This archived article was written by: Morgan Verdi
Miss USU Eastern Harley Earl attended the Miss Utah pageant from June 16-21.
The Miss Utah pageant may seem all fun, no work but that is hardly the case. Earl had to start preparing months in advance. She said, “The first thing I had to do was get my wardrobe for the pageant ready. I had to get everything new. I also spent four hours a week with an interview coach and two hours a week with a modeling coach who taught me how I should walk and present myself gracefully on stage.”
Earl said, “Everything I did revolved around the pageant. Miss Utah occupied my life from April to June. I did everything from finding sponsors, preparing myself, service projects, not to mention the dress fittings and everything else that comes with Miss Utah.”
The Miss Utah Pageant is quite the process. The first day was the “Show Me Your Shoes” parade based on the volunteer work that Miss Utah did. The contestants dressed based on their title. Earl used the USU Eastern athletic department and wore a basketball jersey and basketball shoes. The contestants also had rehearsals for the opening number, a dance number with their groups plus a closing number. Earl said “We had to learn all the of these dances in basically one day.”
The pageant started on Wednesday, June 18 and everyone gets put into different categories so that the judges don’t have to see the same thing in the same day. Earl had evening gown the first night. “It really was so much fun. We did all our dance numbers and to be completely honest I’m not a dancer so I did terrible the first night I couldn’t remember any of the dances. I just laughed about it and it’s really funny to watch. When I came out in my evening gown, I felt gorgeous as I hit that stage and it was the best feeling in the world.”
Earl had talent the next night. Even though it was nerve racking she said, “I walked off the stage feeling accomplished. I know it wasn’t the best talent, but it was something I worked hard on and I was proud of myself.”
She had swimsuit on Friday night and on Saturday night the top 10 finalists were announced. Though Earl didn’t make it into top 10 she said, “I wasn’t that disappointed because I had such a great experience and loved every second of it.
“All in all, the week was exhausting, hard and an absolute blast. I met many friends and built friendships that I will carry forever.
“For me, it wasn’t about going there to try and win Miss Utah, it was here and there for me. I had an amazing experience even though I went into it not wanting to be there. I left that pageant knowing that I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
“I don’t think people realize what the Miss Utah Organization really does; we aren’t just a bunch of pretty faces. The girls are talented, smart, fun, and probably the best 47 girls I’ve ever met. The friendships gained are something I will cherish.”
Earl had a lot of support along the way. She said, “My mom and dad were so supportive. I can’t tell you how many dress shops my dad sat at with me. He was such a trooper. My mom jumped right in and was brilliant.
“My coach spent hours upon hours teaching me to walk and answer interview questions. She didn’t get any pay for what she did, yet she took the time out of her busy schedule and helped me. I appreciate both of them because heaven knows I was rough around the edges. They took a very tomboy girl and turned her into a pageant girl.”