It was a Central Connecticut kind of night at the first set of preliminaries at the Miss Connecticut and Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen scholarship pageant Thursday night in New London.
Miss Forestville, Molly Westfall, took the preliminary talent award with a comical tap dance. A former Miss Mum and Miss Forestville’s Outstanding Teen, Jillian Duffy, who is competing as Miss Farmington Valley’s Outstanding Teen, took the preliminary talent award with a vocal performance.
In addition, Alexandria Puglisi, a business owner in Southington competing as Miss New Haven County, took the preliminary lifestyle and fitness (swimsuit) award. And Cynthia Dias, representing Bristol and Southington’s neighbor as Miss Wolcott’s Outstanding Teen, took the teen preliminary lifestyle and fitness award (workout wear).
The preliminaries mark the end of the reign of former Miss Southington, and current Miss Connecticut, Kaitlyn Tarpey.
In the preliminaries, Miss Bristol Liz Wong competed in evening gown and lifestyle and fitness. Miss Southington Jennifer Binversie competed in talent with a ballet dance performance. Miss Forestville’s Outstanding Teen Erika Farrell and Miss Bristol’s Outstanding Teen Amber Ouellette competed in talent. Miss Plainville’s Outstanding Teen Brooke Murdock and Miss Southington’s Outstanding Teen Jenny Bukowski competed in evening gown and lifestyle and fitness.
Farrell had one of the more memorable moments of perseverance of the evening during her talent performance. As she stepped on stage, her music queued up but her microphone was dead silent. She continued with her performance, occasionally being overheard past the amplified music. She plugged along as if nothing was wrong. She later was allowed to perform again, this time with her microphone working.
The evening also had a scary moment during the teen’s on-stage interview. An alarm went off, urging everyone to vacate the building. It turned out to be someone had pulled the fire alarm and the event was allowed to resume.
Preliminary competition continues tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Garde Arts Center in New London. Finals are on Saturday, where the top 10 in Miss and Teen categories compete for the crown.
PHOTOS by MIKE CHAIKEN