MUSKEGON — Miss Danish Festival Emily Smith had a goal going into the Miss Michigan Scholarship Pageant this past week.
A recent 18-year old Greenville High School graduate, Smith wanted to win one of the talent competitions.
She did even better — she won two.
“Emily knew going into the week she would be competing against some very talented young women, but really wanted to win a talent award,” said Danish
Festival pageant director Carol Warner. “She was one of the youngest contestants at age 18 and had little pageant experience, but we did feel her talent piece was outstanding.”
The competition, at the Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts in Muskegon, began with preliminary rounds on Thursday, where Smith competed in
Lifestyle and Physical Fitness and Presence and Poise Evening Wear. In Friday’s preliminary round, Smith had the on-stage question phase and the Artistic expression in Talent. Private interviews were conducted earlier in the week.
Performing a classical operatic vocal piece “Covien Partir,” Smith, as contestant No. 30, won the Friday night $500 preliminary talent award.
With all contestants participating in an opening dance number, the 33 women from throughout the state were pared down to the Top 10 Finalists, repeating their earlier phases of competition, and then whittled down to five.
However, between rounds, other prestiwgious awards are presented, including the $500 Non-Finalist Talent Scholarship.
Out of the 22 nonfinalists, Smith came out ahead, winning her second award.
“It has been an exciting week,” said Smith, following the final rounds Saturday night, “I am so blessed to not only have been able to perform at the beautiful Frauenthal Theater, but to have won talent awards.
The $1,000 scholarship awards, along with an additional $300 participant award, will go toward Smith’s education at Western Michigan University this fall.
“Emily has had such a good time all week. It has just been wonderful,” said her proud mom Mari Smith, ”It’s been a whirlwind of a year, and it will be nice to wind down a little. Then we will probably evaluate if she wants to do any more pageants.”
Emily will pass on her Miss Danish Festival crown in August, but is already looking ahead.
“There are some pageants that I would qualify for, and will probably try the Miss Kalamazoo County pageant,” she said. “I’d love to come back next year.”
It was only the first Miss Michigan pageant 20-year-old Miss Saginaw County Haley Williams had been involved in. Yet the Saline resident won the Miss Michigan title, a $10,000 award, and the opportunity to compete in the Miss America Scholarship in September.