Senior Brittany Dymm of Cavanaugh Hall was crowned Miss ND 2017 at O'Neill Hall’s signature event Wednesday.
Throughout the event, one representative from every female dorm on campus showcased a talent, and three finalists participated in a question and answer session in front of a panel of four judges and other members of the Notre Dame community in Washington Hall.
Sophomore Nick Martinez, the event’s organizer, said all of the contests were selected on a volunteer basis by the hall governments of each respective female dorm.
“I’m really grateful for everyone in O’Neill and all of the participants,” he said. “We’re super excited, because this year we did pre-sale tickets in LaFun, which we didn’t do last year. The pre-sale tickets [surpassed] all of last year’s ticket sales.”
According to Martinez, the judges for the event were also selected on a volunteer basis, but event organizers tried to get “campus celebrities” as judges. The final panel was made up of South Hall Dining monitor Pam Hardy Jobin, Miss South Bend 2016 — and a member of the class of 2014 — Gina Klingel, sophomore O’Neill resident and defensive lineman Jerry Tillery and senior Joe Cabrera, Mr. ND 2016 and another O’Neill resident.
“It is so much fun,” Jobin said. “The girls are talented and bubbly. Their personalities are wonderful. I’ll be judging on personality — I’m a big personality person. It is such a worthy cause for the homeless shelter. They do such a good job. The boys put a lot of effort into it.”
Although most talents involved either singing or dancing, junior Annie Batcheller — the first Miss Flaherty — walked the audience through the evolution of her Snapchats, while sophomore Abby Whalen — this year’s Miss Farley — played “My Heart Will Go On” on the recorder and sophomore Veronica Wegner — Miss Welsh Family — rolled around the stage in Wheelie shoes before chugging water out of a jug via a feeding tube.
Contestants also found ways to put unique spins on various singing acts. Eventual winner Dymm played a ukulele and sang while hula hooping, and sophomore Madeline Petrovich, Miss McGlinn, sang a song listing all the books of the Bible, while other variations included dancing and lip synching.
After all of the contestants had presented their talents, the judges deliberated while the audience watched humorous videos filmed and acted out by residents of O’Neill Hall, including a parody of “The Bachelor,” “Rudy” and the “Mean Tweets” segment from “Jimmy Kimmel Live” — in which all tweets were jokingly said to originate from O’Neill rector Christopher Rehagen and were written in the style of a tweet from President Donald Trump.
Aside from Dymm, the final round of the event featured sophomore Maggie West as Miss Pasquerilla East, and junior Katie Surine as Miss Lewis. The three took turns answering humorous questions from the master of ceremonies, junior O’Neill resident Matthew Yoder, before the judges made their decision and Dymm was crowned Miss ND.
The Cavanaugh senior said the idea for her act has been with her for a while, and noted the significance of the event taking place on International Women’s Day.
“I’ve had the hula idea since sophomore year,” she said. “… In honor of International Women’s Day, I’m glad that that this event involves women showcasing their talents, not making them showboat around in weird outfits.”