It’s competition week for Miss South Carolina and Miss South Carolina Teen.
The Lakelands can cheer on Hannah Courtney Wilson of Clinton, Miss Lander University, in the finals at 8 p.m. Saturday at Township Auditorium in Columbia.
You can buy tickets to attend through Ticketmaster or Township Auditorium Box Office or live stream the competition or watch it on television during a broadcast by WACH FOX.
“Friends who have competed in this before sort of gave me the rundown for pageant week,” Wilson said. “Once paperwork was done and this week started, the longest thing has been rehearsals. ... In tonight’s preliminaries, I compete in the on-stage question.”
Wilson said during one interview earlier this week, with judges, they asked her about NFL former football quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s political activism regarding racism against blacks and kneeling in protest during the National Anthem.
“That was the first question I got,” Wilson said.
Wilson’s platform is service-oriented — Bearcats Give Back.
“I’m going to do a big push in the fall,” Wilson said.
The winner of the Miss South Carolina Pageant receives a $60,000 scholarship and competes at the Miss America Pageant, whereas the winner of the teen competition competes at Miss America’s Out-Standing Teen competition.
Three consecutive nights of preliminary competitions for both divisions kicked off Tuesday and conclude tonight.
The reigning Miss South Carolina is Davia Bunch and the reigning Miss South Carolina Teen is Berkley Bryant.
Interesting to note is that Wilson had never competed in a pageant before the Miss Lander University competition in November 2018.
“I’m not the typical pageant girl,” Wilson said. “But, I’ve spent my whole life dancing and my friends were like, ‘Do the pageant. Do it.’ Here I am, and I am competing in the Miss South Carolina Pageant. The experience here is great.”
The 20-year-old rising junior and early education major said she has taken dance lessons since the age of 2 and showcased her love of performing with a high-energy dance routine to a medley of Michael Jackson songs during the Miss Lander competition. She is also a member of Lander’s Sassy Cats Dance Team.
Wilson said “a dream job” for her would be using her dance skills as an NFL cheerleader, but she also wants to be a teacher.
“Kids need as much reading and mentoring as possible,” Wilson said. “If they can sit down with someone they can look up to...”
For her talent portion of the Miss South Carolina Pageant, Wilson is performing a 90-second version of that routine to the Michael Jackson remix medley, which incorporates the American folk step-dancing style known as clogging.
“Mine has a jazz hip-hop spin,” Wilson said. “Clogging is definitely a calorie-burner. The judges have been great and everyone here is so sweet. The girls here have been amazing and helpful.”
Wilson said she has family coming in from in and out of state to cheer her on Saturday.
“Greenwood and Clinton have been amazing,” Wilson said. “The support I have been given is crazy. I just keep getting text after text. The support has really been great.”