The crown came on and the tears fell for 2012 Miss Bay-Rama Ariana Cremeens.
"It's just like amazing because when I was a little girl, I was geeky and didn't have a lot of friends," the 17-year-old Chesterfield Township resident said immediately after she earned the title Wednesday night in downtown New Baltimore.
Cremeens said she knows what it's like not to fit in because of her appearance. She was teased before losing 60 pounds at the end of her freshman year, she said.
"People accept me and people think I'm pretty and it's just an amazing feeling," she said, stressing the importance of kindness no matter what someone looks like.
The Anchor Bay High School student, who's active in the forensic team and Anchor Bay Stars, aspires to attend the Julliard School in New York City.
"My long-range goals, I would love to be on Broadway," she told the pageant crowd and judges during the question-and-answer segment of the competition. "I love to sing. I love to act."
Her court members are first runner-up Amy Eyla, 19, and second runner-up Shelby Hunter, 18. Both contestants graduated from Anchor Bay High. E & A Credit Union in New Baltimore awarded the queen and her court $500 scholarships.
Ten teens, ranging from 16 to 19 years old, competed in the annual pageant during the Bay-Rama Fishfly Festival. They showed off nautical costumes, which they designed to depict life on Anchor Bay, and modeled evening wear. They also answered random questions.
Pageant Director Lisa Edwards pointed out the contestants' academic and athletic achievements. She also said the teens were allowed to pick the pageant music, which included songs from Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen.
"This was a fun year. There's a lot of personality and accomplishments on this stage," Edwards said.
Miss Bay-Rama 2011 Morgan Sommers crowned the new queen and spoke of her reign this past year. Sommers said she enjoyed being a role model for young girls and participating in community events, such as the festival parade.
"Smiling for 20 minutes straight can really hurt your cheeks, but you get used to it after a while," she said.