With an opera performance, in a navy evening gown, Ashlee Karras took the Miss Spokane crown for the second time Sunday night, making her the area’s local representative to the Miss America organization.
Karras, a 24-year-old student at Eastern Washington University and a Ferris High School graduate, said she has been a part of Miss America competitions for five years, and this year’s contest was particularly poignant, because competitors must be between 17 and 25.
“This will be my last year,” she said, “so I’m very excited to represent Spokane.”
Karras, who also won the competition in 2015, stood out during the question-and-answer portion of the competition. Their questioner, Miss Spokane 2018 Jordan Snyder, asked contestants which four women’s faces they would like to see carved on Mount Rushmore. Karras said she would like to see three U.S. congresswomen and daytime television host Ellen DeGeneres on the face of Mount Rushmore.
Miss Spokane Outstanding Teen Competitors were asked what person from history they would like to meet. Romey Fox, 17, who would later win the crown, said her dream would be to meet Helen Keller.
“She really inspired me,” said Fox, who is partially deaf.
Fox, who performed a jazz dance to the Icona Pop song “Emergency,” said she almost didn’t compete Sunday due to a concussion sustained during dance practice at dress rehearsal.
“I’m so glad that it’s over, and I’m so grateful for this opportunity,” she said.
Competitors were required, before a panel of seven judges, to answer a question, model evening wear, perform a talent and ace a personal interview. Miss Spokane competitors also competed in a swimsuit category, where they were judged in subcategories that included overall first impression, sense of confidence and attractiveness. The swimsuit portion of the competition will end this year under a rebranding effort by the national organization.
Karras was one of six competitors for the Miss Spokane title and Fox was one of seven. They won thousands of dollars in offered scholarships to college, among other prizes.
Another competitor, 16-year-old Skye Potter, performed a Bollywood dance and focused on family during the question-and-answer portion of the competition.
Most of the competitors performed dances, but a few, such as Madeline Gendreau, performed monologues. Gendreau dressed up in a Girl Scout cookie costume and shared all the ways adults used to avoid her when she tried to sell them cookies.
Runner-up for Miss Spokane, 20-year-old Gabriella Dansereau, also performed a monologue, raising awareness of domestic violence. Ally Fisher, who performed ballet for her talent, won runner-up for Miss Spokane Outstanding Teen. Besides the winners, other competitors won scholarships in varying amounts.
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