Reprinted here in its entirety.
Miss America contestants like Wadley's own Jamie Langley have a full plate
this week as they prepare for Saturday's finals.
There's evening wear, swimwear, charitable causes and a side of Rambo.
Langley, a senior at Jacksonville State University, is the reigning Miss
Alabama and will represent the state in the Miss America Pageant this week. The
finals will be televised live from Las Vegas on The Learning Channel (Anniston
Cable Channel 34) at 7 p.m. Saturday.
"They keep us busy 24-7, it seems like," Langley said in a phone interview
Thursday. "There's just something all the time."
Langley, 24, has competed in the preliminary interview, swimwear, evening
wear and talent competitions already this week. The competitors have attended
several events in Las Vegas, including the red-carpet world premiere of Rambo,
which opens in theaters this weekend.
Saturday, the field of 52 contestants will be narrowed to 16. The 16
contestants will participate in the swimwear competition and then be cut to 10
before donning eveningwear. After that, the field will narrow to eight
finalists, who will perform their talents.
Langley, a singer who has recorded a CD for charity, said she plans to sing
"Listen" from the movie Dream Girls if she makes it to the finals. She said she
would not find out until the rest of the country does if she is in the final 16.
Langley competed in her first pageant when she was 3 years old. She said she
is not nervous, but excited.
"The only thing you can do is just be yourself," she said. "You never know
what the judges are looking for."
Langley also participated in the Miss America Reality Check television show
and bonded with many of the other contestants during the two weeks of filming in
Los Angeles. She said she and her roommate, Miss Indiana Nicole Rash, have
become friends and have talked about visiting each other's home town.
Langley's mother, Mailey, said about 40 or 50 friends and family members made
the trip to Las Vegas from around Wadley. Though she and her husband, Jeff, had
been to Las Vegas before, she said it was still an overwhelming scene.
"It's quite different from small town Alabama, I can tell you that," she
"It's quite different than large-town Alabama."
If Langley does make the cut to 16, her parents will be seated on-stage,
along with parents of the other finalists.
Alabama has had four Miss Americas since the program began in 1921. Yolande
Betbeze of Mobile won the competition in 1951, JSU student Heather Whitestone of
Birmingham won in 1995 and Deidre Downs of Birmingham won in 2005.
Miss Alabama at a glance
• Name: Jamie Langley
• Age: 24
• Hometown: Wadley
• Talent: Singing
• Education: Jacksonville State University senior; communication major with a
minor in music
• Platform: Cardiac Care: From the Heart
• On TV: 7 p.m. on The Learning Channel
About Andy Johns
Andy Johns is the mobile reporter for The Star. He
is a graduate of Berry College in Rome, Ga.
See story at The Anniston Star's website: www.annistonstar.com