Kristina Blum (l) and Mallory Barlow will vie for the Miss City of Bishop crown. On Nov. 30, all the contestants will be judged on public speaking and on-stage presentation as well as poise and beauty criteria. Photos by Steve Dutcher Photography
Six young ladies will be putting their wit, poise, talent and yes, beauty, to the test this week in Bishopâ€™s first-ever, area-wide beauty pageant.
Charismatic and confident, the contestants have survived an intensive six-week pageant preparation class and a challenging judges interview, said Kristina Roberts, a Parks and Recreation staff member, former pageant contestant and now the City of Bishop pageant founder and coordinator.
The young ladies will vie for two crowns at the Miss City of Bishop and Miss Teen City of Bishop beauty pageants to be held 6:30 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 30 at Whiskey Creek. The event is free of charge and all are invited, but seating is limited so early arrival is suggested.
Casey Ellis, Indica Morganstein, Monique Jauregui and Rosalind Cardenas are competing for Miss Teen City of Bishop in the 14-18 age group and Kristina Blum and Mallory Barlow are competing for Miss City of Bishop, in the 19-29 age category. Their public speaking, professional presentation and interview technique skills will be on display.
They each had an opportunity to use those personal presentation and interview skills at the Nov. 26 interview with judges Greg Alexander, owner of Whiskey Creek; Nancy Ellis, former beauty queen and runway model; and Linda Frigero, teacher and coach at Bishop Union High School. That initial interview was worth 50 percent of contestantsâ€™ overall competition score. They were extremely nervous during their first interview with the judges, said City of Bishop Community Services Secretary Karey Poole, who has been helping Robinson promote the event. â€śThey are taking this very seriously.â€ť
According to Poole, with some speculation that this program is just a â€śbeauty pageant,â€ť many people may be very surprised to know that it is as much about inner beauty, self-assurance and confidence as it is about physical beauty. The skills garnered during the pageant process are ones the young women can use in their personal, academic and professional lives.
Phase one of Fridayâ€™s pageant program is the personality portion. Each contestant will briefly introduce herself on stage, speak about â€śher passionâ€ť and model attire appropriate to her favorite hobby or sport, said Roberts.
Phase two will be the evening gown promenade, during which contestants will be judged on their poise, grace and on-stage personality.
The third and final phase of the competitive program will be worth 20 percent of the overall score as each young lady answers one question put to her by the judges. â€śThey get a chance to express themselves to the best of their ability,â€ť said Roberts. The contestants were given â€śa range of possible topics but no specifics.â€ť Topics ranged from the school system to personal career choices.
This is all in line with Robertsâ€™ goal to provide a venue that nurtures inner-beauty through character- and self-confidence-building. Crown winners will get the extra bonus of acting as ambassadors for the City of Bishop with ongoing guidance from City Council. They are already booked to participate in Bishopâ€™s Dec. 7 tree-lighting ceremony and the Dec. 8 Christmas parade.
Poole noted that Roberts has spent considerable time and energy to make this a very special event for these first contestants, with an eye to the future of the program. Roberts said she is grateful to all the supporters and sponsors who made the event possible, such as Steve Dutcher, the pageant photographer, and contestant registration fee sponsors, who will be mentioned on the pageant program and from the stage.
Community support for these young ladies is encouraged.
â€śThis could be a great beginning to something new and exciting to further encourage our local women to push harder and strive further, taking with them a cherished experience and knowledge which can enhance their personal and professional lives,â€ť Poole said.