Miss Hawaii Teen USA Samantha Neyland is gearing up for the Miss Teen USA pageant happening this Saturday, August 10th. Taking place at Atlantis, Paradise Island in the Bahamas, Samantha and 50 other contestants representing all of the states plus the District of Columbia will compete for the coveted Miss Teen USA crown.
Celebrity Teen Scoop recently caught up with Samantha about how she’s preparing for the Miss Teen USA Competition, her favorite part about competing in beauty pageants, and the many places she’s been able to travel to. She also chatted about her role as a regular host for Brown Bags to Stardom, a weekly local cable show.
CTS: How are you preparing for the Miss Teen USA Pageant?
Samantha: “In preparing for the Miss Teen USA Competition, it seems like I’m always busy. If I’m not picking up dresses, I’m getting them altered or filling out paperwork, checking emails, reading the news, and sometimes practicing on doing my own makeup.”
CTS: How did you get your start in beauty competitions?
Samantha: “I had a friend who took classes at a modeling school and when she completed the session I went to her graduation fashion show. At the graduation, they introduced girls who had won different pageants put on by the school. I saw these girls, looked over at my mom, and said, ‘I can do that!’ and so I did.”
CTS: What is your favorite part about competing in beauty pageants?
Samantha: “My favorite part of the pageant experience is just that: the experience. At the end of the day, the pageant itself is only one night (two if you include prelims) but the process you go through in the weeks/months prior are where you learn the most and grow the most as a person.”
CTS: Growing up in a military family, you have been fortunate to travel the world and live all over. Could you tell us about all the placed you have lived in?
Samantha: “I was born in Georgia, then my family and I moved to Alabama, Louisiana, and then back to Georgia before heading overseas to Spain. I was only eight years old at the time and had never even heard of the country. Living in Madrid was an amazing experience because it gave my family an easy opportunity to travel to other European countries like Germany, Andorra, France, and Norway. After three years, I had fallen in love and wasn’t ready to move to Japan, a country on the other side of the world with a completely different culture. However, I had the same feeling once I got to Japan…I didn’t want to leave. I was lucky to live right outside Tokyo for four years and now I live in paradise!”
CTS: How has living in so many different places affected you as a person?
Samantha: “As a military child, I have often been thrown into situations where I felt lost; I’ve been the new kid many times and I’ve been forced to adapt to new surroundings. Every obstacle, while I couldn’t see it at the time, has made me stronger, more mature, and better equipped to handle future problems. Plus it helps that I know how to ask ‘where’s the restroom?’ in different languages.” [laughs]
CTS: You moved to Hawaii only 15 months before winning the crown. What was that experience like?
Samantha: “Being new to the island made it pretty hard to run for the state title, but I wasn’t going to let that get in the way. I decided that if I was going to run in this pageant, I was going to do it full out with a makeup artist, a coach, sponsors, and everything in between. However, I didn’t know anybody because I was new, which turned out to be an even bigger roadblock than I originally thought. I couldn’t find sponsors and I didn’t get a coach, but I tried my absolute hardest to prove that regardless of my lack of experience, I was perfect for the job. It worked!”
CTS: Who are your greatest role models?
Samantha: “My biggest role models are my parents, because they are a biracial couple and thirty plus years ago when they started dating many people didn’t approve. My parents chose to look the other way and work for what they wanted, despite some people’s negative opinions. This is a concept that I try to apply often in life.”
CTS: You are a regular host for “Brown Bags to Stardom,” a weekly local cable show. Could you tell us about the show and your role as host?
Samantha: “Brown Bags to Stardom is a local organization that uses its weekly cable show to showcase Hawaii’s talented youth. The organization mainly focuses on elementary, middle, and high school talent shows. I have attended several of these talent shows, where I often do live hosting and interviewing. I have also filmed scripted shows from the studio or on location at some of Brown Bags to Stardom’s summer events. Hosting such an interactive show really made me comfortable and confident in front of the camera, plus it was a super fun way of preparing for Miss Teen USA.”
CTS: What do you like doing in your free time when you are not preparing for a pageant?
Samantha: “I love modeling! It is my absolute favorite thing to do and I would do it every day if I could. Unfortunately, modeling isn’t an everyday job, so when I’m not doing any of that I just like to hang out with my best friend and be lazy. I know that sounds boring, but I don’t always have tons of free time so when I get it I want to take advantage of it on the couch and in some sweats. Unless, of course, there’s a sale going on at the mall.” [laughs]
CTS: What is the first thing you will do if you win the Miss Teen USA title?
Samantha: “I’m assuming this question is referring to after I jump up and down, screaming and doing my ‘I’m so excited!’ dance. So after I do all that, I would instagram, tweet, and post it on Facebook and then set new goals for myself and decide what I want to accomplish as Miss Teen USA 2013.”
The 2013 Miss Teen USA Competition will be streamed live from the Atlantis, Paradise Island Saturday, August 10th at 8 p.m. EST on www.missteenusa.com. Fans can vote for their favorite contestant and help her earn a spot in the semifinals through the Miss Teen USA Fan Vote presented by Lisa B. Collection. Fans can vote online at www.missteenusa.com or through the Miss Teen USA “vote” icon on Facebook.