By Ethan Colbert
Eleven hours and 19 minutes after the conclusion of the 2018 Miss Missouri Outstanding Teen Pageant in Mexico, Taylor Blackwell said on Saturday morning that she was still trying to wrap her mind around exactly what had transpired the night before on the Missouri Military Academy’s stage.
On a stage flushed with pink and blue colored lights, Blackwell made history as the first Pike County woman to place within the Top Five of the Outstanding Teen Pageant, a pageant within the Miss Missouri and the Miss America organizations.
The pageant, which began with preliminaries on Tuesday, had several missteps for Blackwell, who said she had personally disappointing performances in the pageant’s Active Wear and Talent preliminaries.
By Friday night, the two-time semi-finalist was preparing for the worst case scenario of not advancing from the crowded field of 27 local pageant winners into the semi-finals.
“I had no expectations going into Friday night,” Blackwell said. “I really didn’t. I had bombed my talent preliminary. Then, I bombed my active wear preliminary. So walking on to the stage Friday night I just told myself that I was not sure I was going to make the Top 10, but that I was going to be proud and be happy for whoever did make the Top 10.”
When pageant emcees Landon Burke, a reporter for KOMU in Columbia, and Syndee Burke, a former Miss Missouri pageant winner, began announcing the names of the semi-finalists, Blackwell applauded each name with a smile.
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