Hailey Andersson wins Miss Huntley 2012

Joe Cristo

Sydney Maggio and Angelina Long (Courtesy of S. Maggio).
Sydney Maggio and Angelina Long (Courtesy of S. Maggio).

This Friday, Huntley crowned the newest “Queen” in the 61st Annual Miss Huntley Scholarship Pageant. 10 contestants went through a Business attire section, a commercial and formal gown section to become the newest addition to the “Miss Huntley family,” the likes of which includes last year’s Miss Illinois, Hannah Smith.

“We have been doing this for 12 years now,” said pageant director Lovena Hunter. “It has honestly been a wonderful experience.”

The 10 contestants are from around the Huntley area and include Omo Tseumeh, Hailey Andersson, Melissa Charron, Angelina Long, Sydney Maggio, Keely O’Neal, Erin Byrne, Gabby Reif, Samantha Bolet and Adrian Fait.

“This just feels absolutely amazing to be the first runner-up,” said Fait. “I don’t know if I will come back next year [to win], but it was great to be here this year.”

Fait was the runner-up in the pageant, behind Hailey Andersson, who was crowned Miss Huntley.

Andersson had placed the runner-up in the 2011 competition.

Everything went smooth on stage, but behind the scenes there were some discrepancies.

One of the biggest points of contention was an issue with the eligibility of one of the contestants, Bolet.

Bolet is not from Huntley, but the judges and staff made an exception in order to accommodate her into the competition.

Bolet, who made it to the final five, ended up winning a second, surprise title, Miss Lake in the Hills, instead.

“There were things in place so that if Samantha did get in the top five, she would not win Miss Huntley,” said Marta Makowski, Miss Huntley 2010. “They didn’t want to cause any issues between contestants so they made her eligible for a different title.”

Ultimately, Bolet was the only contestant in the running for Miss Lake in the Hills, all but guaranteeing that she would win a scholarship for participation alone. This proved to be what some contestants and audience members deemed an “unfair advantage.”

“We want the opportunity to work with two girls instead of one,” said Hunter.

Still, since Miss McHenry County is an open competition, Bolet would have been able to enter regardless of whether or not she did in fact win a title at the Miss Huntley competition, meaning that the Miss Lake in the Hills crown does not automatically enter her into the Miss McHenry County Competition.

The main prize, a scholarship that varies on how many donations the program receives, has yet to be determined, but will likely be split between Bolet and Andersson.

Andersson and Bolet will move on to the Miss McHenry County Competition on August 1.