Girls take their shot at royalty

first_imgVideo: Rose Court Tryouts Photo Gallery: Rose Parade TryoutsPASADENA – Michael, an Arcadia High School senior, wants to be a Rose Parade princess. Saturday morning found him and his three friends, Daniel, Ben and Alvin, standing in line among hundreds of girls from all over the Pasadena Area Community College District, waiting to try out for the chance at the crown. “I wanted to see what the hype was all about,” he said. “Why aren’t there any princes? Doesn’t a princess always need an escort?” The four will have some stiff competition. By mid-morning, more than 300 girls had arrived at Tournament House to wait for their 15 seconds – yes, seconds – of time in front of a panel of nine judges. In all, 810 local high school seniors and college students preregistered for the tryouts, tournament officials said, and as many as 1,500 applicants were expected. Last year, more than 1,100 girls applied. Based on Saturday’s results – or Monday’s, for the stragglers not able to attend this weekend – the pool will be narrowed to 250 prospective Pasadena royals. More interviews follow as the group is cut to 75, then 25, and finally to the six princesses and one queen who will represent the city in the Tournament of Roses parade. “It’s something that I’d always looked forward to doing,” said applicant No. 174, a confident Arcadia High School senior named Eleni. (The Tournament asks that those trying out only be identified by their first name and number to preserve their anonymity for judging.) Not all the girls seemed so calm and collected, though. As they made their way one by one onto the low red dais before the judging table, some laughed nervously or sighed audibly before launching into their short speeches. No. 181 wanted to be a princess so she could be “an ambassador of good will.” No. 195, who wore her hair knotted into a purple shawl and had two piercings through her lower lip, hoped to represent Pasadena’s “beautiful diversity.” Anyone who spoke too long was interrupted with a firm but polite “Thank you so much.” And then the girls – and guys – were ushered along once more, this time into the Tournament House for photos. “Cradle it just like you would a baby,” a volunteer advised as she handed each girl a bouquet of red roses. “Turn your face a tiny bit more,” called the photographer. “Beautiful, beautiful, great smile.” The camera flashed, the line moved forward as the next girl moved into position. Outside, the girls clutched their Estee Lauder gift bags and compared notes on how they did. Meanwhile, reigning Queen Mary McCluggage walked about, lending her encouragement to those who still had to pass before the judges. “It’s so weird,” McCluggage said, to consider that just a year ago she was one of those nervous girls, “practically dying of sweat.” Now a pre-med freshman at USC, she said, “It will be fun to give my title away, but it is a little bittersweet.” [email protected] (626) 578-6300, EXT. 4451160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *