Rhinanna is crowned as the new reigning MISS SL ♛ 2017, and traditionally it is our writer and friend Kat Carter, who has the privilege to interview the winner first. Kat and Rhia met and had a chat about Rhiananna Janus in Second Life, a little insight what she is doing other than participating in pageants, how she experienced the recent MISS SL pageant and what she felt, when she was announced as the winner, MISS SL ♛ 2017:

Kat Carter: Hello Rhia, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to sit down with me today. I hope the day has found you well?

Rhiananna Janus: It has, yes, and thank you for taking the time today as well.

Kat Carter: Of course, So just how busy have you been this last week after the Final?

Rhiananna Janus: It’s been a whirlwind week for me, so much is still sinking in and I think I am slowly recovering… it’s been an exciting week for sure.

Kat Carter: Slowly recovering? Exciting week, why don’t you tell us about your week, what you’ve been doing.

Rhiananna Janus: Well, we had photos early in the week, my official MISS SL photographs by Hikaru Enimo.  I had another interview that I have been working on, I’ve had my job at Gizza and at the club where I work.  I have taken to writing down each task I hope to accomplish that day and crossing things off.  Oh, and I’ve caught up on some sleep too!

Kat Carter: Sleep is always a good thing that’s for sure. You work at Gizza and a club? What club?

Rhiananna Janus: I work at Sweethearts Jazz and Romance Club, I have been employed there for nearly the entire time I have been in SL, about five years.  I am the Assistant General Manager there.

Kat Carter: Oh wow, so you must have a ton of work to do there?

Rhiananna Janus: I have quite a full schedule yes!  I enjoy staying busy here in SL, I’m not much on idling about… I enjoy doing things that have purpose and that are productive.

Kat Carter: So with the full schedule from the club alone, how did you find time to compete?

Rhiananna Janus: I make time.  The pageant and modeling in general are important to me.  I spend a fair amount of time here each day in SL, so all my tasks get proper attention, some days it’s simply a matter of organization.

Kat Carter: I`m curious about these interesting experiences you speak of…. please tell.

Rhiananna Janus: We have the nudes… those who prefer to attend formal clubs wearing nothing.  We have the griefers who seem to come up with something new daily to torture us with, and the stage dwellers who want to join the hosts or managers up on the stage.  We have many who do not realize the club is a PG zone and insist upon using adult language or gestures.  We also have a wide variety of personalities who visit regularly or become regulars, so people skills play a large role in my job there.

Kat Carter: People skills are really important especially with the new role that you’ve taken on this year. How do you think that will prepare you to handle the day to day life of being MISS SL?

Rhiananna Janus: First of all, I want to say, that just as you would find in RL, here within the world of SL, there are many different types of people, from all around the world.  Our true personalities shine through our avatars here and even though we may be far away in distance, the essence of personality always comes through in our day to day interactions.  We may not get along with or particularly agree with everyone we meet, but opening our minds just a tiny bit can go a long way in understanding different cultures, styles of relating to others, etc.  I think tolerance is vital and perhaps going that extra step to understand another point of view.  I think people skills can be defined by tolerance… and by empathy with another to step aside from our initial impressions of others and perhaps open our own minds to new ways of thinking.

Kat Carter: Opening our minds to new ways of thinking…. that’s really deep, Rhia, but with so many different people here in SL i can understand the need for it. I would assume that taking on your role of MISS SL Denmark this year in the competition also helped you to open your mind to new ways of thinking as well?

Rhiananna Janus: Yes actually it did Kat, as I did a good amount of research about Denmark and it ‘s history.  It was a real pleasure to learn so much about the country, and it’s customs.  The Scandinavian countries have always held fascination for me and Denmark is a delightful place rich in history.  I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed the research on the country I represented.  Understanding the Danish customs and the culture was definitely an adventure for me.

Kat Carter: And your costumes for the Final and the National, I noticed you took from some of the most popular fairy tails they have. How did you choose the stories you would bring to life in SL for the competition?

Rhiananna Janus: Once I discovered that Hans Christian Andersen was Danish, it made me curious about his works.  I knew he wrote “The Ugly Duckling” because as a child I had a 33 rpm record that had the story on it.  It was read aloud on the recording and music was added here and there.  It was one of my favorite stories and I listened to the record over and over again.  It made me sad that because the duckling did not look like the others he was seen as ugly.  When he grew into a swan and blew all the other ducks away I cheered… literally!  What I did not know is that he also wrote “The Little Mermaid” and “The Snow Queen”.  I found this out through further research into his works.  I created my Little Mermaid costume after finding out it was his work, but the Snow Queen came about in a different way all together.  Before I knew he had written such a book, I had this vision in my mind about what I might create for my formal walk.  I kept leaning towards white and frost and snow.  I wanted to do something different.  I googled “Snow Queen” to get some styling ideas and I realized then that Andersen’s book of that name would indeed make this the ideal theme for my styling.

Kat Carter: That’s some serious blast from the past, truthfully. I guess from a young child you were destined to become Miss Denmark some day. What else about Denmark and the Danish people pulled your interest?

Rhiananna Janus: It does have the feeling of destiny in some ways.  I am originally from Florida, and having visited Epcot in Orlando several times it became the favorite of the Disney parks for me.  Everything about Scandinavia seemed the total opposite of what I knew, being a native Floridian.  I was fascinated by the fjords, by the legends of the vikings, and the cold snowy landscapes found in the northern lands.  Even though the country shown in Epcot was Norway, I chose Denmark because of the modern city of Copenhagen, and the friendliness and charm of the Danish peoples.

Kat Carter: I’ve always heard the Danish people are indeed very friendly. And it sounds like you would love to go and visit there at some point, if I’m right.

Rhiananna Janus: I would enjoy very much a visit to Denmark, and to Europe in general.  I have never been there and it has always been a dream of mine to explore the history that makes Europe in general the culturally rich place that it is.  Here in the US, we are a relatively young country so we are still making our mark.  The Aurora Borealis would be so thrilling to see in person!

Kat Carter: Oh I would love to visit Europe and see the Aurora too. That really would be thrilling to see in person indeed. Speaking of thrilling things, how was the competition for you? Was it thrilling in it’s own right?

Rhiananna Janus: I must say that it was.  At every turn… being a small part of something much larger was thrilling, working with models from all over the world.  It was challenging overall but in the best possible way, I learned so much about myself and about the teamwork required to put together something of this magnitude.  It kept me on my toes, that’s for sure!

Kat Carter: Keeping you on your toes is important, of course. How did you  manage the different challenges.

Rhiananna Janus: Each challenge I looked at with different eyes.  It almost requires a sort of “getting into character” to style for these challenges.  You ARE whatever it is you want to depict.  I would use the word role-play but I don’t think it’s quite accurate, it’s more like an actor preparing to get into character and doing the background and research to do exactly that.  Each challenge was unique but there is a great deal of personal satisfaction involved in putting together a look that, when you back away from it a little and look at the overall finished product makes you want to give the old thumbs up!

Kat Carter: While certain people don’t think that it is the right word, I actually think Role-play is the correct term for what you have to do int he competition and as a model in general. I have to know though what was your favorite moment of the entire competition from start to end?

Rhiananna Janus: So many wonderful things happened… but overall I think my favorite moment was right after the Dulce Vita challenge seeing the reactions from our audience in social media.  Everyone loved that challenge so much!  It was a pleasure to see the photographs that were taken during the challenge, and the comments that audience members left on social media about it.  That was one incredibly fun challenge!

Kat Carter: Yes, I remember that challenge. I was sooo hungry afterwards. How did you manage to choose your desert. I’m sure there was tons of tasty food to choose from.

Rhiananna Janus: I poked around on the internet looking up Danish desserts, and I found some delicious photos of ice cream.  When I looked a bit deeper, I found the ones I liked so well were from a place called “Andersen’s Ice Cream” which is a company that originated in Denmark and serves gourmet frozen treats and original desserts.  I decided that I was going to scream for ice cream!!  My styling was inspired by one of their original desserts.

Kat Carter: That’s quite an interesting way to figure out your outfit. It sounds like you really had a lot of fun with your research it seems, and it all culminated into the final and the biggest victory of your title. How did you feel when you won?

Rhiananna Janus: To be honest, I was speechless.  It seemed like time slowed down, like you might see in a slow motion movie clip or something… nothing seemed real for quite some time.  I was so surprised and shocked I had a hard time thinking clearly to even formulate words, so I just kinda stood there… trying to take it all in.  I heard the cheering and the congratulations, my IM’s lit up until it filled my screen at the top, and I was still there feeling rather dumbstruck by the intensity of the moment, and by my feelings of realizing I had been chosen.

Kat Carter: I bet it was a whirlwind. Did you enjoy yourself at least during the winning moment, despite your speechlessness?

Rhiananna Janus: Once it began to sink in, yes, I did feel a joyous rush!  Some of the people who mean the most to me in SL were present during the announcement so I thought about that and it made me very happy.  I think at the after party I began to lose some of the nerves and began to enjoy the moment.

Kat Carter: It’s always best to live in the moment. As always but now we need to speak about the future, what are your plans for the future?

Rhiananna Janus: This question has been posed to me before, and to be totally honest about it, my plans for the coming year are simple.  To grow into my role as MISS SL and to fulfill what is expected of me as MISS SL 2017.  Beyond that, the future is wide open and I will consider opportunities if and when they are offered to me.  My longer term plans are to continue to grow as a professional model, to be the best I can be in all my endeavors here in SL.

Kat Carter: That question will always be posed and not always in the same way. But a simple answer many times is the best answer that can be expected. That ends our interview for today, is there anything you want to say to our readers before we say goodnight?

Rhiananna Janus: I want to tell everyone to follow their dreams, no matter how impossible or how distant they may be.  If you give 100% of yourself to something, the results truly are limitless.

Rhiananna Janus: Thank you, Kat, for this thought provoking interview

Kat Carter: Your very welcome and thank you for sitting down with us, have a wonderful night.

We thank both, Rhia and Kat for taking the time and sharing this pleasant chat.  The official photographs, this year provided by Hikaru Enimo,  have been published by MISS SL Organization, here. We look forward to read and see more from Rhiananna soon and wish her to best for her year of reign, as MISS SL ♛ 2017.

Photography: Hikaru Enimo
Interviewer: Kat Carter
Text Editor: Marcus Lefevre