Miss CT takes much from Miss America experience

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Statewide - posted Thu., Jan. 17, 2013
Miss Connecticut Emily Audibert performs her dance at the Miss America preliminary competition on Jan 10. Photos by Steve Smith.
Miss Connecticut Emily Audibert performs her dance at the Miss America preliminary competition on Jan 10. Photos by Steve Smith.

While neighboring New York's representative Mallory Hytes Hagan took home the Miss America title on Jan. 12 in Las Vegas, Nev., Miss Connecticut Emily Audibert represented the Nutmeg State well and said that while she didn't bring home the national crown, it was a very memorable experience.

Audibert performed a lyrical dance routine – to the song “Listen” by Beyoncé – during the pageant's preliminaries, where she also competed in the interview, evening gown and lifestyle and fitness phases of the competition. She said performing on the big stage was a highlight of her journey.

“I figured, why not strut my stuff out there and show everyone what I'm made of?” she said. “You never know what's going to happen on finals night. It was definitely an amazing experience and very rewarding. Every new stage you get to dance on just shows your progress – the accomplishments you've made and how far you've come. I did my absolute best, so I can't come home unhappy. I'm ecstatic that I went there, and with how well I did.”

While on that stage, she said she kept focused by thinking about her roots. “I was thinking about how I was Wolcott's girl, and now I'm Connecticut's girl on the Miss America stage, and just kind of reminiscing about how many people have helped me come to where I am,” she said. “That's what I was thinking about – making my home town and state proud.”

Audibert, whose first pageant was the Miss Wolcott pageant preliminary to the Miss Connecticut crown, admits that she isn't a typical “pageant girl” and at times felt like she was observing the other contestants' world, but still enjoyed the ride by making new friends and memories she would cherish.

“They are all very nice, and very welcoming, but I don't feel the same things they feel,” she said. “I feel like God put me here to see them and to help fight against the stereotype [about pageant participants]. There are a lot of good people in the world, doing good things via different avenues. It can be at a soup kitchen or it can be through something like the Miss America Organization, where we raise funds for causes and promote charities. It's really about making other people happy. It's a year of service.”

Already an advocate for the “Let's Move” campaign to promote nutrition and healthier lifestyles for children, Audibert added that she felt inspired by the other state representatives to increase her service to the community. “Everyone is doing amazing things, at such a young age, for charities and organizations,” she said. “That amazes me, because you don't see that every day, but here you are just surrounded by it.”

Audibert said she had first met Hagan in Orlando, Fla., last summer during the Miss America's Outstanding Teen competition, and then again in Las Vegas. “She's a very nice girl,” she said. “The word I'd use to describe her is 'fierce.' She's definitely what this organization needs, because she is confident, sophisticated, very ethical and very nice to everybody. She's a great person. I'm really happy she's our new Miss America.”

Audibert said she made friends with most of the other contestants in the Mu Group (one of three into which the contestants are divided to facilitate the contest), especially Misses Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nebraska, South Dakota, Massachusetts and North Dakota, and others.

Miss Connecticut's Outstanding Teen, Jaine' Coann LeFebvre of Glastonbury, who was first runner-up at the national pageant last August, was also invited to sing the National Anthem on the Miss America stage to start the Jan. 10 preliminary.
For more information, visit www.missamerica.org.

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