Lynne Diamante of Cranston, Susanna Paliotta of Johnston, and Lori-Ann Marchese from nearby Connecticut are three of the stars on the new hit Bravo reality TV show “Game of Crowns.”
The new reality series follows the three in their journey through adult pageantry. The beauty pageants involve women participating in numerous “Mrs.” competitions at the state, regional and national levels.
The show premiered on Bravo Sunday, July 13. The three women held a premiere party at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick for their family and friends totaling nearly 700 people. Numerous business representatives attended the event to showcase their products and to give out “swag bags” to the guests.
These women aren’t just inspirational pageant queens, but entrepreneurs as well.
Diamante has not only competed in more than 40 pageants, but also has a law degree. Currently she is the CEO of OPTX Eyewear.
She started with a goal of practicing entertainment law and thus went to the UMass Dartmouth Law School. She continued on to pass the bar to become a practicing attorney. Eventually, she realized her love was for fashion.
Diamante has worked her way up the chain of pageantry. Diamante started to beg her mother to let her be in pageants since she was 5 years old. She went from kid pageants to pre-teen, teen, to where she is now.
“Start small and then go really big. Get your feet wet in a local or charity pageant. It gives you great exposure and you will make lifelong friends,” Diamante said.
However, Diamante said that teens should stick to their age and wear fresh, clean, and young-looking clothing to their interview and prom-like or princess-like styles to the gown portion of the competition.
Diamante expressed that “[teens] have plenty of time to wear the long, fitted, straight gowns and makeup that makes you look older.”
Diamante is also involved with St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
As a child, her father would take her to events for St. Jude’s. Diamante loves the mission of St. Jude and that they will never turn a child away. She is so involved that for her Mrs. Rhode Island send-off party she had her husband tell everyone that there would be representatives from St. Jude’s there and to not bring gifts but rather make a donation.
Diamante got excited just talking about it, showing how passionate she is for this caring cause.
Johnston’s Susanna Paliotta’s pageant platform is anti-bullying after her daughter Victoria was bullied, beaten, and left for dead on the side of the road. Victoria had to undergo months of reconstructive surgery on her face.
Susanna said the only thing that saved her daughter emotionally was getting into pageantry.
The Paliotta family is full of winning pageant divas. Her youngest daughter Isabella has won 30 national titles and has been on “Toddlers and Tiaras.”
Isabella opened the premiere party with an adorable performance to her song “LOL,” which received a thunderous applause. The young girl owns two businesses, Glitzy Girl, a company that makes jewelry for pageants and “girls that just want to wear a lot of sparkle!” She is also co-founder of Bound by the Crown Couture from which she showcased a beautiful gown at the premiere party.
Paliotta’s close friend and main stylist, Anthony Palmieri from Sonya’s Boutique on Oaklawn Avenue in Cranston, is also frequently featured on the show as her sidekick. Palmieri was dressed to the nines in a custom made Tony Bowl jacket.
“For us, pageantry is more like a hobby. For guys, they spend a lot of money on golfing hobbies and we spend a lot of money on pretty dresses and getting beautiful. So it could be upwards of $10,000 to $30,000. But really, it’s not about how much you spent, it’s how you feel for that day,” Paliotta said.
Mrs. North Galaxy 2014, also known as Lori-Ann Marchese, is owner of Body Construct (bodyconstructfit.com), which is an all-women’s fit facility in New Britain along with a protein line. Marchese has been on six fitness covers worldwide, won five fitness competitions, and had placed in the top 5 in 15 other fitness competitions. Growing up, Marchese was frequently told that she was ugly, drove “junk for a car,” and “no boys will ever like you because you’re so ugly, your hair is ugly.”
Marchese has definitely proved her bullies wrong.
When asked if she had any advice for young girls, she said, “Stick up for yourself, have confidence, step out of your comfort zone, and do what you love. If somebody tells you that you’re not good enough, cut them out of your life because they’re not good for [you] anyway.”
She still has trouble with public speaking sometimes but she continues trying.
“As long as you keep trying, that’s what counts,” Marchese said. “At the end of the day, we’re all winners. There are no losers in this world.”
“Game of Crowns” first aired on Sunday, July 13 and is on every Sunday at 9 p.m. on Bravo.