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MC Student wins County Fair Pageant

January 28, 2011

As millions tuned in to the annual Miss America beauty pageant to watch Miss Nebraska, Teresa Scanlan, win the crown, Monmouth College student Jackie Driscoll was preparing to win the Miss Illinois County Fair Pageant the following day.

After winning the Henry County pageant this past summer, Driscoll, a junior from Cambridge, secured a spot to compete against 66 other women in the County Fair Pageant.

The pageant was held in Springfield, on Jan. 13–16 at the Crown Plaza hotel.

After arriving on Thursday, the first day of the competition, Driscoll began practicing and had her first meeting with the judges.

Friday brought much more excitement as the girls were split into morning and afternoon groups. Driscoll was contestant number one and was placed in the group that would first meet with judges for interview questions in the morning, then switch to practicing their routine in the afternoon.

On Saturday afternoon, the number of contestants narrowed down during the preliminaries.

As Sunday evening rolled around, emotions were running high as the girls participated in the finals and performed a production number before being narrowed down to 12 contestants. Driscoll then found that she would be moving on to the final round of the pageant.

At this point, the girls who made it to the finals had a clean slate and were asked to go through the interview process with the judges again, answer three on stage questions and give a one minute speech.

Following those requirements, the women were asked to model swimwear, beauty and physic, and an evening gown. Driscoll felt confident in her evening gown, despite having trouble searching for the perfect dress.

“I went through three dresses,” said Driocoll. “I couldn’t find the right one.”

She had also worked hard at maintaining her figure throughout the fall in order to be prepared if she made it to the swimwear and evening gown part of the pageant.

“Working out was the hardest,” said Driscoll. “The holidays made it difficult to get to the gym.”

As it came time for the queen to be announced, it was apparent that her hard work had paid off. Driscoll was then named the 2011 county fair queen.

“I was really excited and overwhelmed,” said Driscoll. “I was the first one to win from Henry County.”

Driscoll credits her success to her director, Kelli Paton, whom she has become very close with throughout her competition journey.

“I entered the junior miss Henry County on a whim, and fell in love with my director,” said Driscoll.

Her director also helped her prepare not only mentally for the pageant, but also assisted in her hair and makeup.

Although winning the pageant was a memorable achievement for Driscoll, the secondary education history major does not have any further plans of participating in pageants.

“I reached my goals and now I am going to focus on my career,” said Driscoll.

She will not have any problem staying busy without participating in pageants though, as she is involved in cheerleading, Up ‘Til Dawn, Blue Key, Kappa Delta Phi, the history club, scot ambassador and big brother big sister.

Assignment Editor

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