Since her crowning, Miss Louisiana USA 2015 Candice Bennatt has represented the boot exquisitely.
Photo via Miss LA USA Facebook
Although she’s not originally from Louisiana, Candice moved here to pursue a scholarship to the Loyola New Orleans College of Law. She truly is a combination of beauty and brains, having held previous titles in the Miss America Pageant division and as a former NFL Cheerleader.
Photo via Miss LA USA Instagram
Her outgoing personality and warm smile makes her a gracious host while the pageant is produced in her state for the second year in a row, and the fellow contestants had nothing but the nicest of things to say about her.
Earlier this week I was able to snag an interview with the very busy host queen.
KDK: Hosting the pageant in our capitol city has done great things for tourism and our economy. What is it like to host the pageant in your state? Any additional pressure or expectations?
MISS LA: Being the “hometown girl” in Baton Rouge for the 2015 Miss USA pageant has been such an incredible experience. Louisiana in general does a remarkable job of supporting anyone and anything they believe in; I am so honored to be Louisiana’s girl this year. I do not feel any additional pressure simply because everyone has gone above and beyond to support me on this journey. I am calm and enjoying my time here in Baton Rouge for this one in a life time opportunity!
KDK: Louisiana has often been misrepresented and dramatized in the media, causing many to think we all live in a swamp, shoot gators for a living, that everything is still destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and we celebrate Mardi Gras is all year around. Do these stereotypes do us a disservice or are they an important part of our culture? What does Louisiana mean to you?
MISS LA: I do feel like one thing that really makes Louisiana unique is its culture. I think once people come to Louisiana, meet our people, and eat the delectable food, they come to realize we are not all running around in gator boots and swamp clothes. Louisiana is rich in history and hospitality. I like to describe Louisiana as “Good people, good food, and good times.”
KDK: How have you been able to use your Miss Louisiana USA title to elevate awareness and prevention of domestic and dating violence?
MISS LA: I have partnered with the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence to provide awareness to this hidden epidemic. Recently I have advocated at a Senate committee meeting in Baton Rouge for various bills benefiting victims of domestic violence. Senate Bill 174 passed shortly after my testimony at the capitol!
I also spoke at an HBO film screening of “Private Violence”. I love to share my story because so many people have had experiences they can relate to or know someone who has been a victim. I feel like just by talking about it, it spreads awareness. Hopefully my story will inspire someone to leave the abusive relationship or at least seek resources to be able to help them walk away.
KDK: What is your favorite memory during your reign as Miss Louisiana thus far?
MISS LA: My favorite memory as Miss Louisiana USA thus far are the interactions I have had with children across the state of Louisiana. Children take to me… or the crown… with such bright eyes. It is important to me to be the best role model I can be for our youth because we are constantly surround by negativity. For example, when I visited The Emerge Center today, or an elementary school in New Orleans the children look up to me as a princess. Their reactions make me want to keep growing and striving for my dreams so they can have someone they really look up to.
Miss Louisiana USA Candice Bennatt makes her entrance at the Miss USA Welcome Event held at the Old State Capitol.
KDK: The 2016 Miss Louisiana pageant is nearing. You’ve accomplished so much with your title but is there anything left you’d still like to do while holding the crown?
MISS LA: I am a huge football fan! I would love to be introduced at a Saints or LSU football game as Miss Louisiana USA 2015! Additionally, I have always wanted to be in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.
KDK: Last year, the 2014 Miss Louisiana Brittany Guidry, received a very difficult on-stage question regarding a controversial topic and was applauded for her answer. How do you plan to tackle an intense or highly- disputed question live should you make it to that point in the competition?
MISS LA: I have been very fortunate to train with several interview coaches across the United States. I plan on tackling those tough questions head on while showing the compassion I have for people in our country.
KDK: Many young women and girls around the world will be tuned into the pageant. They will look at themselves in the mirror and look at the contestants on stage and naturally compare themselves to you all. If you could say one thing to them, what would it be?
MISS LA: I would tell them that our country celebrates and prides ourself on freedom. With freedom comes a mutual understanding that we are all different. I hope they see themselves as different in a unique and positive way. Every young girl is glamorous, beautiful, and special!
If you have a question for Miss Louisiana or the other Miss USA contestants, don’t forget this year you can ask the final question!
Submit a video question on Instagram or post your question in the comments section of the official Miss USA post. Make sure you use #AskMissUSA and YOUR video may be selected for the 2015 #MissUSA Pageant. (Official Rules)
We can’t wait to see how our 2015 Miss Louisiana USA, Candice Bennatt, will do in the pageant, airing July 12 on Reelz Channel (available in Baton Rouge on DISH, DirectTV and AT&T U-verse). Until then follow Candice on Twitter and Instgram, @RealMissLAUSA.
Photo via Visit Baton Rouge