Miss America 2012

January 15, 2012 by staff 

Miss America 2012Miss America 2012, Miss Illinois Hannah Smith didn’t capture the Miss America 2012 crown on Saturday night, but the Huntley resident made an impressive finish among the top 10 finalists.

At the beginning of the pageant’s live broadcast Saturday night on ABC, the field of possible contenders was quickly whittled down to 15 final contestants.

Smith, who won Miss Illinois in July, had earned her way into that final group. She participated live on stage in the swimsuit and evening gown competitions, all broadcast on national television from the Theater of the Performing Arts at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

From there, contestants were added and eliminated in a somewhat confusing fashion as producers of the show’s attempted to add surprising twists and turns. With TV hosts Chris Harrison, of the Bachelor and Bachelorette series, and Brooke Burke-Charvet , of Dancing With the Stars fame, working together a co-hosts, the pageant took on a ‘realty show’ feel.

Just as some of the ladies were warming up and preparing to compete in the talent portion, they were sent packing. Smith, a trained ballet dancer and teacher, was not cut from that event, and had the opportunity to perform her dance en pointe routine.

Shortly after that, the field was quickly reduced to five contenders, and, unfortunately the Huntley High School graduate was not among them.

However, the final-five decision was so rushed, there was hardly time to lament Smith’s elimination. Moments later, the hosts announced Miss Wisconsin, Laura Kaeppler, would take home the Miss America 2012 crown.

Smith, a junior at Northern Illinois University who has taken a brief hiatus from school to prepare for the 91st Annual Pageant, still has an exciting six months ahead of her as she fulfills her duties as Miss Illinios.

Smith originally won the title of Miss Huntley in 2009, and went on to be crowned Miss McHenry County. She eventually won the Miss Windy City crown, and proceeded to earn the role of Miss Illinois.

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