It’s hard to believe it’s finally here, but I am in Toronto right now! So far, this experience has been a whole lot of fun and I am so grateful for this opportunity. I arrived here on Saturday evening, and I got to meet all the lovely ladies. They are all so beautiful and friendly, it’s a great atmosphere. I am so glad that I am fortunate enough to be able to meet all these amazing young women from all over the country.
On Sunday, things really began to move quickly. In the morning, I got to to go a modelling convention with some of the other girls and do a runway competition. It was really cool. After that, we returned to the hotel (We are staying at the Royal York, and it is gorgeous!) where we had our hair and makeup done for our photo shoot, video shoot and interview. It was a very long day, but lots of fun too. I was extremely nervous for the interview, but I’m glad it is out of the way now. After we finished all these things, we ate dinner, had a briefing of the next day and then went to bed.
Monday was a fun-filled, exciting day and we got to see a lot of really neat things and tour the city of Toronto. We started out with breakfast at 6:15 (meaning I had to wake up at 4:45). Then we went on a Hippo Tour. It was on a bus that actually acts as a boat too and can go in the lake! This was neat, and it let us see more of the city. Next, we went to the CN tower! I am so scared of heights, so I was nervous going up the elevator, but once we got to the top, I was fine. I even stood on the glass floor to take pictures! Then we went to the BallRoom, a new age bowling alley/restaurant/sports bar. We got to bowl, eat some yummy food and hang out for the afternoon. I got to have a nice talk with Miss Teen World, Anastasia from Greece. She is so nice and down to earth. She had some really great advice for us girls. She said to have fun, and focus on the friendships you are making instead of the competition. She’s such a great role model, and so beautiful. We also had Miss United States and Miss Teen United states with us, but I didn’t get to talk to them much yet. After bowling, we went back to the hotel to practice walking before going out for supper. We went to a really nice Greek restaurant, in honour of Anastasia. The food was delicious! Then we came back to the hotel and recieved our opening number shoes and dresses! My dress is pink. Then it was time for bed.
Tuesday began with rehearsals for our final show. We have an opening number, swimsuit number, evening gown and lots of other things to learn and remember. For lunch, we went to Franky Tomatto’s, the buffet was sooooo good! The restaurant had a little leaning tower outside, which was neat. Then, we came back to the hotel and did some more rehearsals. That evening, we went out to see the musical Billy Elliot! I absolutely loved it. It made me laugh, cry and the production was amazing. It is definitely worth going to see. After the show, we got to meet three of the stars! We met one of the four little boys who plays Billy, the boy who plays Michael and the guy who plays Billy’s older brother. I got a picture with Billy! After that, we went out for dinner and karaoke. We all sang along to old songs, like the Spice Girls and Britney Spears and had a blast. It was a pretty late night, and I fell asleep almost as soon as we returned to the hotel.
Wednesday, day 5 was another day jam-packed with rehearsals. We started learning the coreography for our opening number. Our coreographer’s name was Omar, and he’s hilarious. Thankfully, the dance number wasn’t too challenging since I am not a dancer. After lunch, we got to go the store opening of Stylexhange, a cool store in downtown Toronto. They were generous enough to give all of us girls 50% off on everything! Since I just can’t resist a sale, I bought a few things. The clothes there were really nice and they had all the popular trends. Here is their site:http://www.stylexchange.com/ When we were there we also recieved gift bags from Rimmel London, packed full of sweet makeup products! I can’t wait to try them all out. We went back to the hotel and had some more rehearsals. We had a nice surprise that night when one of our hosts showed up to practice our names. Guess who it was? Luke Bilyk from Degrassi! I even got a picture with him. That was pretty exciting.
Thurday was the day of preliminaries, and we had a lot more rehearsals. It takes a lot of work to produce a great show. We also recieved our swimsuits from Baltex Swimwear to wear in the show. They’re super cute! I know I’m going to wear mine all the time. That night, the preliminary competition took place. I was pretty nervous before it started, but once I got on stage I felt good. Everyone looked so elegant and beautiful in their evening gowns. I was so happy to have my parents, my brother, my uncle and two of my close friends there to cheer me on. It felt nice to know that there are so many people who care about me and I know I wouldn’t have been able to do this without their support.
The next day was Friday, and we appeared on Breakfast Television bright and early that morning! Here is a link to the segment: http://video.citytv.com/video/detail/1057029716001.000000/miss-teen-canadaworld/ Being on the set was really cool. We got to see how the show works behind the scenes. On the show, 15-year old Rowan Morrisy performed her tribute to Taylor Swift. She has an amazing voice, check her out on youtube! Throughout the week we also appeared on Etalk and ET Canada. We had a lot more rehearsing to do for the show. Thankfully, that afternoon we got a little nap since we were up so late the night before and woke up so early that morning. It really helped, since that evening was the talent gala. I wasn’t performing, but I really enjoyed the show. There were so many talented girls and it was fun to watch. After the show, we recieved our Miss Teen Canda-World gift bags! Inside there was Marc Jacobs Lola perfume, a T-shirt from Me to We Style, a Harmony Phi pendant, lots of makeup from Pari, hair accessories from Goody, etc. A huge thanks to all of our sponsors for the lovely gifts!
Saturday was the last day of the pageant and also the final night. We went to the Queen Elizabeth theatre in the morning where we had some food and rehearsed some more. Then we went into hair and makeup. I want to thank all of the hair stylists and makeup artists because I know how stressful their jobs must be with 74 girls needing to get ready for the show. They were awesome. Show time got closer and closer but for some reason I wasn’t getting nervous. It was the stangest thing, because I normally get so nervous for things like this! I wasn’t even nervous when we got on stage and performed the opening number, which I must say went really well. Drew and Alicia from Degrassi, our hosts, introduced each one of us individually, and then began to announce the top 20 girls who would compete that evening. My name was called, and I was so excited! I really didn’t know if I would make it or not, since there were so many beautiful, amazing girls. I got ready for the swimsuit portion and still didn’t feel nervous, even when I was on stage walking by myself! I was just so happy that I had made it into the top 20, I didn’t care what happened at that point. After singer Danny Fernandez performed, they brought us out again and announced the top 10. My name was called again! I was astonished! This meant I would compete in the evening gown portion. This was my favourite part of the whole competition because it made me feel like a princess. I love my dress and I feel so confident in it. After evening gown, the top 5 was announced. When the host said my name, I hardly believed it! I was so so happy. Then came the onstage question. If anything, this was what I had worried most about in the whole competition. My question was “What have you learned about Free the Children and what Me to We trip would you take?” I can’t remember exactly what I said because I was in such a daze! Then we walked one last time for the judges to score us 1-5 and exited the stage. Everyone came back on for the special awards to be announced. Top fundraiser and a Me to We trip to Kenya, as well as Miss Congeniality went to Caroline Holley. Best in swimsuit and Supermodel with style went to Alexandra Hanasz (my roomie!) Most photogenic went to Sara Winter. The academic scholarship went to Vanessa Peynenburg. First place in talent went to Tiffarrah Gosman. Then they started to announce the top 5 placing. This was when my heart was beating out of my chest. Fourth runner up was Caroline Holley! Third runner up was Danielle Furneaux! Second runner up was Sophie Church! I was so happy! Then it was Alexandra and Lauren left, and the hosts did their best to drag out announcing the winner. The new Miss Teen Canada-World is… Lauren Howe! Meaning Alexandra Hanasz was First runner up! Congratulations to Lauren and to all the lovely ladies, you were incredible. I feel so fortunate to have met each and every one of you and I hope that we can stay in touch, despite living all over the country. I cannot express how grateful I am for this opportunity. I have learned so much and I had such a good time. Going away from this, I look at it as a huge victory for myself and I hope all 74 girls do as well. I plan to make the most of my title as Miss Teen Nova Scotia-World this year and I hope to take part in more pageants in the future. I feel as if this is something that I am meant to do and I love every minute of it. Thank you all for supporting me, and you can look forward to lots of blog posts!