Miss S.C. Ali Rogers has a sharp sense of humor. And she’s precise.
“Ali won over $20,000 in cash scholarships last night,” Ashley Byrd, Miss South Carolina’s president and executive director, said during Sunday’s Miss S.C. news conference at the Columbia Museum of Art.
Rogers politely interrupted Byrd. Her total haul: $22,750. And there’s more. Rogers and Rachel Wyatt, the Miss S.C. Teen winner, received an array of jewelry from Jewelry Warehouse. Rogers also received a fur coat from the S.C. Trappers Association; the use of a furnished, three-bedroom apartment in Hartsville, where the pageant is headquartered; and she gets to drive a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee from Jim Satcher Motors for a year.
Rogers and Wyatt, who were crowned Saturday night at the Township Auditorium, didn’t seem like they were lacking sleep at the morning news conference. When Rogers, a 20-year-old Clemson University student from Laurens, was asked what she was going to do for her first day as Miss S.C., she said, “I’m going to get my car.” By then she had already had a post-pageant treat: Hardees’s biscuits and gravy, her favorite food.
“That’ll be her last gravy biscuit,” someone in the audience said, drawing laughter.
Rogers will compete at the Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas in January. Wyatt has less time to prepare. The Miss America’s Outstanding Teen pageant is in August. The 17-year-old from Piedmont was going to Hartsville to complete pageant paperwork due today.
After being crowned, Wyatt caused a flutter on Twitter for her onstage move. She got down on one knee, and with her elbow on her knee and a fist to her head, she did what is commonly known as Tebowing. It’s the move Tim Tebow, an NFL quarterback, does after scoring touchdowns.
“His whole goal of doing that is to give all the glory and honor to our lord and savior, Jesus Christ, and that’s exactly what I was trying to do,” said Wyatt, who won more than $12,000 in savings bonds. It’s also something her sister, who turned 21 Sunday, suggested. “She had said beforehand, ‘How cool would it be if the winner got down and did The Tebow.’ ”
Wyatt had fun on the stage, but Sunday she had to fight back tears.
“Sorry, I don’t know why I’m getting so emotional right now,” Wyatt said during remarks. “This is just, like, incredible.”
A week ago last year’s winners-Miss S.C. Bree Boyce and Teen Caitlen Patton-were driven to the 2012 arrival ceremony at the State House in the back of a Two Men and a Truck vehicle. Asked if they would be willing to do the same, Rogers gave a nod for Wyatt, who is OK with riding in the back of a truck, to answer first.
Rogers added, “Being from Laurens County, I’m expecting a tractor next year.” The audience applauded.
Rogers, Miss South Carolina Teen 2009, was poised during the competition. Throughout she wore a chunky white bracelet with the phrase “Make a Difference” stenciled in black letters. She even kept it on for evening gown.
“I’m so blessed and humbled to have this opportunity to serve in this capacity,” Rogers, who also took home the overall swimsuit title, said. “This is my year to give back to you. To give back to my family and my community, my state and the Miss South Carolina organization. You tell me how I can serve you best.”