Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Olivia Culpo Miss UNIVERSE 2012 Visits Ask the Crown

Such an amazing opportunity for Stephanie McGrane of Ask the Crown to interview Miss Universe 2012, Olivia Culpo.

 So what is the secret to Olivia’s success?
Olivia stated that the secret to ANYONE’S success is believing in themselves, working really hard, not giving up and having a good attitude. She said with that combination you can do anything!

When Olivia entered Miss Rhode Island USA, was it more hard work or more fun for her?
Rented dress for the Miss R.I USA Pageant
Olivia said that she worked really hard. However, at first she thought she wanted to perform on stage and get into acting, but once she realized she could win and go on to compete at Miss USA she gave it her all. From learning the pageant walks, learning how to interview, and preparing for swimsuit, Olivia said the only thing she left for the last minute was her wardrobe.

Dress Drama?
Olivia did not get her dress until the day before the Miss RI competition. It was too short and had a hole in the back of it, but Olivia was so prepared and confident in all the other areas that it didn’t matter what she was wearing. 

Oh, and the gown she was wearing when she won Miss Rhode Island was a dress she rented for $20.00!
The dress in her dreams

The dress in her dreams 
The red breath taking gown that Olivia wore for the Miss Universe pageant was just that, the dress in her dreams.  She knew before she even tried it on this was the dress for her. She saw the dress on a runway and fell in love with it.  She really did dream about the dress, in fact she couldn’t sleep at night because she was thinking about that dress.

Some of Olivia’s highlights as Miss Universe 
Traveling and meeting so many people. She has been able to change people’s lives because of the sash and the tradition of the pageant and what it means to people. Olivia said to have that effect on people has been so humbling and such an honor that she doesn’t feel like she is worthy of having that type of impact on people. She does know now, however, that having the crown and title does bring people happiness.

Her crown cake
Olivia turns 21!!!
So how does Miss Universe celebrate turning 21? She was with her friends and family on a boat cruise around the Hudson where they saw fireworks by the Statue of Liberty. She said the memories of that day she will carry with her for the rest of her life, and it was by far the best birthday party ever. And guess who made her birthday cake---The Cake Boss himself, with a crown on top!

Moving On
Before Olivia passes on the title of Miss Universe, she would like to continue to use her title to positively impact many people. She wants to continue working with the Miss Universe Charitable Alliances, she loves working with kids and to be able to make their day special if they are sick, or just going through a rough time. She just wants to make them feel special.

She would also like to keep spreading more information about HIV awareness and ovarian and breast cancer. Olivia really wants to make a difference in the awareness she brings through her platform.

Yes Olivia has an amazing wardrobe, yes she lives in a luxurious apartment in New York, but what has been the most challenging part of being Miss Universe?
Olivia said the most challenging thing is not being able to see her family and friends when she wants to. She is very close with her family, so not being able to spend all the time she wants with them is difficult at times. Being the positive person that she is, Olivia did say that nothing is ever going to be completely perfect and there could be things way worse and she doesn’t feel like she can even complain about that!

Did you know Olivia can sing? 
Yes, and she has an amazing voice. As a cellist she loves classical music, or techno when she is getting ready to go out and have fun, or country when she feels like dancing. Overall she likes just about every type of music there is from country, to pop to R&B and hip-hop, she likes it all.  

picture from blodfacers.com
Olivia has such a gift for music she inherited from her musical parents. Both of her parents began their careers as musicians; her mother was a violist in the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In the second grade Olivia took interest in the cello. Olivia did attend band camp, eight years straight. When asked what type of music she enjoys playing, it is no surprise when she says "classical".

Olivia would like to end up in the entertainment industry, but when asked what her dream job would be she wasn’t sure. She loves everything about performing and playing the cello, singing, acting, hosting, so she is not sure what exactly she will do, but it will be some part of her life. We will just have to wait and see.

In Olivia’s free time, when she is not in the spotlight, she really loves to be with her closest friends and family and surrounded by her loved ones. She likes to watch movies, play games like Charades, Catch Phrase, and other random games. She loves going to the beach, relaxing, being outdoors, and she likes to journal.

Olivia’s advice to all who dream to become Miss Universe
Don’t let chasing the title define you, but in the back of your mind think about how a Miss Universe should be and do everything you can in your power to mold that vision you have for your Miss Universe. That way, win or lose, you have a personal goal that you would want to aspire to, and you are bettering yourself. That is really the whole idea surrounding any pageant: bettering yourself, not necessarily winning, just being the best you can be.

What’s next for Olivia?
A VACATION! Catch up with old friends, traveling and then get back to work, maybe even going back to school.  

When and where is the next Miss Universe?
Nov. 9th 2013 at Crocus City Hall in Moscow. Be sure to tune into NBC to see who the next Miss Universe will be!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Logan West Miss Teen USA 2012

Chatting with Stephanie on Ask the Crown
Photo credit: Miss Universe LP, LLLP

Logan West, Miss Teen USA 2012

Miss Teen USA, Logan West, visited with our own Stephanie McGrane to talk about how it felt to hear her name called as Miss Teen USA, her year as Miss Teen USA, what’s next for Logan, and what advice does she have for teens wanting to become the next Miss Teen USA.

Hearing her name called as Miss Teen USA

How it felt to win Miss Teen USA…. 
Logan could not describe how she felt when she heard her name called as Miss Teen USA, and she couldn't really remember what she did. There was a feeling of pride and joy, realizing that she had won, and how it was a win for her family, friends, support system and the state of CT. She is the first Miss Teen USA from her state. Ask to put her feelings at the time into one word, she said...  "Incredible!"

                                     What have been the highlights of your year?
Logan is a people person, so anytime she gets to interact with people that is “the best stuff”. Community service like Best Buddies and ProjectSunshine are a few highlights for Logan.

Olivia, Logan and Leila
Olivia, Nana and Logan

Logan reflected: There is a sisterhood of winning, and it is hard for anyone to really understand what you are going through unless they are going through it as well. First there was Leila, then Olivia and Nana, and now Erin, and they are truly like sisters and Logan has really enjoyed them.

What is the most challenging thing about being Miss Teen USA?
Trying to balance being Miss Teen USA and a college girl. Logan attends Pace University where she is a dance major.  At first going from a Red Carpet event then back to the dorm room to finish up homework for the next morning was a bit tricky for Logan, but she caught on fast and got the hang of it and has been able to manage to the two different life styles.

Did someone say turtles?
When Logan was 8 years old her mom went on a mission trip to South Dakota where she heard this story of a turtle. Her mom brought back turtle bracelets for Logan and her sister and explained the story to them. A turtle carries its home on its back, but can stick its head out into the world to experience different things. When a turtle gets nervous or scared they can always come back home. This is how Logan’s parents raised them, home is their safe place. No matter what they wanted to do or where they wanted to go their parents always let them know they could come back home.
Now Logan admits that she has a bit of an obsession with turtles, everything from necklaces, bracelets, pillows, you name it she has it if it has a turtle on it!

How old was Logan when she first started to compete in pageants?
At the age of 5 Logan did her first pageant. It was a random thing where they needed one more contestant to fill up an age category, so Logan’s mom said she could compete. Her mom told her that she should go into the pageant to just have fun, but Logan was like “No way. I’m going to WIN!” And she did! Her parents weren't into the pageant lifestyle at the time, so she didn't do another pageant until she was 12.  One thing her parents told her was they wanted it to be her decision to compete, they didn't want to feel like they were pushing her. Logan competed again at age 15, and then won Miss Teen USA at the age of 17.
Being crowned Miss Teen USA

Will Logan compete for Miss USA someday?
She honestly doesn't know. When she is asked that question, she tells people she is retired from pageants. She had a feeling when she wanted to compete for Miss Teen USA, so if she gets that feeling a couple years from now then maybe, but as of now she’s retired…. So she says very softly and quietly!

Logan was bullied in school, so she decided to do something about it!
Bully Proof was the original name, but it is now called Unite Against Bullies. This program is designed to teach kids 5 steps on how to stop a bully. They are taught how to identify and manage a bully as well as how to gain more confidence in themselves.

When Logan was in Middle School one of her classmates would tell her that she didn't “act” her skin color. This went on for six months. She said she was tortured and humiliated. Logan didn't know enough about bullying to deal with the situation. So after that she decided to make it her mission to turn that negative experience into a positive. United Against Bullies was supposed to be just for her home town, but it ended up spreading throughout the state. It also helped Logan to come to terms with what she went through and helped her to move forward.

Logan was lucky enough to do Teen on the Seen at Miss USA, You will never guess who her favorite celebrity was to interview. 
IT’S A TIE!!!! The Jonas Brothers, because she is a fan, and Bob Harper because he was so nice. Logan likes the celebrities who really don’t act like celebrities and he just act like a regular people.

Miss USA Erin Brady is ALSO from CT. What was your reaction when your state sister queen won Miss USA?
Erin Brady and Logan West
Logan’s reaction was almost the same as her own reaction when she won Miss Teen USA. Logan said she was jumping up and down and screaming!!! Logan has known Erin for a few years. She has watched her compete at Miss CT, then at Miss USA. Logan said she wanted it for Erin and she is pretty sure she was just as nervous as Erin was. It was different for Logan because she knew all the girls competing where beautiful, but Logan knew Erin as a person and it made her want Erin to win 10 times more because she really is an incredible woman.

What’s next for Logan? Will she continue dancing?
Once Logan graduated high school she told herself she was going to go to school for dance, even though she knew she wanted to be a lawyer, so now she is in a tricky situation. She isn't ready to give up on her passion just yet, so for now she is going to finish her degree and see where it takes her. Logan has a lot of opportunities available to her now, she is also with a modeling agency for example, so Logan is exploring all her options but dance is still her passion.

To all the girls out there who aspire to become Miss Teen USA this advice is for you.
Stay true to who you are, sometimes in pageants you feel like you have to say the best answer or wear the best dress, but if you allow yourself to let loose and have fun and enjoy the moments instead of freaking out about them, you’ll be in a much better place.

When Logan competed for Miss Teen USA, she went into the pageant saying she was going to do the best she could. She really didn't have any expectations, it was her first time in the Bahamas and she really wanted to enjoy it, whatever happened. If you go into the situation with the attitude that you can take something positive away for every experience, rather than just being focused on the crown, you’ll have a lot more fun and get a lot more out of it.

Logan travels backs to the Bahamas August 10th to crown her successor. The pageant will be streamed live August 9th and 10th on www.MissTeenUSA.com

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