Onalaska’s own vying for Miss America tonight

2013-01-12T00:00:00Z 2013-01-12T12:52:17Z Onalaska’s own vying for Miss America tonightBy Marna Holley | For the Tribune La Crosse Tribune
January 12, 2013 12:00 am  • 

LAS VEGAS — Kate Gorman from Onalaska has a shot at being named Miss America tonight.

The reigning Miss Wisconsin, Gorman is still pinching herself, trying to believe it’s real.

“I’m just still in awe that I’m experiencing this,” she said. “I’m still trying to get used to the fact that I’m here and that I potentially could be the next Miss America.”

About 13,000 young women vie each year to make it this far. Now it’s down to the final 53 — besides each state, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are represented.

Gorman has been in Vegas for the past 10 days on a whirlwind schedule of rehearsals and appearances.

“I figured we would come here and everyone would have such a game face on,” Gorman said. “But really, we genuinely want each other to succeed, and that’s very, very nice. It helps us do our best.”

In addition to preparing for the pageant, contestants have constantly been followed by cameras for a variety of television shows, including an hour-long “Pageant Confidential” special that airs on ABC tonight before the pageant.

The additional publicity is helpful for the Miss America program. After being bounced from network TV in 2005, the pageant returned to ABC in 2011 and last year had its highest ratings in eight years.

The pageant is up against the Packers’ time slot tonight, but plenty of locals plan to tune in. And about 70 folks from the La Crosse area are in Las Vegas cheering her on.

The local delegation is hoping for a repeat win — Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler was also Miss Wisconsin. Only four times has a state won back-to-back Miss America titles in the pageant’s 91-year history.

Gorman has had a rough road to Vegas. She injured her hip before the pageant, prompting a change in her talent from dance to vocal. It was a nerve-wracking decision in a key part of the competition—worth 35 percent of preliminary scoring.

Still, Gorman’s supporters say she has what it takes.

“She is really a class act. She is elegant and sophisticated, bright, gracious and witty,” said Beth Bruzek Vogt, who was the local director for the La Crosse/Oktoberfest pageant when Gorman won. “And she has an amazing sense of humility.”

Said former La Crosse Fire Chief Pete Stinson: “She’d make a great Marine, with her ability to adapt and overcome.”

As for Gorman, she’s trying to cherish the moment.

“Evening gown is definitely the moment that it hit me that I’m supposed to be here, and God put me here for a reason,” she said. “I’m just so thankful.”

Copyright 2015 La Crosse Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(7) Comments

  1. moss_is_still_boss
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    moss_is_still_boss - January 13, 2013 3:07 am
  2. Amused Observer
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    Amused Observer - January 12, 2013 1:52 pm
    Only today we see a feature story on Miss WI at Miss America? What happened to the week long coverage we got when Smaby went? Couldn't the paper afford to send Randy Erickson to Vegas? Or isn't the Gorman Gang as good at tooting her horn as the Smaby nation was? BTW when is Raeanna Johnson going to get added to the Welcome to Holmen sign as it being the home of the 2011 Miss WI?
  3. shameless
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    shameless - January 12, 2013 12:31 pm
    Does that mean God doesn't like the other 49 contestants? Can't wait to see which lady the Almighty prefers!
  4. GrandpaS
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    GrandpaS - January 12, 2013 8:36 am
    As a guy, I'm not big into beauty pagents, but hey, she's from Onalaska and is Miss Wisconsin. For our area, that does make this pretty exciting. The pagent competition is a little bit about swim suits and good looks, certainly, but the winner will be visiting countless people in hospitals, schools, parades, etc. She becomse an ambassador of good will in so many locations and situations, so, yeah, "Good luck, Kate. Your troops are behind you." I'm sure Kate will do her home town people proud. I wish her well. YOU GO, GIRL!!!
  5. jeff
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    jeff - January 12, 2013 7:50 am
    I'm pretty sure Go despises beauty pagents. Seeing as though the bible speaks out over, and over and over about vanity, the use of make-up and jewelry, bright flashy revealing clothing ect. Jeremiah 4:30 And you, O desolate one, what do you mean that you dress in scarlet, that you adorn yourself with ornaments of gold, that you enlarge your eyes with paint. I could go on and on at least till noon and it's only 7:50. As for me, I'm a sinner and I love them so bring it on and good luck Kate Gorman!
  6. blackshadow
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    blackshadow - January 12, 2013 6:19 am
    I'm sorry, Gd has everything to do with it. This Lady ha tuched many lives and we will be proud to have a local gal and God willing, she will be our new Miss America.
  7. HonestAbe
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    HonestAbe - January 12, 2013 2:06 am
    God has nothing to do with why you're there.

    More like hips & swimsuit "competition".

    If you can go from dance to vocal on a whim, it's obvious that's not what decides it.

    Be pretty, and go.
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