Brooke Vu, a marine science major from Myrtle Beach, SC and current Miss Teal & Bronze, is preparing to compete at the Miss South Carolina Pageant next month.
Vu, who was crowned back in October of 2017, talked about her journey on becoming Miss Teal & Bronze.
“I competed in my freshman year when the competition was called Miss CCU,” said Vu. “And I would’ve competed my sophomore year but I was ineligible due to being crowned Miss Florence back in 2016. However, I did help out the 2016 pageant candidates for Miss CCU whether it was doing choreography and answer any of their questions.”
Vu says that the way pageants are done at Coastal is completely different from the way Miss America and Miss South Carolina are done.
“You meet with the other contestants right out of the gate,” said Vu. “Once organization kickoff is done and everyone has signed up, you meet with these girls every single week. You meet people from different graduating classes, majors and states and it is so close-knit. We may have been competing against each other but it didn’t feel that way at all.”
While Vu was first runner-up in Miss CCU back in 2015, Vu says that not being able to compete in 2016 made the moment when she was crowned Miss Teal & Bronze this past fall even more enjoyable.
“The waiting made it so much sweeter,” said Vu. “I was giving it everything I had because this was going to be my last chance to try and win.”
To take part in Miss South Carolina is optional for the winner of Miss Teal & Bronze. And while Miss South Carolina features the best of the best from across the state of South Carolina, Vu says she is ready to up her game and proudly represent Coastal Carolina.
“Everything is heightened at the Miss South Carolina Pageant,” said Vu. “It is a much faster pace than any pageant. Preparing yourself before the Miss South Carolina Pageant is so important. There is no time for practice when you get to Columbia. Whoever walks in there acting like they’re Miss America, they will be Miss South Carolina.”
It has been 12 years Miss Florence, the title that Vu won back in 2016, was crowned Miss South Carolina. The last time a native from Myrtle Beach won Miss South Carolina was in 1987.
Vu talked about the experience she hopes take away from the competition.
“Just being there at Miss South Carolina is an experience in itself,” said Vu. “It is a state stage and it is very exciting but you are with all these girls and every year it is a different set. Your friend group enlarges. I still talk with girls I competed with back in 2014 and to have friends all across the state is very rewarding.”
The Miss South Carolina Pageant will take place at the Columbia Township Auditorium in Columbia, SC from June 26 to June 30.
The winner of Miss South Carolina will compete in the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, NJ later this year. Only two Miss South Carolina's have gone on and been crowned Miss America - Marian McKnight in 1957 and Kimberly Clarice Aiken in 1994.