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Beauty queen gives her best at states



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Elizabeth Hawthorne, here in Clarkston’s July 4 parade, took Miss Michigan third runner up. Photo by Trevor Keiser (click for larger version)
July 06, 2011 - After becoming Miss Michigan Teen USA in 2008 and Miss Oakland County in 2010, Elizabeth Hawthorne took the stage once again on June 18, hoping to be crowned Miss Michigan 2011. She walked away with a smile as third runner up (fourth place).

"I can honestly say to this date it was one of my best competitions overall. I felt great in every phase and I did everything I could and was the best I could be on those nights," Hawthorne said. "I'm proud to be third runner up."

She was also the only one up there who was not a "returny."

"It was my first time at states and a lot of the other girls had been there for two or even three years," she said. "It was an honor the first time being there."

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Hawthorne was also chosen by Miss America board at the state level for the "Miss America Community Service Award."

"It was great to win that award because not everybody gets that," she said.

Between third runner up and service award, Hawthorne received $4,000 in scholarships for college.

"In this economy, times are hard, so any money you can get for college is so important," she said.

As far as the competition, Hawthorne said it's a week long process. Saturday was arrival day and getting pictures. Tuesday was when the "real part" of the competition begins, starting with a 9-minute-30-second interview.

"Then you have 30 seconds at the very end to finish up what you were saying or say something else you didn't get to talk about," Hawthorne said.

Wednesday and Thursday were for preliminaries where the girls are split into two groups: Evening Gown and Swimsuit or On Stage Question and Talent. Hawthorne did evening gown and swimsuit on Wednesday and the on stage question and talent on Thursday. Friday was a free day to relax and go to the teen pageant before the big competition on Saturday.

She noted Thursday night was also when the top 10 was announced.

"I was actually called first, which was funny because I was praying, 'God I really want to be top 10, I just don't want to be called first,' and then I was called first," she said. "My nerves were definitely trying to sneak up on me, but I stayed as calm as I could."

For her talent, she sang "A House is Not a Home," written by Burt Bacharach, but made popular by Luther Vandross.

"One thing I love about the song is it's relatable to almost everybody at some sort of level. I think everybody has had their heart broken, even if it wasn't by someone they were dating it could have been by friend or someone passing away," Hawthorne said. "It's also great for my voice and my range. It showcased the technicality of what I can do on stage."

Her on stage question was "what is your favorite point of the crown?" The four points of the crown are style, success, service, and scholarship. With adrenalin rushing, Hawthorne answered with the first thing that came to her mind, which was style.

"I twisted it because it sounds a little shallow if you like style, so I said it's not about the fashion, it's about who you are as a person and it shines through," she said. "I really do believe that, that's how I see style."

With Miss Michigan pageant out of the way and giving up her title as Miss Oakland County on Saturday, Hawthorne is ready to take a little time off and regroup.

"Just get prepared for this next season coming up," she said.

Hawthorne will be entering her junior year at Oakland University next year, where she is continuing her major in psychology.

As a National Spokesperson for Best Bones Forever and a Teen Ambassador for the National Osteoporosis Foundation, Hawthorne was able to stand on the floor of the House of Representatives and, with help from Representative Vicki Barnett of the 37 District, pass a resolution declaring October 20,2011 "Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Day" in the state of Michigan.

"My next goal now is to work again with Representative Vicki Barnett and make this something that is a permanent thing because right now it's only for this year," she said. "I want to see how successful this will be and hopefully it will be a huge blowout and we can make this something that will happen annually."

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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