Miss Nevada goes after her crowning moment
The clock is counting down to the crowning of Miss America 2013, which airs live on Jan. 12 from Planet Hollywood Resort. Fifty-three women compete in the areas of talent, swimsuit and evening gown. Las Vegas Magazine’s Kiko Miyasato caught up with the reigning Miss Nevada, Randi Sundquist, to chat about the upcoming pageant, and even learned of an alternative use for cola.
Q: As the competition nears, what’s your frame of mind?
A: I’m just trying to stay focused. … It’s (about) keeping myself level-headed and grounded and at the end of the day taking that moment to decompress and ask myself, “Are you happy with the decisions you made? Do you like your wardrobe? Are you happy with your talent? Are you still Randi?”
Q: Are you nervous at all?
A: Not yet. I’m sure I will be—this is the Miss America stage—but right now I’m more eager; I’m ready to get there. I’m anxious. I’m excited to see all the girls. Nerves haven’t set in yet, but I know they’re not far away.
Q: What are some of the biggest challenges?
A: I think the biggest challenge of all is the word “pageant.” I didn’t grow up doing pageants, so for me it’s kind of about breaking that stereotype of what a pageant girl is. I’ve walked into a room before and people have been like, “Well, you don’t have long, blond hair,” so it’s been neat for me to see a lot of the stereotypes being broken, even with my own story.
Q: Are you comfortable with the word “pageant”?
A: The Miss America Organization is trying to empower girls, so if you’re looking at the word “pageant” in a positive way, then Miss America is absolutely a great way to represent the word “pageant.”
Q: Tell me about your platform, and why you chose it.
A: My platform is anti-bullying. It’s fueled by my own experience of being bullied. What started as adolescent taunting eventually escalated into full-fledged bullying and culminated in a physical altercation. I remember that moment and that day being the time when my childhood went from difficult yet tolerable to really completely unbearable. I had to plan out my days to make sure that I was safe at school and I became so overwhelmed with that thought. I was so desperate that I remember reaching the point where I could be dead instead of going to school another day.
Q: How are you supporting your platform?
A: I’m currently a spokesperson for Flip the Script, which is an anti-bullying campaign, launched in Nevada in 2011. I’ve been with them since inception. I encourage students to take the pledge to become the anti-bully, sign them up to become ambassadors so that they’re able to also use their voices and their experiences to put the Flip the Script pledge into their respective schools, giving them the outlet to stand up for each other.
Q: What’s one secret every contestant should know?
A: (Put) Coca-Cola on the bottom of your shoes so you don’t slip onstage.