MUSKEGON — She did not win the top title, but Audrey Frank was still beaming following the Miss Michigan Scholarship Pageant in downtown Muskegon late Saturday night.
Frank, Miss Danish Festival 2011, won the Congeniality Award, worth a $500 scholarship.
The award was voted on by the 31 contestants who represented local pageants from all over the state. They gathered at at the Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts in Muskegon.
“I did not expect it all!” said Frank, humbly, “I stood there for a few minutes looking for the girl to go down and accept the award, then I realized they had said my name.”
After a week of practices and public appearances, and a private interview with five judges, the competition began on Thursday and Friday with preliminary rounds of talent, swimsuit, evening gown and on-stage question.
“The week has been so much fun!” beamed Frank, 20, the daughter of Kathy and Mark Frank. “I would really like to do an open pageant and come back again next year.”
The top 10 contestants were announced Saturday after all contestants performed a group dance and introduced themselves. The 10 were later pared down to five before Miss St. Clair Shores Angela Venditti was crowned Miss Michigan.
“Audrey felt her interview went great, talent went very well and she looked very beautiful on stage,” said Miss Danish Festival Queen’s pageant director Julie Stephens, “Her on-stage question was very difficult, but all of them were difficult or controversial this year.”
“I was nervous about the swimsuit phase of competition, but when I talked to the other girls, they all said just go out there and do it, it is only 15 seconds,” Frank said.
The other contestants, many like Venditti had made two previous appearances at the state competition, were helpful and encouraging, she added.
“It has been such an eye-opening experience, to get to know the girls and see all that they are doing,” Frank said, “I would definitely encourage other girls from Greenville to try or do the Miss Outstanding Teen pageant and learn about other things in our state. There are so many opportunities that you learn about and so many people you are able to meet by being in a pageant like this.”
Frank’s winning the Congeniality Award did not come as a surprise to Stephens.
“I have heard such nice things all week about what a wonderful, down-to-earth girl Audrey is, from the other directors and the other girls,” said Stephens, “She should feel very proud of herself.”
Correspondent Lori Hansen is a Greenville area resident.