Miss Michigan USA is independently conducted and produced by Proctor Productions LLC. Their first Miss USA victory was in 1990 and it was a notable one because Carole Gist was the first African-American to win the title. Following in her footsteps, Kenya Moore, also African-American, won the title in 1993 and their Rima Fakih won it in 2010. Michigan is one of only twelve states to have had more than one Miss USA and has had the ninth highest number of Semifinalists. They have not, however, been successful in gaining other awards. And now a former Miss Michigan Teen USA, Kristen Danyal from Sterling Heights will try on her second chance for chasing the Diamond Nexus Labs for the 2012 as she had done in 2009 at Miss Teen USA.
1. If you would like to describe your self in one word, and what word would it be, and why?
If I were to describe myself in one word, it would be humble. I think this word best describes me because I do not expect anything to be given to me so I work hard for everything I get. I am always appreciative and never forget where it came from. Also, I am quick to extend myself to others whenever they may need me.
2. How many time have you participated in the state pageant?
I participated in Miss Michigan USA only one time. However, I participated in Miss Michigan Teen USA in 2009 and won that pageant as well. I am the first girl from Michigan to have won both titles.
3. You won Miss Michigan Teen USA 2009 title and now you are the reigning Miss Michigan USA 2012 do you think that winning the state pageant is a gift or a responsibility?
Winning both pageants are obviously gifts from God. I believe he put me on a path he knew I would enjoy. But like anything God gives you, it is then your responsibility to cherish the job that come along with it. The gift God gave me is not a crown, nor is it a sash. Rather, it is a power he instilled me to serve the world and be the best me I can be.
4. You were top 15 Miss Teen USA 2009, right? Now that you compete at Miss USA will you use a different strategy or the same one as you used at Miss Teen USA ?
I plan to use the same strategy as I did at Miss Teen USA. My strategy was to stay true to myself. I remember walking out in a Michigan jersey and jean shorts while the other girls were in dresses and high heels. The judges do not have a criteria to base their winner off of, so to try to be what you think they want is tiring and pointless. My director always tells me, "Different judges, different winner." The beauty about this USA system is that each winner is so different yet is always relatable.
5. We know that the swimsuit round is apart of the MUO pageant, meanwhile there are some countries a woman isn't allowed wearing swimsuit in a public cause they think that it can demean women. Do you think so?
I do not think wearing a swimsuit for competition is demeaning to women. If I am a healthy woman and work out, I want to be able to flaunt my hard work. My body is one of the only things I can control and it takes a lot of discipline to be fit. It is very empowering to us pageant girls to finally show off the results of all the discipline and dedication we go through to be in shape. I am obviously subjecting myself to a "swimsuit round", so clearly I do not feel degraded and nobody else should feel that for me. If I thought it was demeaning I would not do it and everybody else who competes has that choice too.
6. According to you, What is the most important thing to be Miss USA, The Beauty, The Brain, or The Behavior?
First of all, I value the tradition there is behind Miss USA. It is probably one of the truest forms of a beauty pageant there is left today. I think it is so important for Miss USA to be a knock-out beauty. However, Miss USA is like an ambassador and she must have the brain capacity to represent the brand with intelligence, dignity, and honor. If she has that, then she will naturally have good behavior when she attends functions as Miss USA. So, overall, I think that Beauty, Brains, and Behavior are equally as important; I couldn't choose just one.
7. You know, this year will be tough year for Miss USA pageant, so many beautiful contestants, do you get any pageant training from your state director? Would you like tell us a lil bit about your preparation to the Pageant?
The preparation is going. I do not want to give away too much, but I must say, I have a fabulous team behind me.
8. Which one is more important, winning the Miss USA crown or making friendships with the other 50 contestants?
The goal at the end of the day is winning the Miss USA crown. I am not going to sugar coat it and say that it is more important to make friends with the other 50 contestants, but that is still definitely something I want. I do not want to go there and focus so much on what's going on around me that I lose sight of what I am really there for. However, I think if you cannot make friends with the other contestants, you wouldn't have a chance of winning Miss USA, let alone be a good Miss USA if you did win.
9. Why do you think that the Judges should choose you as the next Miss USA or even Miss Universe?
I think the judges should chose me as Miss USA because I know I am the perfect person to represent the Miss USA title. I have accomplished a lot at a young age, but I still have goals. I am truly engaged in every thing I do wether it be big or little. I value beauty, but I know that it is deeper than the surface. I think that every emotion I feel shows when I speak and I know that people feel it. Poise and elegance always commands attention, and I strive to always have that. I will deliver the night of June 3rd, and that is why the judges should pick me.
10. Last but not least, how do you describe a creature named " A Man"?
"A Man"- n. a-man : God's rough draft of woman.
Special thanks to the “Michigander” Kristen Danyal and also the Proctor Productions LLC for making this interview is possible. We wish Kristen the very best of luck at Miss USA 2012 :)