|P a g e a n t N e w s B u r e a u|
Tiffany Fallon grew up on the Florida coast. She stayed in the Sunshine State to earn her degree. But her career choices took her far to the north -- to North Georgia. (OK, so Atlanta is not exactly on the Arctic Circle. But she did have to buy a sweater.)
|Ms. Fallon, a flight attendant, has been living in Georgia for only a few years. But the state has made her welcome. She was selected as an Atlanta Falcons cheerleader, became a spokesmodel for a local furniture rental company and now appears on the Atlanta-based "Man-Made Show." |
She won Miss Georgia USA on her first try, "and my last year of eligibility." College football fans may recognize her as the Peach Bowl Queen, a title that goes with Miss Georgia USA.
|Her airline job has taken her all over the United States and to many parts of the world, so perhaps you've met her. The problem is, you may have mistaken her for someone else. "Just about any brunette actress you can name," she says with a laugh. |
Some people think she's Angelina Jolie. Yes, we can see the resemblance. Others say she's the spitting image of Ashley Judd. Well, maybe. Still others think she looks like Fran Drescher. No, we can't see that at all. But we don't mind taking another look.
|Ms. Fallon really likes to fly, even on the ground. "I collect Corvettes," she says, "I belong to a Corvette club." So if you've recently seen Angelina Jolie getting into a flashy sports car, maybe it was really . . . |
Elizabeth Barchas has studied in Atlanta and done independent research in Russia. She has worked as a newspaper reporter in Texas, and will soon be doing the same in Boston. She was a contestant on "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire." At age 20, she already qualifies as a citizen of the world.
But she's a daughter of Idaho. The place that this gorgeous globetrotter calls home is "a cabin in the wilderness" in the Pacific Northwest. She was Miss Idaho Teen USA in 1998, and now she's preparing to represent the Gem State in the 2001 Miss USA Pageant.
|Although a lot of Miss USA contestants go on to careers in show business, that option doesn't seem to interest Ms. Barchas at all. "I don't think I'm a very good actress," she says, and she has little time for modeling. |
Her real passions are Russia, journalism and the law. She is a junior at Emory University, enrolled in its prestigious Russian studies program. She's arts and living editor at the Emory newspaper, and she has interned at CNN and The Austin American-Statesman. She wants to attend law school and specialize in writing about legal issues. Her eventual hope is to become a U.S. Supreme Court justice.
|There's an old Russian saying that a woman who is both beautiful and wise will be honored by all. |
Actually, that's an old pageant saying. But it still applies.
Photos courtesy of Elizabeth Barchas.
Katy Johnson has a name that's easy to remember, and it's one that is spoken a lot in pageant circles. If you've never heard of her, you don't follow this business too closely.
Less than two years ago, she represented Vermont in the Miss America Pageant, and now she's doing the same at Miss USA. She's a columnist for a pageant magazine, and she operates her own Web site, www.pageantcity.com.
|Not surprisingly, she has an outgoing personality. That's what got her into beauty contests in the first place. "At the age of 12, I was doing a lot of singing," she says. "I just loved being on stage, and a friend suggested I try pageants." |
She already has a college degree, and she's working toward a degree in law. But lately she feels drawn to do something very different. She has created a comic strip.
"It's called 'Six Starlets,' about six young girls," she says. "It will be light and cute, but each strip will have a moral message."
Getting a strip into syndication is not easy, but Ms. Johnson has a good mentor. She's receiving advice from Mort Walker, creator of "Beetle Bailey." He has been a success in the comic pages for nearly half a century.
To be a successful cartoonist, one must have an excellent sense of humor. Our reporter tested Ms. Johnson's sense of humor with his cleverest patter. She passed the test with honors, laughing in all the right places. No kidding.
Jennifer Glover is a California girl, and she keeps in shape the California way. "I love to surf, and I enjoy jogging in the mountains," she says. But when it comes to a beauty queen's favorite sport, she ranges well beyond her home state. "The shopping is good in New York and Philadelphia." Truly an all-around competitor!
Speaking of competition, Ms. Glover may be the only Miss USA contestant in history whose father has competed in the Police Olympics. They were in Sydney, Australia, and the sports included swimming, cycling and other activities that keep an officer fit for duty. But no shopping.
|Ms. Glover, who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, got into pageants as a teenager. She was in the Miss California Teen USA Pageant twice. That's about the time she started modeling, and she continues to do a fair amount of fashion work. "I'm kind of a free agent," she says, "bridal, fashion shows, print." |
She's aiming for a career in the media, and is studying mass communications and public relations. She has already represented the mayor of San Francisco in Japan as part of an air travel promotion.
|Though show business is not her field of choice, Ms. Glover says stardom "is every woman's dream," and she wouldn't refuse if someone offered her a role in a soap opera or a sitcom. She has been thinking about the idea a little more since seeing the movie "Miss Congeniality." She believes it was basically a fair portrayal of the pageant world, and it certainly felt real to her. "I was rooting for Miss California," she says. |
Now, California is rooting for her.
A thought from Jennifer Glover: "Pageant people are real people."
Florida is the Swimsuit State, and Julie Donaldson lives a stone's throw from the ocean. But if you think she's just a beach bunny who drifted into pageant competition, you've seen too many spring break movies.
It was parental encouragement that got this brainy blonde into pageants. "My mother wanted me to be more self-confident," she recalls, and competing against other girls seemed to be a good way to start. Doing her duty as a daughter, Ms. Donaldson tried her luck in high school pageants, and she was an instant success. More confidence led to bigger challenges, and eventually to the Miss Florida USA title.
|Having proved that she can take advice, Ms. Donaldson would like to make a career of giving it. She's educated as a broadcast journalist, and her ultimate fantasy is to host a nationwide TV program featuring "tips for living." What sort of tips? "Nutrition, finances, cooking, survival." |
She may have a lot of information to share with the world, but Miss Florida USA could attract an audience just by standing in silence. Her beauty has made her in demand as a model, and her success in the pageant world has caught the eye of people far away.
|"New avenues are being opened for me in modeling," she says. The Miss USA Pageant can only accelerate that. |
But the TV show is still her dream, and that means a long, slow climb through the ranks of broadcast news. Unless fate intervenes, she will soon be somewhere wielding a microphone for a living. She may have to leave sunny Florida, but she has the self-confidence to bloom anywhere. "Even if I have to disappear to Wisconsin," she says, "if the job takes me there, I'll go."
|P a g e a n t N e w s B u r e a u|
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