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Kayla showing off her evening gown

After six months of rigorous preparation, Kayla took her final steps towards the prestigious crown. On Saturday, January 15 Kayla Martell got the chance to shine; and shine she did. The 2011 Miss America Pageant was broadcasted internationally from the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on ABC.

Kayla was very successful at the Miss America Pageant last week as her fans back in Delaware watched from their living rooms. Kayla was voted into the top 15 by all of her supporters and awarded a $4000 scholarship. Kayla then made the top 10 after swimsuit and evening gown competition, a $6000 Scholarship.

 The viewing audience got to see her talent performance dancing to Michael Jackson’s The Way You Make Me Feel.  “I didn’t have time to be nervous, but as you could tell from watching on TV I hardly had time to put my shoes on. Dancing in front of a viewing audience of millions is something I will not soon forget,” stated Kayla when asked about the minutes leading up to her talent performance.

 Kayla was one of eight top finalists for the Quality of Life Award and finished as 1st Runner up giving her another $4000 scholarship.

When asked about the experience as a whole, Kayla commented “Before, during and after the whole thing I felt like I was in a dream. It was so surreal and it is still hard for me to believe I was given the opportunity to represent Delaware at the Miss America Pageant. It was very intimidated beforehand being in a room with so many talented women but it proved to be a great experience. We were all very close and supportive of each other throughout the whole process.”

One such episode happened when Miss Virgin Islands became concerned for Kayla.  Not knowing that Miss Delaware has alopecia she became worried when Kayla showed up for rehearsal without her long hair.  “I was sick and had a migraine that morning and did not wear a wig. Miss Virgin Island thought I had lost my marbles and shaved my head.   It was very funny but also comforting to see her concerned about me,” stated Kayla.

 Kayla came home with $14,000.00 in scholarships and the love and admiration of all of Delaware. This makes Kayla only the 4th Miss Delaware in our 70 year history to place in the top ten.  The last top 10 winner was in 1976.

“I cannot even express in words how it felt when my name was called.  The people of Delaware were the ones who helped me get so far and I am forever grateful for their continued support,” commented Kayla.

 The Miss Delaware Pageant will celebrate its 70th Anniversary this year the week of June 6 and Kayla will crown the next Miss Delaware at Dover Downs on June 11, 2011. 

“I am so glad to be back home.  After June I plan on finishing my degree in communication and look forward to a career in broadcasting,” said Kayla. 

Kayla during her talent performance

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