- The Sword & Shield
Kendall Crabtree wins 2020 Miss Olympian Pageant
Last Saturday night, Marissa Luna passed her crown over to Kendall Crabtree as she became the new Miss Olympian. Kendall is the third sophomore in the pageant’s history to win and the second in the last two years.
“I remember thinking, ‘Wait, could you please repeat that number again?’” said Crabtree.
Junior choreographer Catherine Guilsher who worked closely with the contestants in preparation for the pageant said, “Not only was she attentive and respectful, she was so humble which is all you can ask for. Kendall is 100% deserving of Miss Olympian.”
The 17 contestants were judged in three categories: interviews conducted prior to the nighttime show, a three minute talent performance and a traditional pageant walk. Aside from the Miss Olympian title, senior Kyra Berger won Miss Congeniality, senior Sally Bussian won third alternate, junior Lizzie Amberson won second alternate and senior Julia Ferreira won runner-up.
Male talent performances were included throughout the show as well, including Jack Pflaum playing “Nocturne” by Frédéric Chopin, arranged by Pierre Yves Plat, Ethan Cox playing the guitar and singing “No Hard Feelings” by the Avett Brothers and Arba McCullough playing before the intermission.
The showcase of the girls’ talents was awe-inspiring. Third alternate, Sally Bussian, played a masterful piece on the piano, “Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum” by Claude Debussy. Junior Lizzie Amberson danced to “Love in the Dark” by Adele, choreographed herself with the help of her dance teacher. Runner-up, Julia Ferreira, sang partially in French to “La Vie en Rose” by Edith Piaf.
“To all the guys in the audience. . . she’s a taken girl,” said senior Kamp McMinn, the master of ceremonies, following Julia’s performance referencing his relationship with the runner-up. Kamp was accompanied by Falcon Wiles as the mistress of ceremonies.
Winner Kendall Crabtree self-choreographed and danced to “Speechless” by Naomi Scott, impressing the crowd as a lower classman with her talent.
“I got chills watching her backstage. I could watch it a million times over,” said Co-Director Amelia Dennis who continued to say, “Not only was her talent phenomenal, but she's also so well-rounded and will do great things for this community.”
After talents were performed, a fifteen-minute intermission took place which was followed by more male talent. Carey Hereford played the guitar and sang “Murder in the City” by the Avett Brothers, and ABOG sang their rendition of “American Pie” by Don McLean.before the contestants’ final walk took place. Notably, Kendall had a graceful walk and a well-rounded resume, contributing to her overall win.
The “Night in Disguise”, this year’s theme, began with a dance by all of the contestants that was choreographed by senior Ellie Hamilton and juniors Catherine Guilsher and Caroline Hellums. The pageant’s directors were Amelia Dennis and Forrest Ann Watson. Other staff members included Martha Balogh, Sarah Patton Butler, Camille Emblom, Kate Johnson, Ella Kampakis, Raines Manley, Kate Methvin, Taylor Morris, Ellie Thomas, Frances Vandevelde, Anne Adams Ware and Stella Young.
“After the pageant on Saturday night, I genuinely felt this form of such true joy because of . . . how well we did in such crazy circumstances. . . one of them being Covid which was one of the biggest because we had to do so many things we’ve never had to do before,” said Dennis. The pageant staff had to work extremely hard to ensure the safety of the contestants and the audience by enforcing social distancing backstage and cutting down the number of tickets to 190 instead of the usual 900 available for in-person viewing. To make up for this, they offered a livestream ticket this year.
“This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for some of these girls, and it was so nice to see the staff help that happen,” said Guilsher.
As the girls took the stage for the presentation of awards. The months of hard work on behalf of the staff and the contestants proved to be successful. The crowd cheered for the four girls awarded but roared to life to celebrate Kendall Crabtree as the 2020 Miss Olympian.