Mitzi Danielson-Kaslik will be the first Manx woman in the final of the Regency International Pageant.
She is the youngest contestant in the final of the competition, which will take place in Las Vegas in July.
The 18-year-old from Douglas was selected to represent the Isle of Man and will showcase her singing and public speaking talent among other international representatives.
‘I entered it not really expecting to get anywhere with it. One thousand people enter it each year, so I assumed I’d get to round two and then say goodbye,’ said Mitzi.
She will be singing and delivering a speech to the audience of 20,000 in ‘Sin City’ along with the global audience on television, both of these will be marked as part of the talent-judging section of the pageant.
The topic she has chosen for her speech is ‘What it means to be Manx’ in which she hopes to show those watching that there is more to the Isle of Man than the TT.
In the speech she says: ‘From cats with no tails (yes, I did just said, cats with no tails), to Manannan, the Norse God who I’m sure is protecting me tonight with his misty cloak, I want to tell you why I – a girl from such a small, tucked away place – feel a lot of national pride standing here tonight.’
The Reagent International has competitors from all US states and prides itself on accepting delegates from every country. Every country can enter but not every country can go to the final, this is the first time the Isle of Man has made it to this stage.
Mitzi said: ‘It’s really incredible, I can’t believe, firstly that I was picked to represent the country and secondly, that the country I represent actually made it into the final.’
Mitzi, an English and philosophy student with the Open University, is also up for the special academic award, which requires her to write an essay on a topic of her choice. The essay will be discussing the question, ‘Does God exist?’
She said: ‘I’m arguing it from a philosophical point of view, it’s focusing on the idea of a single deity and does one exist and my conclusion so far.’
She said that it is a ‘stressful’ experience, representing the island at an international event.
Mitzi said: ‘It’s undoubtedly really exciting but the amount of work that has got to go into it is immense.’
‘I’m confident in my ability to do the best I can but I am not confident I am going to win because I am up against people that are professionals in the industry.
‘What I am hopefully able to do is showcase my own talents and use it as an example to say we (The Isle of Man) may be only 80,000 people but we’re actually quite a competitor.’
Her parents had differing reactions when they found out about her achievement.
‘My mum said she’d be stressed for me, and my dad said it was going to be fun,’ Mitzi said.
‘I told my husband, Marley, before anybody else, and because it was announced in Pacific time, he just said “That’s insane”, and went back to sleep.’
For now Mitzi is focusing on fundraising in order to make it to the finals in Las Vegas, which she is mainy doing through her charity ‘Helping Hand’, which she set up in honour of her grandfather, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.
She has put in applications to local government for funding to represent the island but she said: ‘It doesn’t seem to be going anywhere because it’s an American competition.
‘The cost of the competition is really geared around delegates getting local funding, it’s not designed around the individual funding it themselves.’
In the awards ceremony, you must wear a national costume specific to your nation of entry.
Mitzi is still unsure about what her Manx outfit will be. She said: ‘I’m still looking at designs but considering going as a fairy and I want to wear a T-shirt that says “Hello”, as I talk about the Fairy Bridge in my speech about Manxness.’
The former Ballakermeen High School student has also published two books, called Ceasebury and L’Etranger.
Mitzi is looking for sponsors to help her with funds for her trip to Vegas in return for advertising and exposure of her sponsor’s brand as the event will be televised.