Ready for her close-up
By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on August 26, 2014 1:46 PM
Miss North Carolina Beth Stovall gives a preview of her song for the talent portion of the Miss America competition, during the wardrobe showing held at the Paramount Theatre on Sunday afternoon.
Beth Stovall, right, makes a pinky promise with her choral director's daughter Marcy Anne West, 4, after the wardrobe showing.
Miss North Carolina Beth Stovall is congratulated after her wardrobe showing at the Paramount Theatre Sunday afternoon by McNeil Chestnut, a member of her grooming team.
Some showed up to wish a former student well.
Others wanted to support a friend.
And beauty queens of all ages were eager to meet the young lady who currently possesses the state's top crown.
Friends, family members and fans converged on the Paramount Theatre Sunday for a sneak peak of the talent -- and clothing -- Miss North Carolina Beth Stovall hopes will earn her the Miss America title a few weeks from now.
The wardrobe showing served as a "send-off party" of sorts for the national pageant.
And while it has only been nine weeks since the young lady was crowned Miss North Carolina, Beth Knox, the executive director of the Miss North Carolina organization, said Miss Stovall has experienced a "whirlwind" of appearances and travel in the relatively short time since.
Her parents, Dan and Patti Stovall, said they are still adjusting to their new role as parents of the state's queen.
Dan, a pharmacist at Target, said the minute he knew she was Miss America-bound, he scheduled his vacation.
All 53 contestants will head to Washington D.C., Sept. 1 before traveling to Atlantic City.
The preliminary contests include private interview, swimsuit and evening gown, talent and on-stage question.
But those who know her said Miss Stovall has already done Goldsboro proud.
"She has represented us all with beauty and grace and charm," Mrs. Knox said.
And Cathy Best, a retired educator, remembers Beth as an "excellent student" in her computer applications class at Rosewood High School.
Mrs. Best's daughter, Kelly, a senior at Campbell University, has been friends with Beth since the two met in kindergarten back in 1998.
"I haven't been able to see her as much as I would like," Kelly said. "She's busy, but she's doing a super job."
Another classmate from Rosewood, Will Lane, also showed up in support of the 77th queen of the Tar Heel state.
"Whenever I heard her perform, I thought, 'next American Idol,' all the way until I graduated," he said. "I love her to death. She's just been representing North Carolina really well from all her pageants."
Lisa West, chorus teacher at Rosewood High, had Miss Stovall as a student all four years of high school.
"I think she's always been beautiful and I'm thankful that she's gotten to show the beauty that she has, inside and out," she said. "I'm extremely proud of her."
The 90-minute wardrobe show featured an array of outfits Miss North Carolina will wear, including a black and white skirt and crop top chosen as her arrival outfit, a cobalt blue dress and silver BCBG shoes for the private interview, a two-piece black Catalina swimsuit, an emerald green strapless gown for on-stage question, a midnight blue velvet dress for evening gown and the same aqua gown she has worn twice previously for the talent portion.
The opera singer has worn it in two previous Miss North Carolina competitions -- as Miss Goldsboro 2013, she won preliminary talent and placed in the top 10, and again this past year, as Miss Greater Sampson County, when was the sole double preliminary winner, in swimsuit and talent.
"I have a lot of emotional connection to this dress," she said, adding that it also fit the character of the Puccini aria she will sing in the upcoming contest.
At the end of the program, Miss Stovall thanked the audience for helping her get to this point.
"To know that so many people care so much about me and are doing everything in their power to make sure that I look and feel my best, I'm still so honored to be Miss North Carolina," she said. "I'm ready to bring home that crown."
"Please do," replied Mrs. Knox, presenting her with a bouquet of flowers. "You're Miss America to us."