May 25 , 2012
» IN THE AUDIENCE
our final crazy weekend of the season as we attended four pageants in
forty-eight hours in what must be a new pageant record. In one last blast it
was all about Juno Beach, Naples, The Florida Keys and Hialeah as fourteen new
members of the Class of 2013. The weekend began with a rare Friday night event
in Palm Beach Gardens as it was our first ever Miss Juno Beach USA + Teen USA
Qualifiers. A large and vocal crowd kicked off the weekend in grand style as
Pageant Director Francia
Lamus and her True Royalty Crew presented a timely and competitive event in
their first production.
would be happy with just one event a weekend but not in Florida! Saturday
brought The Road to Hollywood west on Alligator Alley for our eighth edition
of Miss Naples USA + Teen USA. Held at the Edison College Naples Theater once
again a large and rowdy audience greeted our fourteen delegates. The matinee
presented by Blanca Nieves saw a great show as this was also Mrs. Nieve’s
first production. The crowd roaring their admiration for the new titleholders
said job well done!
quickly packed up the pageant-mobile and headed south to the Florida Keys and
the Conch Republic. The exquisite Coral Shores Performing Arts Center served
as host for the fifth year and we celebrated the outstanding young women of
Monroe County. In the southernmost qualifier in America Pageant Director
Fatama Coello and her Beauty by Fatima staff presented another fun evening of
pageantry in the Keys.
only one stop on Sunday we returned to the Florida mainland as the state’s
fourth largest city brought seventeen delegates in search of this prestigious
title. Fours were wild as this was the fourth edition of Miss Hialeah USA and
Teen USA as produced by The Miami Tropic Scholarship Organization under
Pageant Director Rose Martinez. Once again another loud and boisterous
audience kept the pace lively and fun as we crowned the final five
titleholders of the weekend.
concluding forty-nine qualifiers we are now closing the “Road to
Hollywood” in South Florida with a Memorial Day Weekend Double Header. Join
us this Saturday with the fifth edition of Miss Miami Gardens USA + Teen USA
Pageants Saturday afternoon and conclude the pageant season Sunday Evening in
North Miami Dade for the third edition of Miss Miami Beach USA + Teen USA.
Just two more pageants left in the Sunshine State before we conclude our
season this July 10 – 14 at the internationally televised Miss Florida USA
Pageant from The Westin Diplomat Resort and Bailey Concert Hall.
JUNO BEACH USA
traveling Miss USA titleholders in Juno Beach
Ms. Stone and Miss Martinez hosted the evening’s competition
Mitchell gives our camera a wave / Miss
Gibbons and our Gold Coast USA Little Sister
Miss Friedel and Marks flank Treasure Coast USA Pageant Director Annette Burke
Miss Wingo and Miss Anderson were the day’s
Naples USA Judges with their selections
Our adorable Miss Naples USA Little Sisters
FLORIDA KEYS USA
afternoons cast in their opening outfits
interviews with our traveling titleholders
cast shot of the afternoon in the Keys
Aguiar with our Little Sisters front row before the Hialeah USA Show / Team
Sunrise USA 2013
Aguirre with her very proud mom
Miss Florida USA Traveling Titleholders in Hialeah
Boue, Miss Garcia-Casals and Miss Truffin on the post pageant stage
» Will Wellington's Miss Florida, Karina Brez, win the title of Miss USA?
June 3, somewhere inside Las Vegas's glittery Planet Hollywood Hotel and
Casino, Karina Brez will be standing - in very high heels - at one end of a
very large stage. On the other end is a beautiful crown and a sash proclaiming
the title "Miss USA." That
crown, that title and a trip to represent the entire nation in the Miss
Universe pageant will, she hopes, be at the end of the journey for Brez, the
24-year-old Ukrainian immigrant turned Wellington gemologist and Miss Florida
2012. But if that shiny headwear and title aren't in the cards for Brez, it's
certain that at least one thing is. "Nutella," she says dreamily,
speaking from her hotel room in Vegas last week, the day before a non-stop
series of photo shoots, preliminary competitions and appearances begins.
"Chocolate mousse cake from the Cheesecake Factory. A pizza with lots of
cheese. A hot dog with lots of relish and ketchup. A Krispy Kreme doughnut.
And a lot of ice cream."
as one might imagine, the road to Miss USA is not paved with a lot of
delicious carbs - "No carbs," Brez clarifies - but it is filled with
strict diets, endless travel with no breaks, lost luggage, long workouts, days
that sometimes end at 2 or 3 a.m., longer sessions with trainers that guide
everything from the way she walks in those heels and the way she answers
questions, to her hair, her dress and the way she holds her head in pictures.
Her journey, which started last year when Brez, then Miss South Florida, was
named Miss Florida at Davie's Bailey Concert Hall, has taken her throughout
the state representing the pageant system and Horses Healing Hearts, a local
charity that uses equine therapy to help young children of addicts.
in the past two months, she's checked in with The Palm Beach Post from many of
the far-flung places she's been as her quest to be Miss USA has intensified,
including Berlin, where a cousin was fitting her for her pageant evening gown;
a tour bus in New York City where she and the other contestants were
introduced during Media Week; her Wellington home, where her trainers put her
through her well-ordered paces; and now Vegas. It's been a long road for
Karina Brez, G.G. (graduate gemologist, Gemological Institute of America),
whose family left the Ukraine, moved to America and settled in Palm Beach
County when she was in grade school, and where her parents still run a jewelry
business in Boca Raton. But she's ready.
"I'm not nervous whatsoever," Brez says talking on Skype, balancing her iPad on her lap. "There were little things that went wrong here and there, but I think I have lost that nervousness. My adrenaline has been rising. This is something I want to do, to embrace it. I already feel so humbled to be at this stage. Only one girl from Florida gets to be here, and I happen to be that girl. I've already won in my heart, no matter what I face here."
Schmoozing with Kelly
she won Miss Florida in July, Brez has juggled a busy schedule of appearances
as well as operating her jewelry appraisal business. But
a few months ago, her preparation for Miss USA began kicking into high gear.
She began that diet, which at home involves fresh-delivered meals by Boca
Raton-based company Deliver Lean, one of her sponsors. Now in Vegas, it
includes lots of egg whites, some specific animal protein (such as a single
sausage link), "and a glass of milk every morning," she says. She
also went to Berlin, where a cousin of her mother's has made her evening gown,
the final version of which will be revealed June 3 at the pageant.
mother has had a lifelong dream of designing a gown for me. Of course, it was
supposed to be a wedding gown," she says, smiling. "But for the
moment, it's this. My cousin was gluing the stones on herself. My father
personally hand-delivered it to Florida from Germany. That's a long trip! I
looked him in the eye, stared him down, and said 'Not one wrinkle on this
dress, OK?' " Back in Florida, where the dress arrived without incident,
the already lithe Brez began working out in increasingly intense sessions with
a physical trainer at her home, building up to 2 1/2 hours at a time,
her training wasn't just exercise - for a few weeks she was instructed by
Grace Fontecha, a veteran pageant coach from Puerto Rico whose past clients
have included four Miss Venezuelas, four Miss Puerto Ricos and back-to-back
Miss Universes Dayana Mendoza and Stefania Fernandez. All that walking is done
in 3 1/2-inch heels, a half-inch shorter than the ones she'll wear in
competition. "It's like the Olympics on heels," Brez says.
winner has to have a lot of confidence, a very secure personality. She has to
be sensual and natural, and most importantly seem very open and have a good
attitude," says Fontecha, who spent hours working with Brez on things
like walking, standing, the right smile and interviewing. "Karina is very
determined, very punctual and very beautiful. She can do this." In
between all that training, Brez continued working, hiring someone to help with
the appraisal business and attending two different kick-off parties, including
one with the kids of Horses Healing Hearts. She then left for New York, where
she and 44 of the 51 Miss USA contestants (which includes Miss District of
Columbia) did Today, FOX and Friends and Live With Kelly, Brez's personal
favorite, where she met host Kelly Ripa and the guest host of the day, former
NFL player and commentator Michael Strahan. "I love that show. I watch it
all the time," she says. "And I got to go up to the microphone and
announce my name and my title on national television for the first time. I
felt like I was already on the pageant. The other girls were all so sweet, and
so many of them were in the same boat as me. Some are new to the pageant
world, and for some, they've been around, but this is their first big one.
Reality is setting in definitely. I feel like Miss Florida USA."
After New York, Brez returned to Florida briefly and then headed to California to celebrate her birthday, visit her sister and chill out while possible. "I got spa treatments, and got pampered before all the craziness started," she says. But the chill was interrupted with every traveler's fear. "Not all of my bags made it to Vegas," she says. "For the first two days I was here, I was wearing the same clothes. I didn't want to wear the clothes I'd packed for (pageant activities)."
Ready for her close-up
Brez's sartorial crisis ended when her luggage showed up, just in time for the
final phase of preparation on that journey across the stage. Last Friday, she
and the other contestants were to officially register and go for photos and
interviews, followed by a Grecian goddess-themed official photo shoot the
following day at Caesars Palace. A
few days before the live pageant, the ladies will do interviews with the
judges for the first time, and on the following day they'll run through the
whole show in a taped rehearsal, during which the top 15 will be chosen.
says that she always wondered whether the perfectly poised pageant contestants
she had seen on TV knew beforehand which of them had been chosen for the top
15 or top 10 "because sometimes when they call their names (during the
live show) their faces light up, and sometimes they look like 'Yeah, I knew
that. Give me my crown now,'" she says. The answer is no, so the ladies
will have to stew - beautifully, of course - until they get the news with the
rest of the country on June 3. "I think I can represent the country very
well. I came here as a little girl, and grew up here. I consider myself
American, but I'm not only an American," she says. "I'm ready to
take on the world."
pauses. "Or the universe." If
her name is called June 3 as the winner, her journey in the Miss Universe
program continues. But whether or not that happens, Brez predicts where she'll
be June 4. "I'll probably be at some candy shop in Vegas munching on
candy and sugar," she says. "And then I'll come back."
» KUDOS & DID YOU KNOWS:
enowned canine fashion designer Kiki Hamann of Canine Couture in an allwhite-out event at her Maison Kiki Hamann in the Redlands neighborhood of South Miami Dade County. They help present the first “Dog of Hamann Awards” and her new collection: “Designations”. All of the funds generated from this event benefited “Friends Forever of the Humane Society” and “I Love My Human” whose mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and adopt homeless and unwanted Labrador Retrievers and other defenseless dogs. Way to help those who can’t help themselves Nicole and Stephanie!Nicole Rodriguez and Stephanie Torres
- Kudos to Miss Hollywood Teen USA Jeannette Rosell; Miss Hollywood Beach USA; Miss Hollywood USA 2013 Yanet Brunet; Miss West Broward Teen USA 2013 Alyssa Rudolph; Miss North Broward USA 2013 Kiley Coleman and Miss West Broward USA 2013 Jessica Santiago who were special guests last Friday evening at the Long Key Best Buddies Dance Party. Our ladies had a blast on the dance floor making new friends and encouraging our friends to grasp life and have a blast. One of our favorite charities we salute Pageant Director Barbara Ewald and our titleholders for adding the fun to this great event!
» THIS WEEKEND ON FLICKR
We have found a great host for all of our pictures before they are formally posted here on our home page starting on Monday. Visit our new channel at http://www.flickr.com/missfloridausa/. We are always trying to stay ahead of the communications curve here at Miss Florida USA! This weekend we have our only Friday Night Pageant of the year in Palm Beach Gardens then a doubleheader Saturday as we will have postings from Miss Naples USA as well as Miss Florida Keys USA then conclude our travels with a Miss Hialeah USA matinee. Picture’s garden fresh only from your friends at Miss Florida USA!
& STORIES WANTED!
If you enjoy reading the stories of our Miss Florida USA Family and want us to know what great things are happening either during or after you reign please email us at email@example.com. We love touting our sorority of outstanding Florida women. Please send us a paragraph (or two) on your appearances, awards or community service and include pictures. We want you to have all of the support of this great lifestyle we call Miss Florida USA!
»ALUMNI NEWS WANTED!
If you know of any Miss Florida USA alumni in the news please drop us an email to feature them in future articles. Email all info to firstname.lastname@example.org! Until next week here to good pageantry!
PICTURE OF THE WEEK!
Our Picture of the Week Committee is gearing
up for a visit to Las Vegas so to put us in the mood we thought we would
feature our favorite image from the desert. As fifty-one women compete for
the title we have a definitive rooting interest as you know we are all about
Miss Florida USA. So why not feature our favorite of the Fadil images that
shows our Ms. Brez in an Egyptian mood. So enjoy our POTW and if you see us
in Las Vegas say hello to our hard working committee members, they will be
the ones walking around with cameras in tow!
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