Hidden Talents: The Pageant Queen
Written by Bwog Staff
Hidden Talents introduces you to the secret lives of your classmates. You think you did well on the SATs, but can you breathe fire? Reveal your peers’ top tricks to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. In this edition, our Talent Scout Alex Eynon met Miss Virgin Islands, BC’13.
Camila Daniels may appear to be a typical college student, but that’s only because you haven’t seen her in a tiara. The Barnard junior took on the pageant world this summer for the first time, and her talent and poise won her the title of Miss Virgin Islands as well as a spot in the Miss America competition this coming January. Daniels prepared for the competition by brushing up on current events, practicing the flute (her talent), hitting the gym, and, perhaps most importantly, creating a community service platform to make a difference in her community. As a musician herself, she promoted music education programming in schools by working with both teachers and public officials on policy issues.
Daniels explained the events and scoring for those of us whose main pageant experience may come from watching “Toddlers and Tiaras” (Bwog does not endorse this kind of low brow entertainment)—“[Miss America] is different because it truly is a scholarship pageant—we require every girl to have a platform, we value girls on physical fitness and not just appearances in terms of the way they look in a swimsuit. Your personal interview counts for twenty-five percent and your talent counts for thirty-five percent of your total score, so more than half of your score is made up of things of substance. So the competition is based on things like that, the quality of someone’s platform and their educational goals rather than on appearances, and it sets itself apart in that regard.”
She also said that there hadn’t been any drama with rival states at her appearances, but that the contestants had come together to celebrate birthdays and “take over half of Denny’s” when she first met them. The Miss America contenders this year encompass a wide range of backgrounds and talents—there were a few other rookies in addition to Daniels, and although the most popular talents were singing and dancing, Miss Washington plays the Celtic Fiddle, and Miss Hawaii has an extensive jump rope routine where “she literally jump ropes on her butt.”
For Daniels, the most rewarding part of the competition so far has been meeting interesting and influential people, like the judges and Miss America 2011, who was crowned when she was only 17. And, of course, she looks forward to the opportunity to try for the big tiara, if you will.
Winning smile via Gov. Jongh’s blog