OCEAN CITY - The second night of the Miss New Jersey pageant provided contestants one last opportunity to perfect their talent, memorize potential on-stage questions, and show off their months of fitness training in front of the judges.
But nothing can fully prepare them for the feeling that the final night of competition comes with.
"It's completely different," said Brenna Weick, the current Miss New Jersey who will give up her crown on Saturday. "Don't get me wrong, they work so hard and show their best selves [during preliminaries] but everything changes on Saturday night."
Weick said that while the top 10 contestants will wear the same dresses and perform the same talent, the nervous feeling and the adrenaline of possibly becoming the next Miss New Jersey makes a big difference.
The top 10 contestants ranked by the judges will compete for the chance to become Miss New Jersey Saturday night. On Friday, Kaitlyn Schoeffel, of Egg Harbor Township, won the lifestyle and fitness competition while Amanda Rae Ross, of Galloway Township, and Olivia Michael, of Bergenfield, Bergen County, tied for the top spot in the talent competition.
Winning the prelims won't have any effect on the final score Saturday night, but it does help in getting into the top 10.
OCEAN CITY — The first night of the Miss New Jersey preliminary competitions started with a video of all 28 contestants each reading a line from the Maya Angelou poem “Still I Rise.”
Weick said that she will work with the contestants Saturday afternoon to get all the "jitters" out and offer advice to all contestants vying for her crown.
"They really have to have 100 percent fire in their hearts knowing that they can be Miss New Jersey," Weick said. "But they also need to be 100 percent at peace knowing that you can't make the judges love you. It's completely subjective - you can do it, but it's not in your hands anymore."