The Beginning of the Journey to the Miss America Crown

Act 1: It's not all about glamour and glitz for the 11 women competing at the Alaska State pageant.
8:26 | 09/15/13

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Transcript for The Beginning of the Journey to the Miss America Crown
Good evening, from the historic boardwalk here in atlantic city, new jersey. Miss america has come home, and I am so thrilled to be co-hosting the competition with my friend, chris harrison, from "the bachelor" in just about one hour. Behind me, inside boardwalk hall, it is a packed house and they are on the edge of their seats as 53 beautiful, talented young ladies prepare to take the stage. For all of them, this is the culmination of months and even years of grueling preparation. Each year, thousands of young women dream of becoming the next miss america. But only 53 of them have made it here to the stage in atlantic city, tonight, after journeys that began modestmodestly. From the proud miss covered bridge to the excited miss falling timbers. And who would forget miss kool-aid days? Oh, yeah! The local winners go on to compete on state stages. For some states, pageants are a way of life. And winners are celebrated with fanfare. Our new miss texas. Your new miss new jersey! ♪ Don't stop believing ♪ other states, though, while high on excitement, have limited resources. ♪ Hold on to that feeling ♪ woo! Up in the rocky corner of our country alaska may be big on the map, but it is small in the pageant world. In fact, there are only 11 women competing this year to become miss alaska. Backstage, miss alaska 2012 is giving some pointers. You have to stop at some point. The lay dims vying for her crown. Is it okay to do -- you can do it but as long as you take away from it. You don't want to stand like this. You want to stand with it, but take away. When you think swim suit us, alaska probably doesn't come to mind. McKENZIE, WHEN YOU NEED HELP With your butt glue, I can put it on. But these young ladies are no strangers to bikinis or the pageant props that keep them in place. Like butt glue. It's not going anywhere. It's lower on this side. It's like, you know, bunched up the wrong direction. For most of the women here, more important than winning the crown is winning what comes with it. The top ten finalists in miss alaska will get a year's worth of school paid for. Everybody who participates does walk away with a scholarship. I have a year of school left. If I can graduate free, that would be awesome. The higher you place, the more you get. The miss america organization dolls out over $45 million in scholarship men to women every year, making the competition an attractive option for the likes of all. I'm not the typical pageant girl. I have five tattoos. If there was a prize for most that tooted contestant, I would win. They tell us that some of the judges might judge us on our tattoos and so they recommend that we cover them up. So, I ordered tattoo camo. I put it on my leg and on my shoulder. It's gone. ♪ Thank you ♪ ♪ evacuate the dance floor ♪ teasing and body lotion will be the secret. You guys need to think of something absolutely hilarious before you go on stage. That way, your smile will extend up to your eyes. Right now, it's a little -- but it has to be, with the eyes. And then, last minute tips before judgment time. You have energy. Every pose you hit, it shouldn't just be arm out. It should be bam, like, string shooting out of your hand. I'm ready. I'm so ready. It's been a long time coming. I'm so excited. Just about to get started. Like there's a little egg beater in my stomach. That's what's happening. Did you get the nervous -- check each other's teeth. Your new miss alaska is michelle taylor! A new face for the alaska crown, now with a shot at following in her foot steps. Miss new york. The current miss america, hall mallory was waitressing in manhattan and putting her everything into getting to the miss america stage. Your new miss america is -- miss new york! I just couldn't believe i won. I just felt like all the cards had lined up for ali and I was happy to be standing there, period. That would be ali rogers, miss south carolina 2012, who many thought had the competition in the bag, coming from the big pageant state of south carolina. Every single one of you should be just as excited for those two girls standing there. As if you had just won yourself. On this evening, she's emotion as as she prepared to hand off her state crown. I did not think I was going to be as emotional as I have. Today has been rough and I -- i just completely -- I didn't think I was going to be as emotional as I have been today. Letting go is hard to do. Like ali, many of these young women compete every year until they either win or age out at 24. These are the shoes which are very, very painful and our pinky taupes stick out of the side. That is so gross. Look at that! And you actually just wrap your toes all the way around with the duct tape to keep your pinky toe from being a little outside of the shoe there. So, now my little pinky won't escape my shoe. That pageant trick makes strutting on the stage in stilettos look easy. Nice shoes, nice dress. I'm like, no, my pinky toe is suffering! If bearing those toes takes strategy, then bearing those toes takes down right engineering. I lost a boob. It's never good when you lose a boob. My favorite is before swim suit, everyone's back there in their swim suit, like, doing crunches. Like -- because, you know, you're tightening the muscles. I get it, but I feel kind of silly back here in my swim suit doing crunches. At 24, this will be brook mos tell earl's last chance of becoming miss south carolina. Last time I didn't feel like I brought it all in swim suit. Some kos test tants take strategy to a whole other level. Five-hour energy shot. I'm excited. Energized. Ready to rock and roll! Every time. Whoa. Five-hour energy. It may or may not have something to do with it. And for every high, there is a low. I just had a muscle spasm. I had brain surgery three years ago. So -- yeah, I have a condition. Sometimes it happens. Only one woman will become miss south carolina and earn a shot at miss america. This is the hard part of pageants. Here she is, our new miss south carolina 2013 -- miss mt. Pleasant, brooke mosteller! So -- I just won miss south carolina. I'm miss south carolina! So, that means -- I'm going to miss america.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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