A student at South-Doyle High School, Taylor Ramsey, 14, won the Jr. Fairest of the Fair pageant at the Tennessee Valley Fair, which is open through Sunday, Sept. 16.
Do people at school know about your pageant life?
Most of them do not because I go to a larger, public school. But my closer friends know. And when I won this, some people saw me on the news and a lot of the teachers have been telling me congratulations.
How long have you been doing pageants?
I started when I was 2 years old.
Have you ever gotten tired of it?
I've always liked pageants. When I was young, I did the "glitz" pageants, which are not so natural. I started more natural pageants when I was like 7.
Outside of this, what's the highest level you've achieved?
I won ultimate supreme. The farthest I've gone for a pageant would have to be Las Vegas, for the Cinderella International finals.
Does this leave you any time for a social life?
Yes, I cheer for my school and I have cheer practice. I do pageants five or six times a year, and I try to do the bigger ones so I can practice for the even bigger ones—particularly with talent.
What's your talent?
I clog. I used to sing, but I wasn't very good, so I tried something new. I like clogging better.
What's the highest you think you could win eventually?
Miss America. Miss USA.
The fair pageant doesn't have a bathing-suit competition?
It does not. I've done bathing suits, though, in the glitz competitions, and I have done two bigger pageants that had bathing suits.
Are bathing-suit competitions nerve wracking?
No, not really. I guess for some people it might be, but not for me.
Who transports you to all these tournaments?
My mom and my grandparents and my dad. When I went to Las Vegas, the first time and the second time my mom went with me; the last time I went with the state directors because it was very last minute.
Does the Fairest of the Fair (Kassie Marie Perkins) get to boss you around?
No, actually we do stuff together. And some duties she does on her own.
Do they let you ride the rides for free?
I get to enter the fair for free, because we have a lot of events we have to attend. I don't think I get to ride the rides free, though.
What are some of your duties as Jr. Fairest?
To influence others in a positive manner, children for example. And to show up for events. For example, at the Demolition Derby Races I'll attend and they'll announce my name.
Does anything you learn at school help you with this?
For answering on-stage questions, it helps.
They ask about current events?
For the Fairest of the Fair they have questions like that, but for juniors they just ask opinion questions.
Do you have a prepared on-stage answer you really like?
Yes, for my wish, if they ever ask me that—what I'd really like to do—I always say, "I'd love to run through that Big Orange T at the university football games."
Did you come up with that answer?
My mom helped me a little, but it's easy to remember, and that really is what I want to do.
How many formals do you own?
Actually, my mom buys them from the Internet, and we sell it after I wear it a couple of times. Wear it, sell it, so I usually just have one or two dresses at a time.
What about shoes?
My mom and I are kind of like shoe freaks. We buy a lot of silver shoes and high heels and stuff—for me, and for her.
For more information about next year's pageant and the 2012 fair: tnvalleyfair.org