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Tension and Excitement Abound as Miss North Carolina and Miss North Carolina’s Outstanding Teen are Crowned

Saturday was an exciting day (and evening). After three nights of combined preliminary competition, the Miss North Carolina and Miss North Carolina’s Outstanding Teen pageant split into two separate (for the most part) productions.

In the daytime event, the 42 girls competing for Miss North Carolina’s Outstanding Teen were the focus. After a beautiful performance of the national anthem by Arlie Honeycutt, Miss North Carolina 2012, the production wasted no time in naming the competition’s top 15 contestants.

The Top 15 was made up of Miss Lake Norman’s Outstanding Teen, Taylor Foley; Miss Cabarrus County’s Outstanding Teen, Lauren Trull; Miss Johnston County’s Outstanding Teen, Whitley Naylor; Miss Central Carolina’s Outstanding Teen, Allison Kauffman; Miss Clayton’s Outstanding Teen, Lauren Walsh; Miss Greater Sandhills’ Outstanding Teen, Megan Huff; Miss Mount Holly’s Outstanding Teen, Mattie Lee; Miss Statesville’s Outstanding Teen Grace Dirig; Miss Fayetteville’s Outstanding Teen, Meri-Morgan Lochner; Miss Goldsboro’s Outstanding Teen, Catherine White; Miss Capital City’s Outstanding Teen, Kenzie Lyons; Miss Spivey’s Corner’s Outstanding Teen Ashley Brooke Daniels; Miss Charlotte’s Outstanding Teen, Kaitryana Leinbach; Miss Union County’s Outstanding Teen, Blaire Brown; and Miss Harrisburg’s Outstanding Teen, Kaelyn Embler.

After the top 15 were announced, the reigning Miss North Carolina’s Outstanding Teen Karson Fair, performed a fun dance number with two Carolina Princesses, Avery Bell and Madison Faggart, followed by the final evening gown and onstage question competition. During this stage of competition, American Idol’s Clark Beckham provided piano music to complete the mood.

Miss Grater Sandhills’ Outstanding Teen, Megan Huff, really stood out during this phase of competition, not only for her lovely gown, but for her heartfelt response to her onstage question. She was asked about whether or not parents should encourage their children to go after their dreams, even unrealistic ones, to which she gave an enthusiastic “yes.”

Miss Mount Holly’s Outstanding Teen, Mattie Lee, also did a good job in her onstage question and answer session as she argued against photo-shopping photos and for having people represent who they really are.

Some of the best dresses of the competition belonged to Miss Goldsboro’s Outstanding Teen, Catherine White, in a gorgeous blue number with a glittering back, and Miss Charlotte’s Outstanding Teen, Kaitryana Leinbach, in an elegant gown with glittering flowers running down the front.

After some entertainment from the Carolina Princesses and an onstage chat with Karson Fair, it was time for the Outstanding Teen Lifestyle and Fitness Competition. During this phase of competition, the top 10 were also called. In fact, those two things happened simultaneously; only girls who had made the top 10 were called, so as soon as a girl heard her name, she had to take her place on stage and perform her fitness routine.
The Top 10 was made up of Miss Lake Norman’s Outstanding Teen, Miss Cabarrus County’s Outstanding Teen, Miss Johnston County’s Outstanding Teen, Miss Central Carolina’s Outstanding Teen, Miss Greater Sandhills’ Outstanding Teen, Miss Mount Holly’s Outstanding Teen, Miss Goldsboro’s Outstanding Teen, Miss Spivey’s Corner’s Outstanding Teen, Miss Charlotte’s Outstanding Teen, and Miss Harrisburg’s Outstanding Teen.

These 10 girls then moved on to compete in the Outstanding Teen talent competition. Miss Lake Norman’s Outstanding Teen’s talent, a performance of the song “For the First Time in Forever” from the Disney film, Frozen, was an easy crowdpleaser, while dances from Miss Central Carolina’s Outstanding Teen and Miss Harrisburg’s Outstanding Teen were other standouts. It was obvious that, in terms of talents, these contestants really did represent the best of the best.

Unfortunately, though, only a select few could make it the Top 5, which was announced following talent. Top 5 contenders included Miss Spivey’s Corner’s Outstanding Teen, Miss Central Carolina’s Outstanding Teen, Miss Goldsboro’s Outstanding Teen, Miss Greater Sandhills’ Outstanding Teen, and Miss Johnston County’s Outstanding Teen. The girls were asked one final onstage question….and then the audience was left hanging as the day’s first presentation came to a close with a promise that the new Miss North Carolina’s Outstanding Teen would be announced that evening.

The Top 5 Contestants in the Miss North Carolina's Outstanding Teen pageant pose in their opening number outfits. Photo: Lenn Long.

The Top 5 Contestants in the Miss North Carolina’s Outstanding Teen pageant pose in their opening number outfits. Photo: Lenn Long.

At the evening pageant, which was televised for Time Warner Cable, no time was wasted in announcing the top 10, which included Miss Metrolina, Cheslie Kryst; Miss Gaston County, Mackenzie Church; Miss Greater Sampson County, Emily Tucker; Miss Spivey’s Corner, Rahmeka Cox; Miss Dunn, Kate Peacock; Miss Greater Southeastern, Victoria Huggins; Miss Goldsboro, Victoria Baskett; Miss Clayton, Kensley Leonard; Miss Capital City, Kacy Lee; and Miss Fayetteville, Comfort Johnson. A Time Warner Cable Viewer’s Choice contestant, the one whose online video got the most views, was also included as a finalist; this year, the honor went to Miss Chapel Hill, Jocelyn Naylor.

Following the announcement of the Top 10, Karson Fair, the outgoing Miss North Carolina’s Outstanding Teen, was brought back to give her final walk and farewell. Then, the new Miss North Carolina’s Outstanding Teen and her court were announced. Miss Central Carolina’s Outstanding Teen won fourth runner up; Miss Goldsboro’s Outstanding Teen won third runner up; Miss Greater Sandhills’ Outstanding Teen won second runner up; and Miss Johnston County’s Outstanding Teen won first runner up, making the new Miss North Carolina’s Outstanding Teen McKenzie Hansley, the former Miss Spivey’s Corner’s Outstanding Teen.

As the excitement from this announcement died down, the competition moved right along into Miss swimwear. During the swimwear competition, Miss Gaston County, Mackenzie Church, tripped, but she laughed it off well. Hers was the only slip-up among this practically-flawless group as it moved on to the talent competition.

Miss Metrolina, Cheslie Kryst, gave a spirited, beautifully done performance of Stevie Wonder’s “Dont You Worry About a Thing” on the piano, and Miss Gaston County, Mackenzie Church, skillfully executed her Wizard-of-Oz-themed tap dance. Looking resplendent in red, Miss Greater Sampson County, Emily Tucker, gave a powerful operatic performance while Miss Dunn, Kate Peacock, offered up a lively tap dance performance to “Swing the Mood.” Miss Greater Southeastern, Victoria Huggins, showcased her vocal expertise with her performance of Etta James’ “At Last,” and Miss Goldsboro, Victoria Baskett, entertained with a flute performance.

Among the weakest of the talent presentations was Miss Clayton, Kensley Leonard, with her troubled vocal performance, and Miss Chapel Hill, Jocelyn Naylor, with her poorly-styled tap dance (she wore a French maid costume!) to “Spring Cleaning.”

Following the talent competition, the outgoing Miss North Carolina, Beth Stovall, gave her final operatic performance as Miss North Carolina. Wearing a gorgeous green gown with Clark Beckham accompanying her on the piano, the moment was pure magic…the perfect lead-in to the elegant Miss Evening Gown competition.

Other than the fact that Miss Fayetteville, Comfort Johnson, swung her arms entirely too much, the evening gown competition went smoothly…and then it was time to announce the top 5. It included Miss Greater Southeastern, Victoria Huggins; Miss Capital City, Kacy Lee; Miss Metrolina, Cheslie Kryst; Miss Clayton, Kensley Leonard; and Miss Dunn, Kate Peacock.

The outgoing Miss North Carolina took her walk, and then, following a super-fast round of onstage questions, the winner was announced. Miss Capital City took fourth runner up, with Miss Clayton as third runner up, Miss Greater Southeastern as second runner up, and Miss Metrolina as first runner up, making the winner Miss Dunn, Kate Peacock.

Miss North Carolina, Kate Peacock, will represent our state at the Miss America Pageant in just a few short months, and we wish her the best of luck!!!

missnc

Kate Peacock, who competed as Miss Dunn, is the new Miss North Carolina.

Kate Peacock, who competed as Miss Dunn, is the new Miss North Carolina.

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