The 2023 Miss Alabama USA Pageant was held in the Gogue Performing Arts Center on January 27th and 28th. There were 37 women competing in this pageant. The contestants competed in multiple competitions such as swimwear, ball gown and interviews. On the second night of the pageant, the number of contestants decreases to 16, continuously going down until one contestant was ultimately chosen.
One of the judges, Shandi Finnessey, Miss Universe 2004, talked about what the judges look for in the contestants and how they ultimately picked Miss Alabama USA.
“I think what we’re looking for is the girl who catches our eye…most importantly has what they call the IT factor,” said Finnessey.
Confidence is another big part of what catches the judges eye. Miss USA 2023, Morgan Romano, spoke during the pageant about what helped her gain her confidence before competing in the Miss USA pageants.
“I wrote down 10 affirmations about myself and put it on my mirror and looked at it every single day and over time it [stuck],” said Romano.
This year the contestant with the ‘It factor” and the confidence that caught the judges eye was Sophie Burzynski. Burzynski was crowned as 2023’s Miss Alabama USA. She was competing as Miss Auburn-Opelika and is currently a senior at Auburn University.
During the interview, the big question that the contestants were asked was “What topic is important enough to you that you would like to see it addressed at the congressional level?”
“I think [starting] an experience class in all colleges across the United States…teach young adults how to write a check, how to open up a bank account, how to do their taxes… if we start this at the college level it could allow young leaders to propel into their future,” said Burzynski.
Burzkynski has a double major in nutrition science/pre-dental and business management. She has her own wedding videography company, and she is super involved as a student on Auburn University’s campus. She serves as the director for a major event put on by her sorority called Big Man on Campus. She is also a member of the War Eagle Girls and Plainsmen, the official hosts and hostesses of Auburn University.
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