Katie Lorenz is the ideal female that the state of Illinois is proud to call their Miss Illinois. Lorenz is the 2008 "Miss Illinois" title holder that is representing her state well on the new television series "Countdown to the Crown." Katie Lorenz graduated from the University of Michigan in English and furthered her academic career attending Loyola University and received a Master's of Business Administration. Her future career goals are to work for a non-profit organization as a senior marketer. Lorenz' platform issue, as the Miss Illinois title holder, is volunteerism with Idealist.org. Idealist.com is an organization committed to aiding people interested in community service in the Chicago area. Lorenz was a co-creator of this organization. Along with being committed to guiding others, Katie has admitted she is addicted to the Food Network channel and loves ice cream. She has also said she wishes there were two of her, so she could relax and have time to do crossword puzzles at her favorite coffee shop. Katie Lorenz is a real role model for girls and would be the girl who has what it takes to wear the crown. "Countdown to the Crown" that's hosted by Tyler Harcott is a TLC reality series that allows viewers to be a part of 52 state title holders lives as they try to live together on the Queen Mary luxury ocean liner. Throughout the show the contestants face a series of team and individual competitions that will help them prepare for the final beauty pageant. Through these competitions viewers will find out which contestant has what it takes to be the next Miss America. Watch the final episode on TLC to see if Katie Lorenz will be chosen to be a contestant for the Miss America Pageant.
FACTIO MAGAZINE: Tell us about the TLC reality show that you
took part in.
KATIE LORENZ:Miss America Countdown to the Crown is a four-part reality series that started Friday, January 2nd at 9P.M. CT. I filmed with the 51 other contestants in LA and had a great time getting to know them all. The show took us through both team and individual challenges that will help us prepare for the Miss America competition. I had such a positive experience but will never watch reality TV the same way again.
FM: Why did you want to become Miss Illinois?
KL: To me, Miss America is the epitome of the well-rounded woman. She’s intelligent, successful, attractive, talented, and committed to social change. Becoming Miss Illinois was my first step toward attaining that goal (technically second – I had to win Miss Chicago first!) and the $10,000 scholarship I received was certainly a motivator as well!
FM: How do you plan on inspiring the Miss Illinois Outstanding Teen?
KL: I think that Emily Travis, our Miss Illinois Outstanding Teen, and I have a great relationship and, to be honest, she’s the one that inspires me! At 17, she’s already an amazingly accomplished young woman and she always keeps me laughing whenever we’re together. I think mentoring, at all age levels, is extremely important and sometimes all we can do is lead through example. The Miss America Organization is well aware of the powers of mentoring and the Miss Illinois Scholarship Association actually has a non-competitive Princess Program for Miss Contestants to pair up with girls ages 5-12 who might be interested in competing in pageants one day.
FM: What obstacles have you faced trying to become Miss Illinois?
KL: My biggest obstacle has always been my weight. We call the swimsuit competition “Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimwear” because it truly is a reflection of your lifestyle. What you see on TV isn’t possible through crash dieting, starvation, or an occasional trip to the gym. In order to get the muscle definition and tone needed to win, I have to practice good nutrition and exercise year-round. This meant literally changing the way I lived to lead a healthier, and in turn happier, lifestyle.
FM: How has your life changed becoming Miss Illinois?
KL: My life is 100% different than it was before I won. I used to work a 9 to 5 at a Hispanic media agency in Chicago and go to school at night for my MBA at Loyola University. My days are now spent at schools and charitable events all around the state and my schedule definitely isn’t a 9 to 5. From working out with my trainer to having a mock interview, I do something to prepare for Miss America every day and competition is constantly on my mind. My life may be completely different, but I’m still me, and I love every moment of the journey!
FM: Who was your biggest influence growing up?
KL: Like many people, I’m fortunate to say that my parents were my biggest influencers. They’re amazingly generous, thoughtful, and kind people and encouraged my brother and me to set goals and attain them. They never pushed me to do something I didn’t want to, but always emphasized doing my best and never giving up. My parents allowed me to try new things even though I failed and supported me when I needed them to succeed. I know I would be a completely different person without their guidance.
FM: Do you have any regrets in your past?
KL: I definitely don’t live my life with regrets, but make sure to learn from my mistakes. Every bump along the road is a learning experience and I try to live life to its fullest by taking any new and exciting opportunity that comes my way. My dad taught me the saying that it’s sometimes “better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission” and I use that to motivate me to take risks.
FM: How would you describe your personal style?
KL: If you had asked me before I won the title of Miss Illinois I would have said that I have no style, but that is the one area in which I think the Miss America Organization has really helped me. They taught me how to take my simple pieces and make them stand out with jewelry and about the importance of first having “the basics” (i.e. black pants, a pencil skirt, a cute cardigan) to then branch out. I love classic looks with a modern twist like a simple silhouette in a trendy or bold color. I’m also trying more and more to embrace my sexy side by showing off my new figure (I worked hard for it!) in a form-fitting or daring dress.
FM: Where do you shop in Chicago? How about worldwide?
KL: I live in Lincoln Park and absolutely love being able to walk to all the great shops in the area. I’m obsessed with Le Dress in Wicker Park and have found everything from red carpet pieces to cute, everyday dresses for my appearances. The boutique is adorable and reminds me why shopping is fun! Latin American designer, Juan Carlos Piñera,designed my Miss America competition gown and is based out of Miami, Florida. The base of my gown is a corset and has three zippers to get the finished look!
FM: What are people surprised to know about you?
KL: I’m not a huge shopper, but I probably spend more time in a mall than most people you know. I’m the kind of girl that goes into a store with a mission and comes out with that one item. For Miss America, the wardrobe list is pages long and when people are, literally, judging you, you want to make sure no stone goes unturned. Leisurely shopping with friends is one thing, but shopping for national television is completely another.
-Katie Davidson and Joletha Goodman
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