The new Miss Hawaii USA for 2003, Alicia Michioka, may not have made it to the "Survivor 5" finals, but she's already proven to be a pageant survivor.
New title holder
By Nadine Kam
She had entered the pageant twice before winning on her third try Sunday night at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel Hawaii Ballroom, during the competition that also featured the 2002 Miss Hawaii Teen USA contest won by Erin Madden, 17, a Punahou senior.
Both were crowned before an audience of more than 1,000 and will serve as Hawaii's delegates to the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants, part of the Miss Universe organization.
Just days before the pageant, Michioka, 23, graduated with honors from Hawaii Pacific University with bachelor's degrees in advertising and journalism, along with a minor in theater.
Michioka, who plans to head her own news publication one day, recently made it to the semi-final rounds of auditions for the TV show, Survivor 5.
"I am so glad they didn't pick me," she admits. "I really didn't want to eat those bugs."
Otherwise, she's proven to be a fearless pageant survivor, having entered competitions beginning at age 15. While she often won preliminary titles, the state crowns proved elusive.
The first year she entered the Miss Hawaii USA contest she finished in the top 5. Last year she was the first runner-up.
At Hawaii Pacific University, where she worked for the campus newspaper Kalamalama, she entered the Hawaii Publisher's Association Pa'i Awards competition and took second place to the Star-Bulletin for a story on medicinal marijuana.
"Whenever I didn't win, it made me want it more," she said. "I'm not a quitter. I figure no matter what you do you're always going to be judged by somebody, whether at work or at school, and to me this wasn't any different."
Her parents are Lorri Stilwell-Makaneole and Blaine Michioka, now divorced, and she credits them for giving her confidence. "My mom was a single woman before remarrying and it can be hard to raise a child when you're working so hard. Watching her and how she dealt with life taught me you have to be optimistic because you can't have everything.
"And my father has a strong work ethic. He turned his interest in photography into a business and that couldn't have been easy."
>> First runner-up: Kristina PoulosMISS HAWAIITEEN USA Erin Madden will graduate from Punahou School next month. She is the daughter of Dale and Lynne Madden, president and executive vice president of Island Heritage, and follows older sister Lauren, who held the same title two years ago.
>> Second runner-up: Jonell Saragosa
>> Academic achievement: Kristina Poulos
>> Evening gown: Jonell Saragosa
>> Swimsuit: Alicia Michioka
>> Interview: Alicia Michioka
>> Photogenic: Jianna Sagadraca
>> Congeniality: Lehua Sandbo
>> Popularity: Kanani Oury
Erin sold enough tickets to the pageant to form a cheering section of more than 100 people.
Also competing was Marissa Liu, daughter of Hawaii's First Lady Vicky Cayetano and Samuel Liu.
Lynne Madden said of her daughter, "We're so proud of her, she's so fearless. I don't know where she got that from. I can't take any credit."
Erin said she was 10 when she met Hawaii's Miss America Carolyn Sapp. "Being young I looked up to pageants and admired (the women's) confidence. When my sister entered, I witnessed the growth that comes from being part of this pageant, and the main reason I entered was to find myself.
"I'm also really involved with the "Read to Me" program along with my parents and I really want to help the program, and with this title I'll be able to promote reading.
>> First runner-up: Karlee Martin
>> Second runner-up: Shenri-Ann Cabison
>> Academic achievement: Erin Madden
>> Evening gown: Erin Madden
>> Swimsuit: Erin Madden
>> Interview: Erin Madden
>> Photogenic: (tie) Erin Madden, Janean Ikeda
>> Congeniality: (tie) Erin Madden, Kimverlee Medina
>> Popularity: Michelle Tkatch
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