Local girl wins evening gown contest

In her first beauty pageant competition, Kapa‘a High School senior Rancee Wilson won the evening gown competition and first runner-up overall.

Last week, Wilson competed in the Miss Hawaii Teen USA pageant on O‘ahu. With her successful finish, she won a $5,500 scholarship to attend Hawaii Pacific University.

She was the only one from Kaua‘i in the pageant.

“I think it was more of an advantage for me. It was exciting. It took a lot of work, but it was worth it,” she said. “It was different from everything I usually do. Different from playing soccer and dancing Tahitian. All of my friends were very supportive. I might run in the same pageant again next year.”

To help her with this pageant, she got advice from her mother, veteran beauty queen Pualani Rezentes.

“She told me to speak from the heart and helped me with my walk. She said to make a connection with the judges and to speak clearly and hold my posture when I walk,” Wilson said.

She felt very natural on stage, but said the hardest part was being interviewed in front of a big audience.

“It was a lot of pressure,” she said.

The nervousness was felt by her mom as well.

“I was a nervous wreck the whole time,” Rezentes said. “I think a lot of the Neighbor Island girls are intimidated because there aren’t a lot of opportunities like girls get on O‘ahu. But when I saw her on stage I was in awe.”

Rezentes said she had no expectations for her daughter going into the pageant, but did have her fingers crossed.

“I wasn’t expecting anything, but I was hoping she would at least make it to the top five (finalists). Then it was just down to her and another girl,” Rezentes said.

Wilson had no expectations either and said she felt no pressure having a former Miss Kaua‘i for a mom.

“I was going with the flow of the night,” Wilson said.

Overall, Wilson said she had a great experience and rewarded herself with some comfort food.

“I didn’t change my diet too much before the competition, but I was eating healthier. I had a plate of cheesy fries,” she said.

Lanaly Cabalo, lifestyle writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or lcabalo@kauaipubco.com.

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