Even with our colleague Emily Yahr’s “Best intro line” award, Miss D.C., Teresa Davis, is still a little disappointed to be returning to the District without the Miss America crown. Davis, who began the pageant (excuse us, scholarship competition) with the line, “From the home of ABC’s hit TV show ‘Scandal,’ it’s handled,” didn’t make it to the Top 15. So fans of the 23-year-old Georgia native didn’t get to see her evening gown (white jersey) or talent (the piano, not the plastic cups). The Reliable Source caught up with Davis on her way “back to the real world.”

What’s it really like backstage? Are the blonde extensions and cherry lip gloss flying?

It’s very fast paced, like no other competition I’ve ever been in. It doesn’t feel like a pageant, it’s a TV show. At that point it’s an even playing field, so everyone’s on pins and needles.

The pop-up facts were a big hit this year. 

There were a lot of pre-interviews. I told ABC that I’d attended the London 2012 Olympics, work on Capitol Hill [as a staff assistant in the office of Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.)]  and that I was born in South Korea. I heard Miss Massachusetts was attacked by a cheetah in Zambia. Everybody’s got something special about them.

The moment when your name isn’t called for the Top 15 has got to be the worst. 

It’s disappointing because you just don’t know why. That’s the hardest part.

But you also got to skip the dreaded interview segment. That had to be a relief.

I love the interview part of the whole experience. I love talking to people–obviously because I work in politics. During my prelim interview, I wasn’t asked any sort of political questions at all. I guess they knew I knew what I was talking about.

Any advice for next year’s interviewees?

When you’re up on stage, on national television, you just have to be very well versed. And you have to actually listen to the question. You don’t want to just hear it and then not answer it.

The swimsuit competition always gets a bad rap. Is it outdated?

It’s just one way of showing that being active is important. People say it’s objectifying,  but if you look at some of the girls that have won Miss America, they were not the fittest contestant. It’s not just the skinniest contestant. It’s insane the kind of stuff we do, we really are training like body builders. I don’t think any us are probably going to train like that again, but it’s great to know how far you can push your body.

So what happens after all the glitz and glamour is over? 

I’m going back to work tomorrow. So it’s back to the real world.

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