Miss Kentucky Jenna Day falls short of Miss America title


Jenna Day during the first night of the Miss Kentucky Pageant at the Singletary Center for the Arts in Lexington, Ky., on Thursday, June 27, 2013. Photo by Tessa Lighty

By Anyssa Roberts

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Past the preliminary round, the semi-final round and onto center stage, Miss Kentucky Jenna Day continued in the running for the title of 2014 Miss America, but was cut after the swimsuit competition.

Day’s sorority sisters in Alpha Delta Pi (ADPi) watched every tense moment of the competition from the Cat’s Den in the Student Center.

More than 12,000 people were in the audience at Atlantic City, N.J., but the voices of around 70 girls in ADPi rivaled the crowd in enthusiasm and intensity as they watched their fellow sister cross the stage.

Each of the 53 Miss America contestants introduced themselves before the first cut of the competition.

Miss Kentucky’s opening introduction was “From the home of fast horses and beautiful women – better not get those two things mixed up – I’m Jenna Day, Miss Kentucky!”

And the Cat’s Den erupted.

However, when the fifteen semi-finalists were being called, the tension was thick enough to slice with a knife.

Day made it through the semi-finals and onto the Miss America Lifestyle and Fitness Competition, otherwise known as the swimsuit competition, which counted for 20 percent of her overall score.

Day twirled and strutted across the stage in her red bathing suit, but when time came for the final 12 contestants to proceed, she was amongst the three contestants eliminated.

“We wanted to see her do more … We’ve just all enjoyed her on this journey,” said Christine Mattingly, recruitment vice president of ADPi.

Day holds two titles, Miss Berea and Miss Kentucky, she won Miss Kentucky in June after beating out more than thirty contestants in evening wear, swimsuit and the interview portion of the competition.

Since earning her title, Jenna has been busy with her platform and her duties as Miss Kentucky, but her sisters assure viewers that her pageant personality is her true personality.

“What you see is what you get with her,” said Lee Foster, membership education vice president of ADPi.

Day is a political science and vocal performance double major and most likely would have performed opera as her talent in the Miss America pageant, Mattingly said.

Not to be confused with Miss USA, Miss America is a scholarship program that focuses on the four points symbolized by the four points on the crown: style, service, scholarship and success.

The title of Miss Kentucky came with some great prizes like a car and over $12,000 in scholarships, the full-time position as spokesperson for Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Kentucky Proud program and the opportunity to continue her platform of “improving the lives of special needs children.”

Mattingly said, “just to see her in Miss America is a huge accomplishment, and just to see her in swim suit competition was great.”