Seeking her crowning moment
On June 3 at Planet Hollywood Resort, our hometown beauty, Miss Nevada USA 2012 Jade Kelsall, competes for the 2012 Miss USA crown. (If Kelsall wins it will be the first time in Miss USA history that a contestant from Nevada won). A New Jersey native and fourth-generation Italian, Kelsall moved to Vegas when she turned 21 and a few years later, she won Miss Nevada USA (in February). Las Vegas Magazine’s Kiko Miyasato recently sat down with Kelsall before the big day and talked all things pageantry.
Q: What interested you about pageantry?
A: I was coming to a change in my life, and it was so random that this happened that I was like “This is a sign, this has to mean something, that I’m meant to do this and I can learn from it,” and I really have learned a lot from this experience.
Q: What are some of the biggest things you’ve learned from competing?
A: I’m terrified of public speaking, terrified of interviewing … when I interviewed at prelims my knees were shaking, so I’ve learned to realize that as long as I’m myself and I’m saying what I believe in then I can be comfortable. I’ve grown a little more confident in myself for sure.
Q: Are you really into getting all dressed up?
A: Growing up, I was a huge tomboy. My great-grandmother said I was in my gawky stage till I was 18! But, I really started in high school wanting to wear make-up and I loved fashion. So now, shopping and trying on gowns, I could do it all day. The thing that really drives girls crazy, though, is the hair and makeup. By the time you’re done doing a pageant, you want to shave your hair off.
Q: Do you get nervous going onstage?
A: When you go onstage you literally have seconds to start doing your thing, so you can’t be nervous. And the greatest thing about that is you have to think “this is my stage, this is my moment, I can’t be nervous” … This is a once in a lifetime chance.
Q: What do you think about winning?
A: Hopefully, this will be the year! If I won, I would be the first Miss Nevada to be Miss USA. I just want to place … but if I made top five I would be like “Hello, this is a win!”
Q: Any rituals before going onstage?
A: My great grandmother, who passed away, was the love of my life and I wish I could be like her, I have her rosary, and tucked it into the left side of my gown for the Miss Nevada competition, so for Miss USA I’m actually having it sewn into my gown.