Miss Nibroc 2016 Makenna Thibodeaux continued her whirlwind foray into the world of pageants finishing in the top 11 in the Miss Kentucky Pageant Saturday night.
“It was an absolutely amazing experience,” Thibodeaux said of the week.
Following preliminary competition Thursday and Friday during which each of the 30 contestants participated in swimsuit, evening gown, talent and interview, the 11 semi-finalists were named at the beginning of the competition Saturday night.
“I was just absolutely proud that my family and friends, Bruce (Carpenter) and chamber members and my painting teacher from Louisville were in the audience to see me compete in each of the four categories,” Thibodeaux said when asked what went through her mind when her named was called.
Thibodeaux was a pageant newcomer in August when she entered the Miss Nibroc Pageant.
Being a relative newcomer among multiple pageant veterans, Thibodeaux said it would be easy to believe that the other contestants would quickly dismiss her.
“They were just so welcoming, sweet and uplifting,” Thibodeaux said of the other Miss Kentucky contestants.
“Something we heard during the week really rang true, ‘Only one girl will walk away with the crown, but we can still all walk away with our character,’” Thibodeaux said, explaining that there were few, if any harsh words between the contestants and instead, they were very encouraging to one another.
In addition to preparing for the preliminary events, learning the opening dance number for Saturday, the contestants were doing community outreach to places such as children’s hospital and the VA Hospital.
“It was so enjoyable,” Thibodeaux said of the week.
It was during her interview that Thibodeaux really became comfortable with the idea that she was competing in the Miss Kentucky Pageant.
“When I walked in for my interview, one of the judges remarked, ‘Miss Nibroc is your title. That is Corbin spelled backwards,’” Thibodeaux explained. “The judges were very nice and sweet and made me feel comfortable. It just gave me confidence going into the preliminaries.”
While talent is not part of Miss Nibroc competition, it is part of Miss Kentucky.
Thibodeaux elected to display her ability to speed paint timed to music.
Not only did it serve her well, but Thibodeaux said she was able to sell the pieces from the preliminary and the one she created Saturday.
Thibodeaux offered a bit of advice to Miss Nibroc 2017 and beyond concerning the talent competition.
Thibodeaux explained that she didn’t know what she would be doing for the talent competition, but because there is almost a year between Miss Nibroc and Miss Kentucky, whoever is crowned in August should be patient because there is plenty of time to work on it
“Be true to who you are,” Thibodeaux said when asked what she would tell Miss Nibroc 2017.
Thibodeaux will be returning to the University of Louisville as she continues work toward earning a degree in Biology with a goal of going onto dental school.
As to whether she will enter any more pageants, Thibodeaux would not rule it out.
“I was even asked about it during the interview competition,” Thibodeaux said. “My major is really demanding. It is something to think and pray about.”
Thibodeaux said in addition to the large number of supporters in the audience, she was buoyed by the support from so many members of the Corbin community.
“All of the encouragement was very much used and appreciated,” Thibodeaux said of the text messages and Facebook posts she received throughout the week. “I honestly think I was one of the most supported contestants. The support and knowing that people were praying, encouraging, and there with open hands saying ‘What can I do,’ gave me more confidence.”
Thibodeaux was joined at Miss Kentucky by fellow Corbinite Brooke Danielle Way, who earned her place in the pageant by winning Miss Richmond.
While Way did not make it to the semifinals, she was named Miss Congeniality in a vote by all of the contestants.
“Words cannot express how amazing and fun Miss Kentucky Week has been. I’m so thankful for all the friends I’ve made this week, and for all the fun we have had,” Way wrote on her Facebook page.