Representing Hoag Hospital, Natalie Pack is crowned Miss CaliforniaUSA for 2012; Katie Wee also succeeds, beating out over 260 contestants to make the Top 20, in her very first Pageant
The 2012 Miss CaliforniaUSA Pageant started out on Sunday with the hostess calling out the 20 names — out of nearly 300 contest hopefuls — who would advance from Saturday’s Preliminaries, to the Semifinals, to still be alive for the crown.
As they started to be called, the tension thickened, and heartbeats quickened. Name after name was called, but no Hollywood Heights. Was Katie going to be overlooked? The thought was not pleasant. Then I heard the word “Hollywood,” but it wasn’t Hollywood Heights, it was just Hollywood, as Miss Hollywood made the cut. The list kept growing, and still no Katie. 12, 15, 18… I was trying to come to grips with what looked like a disappointing outcome, until, with only ONE name left to be announced, HOLLYWOOD HEIGHTS, KATIE WEE!!!!!
Katie made it!!!! She was the last one called, just as I was giving up hope. That one moment of hearing her name ring out over the speakers was exhilirating. I will never forget it. I was screaming, and so were her friends, who had come to Palm Desert from as far away as San Francisco just to support her. And that one moment frozen in time made everything totally worth it.
Katie lived on to perform with the other 19 Finalists, as they went through another Swimsuit Competition, and even got to individually introduce themselves to the crowd. I had forgotten how cute Katie’s voice is (as we usually communicate via e-mail or Facebook!). Her sweetness came through, as the room lit up when she spoke.
For Katie to triumph like this in her FIRST Pageant EVER is an auspicious beginning to what could be a successful series of campaigns. Personally, I can’t wait for the next one. Of course how she didn’t make the Top 10 is beyond me. A couple of the ones who did had no business being in that elite group, as if there was a quota system in effect. Beauty is in the eye of the beholding judges, and sometimes there’s no accounting for taste.
But when a couple of the Final Five totally BLEW the “Question” portion of the competition, the Judges probably wish they could have called for a recount. One girl didn’t know what “in lieu of” meant, so her answer made no sense, and another girl rambled on so badly that she even called HERSELF on it. That left only 3 possible winners, and the heavy favorite, Miss Carmel, looked like a shoo-in. But to many people’s shock, the contestant representing Hoag Hospital, Natalie Pack, collected the Tiara.
There was nothing wrong with Natalie, and I thought that she was a worthy champion. However, after the Teen Title going earlier in the day to a girl who was in mourning for her Father, I have to wonder if representing a Hospital was a subconscious factor in the voting process. Probably not, as these are mostly experienced judges who have a whole series of criteria. Soon, though, they will realize that it doesn’t get any better than Katie.
Below are 33 photos from Sunday’s festivities. The first NINE are of winner Natalie Pack, the tenth is the 5 Finalists, the next ELEVEN are random girls, and the last TWELVE feature the luscious Katie Wee. Enjoy, and come back soon, as I will be posting a lot more photos from the event in the days and weeks to come.