On Janaury 20th, 2006, Weber State University’s Signpost supported their own Julia Bachison during the 2006 Miss America Pageant with the article “Student vies for beauty crown: Miss Utah wins Miss America swimsuit competition”
January 20, 2006
By MarÃƒÂa VillaseÃƒÂ±or | Editor In Chief
Student vies for beauty crown: Miss Utah wins Miss America swimsuit competition
A Weber State University student is vying for top honors in the Miss America Pageant tomorrow night.
Julia Marie Bachison has already shown she is the fittest of the contestants after the lifestyle and fitness in swimsuit competition Tuesday, and WSU’s own Miss Utah generated a buzz during preliminary competitions that she may compete in the top 10 during the televised showdown.
“After last night, they’re paying attention, they’re watching for her now,” said Bonnie Evans, Miss Utah Scholarship Program judges chair, the day after the swimsuit competition. “The crowd really liked her. She really represented Utah well last night. She just was shining. They said she just commanded that stage.”
Evans is part of the Miss Utah team that travels with each Miss Utah to help her conduct her duties. Though, for this Miss America competition in Las Vegas, Evans was unable to attend.
The Miss America Pageant’s former home was in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The relative proximity to Utah of the current position made travel to support Miss Utah easier. Marie Bachison, Julia’s mother, said that about 325 people were in the stands supporting her daughter during the preliminaries.
On Tuesday, Julia won one judged competition and wowed the audience during the evening gown showcase that same night, Evans said.
“They said that the consensus between all the pageant people and the talk around Miss America, last night, was she definitely won the evening gown, too,” Evans said of her close contact with the Miss Utah Scholarship Program members of Julia’s team.
The other judged preliminary competitions were talent and on-stage interview. Evans said there’s a good chance that, based on Julia’s performance, she will enter into the top 10 to compete for Miss America on live television Saturday.
Since being crowned in June, Julia has taken time off from WSU to fulfill her Miss Utah duties. She was pursuing a bachelor’s of integrated studies in communication, political science and history but has toured the state during the past six months, performing what Evans called “a full-time job, a year of service.”
Julia has promoted her platform “Healthy Weight for Life.” Marie said health is important to her daughter and that Julia was looking for ways to help combat childhood obesity.
“It’s a growing epidemic in the United States,” Marie said.
Julia has visited elementary schools in every school district in Utah as part of the Gold Medal Program. The program recognizes and rewards schools that promote three ideals: healthy eating, exercise and staying tobacco-free.
One of Julia’s former grade-school teachers, Jennifer Anderson, said she’d like to have Julia speak at North Ogden Elementary School, where Julia went to school. But Miss Utah’s was completely booked the past year, encouraging children across the state to build healthy habits. The third grade teacher is the Gold Medal Program coordinator at North Ogden. Though Miss Utah was booked all year, Anderson was able to find an impromptu speaking arrangement with Julia.
As part of the Gold Medal Program, Anderson walks one mile with students each week. After one of the walks, Anderson took the children to McDonald’s for a small ice cream cone to reward their work with the program. At that same McDonald’s, Julia was speaking on the restaurant-chain’s adoption of apple slices and milk as healthier options for Happy Meals.
Julia took the opportunity to speak and meet with the students. Anderson said the girls idolized Julia and would follow her, but that her beauty and tiara only captured most boys’ attentions shortly, who then left to play in the jungle gym.
The teacher said Julia’s message of health made an impact on the students because whenever “someone you look up to gives a message, you’re going to listen to it better than you would a parent or a teacher that you, you know, listen to every day.”
Anderson said she hasn’t watched the Miss America pageant in years, but with Julia in the running, she will definitely tune in.
Julia has competed in past pageants and Evans said, last year, Julia was well-rounded and prepared to be Miss Utah.
“I think that she was very focused and she not only had the look, but she had a goal and she was very focused on it,” Evans said. “She came there to win Miss Utah, and she did. The minute she walked in, she was the queen.”
That preparation may make her ready to assume the national title.
“Well, I think that she stands a very good chance – I’m her mother,” Marie said. “You know, I totally believe in her. I think if anybody, any girl, is out there that is prepared and ready to be Miss America, I don’t see how anybody can be more prepared than Julia.”
The Miss America Pageant will be televised nationally on Country Music Television Saturday at 9 p.m.
You can reach reporter MarÃƒÂa VillaseÃƒÂ±or by calling 626-7121.