The Hooters DFW West regional swimsuit pageant was held Wednesday night at Billy Bob's Texas in the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards. Twenty-three women from the Fort Worth, South Arlington, North Richland Hills, Lubbock, Odessa, Amarillo and El Paso Hooters restaurants competed in the contest that would send four ladies a step further in their quest to be Miss Hooters International.
For the second straight year, yours truly had a seat at the judges' table for a Hooters Swimsuit Pageant. Last year's contest took place at the World's Largest Hooters in the West End in downtown Dallas, and this edition was held at the World's Largest Honky Tonk, just north of downtown Fort Worth. The pageant took place on the dance floor in front of a standing-room-only crowd, many of whom traveled a good distance to cheer on their favorite Hooters girls.
In the first round, the contestants were clad in military-themed costumes of their choice, with individual creativity being part of the score on the judges' ballots.
Following a break, where I grabbed some of Billy Bob's BBQ and watched the end of the Mavs Game 5 loss to the Spurs, the ladies re-emerged in swimsuit attire. They came out on the floor one by one and were all quizzed by the emcee about their favorite part of working at Hooters. Answers ranged from the family atmosphere to getting to know their regulars, the flexibility of the work schedule and, of course, getting to eat the wings.
After the final contestant exited the dance floor, representatives from Hooters tallied our ballots. Speaking from a judge's perspective, this was actually a more difficult job that one might expect as these ladies have trained and spent a good deal of time and money preparing for this evening. Since this was not a garden variety "bikini" contest, with the winner getting a few dollars, but an actual pageant with a lot on the line, my four fellow judges and I took extra time before submitting our final totals.
Nicole from the Fort Worth Hooters was the winner, joined the three runners-up. The four ladies all advanced to the Texas Pageant, to be held at the Grapevine Hooters on May 21. The top 10 from that event will advance to the 18th Annual Hooters International Swimsuit Pageant on July 23 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
"Being here at Billy Bob's was amazing," said Nicole, who has worked at the Fort Worth location for three years and recently returned from helping open the newest location in Japan. "I really fed off the crowd's energy. It was a great experience and I am thankful for all that Hooters has given me."
Admission for the event was $10, with proceeds going to the American Red Cross.
For further information on the Texas Pageant in Grapevine, visit Hooters.com.
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