Havre Daily News
The men and women of a Havre family will split up Friday night to watch one of their own take the stage in the 55th annual Miss USA Competition.
Havre native Jill McLain will represent Montana in the pageant, held in Baltimore. Her grandmother, Thelma McLain, is set to have a viewing party at her house for the ladies. Her son and Jill's father, Tracy McLain, will have about 15 guys over to his place.
The difference between the two viewing parties will likely be the swimsuit-competition commentary.
“I think the boys like to watch on their own so they can make all the comments they want,” Thelma said Monday.
Tracy said he might be offended by some of the remarks made because his daughter is one of the contestants to be ogled.
“Knowing the way guys talk, I might be better off watching with the girls,” he said.
Jill's maternal grandmother, Alice Ann Brennan, said she will watch the competition with the women in order to steer clear of a brawl.
“If I heard all that, I might have to fight one or two of them,” Brennan said.
Check your local listings for the pageant's time. In Havre it is set to air Friday at 8 p.m. on channel nine.
Jill's mother, Steph McLain, fly our for Baltimore Tuesday.
Steph said she has talked with her daughter at least twice every day since Jill left for the east coast.
“She's wiped but having a ball,” Steph said. “It's not for wimps. It takes a lot.”
The 21-year-old Dickinson State University senior traveled to New York today to appear on television shows like “Good Morning America” and “Live with Regis and Kelly,” then returned to Baltimore Tuesday night for more rehearsals.
Her proud pop said Jill has been practicing with the other contestants in “grueling dance sessions.”
Tracy said he has always supported his daughter in all of her endeavors but has not pushed her into competing in pageants. If anything, he discouraged her. He said he would tell her to quit the competitions and finish school.
“That might have made her work just that much harder. She never said ‘I told you so' but she should have. I have to eat my own words,” her father said.
Jill has one semester left of school. She will graduate next year after cutting her course load in order to be available for pageant activities.
As a student at DSU in North Dakota, she has researched a possible cure for cancer and also worked on astronauts' space suits
Steph also said she has been told her daughter is the smallest woman to compete in the Miss USA Pageant in its history but has been unable to find out for sure.
She said her daughter sometimes feels like “she is in the land of the giants.”
“She's the first tiny one,” she said of her daughter's height of 5-1. “She's tiny but mighty. I mean, how many women are six foot and blonde? Lucky them, but there's not that many of them.”
Steph said that through the pageant experience her daughter has learned the kindness of Montanans.
“Jill can't believe the support,” Steph said. “I think she wants to come back to Montana and never leave.”
Jill was born and raised in Havre and graduated from Havre High School in 2002. She said in a past interview she is looking into attending grad school and wants to move back to Montana.
Thelma said she has been passing out pictures of Jill to all of her friends.
“I know my friends are tired of hearing about it but they put up with it,” Brennan said.