Southeastern pageant title holders set out for Miss Louisiana


Chloe Williams

Megan Magri, Miss Southeastern, joined by her sister queens at Friendship Circle. These four ladies along with Emily Wilson (not pictured) will be competing in Miss Louisiana this week.

Starting June 16, four SLU students and one recent graduate will be competing for the Miss Louisiana crown. 

The Miss Louisiana preliminaries will take place June 16-17, with the finale on Saturday the 18th in the W.L. Jack Howard Theatre in Monroe.

The Southeastern women competing are Megan Magri as Miss Southeastern, Lily Gayle as Miss Red River City, Lucy Bateman as Miss Spirit of Grace, Kobi Painting as Miss Lagniappe and Emily Wilson as Miss CenLa. 

In total, 29 women from around the state will compete for the coveted Miss Louisiana title. Their week leading up to the crowning moment will consist of talent rehearsals, private interviews and enjoying time in the city of Monroe. 

Bateman, Painting and Wilson have shared their excitement as first-time competitors in the Miss Louisiana competition. 

Bateman said, “I am thrilled for the challenge this week poses; as a performer, the rush of adrenaline I get from seeing a crowd expecting me to be the best I can be is a feeling like no other and I am ready for it.” 

At the competition, she will discuss her social impact initiative, “See Me As I Am” addressing body dysmorphia and its effect on mental health.  

Painting’s social impact initiative is “Test to Know the Rest – Promoting Newborn Screening for Rare Genetic Diseases,” which focuses on bringing awareness to rare diseases in children. Along with spreading her initiative, Painting said she looked forward to getting to know all of her sisters. 

“I am so excited for Miss Louisiana week because I get to see all my sisters for an entire week. I am most excited about getting to know each one of them better and to make lifelong friends,” Painting said. 

“Dreams Come True of Louisiana” is Wilson’s social impact that helps local children receive a dream of their choice. She, too, is ready for the competition and performing her talent, considering the Miss Southeastern competition was her first time singing in front of family and friends. 

As Magri and Gayle competed last year, they both anticipate the preliminaries and finale again. 

While Magri has been busy as Miss Southeastern, she has also been working hard toward Miss Louisiana. 

“I am feeling very prepared going into the week. I have had a great team diligently working with me daily and ensuring I have all the tools needed to fully succeed. I am most looking forward to sharing the stage with my Fleur De Lis Princess, Ainsley. Ainsley is one of my cousins and it makes it so much more special for the both of us,” Magri stated. 

Magri aims to make the Top 10 and promote her social impact initiative, “Operation Wings Over the Homefront.” She hopes to teach everyone the importance of checking in on military families. 

Last year, Gayle made it to the Top 10 on finale night, and she hopes to reach and even exceed what she accomplished before. She will be touching on the issue of rising suicide numbers in Louisiana with her social impact “Lifter’s Project: Worth Your Heartbeat.” 

“Knowing that I made my university proud last year was an amazing experience that I’ll never forget. I just hope to do the same this year,” Gayle said as she reflected on her past success. 

With the preliminaries just a few days away, all the women are biting at the bit to get on stage. Bateman wanted to add that she wishes the best of luck to her sister queens, and Wilson wanted to thank her mom, dad, friends and supporters for giving her love and support to get to this position. 

As Miss Southeastern 2022, Magri expressed her readiness to be on the Miss Louisiana stage.. 

She said, “Months of preparation have gone into this one week. The next Miss Louisiana has already been ordained by God. If it is my time to serve the state of Louisiana let it be. If it is not my year, I will stand and support our next Miss Louisiana. I will be her biggest and loudest cheerleader. I’m going to do my best and leave the rest, I am confident in my abilities and hope to make Southeastern proud.”

To cheer on these women as they compete and represent Southeastern, here are the local news channels streaming the Miss Louisiana competition:

  • New Orleans: WUPL, Ch. 54 (WWL-My Network TV)
  • Lafayette/Lake Charles: KADN-TV-CW 
  • Alexandria: KALB, Ch.5 (NBC) 
  • Baton Rouge: WBTR, Ch. 41 (WBRZ-Inde)
  • Shreveport: KPXJ, Ch. 21 (KTBS-CW)
  • Morgan City, Thibodaux, Houma: KWBJ, Ch. 39 (WB)
  • Monroe: KNOE-TV 8