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Jenna Walters was contestant No. 86 out of the 91 young women competing in the Miss Kentucky County Fair on Jan. 12 in Louisville.
Walters watched as 85 contestants got ready, practiced walking in their dresses and went before the judges.
“You lose a little confidence because you’re like, ‘These girls have gone up before me. They look great and here I am,’” she said
“It was intimidating going up against girls who had been doing it their whole life,” Walters said. “I had no idea I would win.”
Even though it was just her second pageant, the 18-year-old Elizabethtown resident walked away with the tiara and $1,000.
In July, Walters, who is studying elementary education at the University of Louisville, won her first pageant when she was crowned Miss Hardin County Fair.
The Louisville pageant consisted of an interview and three outfits — an opening number, bathing suit and evening gown.
“There’s not a talent or anything like that,” Walters said. “You basically walk on stage and it’s all about confidence, how you present yourself.”
For her second competition, Walters met with a coach once, who helped prepare her for the interview portion during which contestants spoke individually with each judge.
Questions for the interview focused on current events, she said, which differs from the Miss Hardin CountyFair interview portion.
Because she has won the top prize in the county pageant system, Walters no longer can compete in that circuit.
Asked if she would continue to compete beyond the county system, Walters said she plans to compete in is Miss Kentucky USA, which she described as “the big one.”
She has a year to prepare for that competition.
“I said I wasn’t going to,” Walters said, “but I’ve been so spoiled and so lucky I might as well keep going and see how far I can actually get.”
Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or firstname.lastname@example.org.