My wildest Spring Break experience was when I competed for the title of Miss Spring Break. It would be my first time participating in a Spring Break contest. I traveled from Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville by car down to Panama City Beach, Florida with twelve of my close friends for an once-in-a-lifetime experience. The break was much-anticipated and I made sure I was ready for the festivities. I worked out extremely hard in preparation to look my absolute best in all of my string bikinis.
Before I got down to Florida, I knew that I wanted to enter into a contest of some sort because I was confident I had what it took to be on the iconic Panama City Beach stage in front of thousands of people. On the third day of Spring Break I set out to the beach in my bikini and was overwhelmed by the amount of college students. There were flags representing at least thirty different colleges across the nation. I made my way to the main stage for contest information. Once I arrived, I was immediately advised by the desk attendant to compete for the title of Miss Spring Break. The judging would begin within an hour and I could not have been more thrilled.
Eight beautiful ladies lined up to the side of the stage. We were instructed to cover our bodies with the large T-shirt they provided before our names were announced in order to build up the audience’s anticipation. I was fifth in the lineup. Walking up on stage was an exciting feeling as the audience consisted of thousands and thousands of people packed onto the beach as far as I could see. There was a huge projection screen behind us so that everyone watching had a chance to see each gorgeous lady. I had the biggest smile on my face; I felt completely in my element.
As the fourth Contestant’s routine was coming to an end, I took a deep breath to calm any nerves. My stomach filled with butterflies as the announcer called out to the crowd to welcome Contestant Number Five. That was me! It was finally my time to shine! The Announcer placed the microphone to my mouth as I introduced myself to the crowd. I exclaimed that I represented the sweethearts of the Midwest and that I was from Southern Illinois University. The crowd cheered as the DJ played “Turn Down for What,” by Lil Jon. I couldn’t have asked for a better song to dance to for the fifteen second routine. As the song came on I lifted my shirt above my head exposing my bikini body to everyone watching. I swung it over my head as I moved to the beat. It was a complete adrenalin rush as the crowd went wild. In a blink of an eye the announcer called, “Five, flour, three, two, one!” Pounding out the last remaining seconds that were left, I dropped down into my best dance move and dipped it low to bring it up slow as I stepped back to my position blowing the audience a kiss.
As the remaining contestants took their turn, I thought to myself how proud I was for doing something I had never done before. I rocked my performance and yearned for the results. Each and every contestant was beautiful and did a great job. The judging was up to the audience. Each contestant was called up by number as the crowd would scream as loud as they could to support their favorite girl.
The top three were then chosen and I made the cut. We spread out as the announcer explained that the winner would be based on these next fifteen seconds to show the audience one last time “all we got.” The three of us spread out on the stage as the DJ blared another hit song and we each broke out into our own style of dance at the same time. The announcer and the crowd called out, “Five, four, three, two, one,” and at the last second I dropped into a split. The crowd cheered and hollered as the song faded to an end.
Each of the top three competitors held hands as the Announcer called out our numbers one at a time to determine the crowd favorite. Ultimately, it came down to blonde versus brunette. The audience had one more chance to show their support for the winner. It was neck-in-neck as one crowd tried to out-cheer the other in support of their favorite Contestant, neither side able to tip the scale of the noise meter. In the end, I won by a hair. The announcer lifted my arm as the winner of Miss Spring Break and placed the crown and sash on my body.