When the field of 31 contestants for was whittled down to the final two Saturday at the Frauenthal Center for Performing Arts in Muskegon, someone from St. Clair Shores was guaranteed to receive the crown.
Either Miss St. Clair Shores Angela Venditti or Miss Wayne County Shelby Gardiner, a St. Clair Shores resident, would be chosen to receive the title and represent Michigan in Miss America.
"As one person kept getting chipped away and it was me and Shelby ... I couldn't believe it," she said. "Something I had been working on for so long and I was right there."
After Gardiner's name was called, Venditti knew she won, but was "in shock" that she won.
The preliminary for the pageant began Thursday and included a 10-minute interview with judges off-stage, a question on stage, talent performance, evening gown and swimsuit competition—which she won during the preliminary competition Friday night.
Contestants reconvened on Saturday night, with the 31 women competiting for the title were on stage before the top 10 were named.
"I thought now is the time to turn it up. I have to perform better even better than I did in the preliminary," she said.
The top 10 then had to compete again in the talent, swimsuit and evening gown competitions.
After the women competed, judges named their top five.
"Everyone has been coming up to me and saying 'that was the best crowning moment because you looked like you were in shock,' and I really was," she said.
Venditti, 24, is a resident of Shelby Township and is a 2006 graduate of the . She graduated from with a degree in communications in 2011, and was currently working as an administrative assistant before being crowned.
In 2010 the pageant was opened up to participants from throughout the county. While Miss St. Clair Shores is open to women from across the county, but the Little Miss St. Clair Shores and Miss Teen St. Clair Shores will be for residents only.
She initially got involved in the Miss America pageants at 19 for the scholarship and talent opportunities. After winning Miss Michigan she received a $10,000 scholarship which she plans on using to pursue a master's degree in marketing after her duties are complete.
Leading up to the Miss America pageant in Las Vegas this January, she will be making appearances across the state and preparing for a national audience.
Her first appearance will be this week at Eagle Village, a home for troubled teens, in Big Rapids. While she is criss-crossing the state, she will driving a Chevy Volt donated by various Chevrolet dealers across the state.
She will also discussing her platform "Above the Influence, Keeping Kids Drug Free," with groups across the state.
For her this is a personal platform, because her mother works with CARE of Southeast Michigan and losing a cousin four years ago to she lost a cousin to a heroin overdose.
"That was around the time I started competing and I thought I want to make this my platform and be able to speak out about it," she said. "And now as Miss Michigan I am able to do that."
Although being Miss Michigan will be taking her from the Lower to the Upper Peninsula, Venditti said she is proud to represent the city in addition to the state.
"Even though I am not from St. Clair Shores, a lot of family is, I have been so proud to represent the city and now to represent the city as Miss Michigan, it is a great honor for me," she said.