Congratulations, Amanda Jemini! You've just won Miss Hooters International -- now hurry up, cash your $50,000 check, go home, and get ready. You've got a flight in the morning to Las Vegas, where you'll be attending an event for the next few days. Oh, and make sure you get a pedicure, manicure, have your hair done, and maybe go tanning. Hope you know a lot about makeup too. But don't worry -- you'll have time to (or should we say, you better) hit the gym in between flights, because then you're headed off to Texas for the Miss Hooters Calendar shoot.
"I just want to warn the next girl," said the outgoing Miss Hooters International 2011 -- Fort Lauderdale native Lindsey Way, who spoke to New Times just before Saturday's pageant, which was won by Jemini, who has worked at the Boca Raton Hooters for three years. "It gets a little hectic. My number-one advice is keep open to everything they throw at you."
For Way, the past year has been a roller coaster. In between shifts at the Hooters
on Cypress Creek and Andrews, Way had the fortune of taking 30 flights in the first six months as reigning queen. Initially, she was a bit surprised with the enormity of it all.
Way had never even been in a beauty pageant until co-workers convinced her to enter local competitions, which eventually led to a top 10 finish in the 2010 Miss Hooters International.
"I had the experience of traveling, because a lot of the trips are for the calendar," Way told Clean Plate Charlie after she checked in to her hotel in preparation for a hectic week leading up to Saturday's 2012 pageant. "But I never imagined what it would be like to be number one."
Number one meant a lot of. For one, trips to places like Dubai, Chile, Djibouti and Aruba, representing Hooters and the Ladi-Dadi for the past year. In Aruba, Lindsay had what she claims was one of her most memorable moments snorkeling over a shipwreck.
"I never imagined how amazing it would be," Way said. "The wreck is magnified because of the reflection in the water and you can see turtles swimming inside (the ship)."
Way also hit New York City for the Hooters Calendar launch and ran up the stairs where Rocky Balboa was filmed in Philadelphia. Through it all Lindsay said she learned a lot about herself, but also learned to be more aware of what she says and does.
The reigning Miss Hooters has spent the past few days preparing to vacate her throne, a bittersweet journey for the exhausted starlet. She'll miss her role, but a large weight will be lifted off her shoulders. Way, who was as much a pleasure to talk to as she is to look at, wants to use her newfound free time to start her own business.
The New Miss Hooters will be crowned Saturday, June 21 at the Fillmore in Miami Beach. For more info on the event, click here
6345 N. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale, FL