Wait…Did you say IDAHO!?

I’m in disbelief that it has been over 3 months since I stood on the Miss America stage! To say I loved going to Miss America would be an understatement. I savored every second I had within the two weeks I was in Atlantic City. They are memories I’ll cherish forever. One of the most obvious reasons 52 young women go to Miss America is to have that iconic crown placed on their head. 

Everyone knows that!

But when this only happens to one incredible young woman, is it a waste of time and effort for the rest? 


I went to Miss America with other goals in mind. Goals that would benefit my growth as a person and impact my future. Here is one of the  reasons I walked off the Miss America stage feeling like I had won. 

Wait…Did you say IDAHO!?

I was in complete disbelief that I even step foot on the Miss America stage. I never thought I would every have this opportunity. As a little girl I would watch Miss America on TV and just imagine what it would be like. Going to Miss America was enough of an accomplishment for me, but I always push myself to accomplish more. Rather than make the goal of “winning the crown” and “being the best”, my sights were set on making it into the Top 15 based on my preliminary scores. 

This would be a feat I knew. 

I was competing against the best 51 competitors our country had to offer this year. Being from Idaho, a smaller, non-recognizable, only known for potatoes kinda state, I wasn’t expected to do well. This frustrated me. Just because I am representing a state not highlighted for pageantry doesn’t mean that I, Kylee Solberg, couldn’t make the Top 15. I did my best, stayed focused, remained true to myself and did all that I could to show the judges I deserved a spot. And guess what….

I did it. 

I made the top 15. Idaho made the top 15! This was the first time since 1971 that Miss Idaho was a top 15 finalist based on preliminary scoring. You could imagine when my named was called by Chris Harrison my heart stopped. I couldn’t think. It didn’t feel real. All I knew as I heard my sisters cheering behind me, Boardwalk Hall cheering in front of me and people watching all over the country is that I did it. I accomplished what I came here to do. From this moment on I had already won.

-Kylee Solberg

Miss Idaho 2016