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PAGELAND – Every Thursday night in June the lights went up on Watermelon Idol, Pageland’s annual music competition. Present each night of the event was Emily Moody, 18, of Lancaster.
Moody is the daughter of Melanie Vaughn and Fred Moody Jr. and began competing in pageants as a young girl, before taking time off.
“At one point I was just like I don’t want to do this anymore, so I stopped and just restarted in the last year,” Moody said.
Crowned Miss Pageland last October, she won her first real titles last fall as both Miss Junior and Homecoming Queen at Buford High School.
“It’d be pretty neat if Miss South Carolina could crown the [Buford] homecoming queen as the winner,” Moody said.
It may seem strange that a Lancaster resident would be crowned Miss Pageland.
“Lancaster didn’t have a pageant this year, so the closest one was Pageland’s open pageant,” Moody said, “I really only live about 30 minutes from Pageland. It’s like my second home. I love it.”
As Miss Pageland, Moody is eligible to compete in the Miss South Carolina Pageant, under way this week at Township Auditorium in Columbia. Contestants compete in a series of interviews and talent auditions before Miss South Carolina is officially crowned July 14.
Moody is practicing her talent, singing, for the competition.
“I love Lady Gaga and will be performing her song ‘You and I’,” Moody said, “It’s going to be pretty cool because it will be a version digitally remastered especially for me.”
Moody said even if she is not crowned Miss South Carolina, she will continue to locally promote her platform, which focuses on alcohol and substance abuse, stemming from familial experience. Earlier in the year she was the focus of a program by LearnTV, “Beauty with a
“Most of the time people just usually know the statistics of their platform, but I know more because I’ve lived through it with my father,” Moody said.
Moody graduated from Buford High School in May and will attend the University of South Carolina Lancaster for one year before moving to the Columbia campus.
“I still have a little time to decide what I want to do, but I will probably major in prosecuting or defense law and apply to USC School of Law,” Moody said.
Whatever life has in store for her, whether it be Miss America or a prosecuting attorney, Moody said she and her mother will be grateful.
“We really want to thank everyone,” Melanie Vaughn, Moody’s mother, said, “People have been really supportive, especially Pageland’s Chamber of Commerce; they’ve really been kind to Emily.”
Moody will make her next local public appearance during Pageland’s annual Watermelon Festival and will ride in the parade Saturday, July 21.