MUSKEGON – Miss River Raisin Festival Nicole Miller, Palmyra, was selected as first runner-up to Miss Michigan 2014, KT Maviglia of Dundee, at the annual Miss Michigan Pageant in Muskegon Saturday evening.
The 20-year-old Miller performed a musical theatre dance in an ice-blue costumed to “Sweet Georgia Brown” and presented a platform of “Building Blocks: Early Childhood Education.” Miller wore a mango-colored swimsuit and a black evening gown in the competition which included the categories of swimsuit, evening gown, talent, onstage question and personal interview.
“I knew she was doing well as the two nights of preliminaries unfolded,” said Marcia Loader, executive director of the Miss River Raisin Festival Scholarship Program. “But you just never know who will make top 10 – especially because the private interview is not seen by the audience.
“She was the first one called into the 10 and was able to compete in all phases of the competition on Saturday night.
“Then, they narrowed the field to a top five … and there she was with Miss Washtenaw County (Maviglia), Miss Spirit of the State,
, Miss Greater Grand Rapids and Miss Mid Michigan. After an onstage question, the results were in and they called out the fourth runner-up, then the third, then there were three and Nicole was still standing. Our committee members were holding hands as we saw her with a swimsuit preliminary winner and the first runner-up from 2013’s state pageant awaiting the final results,” she continued.
“But then the second runner-up was called and it wasn’t her, and the two friends (Maviglia and Miller) – they have danced together – were standing in that ‘last-two-standing’ position, facing one another and holding hands. It was incredibly exciting, because even as Nicole was named first runner-up, she was so very close to that state title. Being first runner-up is a huge honor and responsibility. The fact that these two young women have a dancing history and friendship only made it more special. And she is young enough to try again.”
Since being crowned in July 2013, Miller has completed Dale Carnegie training and has worked with an interview team weekly since January to stay on top of current events, issues of the days and to develop communication skills. She attends Lansing Community College where she works in the interpreter program for the deaf. She wishes to become a preschool educator and specialize in preschool education for deaf children.
She won a $5000 scholarship.
Thirty-four young women competed for the title from throughout Michigan. It was Miller’s first trip to the state pageant. Maviglia was last year’s first runner-up and found her third trip to the state pageant as the charm. As Miss Michigan, she will compete for the title of Miss America at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall in September.
Also competing in the state pageant from Lenawee County was Charlotte Squires of Britton, Miss Tip of the Mitt and Miss River Raisin Festival 2012. She performed a vocal presentation of “Let it Go!” from the movie “Frozen,” and represented her platform of “Service to – and through – Animals.”
For the rest of the story, please see the June 18, 2014, edition of The Advance.