Sisters Landry and Maddex Piller of Roscoe are following in their Mother’s footsteps by competing and placing in different categories in pageants.

By Marianne Mueller


Sisters Landry and Maddex Piller of Roscoe have continued on a path of competing in pageants; often resulting in each placing at different levels of wins in various competitive categories.

Landry was three when she competed in her first pageant. Maddex began her pageant journey at age six.

Their mom Stephanie has competed most of her life and is a former Mrs. Illinois. The girls say, “We want to follow in her footsteps.” 

Maddex is the reigning National American Miss Illinois Princess. She won the state pageant over the summer and attended the national pageant in Orlando Florida over Thanksgiving. There she placed 12th in the nation. Other awards earned include: Top Model – 3rd, Most Promising Model – 4th, Photogentic-2nd, Runway – 3rd, Talent – 4th, Fresh face – top 10, and National Fashion model award winner.

The overall competition for NAM- incorporates a personal introduction, a private judge’s interview and formal wear. Contestants can also choose to compete in many optional competitions that do not have any bearing on the overall winner, such as talent, photogenic, actress, runway. 

Also NAM doesn’t allow makeup on any contestants under the age of 12. Maddex has been in three total pageants.

Landry is the reigning International junior Miss Illinois Princess. She competed in the national pageant in Houston, Texas over the New Year holiday. Piller placed in the top 16 and earned third runner up honors in talent.  

IJM is a little different. There is a private judge’s interview, but it also has a fun fashion competition as well as formal wear. They also offer all of the same optional competitions as well. 

They do allow age appropriate makeup on all contestants. 

Landry has competed in around seven pageants. “Landry started younger because she was the one who had a huge interest in pageants first,” her mother Stephanie said. 

Landry is also a former Little Miss Winnebago County Fair Queen, and she won NAM Nationals when she was six years old.   

Talent is an optional competition at both competitions. “We entered talent because we have been dancing since we were three,” the sisters share. They are students at Turning Pointe Dance Company in Roscoe.

“We both performed a lyrical dance and were in the top five.”

Meeting the other contestants from all over the country and forming new friendships is what makes the pageants so much fun,” Landry and Maddex said. “Some of our mom’s best friends are people she met in pageants. It’s a very special sisterhood!”

Both add, “Trying to remain calm and knowing that the results are all in the hands of just a few judges and anything can happen is the biggest challenge of every pageant. You have to roll with the punches and be on your feet!” 

Hononegah High School alumni Megan Magee is a huge influence and role model for Landry and Maddex. Landry had the honor of being chosen as Princess for Magee when she was crowned Miss Chicago at the “Miss Chicago Scholarship Pageant” in 2019.  She has also been to Anaheim, California where Landry competed with 60 contestants, winning a pageant to become Princess in the “National All-American Miss” competition, which is the largest pageant in the country for children.

“We will be cheering Megan on this summer as she competes for Miss Illinois. Megan and her family are like an extension of our own family; we adore them,” the Piller family said.  

One of the most recent changes in pageants is that NAM has been the largest pageant system for young ladies for many years. They however just announced that they purchased IJM. Now they have created a pageant powerhouse! This is said to be a very big deal in the world of pageantry as both pageants are very well known and respected. 

“Pageants haven’t really changed but what most people don’t know is that there are many different types of pageants. Some people might also have a skewed idea of what pageants are truly like. Some think it is like ‘Toddlers and Tiaras’ and other such reality shows but that couldn’t be the farthest thing from the truth. Most pageants, especially the ones we choose to participate in are judged very heavily on speaking skills, community service, and are looking for an around authentic girl to represent their pageant,” the Pillers said.  

Through their experiences, Landry and Maddex have already mastered the art of public speaking and having personal interviews, much like a job interview. These skills will take them very far in life. The opportunities that pageants have and will continue to afford them are real life skills and lessons.

Maddex turned eight last week and Landry is nine but is looking forward to turning 10 in April. Maddex is a second grade student at Stone Creek Elementary School. Landry is a fourth grader at Kinnikinnick. Outside of pageant competition Maddex and Landry remain active doing community service projects.  Parents Michael and Stephanie always offer great support for their daughters on pageant journeys and in each aspect of their lives. 

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