Tuesday • February 27
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Competing Across Pageant Systems
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So, is there really a difference in the skills necessary to compete in different pageant systems? Can competing in different systems be an advantage or disadvantage for contestants? Leigh Patton, State Director of the West Virginia International Pageant, and Gabrielle Colombo, Miss West Virginia International, have both competed in state level Miss USA, Miss America, and Miss International pageants and Leigh has also competed in state level Mrs pageants. Join us as we discuss the unique aspects of each pageant, how the pageants differ, and what to expect when competing across pageant systems.
Episode Segments:
Leigh Patton & Gabrielle Colombo Part One
Leigh & Gabrielle talk about the different pageant systems they have competed in, and what points of view they have gained from the different systems. They also discuss the benefits of competing in different systems, and explain some of the different scoring systems.
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Leigh Patton & Gabrielle Colombo Part Two
Gabrielle has some advice for new pageant contestants, talks about how to prepare for platforms and competing in different systems, while Leigh discusses preparing for the different styles of interviews, whether competing in different systems could hurt you, and talks about the changes shes seen in pageantry over the last five years.
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Ask Valerie!
In this weeks round of listener questions, Valerie talks about preparing for a swimsuit competition in a teen pageant, finding the right gown for a Mrs. Pageant, getting fit in a short amount of time, and how to deal with Reality Television.
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Guest(s) Appearing on this Episode
Gabrielle Colombo
Miss West Virginia International Gabrielle Colombo has over 4 years of experience in the pageant industry, and she has competed has competed in 4 pageant systems including the 2006 National Sweetheart Pageant as Miss West Virginia Sweetheart. Gabrielle has been a dancer for over 18 years and has competed in many styles of dance - and has won top awards in regional and national competitions - beginning at the age of five. She has been interviewed and featured on dance related TV shows, and has studied with many top professionals of the dance world at both regional and national workshops. Gabrielle is spending her year as Miss West Virginia International promoting her platform by helping youth across the nation find their anti-drug.

Leigh Patton
Leigh Patton is the Executive State Director of the West Virginia International Pageant. A former contestant herself, she has been a semi-finalist in the Miss West Virginia Scholarship Pageant, where she won numerous interview awards on the local and state levels, a finalist in the Miss West Virginia USA Pageant, a finalist in the Mrs. West Virginia America Pageant, and a finalist in the Mrs. West Virginia United States Pageant. Leigh has had the privilege of being asked to judge over 20 pageants in over 8 states in multiple systems on local, state, and national levels. Prior to her involvement in the International Pageant System, Leigh served as the President followed by Executive Director of the Miss West Virginia’s Outstanding Teen Program for 3 years and as a Local Director for the Miss West Virginia Scholarship Organization for 5 years. Leigh is a graduate of Concord College with a B.A. in Psychology & a Minor in Biology. Leigh has been married to Jimmy for 5 ˝ years and has a 4-year old son, Alex, a 4-month old son, Andrew, and beautiful 18-year old step-daughter, Summer.