Focus of 'Made' episode named Miss Fox Creek
Downtown Augusta was the scene for some especially bright moments for Jordan Hysell Saturday evening, as she was honored as the new Miss Fox Creek, completing several months of preparation in conjunction with producers of "Made," a show to be aired on MTV in the weeks ahead.
Hysell, whose parents are John and Shondell Hysell, joined classmate Abbie Ergle as top honorees of the senior class. Ergle was named as Miss Senior, and the crowd gathered at the Imperial Theatre experienced the added novelty of having the MTV crew record the show, which was directed by Fox Creek teacher Donna Leopard.
One report on the MTV material indicated Fox Creek's footage will undergo nine weeks of editing before being aired.
"Made," an Emmy Award-winning reality show, is described in its promotional material as focusing on teens and young adults "trying to make it in the real world." Participants, who have communicated a goal, are provided with expert coaching toward the goal. In Hysell's case, she aimed to win her school's pageant.
"I actually placed and I won," she said after the show, while family members and friends cheered as the curtain was drawn open.
"We practiced from six in the morning until like 10 at night. I had blisters. I had to take ballet classes. It was very hard," she recalled.
Hysell, 18, had some blue-ribbon help in preparing for the pageant. Ana Christina Rodriguez, the 2011 Miss Texas USA, has been on hand in recent weeks, providing some real-world tips, as a part of the "Made" team.
David Towles, owner of Edge Salon and Spa, helped guide Hysell and several other participants and gave the pageant a thumbs-up review.
"I thought the theater was great, in terms of everybody being able to see, and it was almost a capacity crowd. I think there were only 100 tickets left," he said.
Towles noted that this was Hysell's third pageant and her first time to place. Fox Creek's event, he said, tends to focus on "the girl that can carry an interview well, carries herself well on stage - not necessary like a pageant girl, but with confidence and poise, and most of all, looks like they're having the time of their life."
Hysell, now in her third year at Fox Creek, has a background that includes studies at Hammond Hill Elementary, Paul Knox Middle and North Augusta High.
The pageant was "nothing like I thought it would be," she said.
Kaley Turner, who wound up taking top honors in evening wear and casual wear and also as Miss Sophomore, said the event had the feel of a big-time pageant.
"Everybody was trying hard for it, and I think because MTV was there, maybe Mrs. Leopard was trying to make it better. We started practicing in, like, December. We had practices twice a week."
Among the other senior honorees was Brittany Hurt, first runner-up. She also won People's Choice (on the basis of votes from audience members) and top honors in the interview category. Christina Fowler was second runner-up and also won Miss Congeniality.
Dominique Riley won Miss Junior. Following her in order, were Dominique Moore and Savannah Jones. Kaylee Bryant was judged as most photogenic.
Among the sophomores, Halle McPherson was first runner-up (after Turner) and also was top in ad sales for the event's program. Hannah Culpepper was the second runner-up.
Olivia Floyd is the new Miss Freshman. Betty Vignatti was first runner-up and Constance Mays was second runner-up.
A winning combination includes being "well-rounded, articulate and competent," Towles said.
"Dresses are important, but it's not all about the dress, and it's not about how cleanly you walk or pop into position. It's about how confident you are."