Baylee Smith, a sophomore elementary education major from Tuscaloosa, was crowned Miss Alabama USA during the Miss Alabama USA pageant held Saturday, Nov. 5, in Montgomery.
The Miss Alabama USA pageant is a part of the Miss Universe pageant system, and Smith competed as Miss Pike County. The winner of the Miss Alabama USA pageant moves on to compete in the Miss USA pageant, and the winner chosen will compete in the Miss Universe pageant.
Smith said she will be taking a semester off from school in order to travel around the state talking to people about her platform, anti-bullying, and around the country to represent Alabama at other Miss USA state competitions.
“We will be traveling to South Carolina for the Miss South Carolina USA pageant in two weeks, and there I’ll be Miss Alabama USA, so I am representing Alabama,” Smith said. “It’s crazy to think about it, and it’s still all sinking in for me, but once it gets here, it’s going to be insane.”
Smith said she’s gotten a lot of support from Troy, her family and friends and even people she didn’t know.
“Sunday night after I’d kind of settled down and sat there, I started reading all the comments on Facebook because I hadn’t had time to do that, and I was just crying because it was so, so sweet,” Smith said. “People who don’t even know me were saying, ‘We are so proud of you, and you’re going to represent our state so well,’ so that was just great.”
The Miss Alabama USA pageant had a preliminary round Friday night, Nov. 4, before the pageant. All the contestants competed in the preliminary round and the interview round held the morning of the pageant, Nov. 5.
Saturday night, Nov. 5, after the opening number, the top 15 contestants were announced. The finalists moved on to the swimsuit round.
From there, the top 10 competed in the evening gown round.
The top five chosen after the evening gown answered an on-stage question, and then the final winner was announced.
Smith’s next step will be competing at the Miss USA pageant this summer. The date and location for the pageant have yet to be released.