Emalee's Crowning Moment

“She was unstoppable. Not because she did not have failures or doubts, but because she continued on despite of them” -Beau Taplin

My life in the pageant world started in 2014. A coworker of mine at the time told me how she competed for the North Dakota International Pageant and how she just loved it. I always loved wearing plastic crowns and watching pageants on tv, but never in a million years did I think I would actually compete in one. She asked me to come over, look at her dresses, and talk about what the pageant consisted of. After a couple hours at her house, I decided this was what I wanted to do, and I bought my evening gown for the upcoming pageant from her that day!

At the 2014 pageant, I placed Second Runner Up, which left me in complete shock. I knew this was what I wanted to do, and that this was always the missing piece from my life.

I competed the following year, and I placed Second Runner up.

The next year I placed First Runner Up, and I was not going to give up there.

I had a year to prepare for the next pageant, and I was going to use my time very wisely. I watched pageant videos whenever I had the chance, practiced my walk on the way to the bathroom at work, and even talked to myself sometimes about potential interview questions.

The pageant was nearing, and I just had a vision of myself being crowned in a green gown, so I reached out to a local seamstress, who would then help me created not one, but TWO dresses for competition. I found examples of ideas that I liked, and tweaked them to how would best make me most comfortable.

My favorite movie has always been The Wizard of Oz, so I decided that would be my “theme” for my dresses for pageant weekend. My interview was yellow, for the yellow brick road. My fun fashion was red for the ruby slippers, and of course, my green evening gown, for the emerald city! I have never been more excited to showcase these colors, even though probably no one would understand what all of these colors meant.

My mom and I planned to leave for Fargo for pageant weekend on Friday, a day before pageant weekend started, and I woke up feeling sicker than ever. I went to the walk in doctor, and they discovered I had bronchitis. I knew it was going to make pageant weekend a little bit more difficult than usual. Saturday I felt exhausted, but I was ready to take on the weekend. Sunday came and I felt nauseous, light headed, uncomfortable, and extremely tired. During rehearsal that day, I spent most of it sitting on the couch behind stage because as soon as I stood up I felt like I was going to pass out.  Thank goodness my mom was competing so she was able to be with me backstage to help.

Competition was starting and the adrenaline started to kick in, and I was ready to rock the stage. Right when it was about my time to go on stage, I told myself that this was it, I had to walk tall, and give it my all! It all goes by so fast, so I had to make it worth it.

We were lining up for crowning, and my heart was beating a million miles per hour. My category was the third to be crowned, so I got to watch 2 other wonderful girls be crowned, and of course I bawled. Especially when Paris Arnhalt was crowned. Paris and I have been friends for years, and I knew first hand, how much she deserved this.

Next was the Miss category. All of us lined up center stage. I cannot even put into the words the anxiety running through my body at that time. Unless you are a pageant girl, I cannot explain that feeling. Either your name is going to called, or it isn’t.

They called the Second Runner Up, then the First Runner Up.

Then they said “Your new Miss North Dakota International 2018 is…… EMALEE KITZAN!!!!!!”

I have never been so happy to hear my name before. I started instantly bawling and shaking. My heart felt like it was beating out of my chest, and my legs felt like they were going to shake right off.

The most exciting of it all was hugging my mom after crowning. She is my best friend and greatest support system.

I have waited for this moment for 4 years.

4 years I stood up there waiting for my moment.

4 years I gave my all during pageant weekend.

4 years that I didn’t give up.

And look where I made it.. Right to the crown!!

I am here to tell you, to never give up on your dreams, and to never take your eyes off the prize!

You can, and you will get there.

Emalee Kitzan
Miss North Dakota International 2018

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