July 28, 2011 — Dreams came true in Orlando on Saturday, July 23rd, when 3 young women were crowned Princess America Pageants’ National Miss, National Teen, and National Jr. Teen 2011. The Caribe Royale Resort in Orlando, Florida played host to Princess America Pageants’ 2011 week-long national event. Contestants from across the country met in the Sunshine State to compete for a combined total of over $25,000 is cash, prizes, scholarships, and awards.
Produced by Perspectives Productions, Princess America Pageants launched its annual national event by crowning titleholders in three divisions. These include the National Junior Teen (13 – 15 years of age) National Teen (16 – 18 years of age) and National Miss (19 – 28 years of age). Phases of competition, each worth 25% of the total score, included Physical Fitness, Personal Expression, Private Interview, and Evening Wear.
After arriving in Orlando the delegates registered, and then along with their families, enjoyed a welcome luncheon themed as a summer garden party. Many wearing floral prints and hats, they prepared for orientation and their first rehearsal in the hotel’s Martinique Ballroom.
On Wednesday morning the contestants participated in an “Ice Cream for Breakfast Social” and then boarded the bus for Downtown Disney. While on Disney property, delegates were free to shop, dine, watch a movie, ride a hot air balloon, and enjoy boating in the bay. After several exciting hours, the delegates once again loaded the bus, had a fantastic lunch at Sweet Tomatoes, and departed for the Give Kids the World Village. The contestants enjoyed an emotional video and personal tour of the village, which culminated with the presentation of a check for $5000 that this year’s participants had raised to donate to GKTW. After an inspirational visit to the village, delegates boarded the bus yet again to enjoy an evening at Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament.
Thursday morning began with a poolside swimwear photo shoot with Deanna Meredith. The shoot lasted throughout the day with delegates receiving call times in which they shot in physical fitness, eveningwear, and Deanna Meredith fashions. Delegates then prepared for the evening’s main event, a silent auction & gala dubbed “The Pink & Black Ball.” Special awards were given out at this time, including the “Difference Maker of the Year,” to Virginia Miss Lindsay Knox. After an elegant dinner, attendees also bid on items brought by each state representative in an attempt to raise money for Give Kids the World, as well as for the Princess America Scholarship Fund. The efforts of those in attendance paid off when more than $1200 was raised.
Friday began with a general rehearsal for the Miss contestants while the Jr. Teen & Teens met with the judges for their 7 minute interview. The evening culminated with all three divisions competing in Physical Fitness, Personal Expression, and Evening Wear. This year’s judges included Cirque & Universal Studios performer David Rusho, Mrs. America 2011 &QVC model April Lufriu, Real World Cancun star and NFL free agent CJ Koegel, Professional model and former Miss Indiana USA Brittany Mason, and television talk show host, model, & ThePageantPlanet.com’s Steven Roddy.
On Saturday morning the Miss delegates had their chance to interview with the judges and then all contestants met for their final rehearsal. The show began promptly at 7:30pm with the Top Five Junior Teens, Top Ten Teens, and Top Ten Miss competing in all phases of on-stage competition.
The Junior Teen Top Five included Massachusetts Taylor Murchison, Washington Cheyanne Garcia, Oklahoma Caroline Friesenhahn, Connecticut Cindy Nguyen, and Texas Malori Carlow.
The Teen Top Ten included Virginia Merissa Pence, Oklahoma Jessica Morgan, Wyoming Laice O’Malley, California Amber Papst, Midwest Sommer Johnston, Louisiana Taylre Bryant, Florida Catherine Trisch, Pennsylvania Julia Belechak, Ark-La-Tex Briley Hale, and Southern States Amber Mitchell.
The Miss Top Ten included Kentucky Paige McKinney, Maryland Kaitlyn Wozniak, Utah Jessica Hudgins, California Kristyn Admire, Alabama Mary Margaret McCord, North Carolina Stephanie Culbreth, Oklahoma Carrie Baker, Virginia Lindsay Knox, Texas Hannah Terry, and Missouri Megan Hall.
After entertainment by Miss Iowa 2011, Jessica Pray, and interviews of numerous visiting queens, including Miss Indiana Teen USA Jessica Buch, the winners were ready to be announced.
Fourth Runner Up in the Junior Teen division went to Massachusetts Taylor Murchison, Third Runner Up was Connecticut Cindy Nguyen, Second Runner Up was Texas Malori Carlow, First Runner Up was Washington Cheyanne Garcia, and the newly crowned National Junior Teen 2011 is Oklahoma’s own Caroline Friesenhahn.
The 13 year old daughter of David and Katie Friesenhahn, Caroline is from Bixby, Oklahoma and is an Academic Honor Student who enjoys dancing, spending time with her friends, and traveling. She hopes to pursue a degree and career in whichever direction her passion and drive take her. She served on the Headmaster’s Advisory Board and is enrolled in Honors courses in both Math and English. Her friends say that she is friendly, driven, and light-hearted.
The Teen results were announced next, beginning with Virginia Teen Merissa Pence taking the Fourth Runner Up honor. Third Runner Up was Louisiana Teen Taylre Bryant followed by Second Runner Up, Pennsylvania Teen Julia Belechak. As the audience held their breath, Ark-La-Tex Teen Briley Hale received the distinction of being the First Runner Up and Southern States Teen Amber Mitchell was crowned Princess America Pageants’ National Teen 2011.
The 17 year old daughter of Buster and Tracey Mitchell, Amber is from Sheridan, Arkansas. Both a high school and college student simultaneously, Amber plans to pursue a pharmaceutical degree and one day open her own pharmacy. She is a certified lifeguard and an academic honor student who enjoys cooking, swimming, playing co-ed softball, and bowling. Also proficient in CPR, she has received full paid tuition to college and her friends say that she is strong-willed, honest, and considerate.
The final results of the night were only seconds away. As the Miss delegates gathered on stage the announcement. Utah Miss Jessica Hudgins was the Fourth Runner Up. Kentucky Miss Paige McKinney was the Third Runner Up and Alabama Miss Mary Margaret McCord was Second Runner Up. While the room when silent with anticipation, the final two moved forward and awaited the judge’s decision. Texas Miss Hannah Terry took home First Runner Up honors and Oklahoma Miss Carrie Baker was crowned Princess America Pageants’ National Miss 2011. The audience erupted in applause as Carrie was met on stage by her sister queens Amber & Caroline.
The 19 year old daughter of Bob & Sharon Baker, Carrie is from Tulsa and a student at Community Care College. She plans to complete a registered nursing degree and she enjoys dedicating her time to health and fitness. She loves to sing, and is currently learning how to play the guitar. Her hobbies include spending time with family and friends, P90X, and taking care of her pets. Her friends say that she is driven, compassionate, and fun-loving.
The year ahead is one of great promise for the new titleholders and the Princess America Pageant system.