Athletics and pageants really aren’t all too different. They both require skill, precision, practice and a definite level of competition.
Last week, sophomore Brittani Batye channeled the perseverance necessary in her high school basketball, soccer and volleyball days to be crowned queen of the 2014 Boone County Fair Royalty Competition.
The competition has young women testing their talents in multiple categories including interview, talent, evening gown, stage question and final question before a panel of judges.
Despite her eventual win, the spotlight left Batye feeling nervous.
“I freaked out right before the competition, thinking I was going to be sick or have a heart attack,” Batye said. “My heart was racing and my hands were sweaty. I've never had all eyes on me before.”
Batye’s nerves eventually wore off and she managed to wow judges with months of practiced talents and researched knowledge.
With the help of friends, Batye learned sign language for the pageant, where she signed the song “Beat of the Music” by Brett Eldredge. Batye says she also studied up on the history of Boone County, its fair, and agriculture in Missouri.
“I loved my talent,” Batye said. “I have to thank all the people who stayed up late watching me, critiquing me, listening to my song … over and over again and, most importantly, calming me down when I was stressed. Once I got up there I forgot about all the people and did my thing and had a blast doing it.”
Her years of high school sports kept her from participating in pageants earlier, Batye said, but she was finally able to find the time.
“I have always wanted to do this before,” Batye said. “I figured it was no better time then now.”
MU junior Holly Sias, the competition’s 2013 queen, passed the torch to Batye following her victory. Batye said Sias’ calming words and advice inspired her during the pageant.
“Brittani stepped on stage with confidence and throughout the pageant was all smiles,” Sias said. “She looked like she was having a blast and (it) was fun to watch her.”
After holding the crown for a year, Sias certainly knows what being Boone County Queen entails.
“To win the pageant, contestants must present poise, confidence, a positive attitude, and passion to promote the fair and her community," Sias said.
Batye plans to follow through with her queen duties as someone children can look up to.
“This win was a huge confidence booster and an honor,” Batye said. “I am thankful that I can be the 2014 BCF queen and I hope to be a role model for young girls everywhere.”
Following her win, Batye will now move on to compete in another royalty competition at the state level. She will represent Boone County at the Missouri State Fair Queen Pageant next week.
“I'll see where I go from here,” Batye said. “I wouldn't mind trying another (pageant) sometime in the future.”