Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Miss America Journey - Day 5

Today was my interview! I was quite proud of myself because I got up at 5:30 AM to work out before meeting with the group for our 7:40 rehearsal. The only time we have to work out (outside of just doing some crunches in the room) is at 6-7am on certain days. Today, I knew a good workout would help clear my head and release any tension. I felt very calm (with a few butterflies accompanying me) before my interview. I knew so many people were praying for me and sending good vibes my way so I felt at peace knowing I could just leave it in God’s hands. Prior to the interview, I had a certain expectation of how it was going to go (just like so many of us who try to micro manage and plan everything ☺), and guess what…it was unlike any interview I have ever had! Crazy how that works, but what a gift it was to be able to be real, open, vulnerable, and totally in the moment with the judges. The interview flew by so fast so it felt like one second I was walking in and the very next second it was over and I was out! I believe I did very well, but it’s so hard to know what the judges think (especially when they have to listen to 52 other interviews!)…ultimately, however, I’m glad I was able to just speak from my heart. If they choose me, what an honor; but, if they don’t, at least it’s not because I wasn’t Kathryn. So now… it’s time to move on and focus on the stage competitions…I can’t wait.

After rehearsing the rest of the day, we had a great dinner at P.F. Changs. BeBe Shopp Waring (a former Miss Minnesota who became Miss America!) and Heather French Henry (my favorite Miss America) were two of the people who gave very touching speeches. Bebe, who is now 80, looks so young and is still so gracious and graceful. Each spoke with such kindness and sincerity. I think all of us felt at peace afterwards; I know I did. From their perspective, whomever wins will need all the rest of us to love and support her because the job of Miss America is incredibly difficult; I LOVE that philosophy. As Miss America, you don't live anywhere other than hotel rooms. You truly are on call 24 hours a day and some days you are so tired that you could question your ability to make it through the next day. But knowing the huge privilege and responsibility Miss America is granted, knowing the people who love and support us, and seeing the difference we can make with our platforms and the Children's Miracle Network, makes it all worthwhile! And, the final thing they said that was so special and personal to me was how this amazing experience is just preparing us for the other future plans God has for us. Even though 52 contenders will not realize the dream of becoming Miss America, we all need to trust that this is still a part of the bigger plan in our life. I have believed this from the beginning, but to hear it from former Miss Americas who spoke so eloquently was really special.

It really is starting to get exciting and I might just add that families and directors are everywhere…it is pictures galore anywhere and everywhere we go! (I know I’m using the word “exciting” a lot, but really that is the true emotion of what I am experiencing!) How surprising it must be for passer-bys to see 53 sparkly crowns and banners on 53 beautiful young women!

After dinner, we got to have a “private shopping party” of Miss America merchandise, and guess what, like a typical girl, I wanted everything!! I did purchase a few things for my family (and for myself of course ☺) so it was a great night!

Tomorrow is my talent rehearsal and night 1 of preliminaries. I don’t know how much I will be able to blog, but I will continue to try my best (so just forgive me if it’s a little late in being posted)! Being here at Miss America is truly surreal. I can imagine how my heart will be pumping right before the opening number and before my talent. Regardless of what happens in the finals, I am so incredibly pumped to be able to perform my own original piano composition on the biggest stage and in front of the biggest audience ever! This is a dream come true and I plan to savor it.

There are only 2 more days left to vote for your favorite contestant, so please keep pushing to have people vote for me! Four contestants are chosen from those votes so that is a big deal! Again, I can’t thank you enough for your love, support, encouragement, thoughts and prayers. I am very blessed!

Kathryn Knuttila

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