Poised and polished, Jacque Guyette returned to the bright stage to succeed where she twice had stumbled.
This time would be different for the 22-year-old Auburn woman.
Impressing the judges and wowing the audience, Guyette performed flawlessly to capture the Miss Auburn crown at the Auburn Performing Arts Center last Saturday night.
“I’m overwhelmed, ecstatic,” Guyette said moments after accepting the tiara, flowers and a barrage of hugs and congratulations from contestants, family and friends. “I’m very surprised. I am thrilled.
“You always hope for the best,” she added. “But I like to be realistic and just do the best that I can and hope that my heart will get me there. And this time it did.”
Guyette finished out of the running in her two previous appearances in the Miss Auburn Scholarship Program, the largest of its kind in the country. But this go around, there would be no denying her.
“I came back much more mature and ready to take on the competition,” Guyette said. “You just keep going, keep trying. This is my third time. It doesn’t happen overnight. If you want it, go for it.”
Guyette outlasted 16 other contestants to capture the title, earning more than $7,600 in gifts, awards and scholarships after two nights of competition, and automatically qualifying for the Miss Washington Pageant later this year. The Miss Auburn program, sponsored by the Auburn Noon Lions Club, is an official preliminary to the Miss Washington and Miss America scholarship pageants.
Guyette, an Auburn Riverside High School graduate, is a senior at the University of Washington, pursuing degrees in dance and public health. An honors student, Guyette plans to earn a master’s degree in physical therapy. She hopes to specialize in helping patients, notably dancers and athletes, recover from injuries.
Dancing is Guyette’s passion. She began to dance when she was 3, and has since blossomed into a gifted, accomplished performer on the national level. She is also a ballroom dancing instructor at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Federal Way.
For her talent segment, Guyette performed a lyrical jazz dance to James Morrison’s “You Make It Real.”
“It spoke to me,” Guyette said of her musical choice. “I thought the lyrics were beautiful, and I thought I could portray the song on stage.”
Her mother, Cecelia, couldn’t have been more proud.
“She’s my inspiration. She touches my heart every time she dances,” said Cecelia.
Guyette competed on the platform, Heart Health and Women’s Cardiac Research. Auburn Chevrolet sponsored her. Haley Walker is her Little Sister.
De’Djuana Simpson was first runner-up, Jennifer Matson second runner-up, Morgan Warren third-runner-up and Alyssa Mesina fourth runner-up.
Vivian Dao, 13, a student at Olympic Middle School, won Miss Auburn’s Outstanding Teen crown, besting nine other contestants.
Evelyn Crisostomo was first runner-up, and Sylvia Jones was second runner-up.
“It feels so amazing to be able to represent such beautiful and talented contestants. It feels so incredible. I still can’t believe it,” Dao said. “It’s a dream come true, something that I’ve prepared for for seven weeks now.”
Dao, daughter of Huong and John Dao, plays 10 instruments, piano being her favorite. She ran on the platform, Cyber Bullying, Throwing Punches Online. Her Little Princess is Amber Joss.
In addition to the awards, gifts and scholarship money, Dao qualified for the Miss Washington Outstanding Teen competition.
Miss Auburn contestants were scored and judged the following way: private interview (on Jan. 18) 35 percent; lifestyle and fitness 10 percent; talent 35 percent; on-stage interview and evening wear 20 percent.
Miss Auburn’s Outstanding Teen 2013, Amanda Enz, right, crowns the new Miss Auburn’s Outstanding Teen, Vivian Dao, following last Saturday’s finals. At left is Miss Washington’s Outstanding Teen 2013, Haley Downey. RACHEL CIAMPI, Auburn Reporter