Reigning Miss Poulsbo gets second shot at Miss Washington Pageant

Miss Poulsbo Amy Stadshaug will compete for the Miss Washington title this week.  - Courtesy Photo
Miss Poulsbo Amy Stadshaug will compete for the Miss Washington title this week.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

POULSBO — Miss Poulsbo Amy Stadshaug is already one leg up on the Miss Washington competition next week in Tacoma. Or make that foot.

The returning royal attended the contest in 2004 during her Miss Kitsap reign with a fracture in her right foot. Despite it, she competed. And now, four years later and with a new title to her name, she says she’s taking what she’s learned from the experience, as well as from the Miss Poulsbo program, and steering her confident energy toward “a whole new playing field.”

Stadshaug, 23, leaves tomorrow for pageant week, and will compete July 10-12 in a three-day process that includes 10-minute interviews, preliminaries involving talent, evening gown and swim wear competitions and a never-before webcast final round. Sixteen women will compete; the field will be narrowed to eight, then five Saturday night.

“I feel ready. I am confident in my ability to do that job,” Stadshaug said of the Miss Washington post. “I wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t have some nervousness, but the excitement outdoes all of that.”

Despite those few expected nerves, Stadshaug could have just the recipe for success. Former Miss Poulsbo Kristen Eddings took the 2006 Miss Washington crown — she and Stadshaug are the only two to have served as both Miss Poulsbo and Miss Kitsap.

Stadshaug said she’s thankful for the know-how already under her belt.

“My experience in the program and what it’s done for me, that’s a huge thing that I like to be able to share with people,” the University of Washington communications graduate said. “I attribute a lot of my growth and success to this program.”

Stadshaug described herself as a shy child, who learned much about leadership, confidence and finding her own voice through the Miss Poulsbo/Miss Kitsap training — aspects she said have cascaded happily into academia and her career field. And on top of that, it’s proven that a single individual can make a difference.

“I actually can affect real change,” she said. “That’s amazing. Sometimes you feel so small in this big world, but one person can have an impact, and through this program I feel that I can do that.”

Plus: “It’s just been a lot of fun,” Stadshaug said of the programs volunteers and committee members, “I have so many wonderful memories. It’s like a family. I feel like I’ve found wonderful friends.”

Stadshaug will perform a jazz dance to the music of the Foo Fighters “The Pretender” as her talent — an “athletic” dance she’s been making perfect by practice.

“I enjoy it so much that that’s what I want to get across to the audience,” she said of the routine. “I want them to want to see it again.’

She’s also been sharpening her interview skills alongside Miss Kitsap Samantha Przybylek at mock interviews, and of course keeping that swimsuit competition in mind.

“It’s just about being healthy,” she said, adding with a laugh, “being in a swimsuit in front of hundreds of people definitely motivates you a little more.”

The winner of the Miss Washington contest will compete in the Miss America competition in Las Vegas in January. While Stadshaug said much of it’s down to a mental game now, either way the situation is a win-win.

Whether she takes the Miss Washington crown or continues to represent her Little Norway family and community, “either way, I still have something to look forward to,” she said.

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