So apologies for the total lack of blogging in the past few months, if you follow my social media accounts you will have probably seen that in the last few months I have been completely absorbed in the Miss Great Britain competition and the beauty pageant world. It’s safe to say after my first experience earlier this year (see Miss Essex post for details) I have become completely entranced by all things beauty pageants and as I got such a great response from my first post and have people ask me on a daily basis about Miss GB I thought I would share!
Winning a title in the Miss GB pageant came as a total shock to me, I had applied following my first pageant experience but never thought I would get anywhere and to my surprise I managed to win a title and be crowned ‘Miss Bedfordshire’ ..Why Bedfordshire you ask? One thing I must clear up is that although I live in Essex, at the time I had strong links to Bedfordshire in my work and social life as well as living within a 50 mile radius. I had also applied for the Essex title but placed as a runner up, but to a total sweetheart so I didn’t mind!
The lead up to the actual competition, held on the 22/23rd of September, felt like an eternity. We did have a number of optional ‘pre’ competition rounds of charity, beach body, talent etc etc, all of which I got involved in as much as possible and kept me busy during the lead up to the big day. As well as these round I also had the huge job of finding THE dress ..which the more I type the more I realise I’m starting to sound like I’m preparing for a wedding not a pageant.
After the longest wait in the history of ever (okay maybe not but 4 months is a long time when you’re that excited for something) and god knows how much spent on dresses, shows, makeup and so on, it was finally time to make the trip up to Leicester for the final, where everyone’s hard work would finally reach the dramatic crescendo we had all been impatiently waiting for.
The first ‘official’ day of the final consisted of rehearsals, a judge’s interview, pizza and press calls, culminating in a fab dinner and disco at a local Indian restaurant and bar called Chutney Ivy, where me and Miss Cambridge, who is a total babe BTW, decided to get smashed on wine and then work off our guilt in the hotel gym at 11pm, as you do…
The second day, also the day of the main event (!!!) was even more of a whirlwind of breakfast, photos, rehearsals, hair, make up, heels and ridiculously expensive dresses. We spent the morning practicing our routines to within an inch of our lives, no one wants to be the girl that forgets her routine on stage ..or worse ..falls of the stage! At around 4pm, (I think4 pm, to be honest by this point everyone was so high on nerves and adrenaline we barely knew what our own names were) we were finally allowed to get ready! The pressure was on to get everything in order and looking perfect ready for the show to start at 7:30 ..3 and a half hours sounds like a lot of time to get ready but when you’re about as calm as a headless chicken this seems like 3 minutes.
3 or so hours passed and finally all 49 finalists had transformed into beautiful queens, any of which could take the crown and the prestigious title of Miss Great Britain 2016.
After months and months of waiting we were finally here, the Grand Final. Now I’m not normally a nervous person but standing backstage my nerves hit me like a train, after years of dances shows, horse competitions and job interviews as well as previously taking part in regional pageants I had almost forgotten what nerves were, but there I was ..standing backstage at one of the biggest and oldest beauty pageants in the country with my spray tanned legs shaking in my sky high pageant heels. But there was no time to think about that now, it was time for us all to parade on to the stage and smash (try to anyway) the opening dance routine we had been furiously practicing for weeks before the final thanks to the videos one of the organisers and the choreographer posted on Facebook for the world to see, honestly the pair of them deserve a medal for that alone.
The first dance was a blur of arms, hair and girls in black dresses if I’m honest, most of it I was praying my sash didn’t fall down my arm and that I remembered the whole routine, which I did, perfect timing if I say so myself! All too quickly the opening was over and it was time for our black dress round, a fairly simple routine of parading down the catwalk in a groups of 10 then again one by one ..sounds simple right? ..Not when your legs turn to jelly and your brain decides to go to sleep!
From the floor and the audience the stage looked like your average, relatively small catwalk but when you’re up there it’s a totally different ball game ..a huge white glossy stage with all eyes on you. I won’t lie although it was slightly terrifying I loved every minute of being on stage and couldn’t wait to get to the next round ..swimwear!
I get a lot of question about swimwear rounds, some people think it’s quite old fashioned but when they don’t realise is that it’s not just about what your body looks like these days, there is so much more to it. Judges want to see you looking confident and proud of yourself, whatever size or shape you may be , not that you’ve been starving yourself for weeks!
I’ll admit I was nervous for this round as it’s the first time I’ve ever done a swimwear round and while many other girls where ‘clean eating’ I was eating pizza (generously provided by Leicester Dominos ..Total babes!)I was trying to think ‘Victoria secret Model’ while on the runway but honestly I think it ended up more Victoria sponge cake ..oops! I don’t think I did too badly ..again I was nervous which let me down massively but these things happen right?
So swimwear was over ..time to get into our evening gowns! I went back up to our dressing room prepared to get into my massive dress and to my horror someone had stolen my underwear.. WHO STEALS SOMEONE’S UNDERWEAR? I 100% know it was on the top of my bag when I left the dressing room and gone when I came back. Maybe some people are into that kind of thing who knows?
Anyway, knickers or no knickers I was going to have to parade down that catwalk in less than 5 minutes time, so I forgot my troubles, donned my enormous dress and made my way backstage. This was it ..final chance to impress the judges. With a dress weighing what felt like the same as a small car and a train as long the list of things I have to do this weekend, I was going to sashay my little booty off and sashay I did! Without me or my dress falling off the stage which, you know, is always a bonus. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s quite hard to concentrate on your walk or pose when all you can think about is the fact you are completely commando…
Unfortunately I didn’t place in the top 15 but honestly after the nerves and it being my first national pageant I really didn’t expect to, I was so happy just to be there and meet all of the others girls. In the end an absolute beauty won the title, a real life Disney princess with heart of gold who deserved that crown and will do Miss Great Britain proud!
It was honestly the most stressful but most amazing 2 days of my life and I hope to be lucky enough to compete next year.
There are so many people I want to thank for everything they have done for me in the build-up and during the final.
First of all a massive thank you Kate, Jemma and the ModelZed team for putting on a fantastic competition, for such a small team they do an amazing job!
I would also like to thank my sponsor Keen Shay Keen Accountancy in Bedford and especially Charles for believing in me and sponsoring my journey. This brilliant company have been so supportive and so motivating during the build-up. I appreciate the support so much
I have to thank my wonderful family and friends for being so so supportive during the build-up, during the final and after. Thank you for putting up with my constant Miss GB talk, voting pleas and helping with my charity events. Shout out to my dad who has now become a fully-fledged pageant dad ..Toddlers and Tiaras would be proud!
I also want to thank everyone who has supported me on social media, I have had so many beautiful and inspirational messages from people I don’t even know and it does mean so much!
Last but not least I want to thank all of the lovely judges and of course Red Carpet Ready for supplying my gorgeous evening gown!
The pageant bug has no signs of stopping so I’m off to look for my next pageant venture…
Until next time…
Essex Beauty Queen xxx