Recently, we had an excellent conversation with newly crowned Miss Universe 2011, Leila Lopes [see here]. Coverage of that CYInterview was strong. At the end of June, former Miss USA Shanna Moakler joined us and gave us some insight into her life today [see here]. She also told us a bit about incoming Miss USA, Alyssa Campanella.
Now, to complete a trifecta of beauty and brains, we were able to set up a CYInterview with the new Miss USA, Alyssa Campanella, herself.
Alyssa and I spoke about her reign as Miss USA thus far, something she terms an educational experience. We also discussed her dreams, what we should know about her, spreading awareness in the fight against breast and ovarian cancer, among other topics.
You can read and listen to this entire CYInterview below:
Listen to the Miss USA Alyssa Campanella CYInterview:
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Chris Yandek: Starting off with you, what’s been the most rewarding thing about being Miss USA thus far?
Alyssa Campanella: “The most rewarding thing, I’m actually finding it to be very educational. I mean, I’m learning a lot about breast cancer awareness. This month is breast cancer awareness month, month being October, but I’m also doing a lot of stuff at the USO. So I’m learning a lot more about our men and women that serve our country here overseas. It’s just very moving and I’m learning so much on this job. I can’t think of anywhere else I would’ve learned all this stuff.”
CY: In looking at that, you know, you said that you’re serving as a spokesperson for breast and ovarian cancer, of course this is breast cancer awareness month and one of my media colleagues and past interview subjects Giuliana Rancic [see here] actually just said this week that she had early stage breast cancer. Tell me about what you have done thus far and what your hopes are as a spokesperson on that front so far and the fight against cancer that impacts so many women.
AC: “Well one of the appearances that I do, I actually go around with, it’s a vehicle called Scan Van here in New York City and what they do is they offer free mammograms to women who may not have health care or even if they do have health care, it’s just a convenient way for them to have a routine mammogram because mammograms are very important. After all, it is what helped Giuliana Rancic detect her cancer. It’s what helped my grandmother detect her cancer. So it’s a very important thing to do with your doctor. And so as Miss USA I’ve been on the street asking women if they’ve received their regular mammogram, if they’d like to receive one. I mean, it doesn’t hurt. It’s your health. You need to take care of your body.”
CY: In speaking with your colleague Miss Universe Leila Lopes recently, she talked about making an impact during her reign as Miss Universe. How do you most want to make an impact in the remainder of your reign as Miss USA?
AC: “The impact I’d like to make is especially as a hard working person, spread awareness on breast cancer and especially ovarian cancer as well, research. But also, I know a lot of girls say this, but I’m gonna try to do my very best. I was talking to the Miss Universe stylist and we’d like to be, make fashion statements and show that Miss Universe Organization is a very modern pageant. You know, it’s not typical 60s stuff. It’s 2011.”
CY: I was reading about some of the struggles and challenges you went through earlier in your life, how did those circumstances make you the person you are today?
AC: “Well, people like to tease me for my weird interests and like my kooky personality. I realize that’s actually I think what helped me win the title because I was myself and I didn’t let those people change who I was. I mean, when I won Miss New Jersey Teen USA, people all of the sudden started to like me a lot more and I didn’t fall for that. I stayed with my true friends who never left my side and they helped me become the person that I am today. Like I don’t let anyone change who I am for their benefit. No, no, no. I’m staying who I am for my benefit. And I think that’s what helps me win the title as well. I was just my natural normal self and that’s what judges look for.”
CY: Absolutely. These are challenging times in America of course, what is your message to anyone out there with a dream?
AC: “My message to anyone out there with a dream, I know it sounds so cliché, but if you give up then you are a loser basically. You’re a winner if you keep trying and you keep trying and you keep trying ‘cause you know that you’re doing your best and you’re putting your mind and your goal to it. And no matter what it is, there’s no such thing as a stupid dream or an unattainable dream. You can do it if you want it. Like I always, I never saw myself as Miss USA. I never imagined the sash on me, but I still tried and I still went for it and I made it happen. You know, you can do it if you really want it. If you believe it in your gut, go for it.”
CY: What do you want people to know about you?
AC: “What do I want them to know about me? Oh goodness. What?”
CY: Anything that comes to mind.
AC: “Anything that comes to mind what they want to know about me?”
CY: Yeah. Sure.
AC: “I love to make people laugh. I like putting a smile on people’s faces. I like people laughing either with me or at me, just as long as they’re laughing, then I’m all set.”
CY: Your biography describes you as a self proclaimed geek who likes Star Wars. Does Miss USA keep up on the economy, foreign policy or have you been following the 2012 presidential elections for example? What do you pay attention to?
AC: “Yeah, well, as Miss USA we do pay attention to some current events and we do stay up to date, actually have a CNN breaking news app on my IPAD that like blinks at me every time that there’s a news update. As far as the presidential election is concerned, I mean, I’m not a Republican or a Democrat. I’m really the type of girl who will try to look at who I think might do the best job. And I mean, it’s a very tough race. It always is every single election. But yeah, as Miss USA, we do stay up to date with current events. Miss Teen USA does, Miss Universe does, everybody does.”
CY: Before we close, I am an independent who is a fiscal conservative and social liberal. I’m in the middle of this country and I think that a lot of Americans are in the middle of this country, are not a left leaning stance or a right leaning stance actually.
AC: Yeah, yeah.”
CY: I know Leila, Miss Universe has just arrived over the last month, but when you all have time, what do you, Miss Universe and Miss Teen USA [Danielle Dotty] talk about and do?
AC: “Boys. Of course we’re girls. We’re gonna talk about that. And, I don’t know, we talk about our different schedules and where we’re going next. A couple weeks ago we all had pizza at the apartment and we were just laughing and talking girl stuff and trying to get to know Leila. So having someone that’s from a different country living with us is really cool because we’re all getting different perspectives of each other’s lives and it’s pretty awesome to gain new knowledge. So it’s really cool. I’ve never really hung out with anyone from Angola before and I mean Danielle is a cute teen, she’s got a little Texan accent. So it’s like we’re like a mixed, diverse culture basically in the apartment.”
CY: Yeah. Miss USA. I learned some things about Leila a few weeks ago and it was quite interesting and that was the first person I spoke to from Angola as well. So you and me have one thing in common. Miss USA, thank you so much for joining me today. In closing, what are your goals for after your reign finishes?
AC: “We’ll, see, it keeps changing. You know, I guess I’m trying to see what else I discover this year that opens doors for me or what I discover is a really deep passion of mine. I do know I want to continue to do something in front of the camera. That I know as much right now. But as to what I’ll be doing behind the camera, it is yet to be determined.”
Photo used for this piece is credited to Richard Harbaugh and the Miss Universe Organization.
The official Miss USA Twitter is here.
The official Miss USA Facebook page is here.
You can email Chris Yandek at ChrisYandek@CYInterview.com