22 Things to Know About Shannon Jackowski, United States of America’s Mrs.

1. What did the journey to your crown look like? I have been competing in pageants for over 10 years. I started in 2009 when I was preparing for a Regional baton twirling competition. I wanted to get my new dress on the floor and get some nerves out before my baton competition. Little did I know that was the beginning of my pageant journey.

2. What tips would you give to pageant competitors? Have fun!!! That was one of the biggest changes I did for this year that really helped my journey. I did not focus on the other competitors as competitors but other accomplished women who are striving towards their goals.

3. Do you have a favorite wine, or drink? I typically like semi-sweet sparkling wines, my favorite brand is Stella Rosa and of course I love me some Prosecco!!!

4. Dream pageant gown designer? Gasper Cruz!!! I met Gasper in 2013 and have only worn his gowns since… I won my national title in my Gasper dress.

5. What are your makeup go-to’s for a quick beat? Eyebrows, mascara and of course lips gloss. If I only have a quick second those are the three things I glam with. 

Pageantry aside, Shannon also serves her community as a school police officer with the Kelly Independent School District. (Photo Cred: Sue Altenburg)

6. What was your first pageant competition like? I competed in a preliminary to the Miss Hawaii (MAO) [competition] as twirling was my talent and my passion. Like I said before, I was competing to get ready for my regional baton twirling competition that was coming up. But then I won!! Craziest part was after I won, I didn’t even have time to stay after and take photos, my mom rushed me over to my track meet at the University of Hawaii. I changed in the car, she drove me to the track, I ran to the start line and BANG the gun went off for the race to start!! After my track meet, I changed again into my baton twirling costume where I performed at the volleyball game. 

7. Current read? I just finished The Escape Room, by Megan Goldin

8. Which portion of competition is your fave? It’s not a portion that is typically thought of judged, but the part where I go out into my community, meet new wonderful faces and have the chance to encourage someone to never give up on their dreams and goals. 

9. If you could travel anywhere where would you go? My husband, Chance and I love the water. We currently live in Colorado but met in Hawaii. We have always talked about going on a cruise of somesort. I would say I want to go on cruise to multiple tropical paradises. 

10. How do you balance your pageant, work, and personal life? It can definitely be difficult at times but with the right support system anything is achievable. I have to admit that my calendar is how I am able to remember things. I tell Chance all the time if I don’t write something down, I am going to forget 🙂 

Fun Fact: Shannon received a scholarship for Baton Twirling at the University of Hawaii, where she met her husband on the beach!
(Photo Cred: Instagram)

11. Give us a good motivational quote that inspires you: My favorite quote actually comes from my mother. She always instilled in me, “try your hardest and your best and be proud of your accomplishments.”

12. Would you consider yourself a hero? As a law enforcement officer for over 9 years, I have met many people in my life that have changed my way of thinking. I believe anyone who is willing to risk their life for someone else’s can be considered a hero. I am 4th generation law enforcement and I am a proud army wife to my military police Soldier. 

13. Bedtime routine? I am totally hooked on a new show, ‘What If?’ on netflix. We typically watch at least one episode before we go to bed. If I am not currently hooked on a show, I usually read a couple chapters of whatever book I am reading to help me unwind from the day. 

14. What artist are on your playlist? I typically just listen to Pandora and I have two main stations that I rotate between. Either Today’s Country Radio or Today’s Hits. I must admit that right now I am listening to Tim McGraw and Faith Hill mix, mainly because I can listen to the the last song we danced to from our wedding, ‘The Rest of My Life.’ 

15. How did you decide on your evening gown? Gaspar Cruz has been designing my gowns since 2013. I trust his designs and feel amazing when I wear his gowns. He has a way of knowing just what gown, color and design will make each of his girls sparkle at their best. 

Shannon is the proud step mom of 11 year-old, Lilly Anne. (Photo Cred: Instagram)

16. What are 3 words you would use to describe yourself? Dedicated, quirky and compassionate. 

17.  Favorite junk food? PIZZA!!!!!! My family knows that after every pageant we have to get Pizza!! After nationals this year, Chance found a place, was going to have it delivered to the hotel and at the last minute he whisked us away to the restaurant. 

18. One global issue that tugs at your heart: I have been fortunate to have partnered with my platform of T.A.P.S (Teen and Police Services) for the last several years. T.A.P.S focuses on reducing the social distance between police and teens while creating an understanding of each other in order to engage, de-escalate and improve communities. This is an area that is close to my heart and I think creating positive relationships with our youth and law enforcement can create lasting impressions. 

19. What is your favorite movie? Miss Congeniality!!! As a police officer, baton twirling and pageant contestant, I feel like that movie was made for my life.

20. Who would you consider to be your hero? Anyone who puts their life on the line for someone else. First Responders, our military and the generations that came before which paved the way. 

21. How do you unwind on a Sunday evening? My favorite Sundays are the ones we are able to have our daughter Lily Anne, who primarily lives with her mother in Texas. We put on a chick flick, of course, we paint nails, do hair and makeup. Our chocolate labrador Princess Aurora Marie usually ends up sitting on our laps (she is 45 lbs) and Chance is there with us too, enjoying our chick flick 🙂 The best way to unwind is to be with my family. 

22. Give us your best Pageant Patty answer: Describe your perfect date? Chance and I actually met on the beach in Hawaii. But one of my favorite dates we had was a picnic on the beach where we watched the sunset, listened to the ocean and enjoyed each other’s company. I actually have a picture where we took of our shadows against a rock on that very day. 

Hear more from Shannon Jackowski, United States of America’s Mrs on this week’s episode of Pageants & Prosecco. Now streaming on all major podcast platforms (Apple, Google Play, Spotify, Breaker, Radio Lab, Anchor & where ever else you listen to your episodes).

22 Things to Know About Emma Loney, Miss Wisconsin Earth USA 2020

1) What did the journey to your crown look like?

I have competed since I was 16. What was once something I just wanted to try with a cool crown and sash quickly developed into a drive and passion to make a difference. I realized holding a title was the opportunity to use my voice to implement the change I wanted to see. I had the opportunity to be crowned Miss Wisconsin in many organizations along with placing at the national level multiple times, and an extremely honored to be serving as Miss Wisconsin earth USA 2020. Being a curvy titleholder has shown me that the pageant industry is changing and though not all organizations are as progressive, there are many are starting to celebrate women of all shapes and sizes. Being a positive role model and a great titleholder is not indicative of fitting a certain mold of external appearance.

2) What tips would you give to pageant competitors? Do not change who you are for what you think the judges want. 

3) Do you have a favorite wine, or drink? I am a Champagne girl.

4) Dream pageant gown designer? I am actually currently having my Miss Earth USA gown designed by a designer in the Philippines! 

5) What are your makeup go-to’s for a quick beat? Concealer for my dark circles!! And always mascara. 

This will be Emma’s second year competing for the coveted Miss Earth USA title, she was previously Miss Wisconsin Earth USA 2017.
(Photo Cred: Eva Flis Photography)

6) What was your first pageant competition like? SO FUN. I also had no idea what I was doing and thought I would win; I did not. But I fell in love and haven’t stopped since. 

7) Current read? MUST READ: The New Jim Crow

8) Which portion of competition is your fave? Interview. This allows me to tell the judges my goals, passions and why I’m there and to me that is the most important thing. 

9) If you could travel anywhere where would you go? Around the world. I want to go to so many places, my next stop will probably be France or Thailand! 

10) How do you balance your pageant, work, and personal life? My planner is my life. I do so much all the time and if it isn’t written down, I’m forgetting about it until the day of which is definitely stressful and something I always try to avoid! 

Emma was the 2018 winner of Mac Duggal’s Fabulous Model Search! (Photo Cred: Eva Flis Photography)

11) Give us a good motivational quote that inspires you: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Gahndi 

20) Would you consider yourself a hero?
I’ve actually never thought about it. I’ve always aimed to be a positive role model and advocate. I always have wanted to be a person people feel inspired by and can help them be comfortable in their own skin. I’ve always done my best to advocate for those that couldn’t advocate for themselves. But do I see myself as a hero? No. Just a person trying to make the world a better place. 

13) Bedtime routine?
I am NOT a morning person, so I shower at night. I wash my face, always deep condition my hair, and I put moisturizer on my face. I always brush my hair wet and put it in a low bun to sleep because my hair is naturally curly and I usually leave it natural so this helps it from becoming frizzy and tangled while I sleep. I have a chihuahua, so I cuddle with him and watch Netflix and unwind then go to sleep! 

14) What artist are on your playlist? Honestly, Blackbear is my favorite. Also Khalid. 

15) How did you decide on your evening gown? I was contacted by a newer Filipino designer who is a big fan of Miss Earth and is designing gowns for the miss Philippines contestants. I decided to just go for it and not do my traditional look online, buy 3 dresses and not like any of the, as it always causes me so many issues. We shall see in the coming months how it turns out! 

Fun Fact: Emma had an interest in music at a young age and began singing in her choir at 10 years old.
(Photo Cred: Eva Flis Photography)

16) What are 3 words you would use to describe yourself? Outgoing, Passionate, Driven 

17) Favorite junk food? Flaming hot Cheetos 

18) One global issue that tugs at your heart: Climate change, which is also a huge reason I chose to compete with Miss Earth. We are single handedly destroying our only home. If changes are not made, humanity will no longer exist. If we want to continue as a species, we need to take immediate action. I personally have made changes in my living to be more environmentally cautious and I believe it is all about spreading what you know and learning new things to ultimately make bigger changes and create a bigger, positive impact. 

19) What is your favorite movie? Phantom of the Opera, Moana and Coco 

20) Who do you consider to be your hero? My mama. She is the most loving, hardest working, passionate woman I have ever known or seen. She puts others first, and always makes time for anyone that needs her. At 50 she’s finishing up her PhD, working as a nursing instructor, running a board for an underprivileged community and so much more while caring for her loved ones to the ends of the earth. 

21) How do you unwind on a Sunday evening? I work every Sunday so when I get home usually a bath, snack and watching whatever show I’m watching at the time. 

22) Give us your best Pageant Patty answer: Describe your perfect date? I want to type it but I want to also say what mine personally is: September 10th because it’s starting to show signs of fall while still being warm and everyone is excited for a new school year and new memories and the energy of this time makes me so happy. 

Catch up with Emma on this week’s episode of Pageants & Prosecco, the Podcast. Streaming now on on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, Breaker, Radio Lab, Anchor on whereever else you listen to your episodes.

22 Things to Know About Alyssa Klinzing, Miss Kansas USA 2019

  1. What did the journey to your crown look like? My journey to the crown took many years of hard work, dedication, and growth. I competed as a Miss three times, and each year I came back to compete as a better version of Alyssa than I was the year before! Looking back I can see why I didn’t win my state title before I did, I wasn’t quite ready and God needed to make sure I was prepared for the honor of competing for Miss USA! I wouldn’t change his timing for the world.
  2. What tips would you give to pageant competitors? The biggest tip I can give is to find your voice and be able to stand up for yourself. It can be very easy for a girl to find herself “molded” into what others want them to be and lose herself during the process, but at the end of the day, you have to be able to present yourself on stage as the most authentic person you can be. Stay true to yourself!
  3. Do you have a favorite wine, or drink? I’m pretty guilty of being involved in the white cleaning craze.
  4. Dream pageant gown designer? My dream dress designer is Valdrin Sahiti.
  5. What are your makeup go to’s for a quick beat? I try to wear minimal makeup on a daily basis! I stick with the NYX BB cream, my Nikita Dragun Face palette for bronzer and blush, Covergirl setting powder, mascara, a good nude shade Kylie lip kit and the Morphe finishing spray! I think a natural look is always the most beautiful!
Fun Fact: Alyssa was perviously Miss Kansas Teen USA in 2013! (Photo Cred: Antisdels Photography)

6. What was your first pageant competition like? My first pageant was when I was 13. I wore a 20 dollar dress from Dillard’s, my mom did my makeup and hair, I had no coaching, but I went and just had a really good time! NAM is where I caught the pageant bug, even though I never won a title!

7. Current read? I’m currently listening to true crime podcasts! I have kind of shifted from booms to podcasts in the past 6 months since I can listen during my commutes.

8. Which portion of competition is your fave? I love competing in interview! I have a really outgoing and bubbly personality so getting to showcase that to the judges is always my favorite!

9. If you could travel anywhere where would you go? If I could go anywhere in the world it would be Santorini Greece!

10. How do you balance your pageant, work, and personal life? It’s very hard to balance pageants with work, school, and a social life. It’s all about organizing your schedule and sacrificing certain things here and there to make sure you don’t spread yourself too thin. I tend to find myself spread pretty thin as I try to be there for everyone and give my time to other things, which is something I have been personally working on to change. Prioritizing your mental health is more important than anything!

Alyssa placed top 10 at the 2019 Miss USA Pageant. (Photo Cred: Instagram)

11. Give us a good motivational quote that inspires you: “She remembered who she was and the game changed.” -Lalah Delilah

12. Would you consider to be your Shero? RBG is for sure my Shero, she is an incredibly strong woman who has worked hard to break glass ceilings not only for herself, but for all women in this country. Give “On The Basis Of Sex” a watch, it will inspire you to work hard and chase your wildest dreams.

13. What does your bedtime routine consist of? I usually work evening shifts that get off pretty late so my routine at night consists of taking my makeup off with my makeup eraser, washing my face, brushing my teeth and falling asleep on my face.

14. What artist are on your playlist? I listen to a lot of Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande.

15. How did you decide on your evening gown? Getting my evening gown for Miss USA was not what I expected it to be. I searched through over 20 racks of dresses and wasn’t really drawn to anything, I tried on about 4 dresses and asked Sherri if she could modify the bodice on my favorite dress to make it more flattering on my body type which lead to my final design!

This beauty queen loves ANYTHING sour with her candy. (Photo Cred: Dinesha Lashay)

16. What are 3 words you would use to describe yourself? 3 words to describe myself are independent, trustworthy, and straightforward.

17. Favorite junk food? I can get down with any sour candies!

18. One global issue that tugs at your heart: One global issue I hold close to heart is climate change. This is an issue that will leave no person or place untouched and it is up to the people to protect and preserve our planet for future generations! Right now I am very focused on getting people involved in the 2020 election and asking voters to focus closely on the candidates who are fighting to protect our planet!

19. What is your favorite movie? My favorite movie is The Impossible, if you haven’t seen it be sure to give it a go!

20. Who would you consider to be your hero? My hero is The Rock because I fully believe if I am ever in danger he’s going to be the one to come save me🤣 He has always been my favorite actor!

21. How do you unwind on a Sunday evening? To unwind I really like to workout and just get completely lost in the music! It makes the time go by really fast!

22. Give us your best Pageant Patty answer: Describe your perfect date: My perfect date is no date at all because dating is complicated and I would rather down a pint of ice cream with my girlfriends while watching The Bachelor🤣

You can hear more from Alyssa including her time competing for Miss Teen USA in 2013 and how it changed as she competed as a Miss years later, her growth from teen to Miss, why women should take on leadership roles in politics and how she survived a domestic violence relationship. Stream Alyssa’s episode on Pageants & Prosecco, the Podcast, available everywhere you listen to your podcasts.

Google Play

Artist behind See Thru Nikki Talks Overnight Success & How Her Work is Blowing Up in Social Media

See Thru Nikki digital creator, Nikki Gal, sat down with Pageants & Prosecco to share her story as an “accidentally famous” digital designer.

Nikki creates her unique portraits entirely by hand. Pageant girls like Allie Gonzalez, Hannah McMurphy and Dani Walker have all had their own personal portraits drawn by Nikki. She spoke with US about how she had no idea how big of a business it was going to grown into it.

See Thru Nikki started when a close friend of hers, who participated in pageants, asked Nikki to draw a portrait of her. She said, “it was my first one, so I didn’t think it was my best work.” However, social media thought otherwise. The post quickly went viral! People from all over, including many pageant titleholders, were now asking when they could get their own portraits done, leading her to create her own graphic design business, See Thru Nikki.

After taking a leap of faith, her business immediately grew in less than a year. (Photo cred; Nikki Gal)

The name See Thru Nikki, stems from Nikki’s natural creativity. When Pageants & Prosecco asked about why she chose the name explained, “They’re seeing their vision through my eyes.” Each design takes Gal approximately 40 minutes, and the design is done solely by hand. It is important for her to add a personal touch to her art, “Every digital designer I know uses a stylus, I think drawing by hand is more heartfelt.”

Nikki’s designs are not just used for pageant girl profile pictures, she has designed bumper stickers, business cards, logos, websites, YouTube intro’s, and more. She even designed the cover art for the single, “I Don’t Care,” by Sarah Cleary, and Mariah Belgrod. However, Gal admires her pageant clientele, “Every pageant girl I’ve done business with is so nice and professional. They are also so confident, it’s inspiring to me.”

Nikki’s advice for aspiring digital designers. It’s simple, “trust the creativity process.” She begins early in the morning around 7:30 am beginning with meditation. “I love yoga and meditation; they make your mind clear and get you in that creative mindset.” She also tries to read to help keep her mind focused, so she can before working on her designs.

You can hear our full interview with Nikki Gal on the podcast, Pageants & Prosecco. Now playing on all major podcast platforms.

22 Things to Know About Alexia Robinson, Miss United States 2019

Pageants & Prosecco caught up with Alexia Robinson, during a rather snowy day in Missouri outside of St. Louis, working from home taking clients & growing her business Superior Academic Consulting. Designed to provide students guidance into & encourage them to take control of their higher education. She provides ACT & SAT test preparation and helps them navigate the college application process using the Comm app.

Time is of the essence for her as she is still a student of the medical field. Her love for children and science led her to land a prestigious role as a researcher in the pediatric neurology department at Washington University. She’s worked with hundreds of health clinics across St. Louis, Missouri and Southern Illinois. Kids Vision for Life is just one program she is a champion for during her reign. Alexia and Kids Vision travel to different elementary schools to provide free exam and glasses to children.

Her love for providing medicine to communities who do not have quality access to care is obvious in our interview with Alexia. We caught up with her shortly after her trip from Alabama working with children who’s mothers were addicted to meth & heroin.

2020 is a year of vision for many of us, including Alexia. Her goal is to end up on the sidelines of a NFL team’s bench as an orthopedic physician taking care of the players. In the midst of her titleholder and entrepreneurial endeavors, she is applying and in the interview cycle for several medical schools.

Hear her story about how she’s using her passion to encourage more Black women to represent in the both the pageant & medical fields during our interview — Sippin’ with Alexia Miss United States on Pageants & Prosecco Tune IN!!

Alexia is a Wash U student studying pediatric neurology research!
  1. What did the journey to your crown look like? In past pageants I tried very hard to fit the typical pageant winner, and in the past I felt in I had many people in my head telling me what to wear, fix, or even look like. This made me feel as if I couldn’t be myself. This year I did not prepare at all to the extent of pageants I did in the past. For nationals I only prepared for the competition during the hours with my coach and I booked 3 hours a month. I focused on my service with the mobile clinics and my medical school applications. I had to pay for medical school applications and summer classes which came out to be close to $10,000 so that didn’t leave me any room for pageant expenses. However with the help of my friends, sponsors, and resourcefulness, I was able to win the crown!
  2. What tips would you give to pageant competitors? I hope my pageant story can inspire other girls that often get discouraged from competing because of financial reasons, or because they might feel like they aren’t booking enough photo opportunities oops I mean appearances for service as other girls. As long as you stay true to yourself and show your real authentic self, then that will shine through on stage.
  3. Do you have a favorite wine, or drink? A manhattan with 7 cherries or my favorite beer is Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale.
  4. Dream pageant gown designer? Gaspar Cruz, he knows a woman’s body, and the quality is unlike any other designer.
  5. What are your makeup go to’s for a quick beat? Everyday is a quick beat for me! I do get my eyebrows microbladed. I think it’s very worth the money. However, in addition to that I wear Chanel Ultra Le Teint Velvet and a Chanel lipstick.
Manhattan over Merlot! Admittedly not much of a wine drinker, Alexia just returned from a trip to Europe which consisted of a wine tasting trip to Frascati, Italy. Pictured here in front of a row of vines. Farmers get ready for the fall harvest around March-early April. (Instagram)

6. What was your first pageant competition like?

It was a Miss America local. My talent was burlesque dancing… I didn’t know how conservative Miss America was at the time. I also had a plunging neckline with a high slit sequin gown… needless to say I lost and went to USA after that.


7. Current Read?

I have not read anything recently, because I am currently writing my own book, “Baptized in a bar.”

8. Which portion of competition is your fave?

Swim, because I can be unapologetically sexy.

9. If you could travel anywhere where would you go?

Paris, and I actually go in a couple of weeks.

10. How do you balance your pageant, work, and personal life?

It’s a struggle, people see the service and the fancy travel pictures I post. However, they also don’t realize that I’m working 15 hour days so I don’t get behind in my work.

11. Give us a good motivational quote that inspires you.

“And suddenly when you want something, the whole universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

12. Who is a hero in your life?

My grandmother, because she’s the perfect woman who made me I am today.

13. What does your bedtime routine consist of?

I take out my clip ins and toss them somewhere (most frequently the floor). I grab a cup of water and then I am asleep.

14. What artists are on your playlist?

Kane Brown

Alexia wore a A gorgeous Jovani Couture gown at the Miss United States competition, sponsored by Sequin Siren.

15. How did you decide on your evening gown? I didn’t it was sent to me by the Sequin Siren a couple of days before I left for the competition.

16. What are 3 words you would use to describe yourself? leader, adventurous and inquisitive.

17. Favorite junk food? Cake

18. One global issue that tugs at your heart: Uninsured patient population and drug addiction.

19. What is your favorite movie? The Blind Side

20. Who would you consider to be your greatest hero? God!

21. How do you unwind on a Sunday evening? I don’t, I’m normally working.

22.Give us your best Pageant Patty answer: Describe your perfect date? Hiking the smokey mountains and making smore’s in a fireplace.

Continue reading “22 Things to Know About Alexia Robinson, Miss United States 2019”

Mexican Model With No Arms Wins Miss Nanchital 2020 Title

Mexican model, Ana Gabriela Molina, challenged both the beauty and pageant industry standards by showcasing her disability as a different ability when she was crowned Miss Nanchital 2020.

Ana’s win qualifies her to compete for the state title, Miss Veracruz. She’s one of the first disabled woman in history to compete for Miss Mexico. (Photo Cred: Mexico News Daily)

With Ana’s win at Miss Nanchital, she gained a ton of international attention. She was born with bilateral amelia, a birth defect targeting her arms. However, this is not stopping her from chasing her dreams. During an interview, the 24-year-old shared, “I’ve managed to overcome everything that has happened to me in my whole life.”

Her win qualified her to compete for the upcoming state title, Miss Veracruz. If Anna was to win Miss Veracruz, she would go on to be the first disabled women in history to compete for the coveted Miss Mexico crown.

In addition to being a beauty queen, Ana is a graduate psychology student, motivational speaker, and model!
(Photo Cred: Video Still from EFE)

Beauty pageants are not the only obstacle Ana has had to face. Despite having no arms, she manages to eat, use a mobile phone and write all with her feet. In addition to competing, Ana is also a graduate psychology student, motivational speaker and a part time model.

Ana wishes to inspire those with disabilities not to limit themselves simply because they’re disabled. She explains, “I feel like any other normal person because I’ve lived my life like that. So, for me, my disability is not a limit.”

“I feel like any other normal person because I’ve lived my life like that.” (Photo Cred: Insta)

The Miss Veracruz competition is set to be held March 3rd to the 18thth. If she wins, she will qualify for the national Miss Mexico pageant this June. During her interview, Ana expressed her confidence for the upcoming pageant, “In the contest I will go through the same thing. They will evaluate me in the same way as all the others.”

Will Gabriela win Miss Vercruz becoming the first disabled woman to compete for Miss Mexico? She’s active on instagram and documenting her journey to the crown!

Click on the picture to follow Ana’s journey to the Miss Mexico crown! (Photo Cred: Instagram)

Miss Puerto Rico Shares Her Thoughts on the Super Bowl Half-Time Show

Did you happen to catch the LIV Super Bowl half-time show? There’s been a lot of buzz online about the performance both good and bad. One person who knows what it means to show your Latin pride is none other than Miss Universe 1st Runner-Up Miss Puerto Rico Madison Anderson. She spoke out about the historic performance and a potential book deal coming her way during a recent interview with the Miss Universe Organization at their New York Headquarters.

“If we don’t take risks in life we don’t know how far we can go,” she says. (Photo Cred: Fadil Berisha)

“First off the Latin culture is just really shining right now and I’m so proud,” Madison gushed. This was the first time in Super Bowl history where two Latina women, Shakira and Jennifer Lopez, were the featured headliners. The show actually gave Madison goosebumps when she watched.  Jennifer Lopez’s performance specifically inspired her, “JLo is my big inspiration. She has literally shown what it is to be Puerto Rican.” 

During the performance, JLo donned an American flag which, when opened, turned into the Puerto Rican Flag, in celebration of her Puerto Rican heritage. Madison felt a lot of emotions about this moment because in the 1940’s it was illegal for someone to carry a Puerto Rican flag with them. She shared, “to just see where we have come right now today, is inspirational.”

Madison’ posted about her “big inspiration” after the Super Bowl half-time performance. (Photo Cred: Instagram)

Madison’s experience growing up in a bicultural household helped shape her and is part of the inspiration behind pursuing writing a book detailing her upbringing. She explained, “I just want to write a book about my experiences,” including her life before and after competing for Miss Universe back in November. 

She says in her book, she wants to detail her move to New York at just 19 years old to pursue a modeling career and how this led led her to find her a passion in communicating with other people. The move is one of the reasons she felt compelled to compete for Miss Puerto Rico and ultimately Miss Universe, where she placed first runner up to Zozibini. The substance of her book is based off taking uncomfortable risks. “If we don’t take risks in life we don’t know how far we can go,” she says. 

Check out her full interview with the Miss Universe Organization below:

Click the post if you would like to listen to more of Miss Puerto Rico’s interview! (Photo Cred: Instagram)

#BlackPageantHerstory- Cheryl Browne – First Black Woman to Compete for Miss America

In honor of Black History Month, Pageants & Prosecco is highlighting the Black Pageant Queens who made a difference and broke through the mold.

These Queens paved a way and made a difference in our lives today. Many of whom broke barriers being a first in the pageant world to do something amazing.

Today, we honor Cheryl Browne the first Black woman to compete for Miss America. She won Miss Iowa in 1970 to everyone’s surprised including herself. Learn more about this Queen. Happy #BlackHistoryMonth

Tune in to Pageants & Prosecco, the Podcast to learn more about Cheryl Brown & the Miss America rule #7. Available on iTunes, Google Play, Overcast, Spotify & wherever else you’re listening to your podcasts.

Engaged! Kara McCullough Says Yes To NBA Player Garrett Temple

Congratulations to Kara and Garrett! He proposed to the former Miss USA over the weekend in front of loved ones, saying she makes him a better man repeatedly. Kara shared the special moment on Instagram to her 84,000 followers. Paying homage to Kobe, Kara says “blessings still fell” down despite sadness across the world for all the victims.

“We’re going to build an even bigger temple of love and legacy for our future” -Kara

Garrett has an extensive career in the NBA currently playing for the Brooklyn Nets and played for Louisiana State University before going pro in 2009. His father Collis Temple was the first African-American to play basketball at LSU back in the early 1970’s. He played overseas in Italy for a year before stints with the Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Milwaukee Bucks, Washington Wizards, Memphis Grizzles, Los Angeles Clippers and finding home in Brooklyn.

Garrett frequently played against Kob Bryant saying he grew up watching #8 and played against #24 (Photo Cred: Instagram)

He’s on the executive committee of the National Basketball Player’s Association. According to CBS Sports, many think the 33-year-old will be next in line to be President of the union. His team mates praise him as a humble, God-fearing, perfect guy to be around. As part of the NBPA, he focuses on mentoring the rookie athletes coming in to the league, with a focus on mental health, financial literacy and preparing them for life after the NBA.

The pair first went social media official after Kara’s reign ended in 2018 and are true #relationshipgoals They adopted a gorgeous pup, Basil. Can’t wait to follow the wedding journey. Congrats to the fabulous couple!

Miss Dominican Republic Talks Miss Global Cheating Scandal

Miss Dominican Republic, LeslieAnn Padilla, sits down exclusively with Pageants & Prosecco to sip a glass of wine and share ALL of the Miss Global cheating drama unfolding.

In this episode, LeslieAnn opens up about her experience during pageant week including favoritism toward Miss Mexico, Miss Columbia’s viral onstage protest and the contestants’ fears about their own safety!

Grab your bottle & tune in. This is def a goodie you don’t want to miss.