Interview With Amanda Torchia, Miss Connecticut USA

Interview With Amanda Torchia, Miss Connecticut USA

December 18, 2021
By Lucas Sigarini

Persistence pays off, at least for Amanda Torchia, Miss Connecticut USA 2021! Find out how this proud Afghan woman made history on the Miss USA stage, her journey to the national competition, and which Miss USA gown is her favorite. This queen is ready to spill the tea with Lucas Sigarini of Road to Miss USA!

Amanda: “I am Miss Connecticut USA, Amanda Torchia. I will be going to Miss USA in just a few short weeks now. I’m literally counting down the days, but I’m excited!”

Lucas: “Oh my gosh! How exciting! And really great to meet you! Let's get started: what inspired you to join this pageant?”

A: “It has been quite a journey, I mean, I come from an immigrant family, so growing up I come with a lot of cultural differences and I was always very shy, very insecure. Competing in pageants and specifically, the Miss USA organization allowed me to break out of my shell a little bit. I feel like instead of trying to hide my differences, this is an organization about showcasing your differences. I feel like that is what Pageantry Reimagined is all about. Now it’s amazing because all these different women coming from different walks of life, different journeys and we get to mesh so beautifully together and I love it! I’m sad this is my last pageant, you know. I want to keep doing it!”

L: “But you’re so young! I’m seriously glad you’re competing. You competed in New York, right? Then you moved to Connecticut and you were 1st Runner Up twice. And I heard that you almost didn’t come back to compete in 2021. What motivated you to come back?”

A: “Yes! So, I remember I was so set on not coming back this year. As you said, I had gotten 1st Runner Up twice and I thought ‘you know what, this isn’t for me. I should start a new hobby, maybe I’ll do knitting or something, something more calming.’ Then my mom had sat me down and she said ‘Amanda, you are going to regret this and you’re going to wish that you finished what you started all those years ago.’

So I said ‘you know, our moms are always right. Let me listen to my mom one more time.’ I went into this year with a full heart and I really focused on, instead of trying to be someone else, I was just going to be Amanda. I was just going to be who I am and see how that goes. Clearly, it’s pretty easy to be yourself instead of trying to be somebody else and I loved it! I actually enjoyed this year more than any other year before.”

L: “So, you are the first Afghan woman to win Miss Connecticut USA and now you’re going to compete at Miss USA. How does it feel to have this background going into the national pageant?”

A: “It feels amazing! I feel like being an Afghan woman in pageants is just so uncommon in general. My mom has told me, ‘this is something that was unheard of,’ they don’t have pageants in Afghanistan and even more so some parts of South Asia and the Middle East. To be this representation of being an Afghan woman, going outside of the box, and being beyond boundaries.

To show that no matter where you’re from, no matter your country, your background, your skin color, your race, or religion, you have this opportunity to go for any goal you set for yourself and you shouldn’t feel limited. You shouldn’t be limited because of where you come from and I’m grateful for the beautiful responsibility to showcase that.”

L: “I’m so happy for you! Timing is always perfect! You’re one of the girls that makes me excited to see their Miss USA gown. So, what are you planning? I don’t want to spoil too much of it, but are you going for the same vibe as Miss Connecticut USA or something different?”

A: “I remember when I first won, I told myself ‘I just want to compete in the same gown, I love it so much.’ I’m not! But, I just loved it so much. Now that we don’t have any restrictions for who we can wear or what we can do, I feel like if anything, this is that year to look out for. You’re going to see so many different beautiful designs out there and with mine, you’re just going to have to wait and see. But knowing me, I think you’re going to like it! I want to show you so badly, but I’m going to make you wait!”

L: “I can’t wait to see it! I like surprises! Do you have a favorite Miss USA gown of all time?”

A: “I absolutely do and I feel like this is a very common answer but I loved Olivia Culpo’s gown at Miss USA. It was playful and dimensional and it really reflected her at the time. At Miss Universe, she was regal and classy and it almost showed the growth between becoming Miss USA and Miss Universe. And she wore red, I like red!”

Thank you, Amanda! Check out the full interview here and make sure to follow Queenly on Instagram for more exclusive interviews.

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