Miss Black and Gold crowned on Sunday

By Rayne Brown

Baylor’s Tau Alpha chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. crowned Phoenix senior Britahn Newbill as its 21st Miss Black and Gold on Sunday.

“I am so excited,” Newbill said. “I am just really, really, really excited. I don’t know. That’s all I can say.”

Six women competed in the annual pageant hoping to become 2013 Miss Black and Gold. The ladies competed in three segments: talent, poise and an interview round. In the poise portion, contestants showcased their evening wear.

Newbill wasn’t the only one to take home prizes. The brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha gave all of the contestant wrapped gifts for participating. Dallas sophomore Danielle Miller was first runner-up and Houston sophomore Jackie Brown was second runner-up. Winners in other categories included Round Rock junior Brielle Banks as Miss Congeniality, while pageant winner Newbill also won crowd favorite.

After deliberating over intermission, during which dinner was served, Newbill was crowned by last year’s Miss Black and Gold, Kingwood junior Kemah Bob. After the crowning, the brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha circled around their winner and sang one of their fraternity songs.

“This experience has definitely been a learning one for me,” Newbill said. “Teaching me how to maintain poise and elegance in any situation, which is very, very key for women. Especially with being in the workforce and things. If we can maintain our composure we’ll be able to move way further in life.”

Since this was some of the contestants’ first pageant, the contestants practiced three times a week for two hours each day. During practice, the contestants worked on each segment — talent, poise, and interview, with their pageant coach Lindsey Fortner hoping to transform regular Baylor students into poised pageant contestants.

“A lot of it has to do with learning how to walk on stage, how to turn on stage and practicing our question and answer,” said Houston sophomore Jackie Brown. “I’m the only one who has pageant experience so it’s definitely good to watch the other girls grow into pageant girls.”

For some contestants, this pageant meant rekindling an old fire for pageants. For others, it meant trying something new.

Houston sophomore and contestant No. 1 Jackie Brown discussed her “second-place syndrome” during her intro speech, saying that after getting second place in everything she competed in, including her eighth grade pageant, she decided to quit. She continued to say how the Miss Black and Gold Pageant encouraged her to get back into pageants.

In his speech about the contestants, pageant host Jeremy Miller said the contestants were diligent and committed in practice. However, their diligence did not prevent them from having fun or making friends.

“They’re a great group of girls,” said Banks. “Everyone’s personality is off the wall. Everyone’s funny and happy and we definitely have all grown together as a unit and really care about each other. We’re very protective of each other now.”