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Turlock High grad to compete for Miss California title
Miss Stanislaus photo
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Watching some of the most “whole-hearted” women of California walk the stage in their beautiful evening gowns was one of Alexandria Backus’ favorite things to do when she was younger. She admired their elegance and beauty knowing one day she would join them on the stage.

Well that day has come and Backus will be wearing her very own evening gown in November when she competes against over 100 other contestants in the Miss California USA competition in Palm Springs.

“I am looking forward to starting new things and helping people on a bigger spectrum,” Backus said. “I want to be a positive role model for kids.”

This will be the first national beauty pageant for the Turlock High graduate who just ended her first year at California State University, Stanislaus.

She is currently majoring in communications with a minor in journalism and English. She plans to start a career in news broadcasting when she graduates.

As she tackles her studies, she is preparing for her Miss California USA debut with work out sessions, public speaking classes and volunteer work.

She is planning on volunteering at the Sierra Vista Children’s Center and the local Kiwanis Club with five months left until the competition begins. She is currently active in the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and is a lifetime member of the California Scholarship Federation.

The competition starts on Nov. 19 and runs to Nov. 21, giving the contestants three days to win the crown of Miss California USA.

On the Friday of the competition, the women will have their first interview and learn their choreography for the televised part of the competition, Backus said. The actual judging day is on Saturday with the women competiting in the evening gown and bikini segments. Sunday is the final day where the top 15, the top 10, the top five and then the winner is picked.

The women in the top five are judged on an additional segment and they have to answer a question on-stage, she said.

The interview, evening gown and bikini segments are valued at 30 percent of each individual’s score with the on-stage question weighing 10 percent of the final score.

Backus doesn’t have her evening gown picked out yet, but she hopes to have one soon. She is waiting to gather more sponsors for the entry fee for the Miss California USA competition and the cost of her evening gown.

It is $1,700 for the entry fee for the competition and Backus is expecting typical evening gowns to cost between $400 and $1,000.

The winner of the Miss California USA competition will do a lot of appearances and work with the Miss California USA organization, she said.

The Miss California USA winner will go home with $45,600, the first runner up will go home with $40,000 and the second runner up will go home with $30,000, Backus said.

So far Backus, representing Stanislaus County as Miss Stanislaus USA, has participated with other contestants in two media events and a photo shoot to help prepare the girls for the actual competition.

“I have never done anything like this before,” Backus said. “It will be a good experience and only positive things can come out of it.”

Backus, as Miss Stanislaus USA, will be making public appearances in the Turlock 4th of July Independence Celebration parade and the Stanislaus County Fair. The televised portion of the Miss California USA competition will be aired on NBC in November.

To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.