WAIKIKI (KHNL) - Fourteen young women will gather in Waikiki Friday night to showcase their beauty, brains and talents in the Miss Hawaii pageant. But only one will walk away with the title and the crown.
The contestants have been rehearsing all week. They face a tough panel of judges who will be looking for not just another pretty face, but someone who is well-rounded and smart enough to represent hawaii. The reigning Miss Hawaii Malika Dudley has been mentoring the contestants.
"They need to know themselves inside and out they need to know what their opinions are on every single topic under the sun. A lot of these girls when you talk to them, they'll tell you they've been in the gym every single day so that I can be that fit role model," says Dudley.
The 24 year-old expert martial artist and former nightclub bouncer says Miss Hawaii must be well-rounded. Dudley says this past year has been an experience of a lifetime.
"I can't hardly believe it now, I'm giving up my crown! It's a little sad, but the crown needs to be passed on to the next girl," says Dudley.
"Being here is sort of like a vacation for me," says contestant Sheri Lynn Canopin.
Canopin is one of the contestants vying for the crown, but let this petite beauty fool you. She's a full-time police officer.
"So when you get arrested, you come to me," says Canopin.
Sheri Lynn entered the pageant for the scholarship money. She wants to go to grad school.
"I don't have to put on that blue uniform. I get to put on heels, I can take off those boots and be a lady," says Canopin.
And have a chance of becoming an ambassador of aloha.
"We do get to act as ambassadors, travel the world, promoting our state," says Dudley.