttanee Eaton-Jackowski
Mrs. Best in Evening Gown: Pamela La Porte
Miss Jr. Teen All American: Kennedy Ann Niewolny
2nd Runner Up Teen: Catherine Love
1st Runner Up Teen: Ashley Hornung
Miss Illinois Teen All American: Madeline Sell
2nd Runner Up Mrs.: Briana Cardone
1st Runner Up: Mrs. Laura Gast
Mrs. Illinois: Zara Johnson
Congratulations to these wonderful ladies and good luck as you prepare to represent Illinois at your national pageants.