Community, Features

Terriers in Tiaras: Two BU students vie for pageant crown

[mediagrid cat=”17884″]

The beginning of the semester brings about new goals for everybody, whether educational, charitable, personal or otherwise. For two Boston University students, Alessandra Marandola and Stephanie Deltor, their new goal starts with a crown.

Deltor, a graduate student in the School of Medicine, and Marandola, a College of Communication senior, have both been selected to participate in the Miss Boston/Cambridge 2015 Pageant, set to take place at the Sheraton Boston Hotel Sunday.

The Miss Boston/Cambridge pageant is only a preliminary round to the Miss Massachusetts and Miss America pageants, said Dustin Todd Rennells, the pageant’s executive director.

“Every single year, as long as we have under 24 applicants, everyone is accepted. That has happened every one of the seven years that we’ve been under the current management that we’re under,” he said. “[This year,] 14 applied and all 14 were accepted. We’re an open pageant. That means you can live anywhere in the state of Massachusetts, and you’re still eligible to compete. You don’t have to live in downtown Boston specifically to win the title.”

Five phases make up the pageant, each carrying a different weight. These include the interview (25 percent), the talent portion (35 percent), the evening wear portion (20 percent), the lifestyle and fitness in swimsuit wear portion (15 percent) and the on-stage question and answer (5 percent).

Marandola, who said she is more used to the Miss USA system of pageantry in contrast to the Miss America system she is now participating in, said this the first time she will be doing a talent portion. Although nervous, she is excited to be performing “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from the Broadway musical, “Funny Girl.” Marandola, though, said she is even more thrilled to present her walk.

“It’s really exhilarating to get on stage,” she said. “There’s a lot of people singing, [there’s] music … it’s kind of like you’re a little celebrity. I feel like it’s a really great way to show your personality, but in a different way. You show it through your walk and your smile. That’s where all your hard work really shows. You’re on stage, practicing your walk and gaining confidence … that’s probably my favorite part.”

Rennells said a lot of women can sometimes be nervous about the on-stage walk parts of the competition, especially the swimwear portion.

“It’s an unusual situation where everybody else in the room has full clothing on, but [the candidates are] not in full clothing,” he said. “They’re in their swimsuits like they would be at the beach where everybody is on the same level.”

That dissonance, he said, is what highlights contestants who can stay composed, no matter how uncomfortable the situation.

“It’s that kind of confidence that shines through and is they way that people always win the pageant,” Rennells said.

Confidence, he said, is the main focus of the Miss Boston/Cambridge 2015 Pageant. Deltor, much like Marandola, said she is excited to demonstrate hers both onstage and off.

“My talent piece is a spoken word monologue of my own original written work about my journey towards self-acceptance, self-love and self-empowerment,” she said. “I am also really looking forward to the interview, because that is one of the best times that I can really show the judges who I am, what I believe in, and how much I’ve grown as a woman and individual.”

Though talent carries the most weight in the competition, Rennells said the pageant is truly won in the interview.

“[It’s] really unfortunate for those people who only get to watch Miss America once a year on television. They see the parade and the beauty of it and the spectacular-ness of it, and that’s why people tune in … because it’s glamorous,” he said. “But the reason I think 99 percent of the girls in the pageant are in it are for that educational advancement in their life, whether it’s for furthering their education through scholarship or to get an eventual job out of it … That’s why I always say, it’s won in an interview.”

Doing that takes a certain belief in oneself and, yes, plenty of confidence, he said.

“If you can make a room full of judges believe in what you’re saying and know it’s true to your heart, you’ve won over the judges before the pageant even starts,” he said.

Though no strangers to pageants, both Marandola and Deltor said they are looking forward to be taking on another one.

“For the longest time, I didn’t think I was good enough to compete,” Deltor said. “This has been an opportunity of a lifetime that I am beyond grateful to have experienced when I finally started to believe in myself … I would love to see young adults who struggle with self-esteem to be empowered to believe in themselves.”

More Articles

Comments are closed.