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Miss Teen USA - From Winner to Judge

By: Sindy

I sat down with Vanessa Minnillo who is a former Miss Teen USA and now a new VJ for MTV. Vanessa is going to be a judge for the 2003 Miss Teen USA pageant on August 12, 2003. Now I know there are a lot of KW girls who have been in pageants or wanna be, so we asked Vanessa some questions about winning Miss Teen USA and about being a judge. Check it out peeps!

Sindy: Hey Vanessa, I know the girls competing in Miss Teen USA have a crazy week before the televised pageant, but do judges have a lot to do in the days before the Miss Teen USA pageant airs?

Vanessa Minnillo: We don't do anything before because there are preliminary judges who take care of narrowing the 51 girls down to 10. So, if anything, they try to keep us as far away from everything as possible and then the day of we'll get a briefing on the scoring and all that.

Sindy: Is there major responsibility and pressure that comes with being a judge?

Vanessa Minnillo: We sign a waiver saying that we don't work for the organization, we won't discriminate and we'll give everyone equal opportunity. They also give you a little pamphlet explaining to you how much you are going to affect this girl's life. They try and educate you, and give you literature on what you're doing.

Sindy: I guess you understand, better than others, about the affect winning Miss Teen USA can have on a life. Tell us how winning the pageant changed your life.

Vanessa Minnillo: Miss Teen USA has been an unbelievably positive experience. It opened so many opportunities for me. I am living the life I am right now because of that one pageant. I am in New York and I am a new VJ for MTV, we just shot 30 episodes for a summer show, The Morning After, and I'm moving to the city within the next month.

Sindy: Should girls who haven't been in pageants since they were little worry about being a rookie?

Vanessa Minnillo: Definitely not. My very first pageant was State - South Carolina. My boyfriend's dad talked me into it. I was working at a State Farm Insurance and a girl came in looking for sponsorship for a pageant and he gave her $200. I thought, wow, that's how it works. He told me to call and sign up, but it cost $900 at the time and I didn't have the money. Within 24 hours my boyfiend's dad had 10 people donate $100 so I could enter. Still, we had no idea I would win. I didn't realize that once I won, I would have to go to Nationals and represent the state. It was a good three weeks at Nationals and I was up against big hitters like Texas and Illinois - those girls are born and bred for pageants. But I thought I might as well have fun, maybe I'll win Miss Congeniality, or something. So, I had a blast and actually did win Congeniality - which was such a blessing. I was the dark horse candidate but I ended up winning it all.

Sindy: As a judge now, what do you think is the most important quality - the one you'll be looking for in Miss Teen USA 2003?

Vanessa Minnillo: A girl who knows who they are and shows it. I will support girls who go to coaches and get constructive critism but what they should take it as is something to enhance what they already have. I'm looking for someone who knows what they already have. I don't know how many times I have met very cool, down-to-earth girls but the minute they get on stage they conform to what they've been told to do, or be. You have to always remember to be yourself.

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    F1060636395453

    Most Important Teen USA Quality?

    • She's got to be original and self-confident.
    • She should smile a lot and be friendly.
    • She should be really pretty.
    • She should be very smart.

    Dear Dish-It In The Forums

    Autonomy
    Autonomy posted in Family Issues:
    "StarrChild" wrote: Two years ago my parents broke up. I was never really the same after that point. My mother she began to just not care about anything. She would go out clubbing every Friday and would yell at me for my attitude towards it. Why would I be okay with her doing that??? I didn't really realise it but I began feeling kind of depressed. Of course we didn't fight all the time but when we did I would always end up crying alone in my room. And it would be really painful. One time I cried every night for a week because of her. A week ago, I felt really sick at school so I went to the sick bay but my Mum refused to believe I was sick. She thought I was lying and being over dramatic as usual. I felt really horrible after that, that the teacher sent me to the guidance councellor and almost immediately I burst into tears. I didn't even know why I did but the councellor did a little test on me and came to the conclusion I was slightly depressed and had anxiety. It wasn't really surprising but hearing it out loud just felt really weird. Even after knowing that fact my mother doesn't really act any different. She's not a bad person I swear but she can just be really horrible at times. Anyways, that's technically whats been happening in my life lol. Nothing really interesting Oh dear, that sounds like a dreadful situation. I've lived through similar difficulties in my own life, and my heart goes out to you, truly. May I offer you some advice? I don't have the cure to your problems or a magic wand that can make them disappear, but I do believe that some good can come out of your living situation. The first thing I'd like to make note of, is that everyone makes mistakes. As human beings, we have to make mistakes. There's no way around it; it's how we learn and grow. And as we get older, we don't stop making mistakes. Your parents are no exception. Although we look to our parents for guidance, and direction, and support, we have to understand that they aren't perfect people, and they make mistakes. They may not always lead us in the right direction. They may not always set a good example. They may not always be there for us, to encourage us and support us when we need them most. And that's okay. Everyone makes mistakes, and we have to accept that. But we can't let allow other people's mistakes to hurt us, my dear. And I know it hurts. Your mum might not understand how her actions make you feel. You said you haven't been the same since your parents divorced, and I know how challenging that can be to go through. But you know, some of the brightest, wisest, and happiest people I've met, are people who have dealt with difficult problems in their lives, and used them to grow as people. You can let your parents' mistakes get to you, and make you upset and depressed; or, you can accept that they aren't perfect people, accept that they make mistakes, and accept that their mistakes don't have anything to do with you. So here's what you do, friend: you can't stop your mum from going clubbing, and that's okay. Don't try to. Don't fight with her about it. You can let her know how it makes you feel, but don't get into an argument. Accept the situation for what it is. Your mother is her own person, and she is accountable for what she does; you aren't. Next time you start to get in a fight or an argument with her, just step back, and withdraw yourself. Try it, see what happens. Once you decide not to let other peoples' failings affect you--and you do have the power to do this--then you'll find a sense of peace you probably haven't felt before. And you'll learn from your mistakes, and the mistakes of your parents, and everyone around you, and you'll be a better person. Press on.
    reply 23 minutes
    Dounuts
    Dounuts posted in Family Issues:
    Go to your neighbor's house and ask him/her to call to police.Everything will be just fine.
    reply about 6 hours
    RavenClawRaina
    my ex is going through the same thing. Call the police now. Things will get out of hand. My brothers friend has been living with us for about 2 weeks becuz his dad punched him in the face. Call 911 now. They will help you. Just say you have been abused by your family member and they will take it from there. If you want, add me and we can talk
    reply about 7 hours
    XxRuby_PhoenixxX
    If you are getting abused to the point where you bleed, call the police immediately. This isn't acceptable behavior.
    reply about 7 hours
    MRAP
    MRAP posted in Family Issues:
    Hey, Just wanted some advice to help me on what to do on this. Ever since I was 3 I've been both Verbally, Mentally, And Physically abused. To me, this is normal since it's been happening for so long. But I just can't take this thing anymore. When I get home I always get yelled at for no reason. I have been on Anti-Depressants for the past 1-2 years. Been going to counseling for 6-7 years for family. Nothing has changed yet. I just need help on how to handle this. Thanks.
    reply about 7 hours