On Monday, Miss South Carolina Bree Boyce began her quest for the Miss America title.
If she is crowned Saturday night, Boyce will join Marian McKnight, 1957, and Kimberly Aiken Cockerham, 1994, as Miss America winners from South Carolina.
There's a good chance it could happen, and here are five reasons why.
1. She has a good story.
Actually, Boyce has two good stories. The first -- losing 110 pounds from her heaviest weight of 230 -- has been well-documented. After winning the crown in July, she appeared on "The Today Show," "Good Morning America," "Inside Edition" and "The View" to share her story of dropping the weight over a three-year period by changing her eating habits and exercising.
The second story will be new to pageant followers and, most importantly, the Miss America judges.
In September, Boyce was doing box jumps -- a vertical jump from the ground to the top of a surface and back down -- in an outdoor exercise class. Instead of boxes, though, Boyce was using brick pillars surrounding a flower bed.
"So when I went to come down, both of my shins hit the edge of the brick and pretty much busted all the way to the bone," the 22-year-old said.
Boyce received more than 100 stitches, and there was concern about nerve and muscle damage. Boyce didn't walk without crutches or a walker for three weeks.
But she recovered.
2. She has family support.
Boyce adjusted her internal clock and voice to the Las Vegas climes earlier than most of her competitors because her sister, Tiffany Olson, lives in the city. She arrived Jan. 2, a week before preliminaries.
"It just means a lot to me because I feel like I'm trying to be a good role model as her older sister," said Olson, a former pageant competitor. "It just makes me feel like my work did pay off to be good."
Boyce is the youngest of four children who grew up playing instruments. Mike Boyce, Boyce's father, has been the minister of music at West Florence Baptist Church for 39 years. Olson teaches violin and piano, while Boyce, who also plays violin, has focused on theater performance.
"My whole family basically studied music our whole lives," Olson said. "It's kind of in our genes. (Bree's) an opera singer. (Bree) can do theatrical makeup like no other. She's hilarious."
3. The stage is her throne.
Fried chicken isn't typically associated with opera, but when she was young, Boyce said her grandmother, who was raised on a farm, would listen to opera while she fried chicken breasts, legs and thighs.
"I thought it would be cool if I was the only kid that could sing opera," said Boyce, who had her parents enroll her in lessons.
Boyce, a theater major at Francis Marion University, can sing in German and Italian. She also has nerves of steel. When a sound issue interrupted her performance during the Miss South Carolina pageant, Boyce, a trained performer, continued to sing. And when she was given a reprieve, she soared.
"When we would do recitals growing up, it was if you mess up keep going, because the show's got to go on," Olson said. "You can't run off the stage if something happens."
4. The judges will adore her.
So much of competition is luck of the draw, and Boyce couldn't have been any luckier with the judging panel selected for the pageant.
Five of the seven judges -- Kris Jenner of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians"; Mark Ballas of "Dancing With the Stars"; Mike Fleiss, executive producer of "The Bachelor"; Raul De Molina, TV host for Univision; Lara Spencer of "Good Morning America"; Teri Polo, star of the ABC sitcom "Man Up"; and Chris Powell, host of "Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition" -- work in reality-based programming.
Boyce's stories are sure to connect.
5. She knows the power of food.
Boyce's favorite food is popcorn. Her favorite popcorn store is Popcorn Girl, a Las Vegas establishment that is the Ben & Jerry's of the popped kernel. The store features flavors such as Orange Crush, Gonzo Grape and Mac & Cheese.
Boyce, whose favorite flavor is Salt & Vinegar, said she was going on a Popcorn Girl shopping spree before the pageant.
"I am a popcorn addict," she said. "I'm picking out flavors and having them sent to me throughout the week."