Yes, Daviess is spelled incorrectly in the headline and I promise I will explain soon!  But, in the meantime . . . last night, I had the honor of emceeing the 2011 Miss Daviess County Pageant!  The event is the annual kick-off for the Daviess County Lions Club Fair and 12 contestants were on hand at The Hines Center to compete for the crown and sash!  After the last swimsuit was spray-glued, the final evening gown was worn, the final on-stage question asked and answered, a beauty queen was crowned!  Ladies and gentleman, we are proud to introduce the 2011 Miss Daviess County . . . BAYLI QUINN BOLING!

Bayli is no stranger to the beauty pageant circuit and her vast experience and flawless poise carried her to the title.  If you are frequent listeners of The WBKR Waking Crew, you likely have heard her mother, Vicki Swift Ellis, from the Western Kentucky Regional Blood Center.   I have often teased Vicki with references to Toddlers and Tiaras and have given her an endlessly tough time about being a ruthless stage mom that forces her daughter to spray tan and Zoom-whiten her teeth!  Of course, I am kidding.  Vicki and I have been friends for nearly 30 years and I can get away with this!  LOL!  Truth be told, Vicki is very supportive of Bayli and she has raised a young lady beaming with confidence and beauty.  And, last night at The Hines Center, Bayli's hard work and her mother's dedication to her paid off.  When the reigning Miss Daviess County, Hannah Blair, reliquinshed her crown . . . she relinquished it to Bayli.

Congratulations also go out to the 1st runner-up, Alexa Lamar, and the 2nd runner-up, Brooke Johnson.  And another big congrats goes out to all the remaining contestants, who were brave enough to put on swimsuits and parade up and down the runway in front of a panel for judges.  It's not easy and not everyone could do it.  I couldn't . . . and wouldn't.  Pageants, as beautiful as they are, can be brutal.

I want to share a story about one contestant (who I will not name) I chatted with backstage during intermission.  I noticed she was sitting in front of her make-up mirror crying and asked her what was wrong.  She said, "I don't feel pretty.  I'm not like the other girls." Ah . . . perfect timing for a learning moment with Benefield.  It was my turn to pull a "Vicki" and be supportive of an aspiring beauty queen.  Look.  I am pretty well-known for laying it out like it really is and I've never been shy about sharing an opinion.  And this particular opinion needed to be shared immediately.  To this contestant's cries, I responded, "You're not like the other girls?  Who cares?  You don't think you're attractive?  Give me a break.  You''re better than this."  (By "better than this" I was referring to her behavior.)  I then reminded this young lady (who I have known for a long time) how talented and unique she really is.  "Why on Earth would you want to be like the other girls?  That's ridiculous.  You should just be yourself.  Now, suck it up . . . go out there and be YOU!"

At the end of the day, the most unattractive trait someone can have is insecurity.  Insecurity breeds contempt and jealousy, two things the world could do without.  I truly believe you should just be yourself.  If someone doesn't like it . . . they can just .. . how shall I say this politely . . . buzz off!  This contestant (still going nameless) is a beautiful young woman inside and out.  And I hope, the next time she looks into her make-up mirror, she sees it too.

I guarantee you Bayli Boling is seeing it today!  She burst into tears last night when she was crowned and her friends and family cried too.  I know Bayli has put in a tremendous amount of work and she truly "worked" for that crown.  When I hugged Vicki to congratulate the proud momma, she said, "Chad, you have no idea!  No idea."  Vicki was referring to the anticipation, the efforts, the competition and the stress involved with the pageant circuit.  It's a tough, tough business and is full of way more rejection than it is acceptance.  But last night, Bayli Boling's hard work and dedication paid off.  She was accepted!  Bayli won the crown and will forever be the 2011 Miss Daviess County.  And this young lady will represent Daviess County . . . or "Daivess County" (as it was spelled on the opening dance number costumes.  LOL!) . . . beautifully.