When you think of Hooters, the popular white tank and orange shorts donned by smokin’ hot chicks bearing smokin’ hot wings may come to mind. But take note: The ladies in those outfits work hard to look the way they do—and show it off during the Hooters International Swimsuit Pageant. We caught up with this year’s champ to talk fitness, bad pickup lines and, of course, what it really takes to impress her.
MADE MAN: How long have you been participating in pageants? MARISSA RAISOR: I did my first big one last year, Miss Kentucky USA. I got first runner-up.
MM: What’s something people don’t really realize about pageants? MR: Well, for the Hooters pageant, I don’t think a lot of people knew we had to do an interview portion. It’s usually just a bikini competition, but for the first time this year there was an interview as well.
MM: How do you stay in shape? What’s your favorite type of workout? MR: I used to do cross-country when I was younger, and I still run a lot! But for this pageant I got a trainer who had me working out hardcore. I was convinced he was trying to kill me every day. I didn’t like him very much during the sessions, but he helped me tone up a lot using weights, which I hadn’t done before.
MM: How long does the prep take for a pageant? MR: I believe that if you stay in shape year-round, you won’t have to work as hard when the pageant comes around. It takes me about a month to get in top shape, really watching what I’m eating.
MM: And how long does it take you to get ready for a date? MR: Like 10 minutes! (Laughs) Just kidding. But I’d say about an hour. I’m not too high maintenance, so most of the time I just spend talking myself into actually going on the date.
MM: What would be your ideal date? MR: Something casual and fun, like the movies or a sports game!
MM: Your dream is to be a sports broadcaster. Who would be your dream interviewee? MR: Carmelo Anthony! I enjoy all sports but basketball is my favorite, and I’ve always loved Carmelo and how he carries himself.
MM: Working at the Hooters of Newport, Kentucky, has anyone ever tried to ask you on a date? Guys try to slip you their numbers? MR: Yes, people leave me their numbers a lot. They leave all the waitresses numbers. Even people who don’t tip will leave their number!
MM: What’s the lamest pickup line you’ve heard while working? MR: I say “ya’ll” a lot and one time someone dropped the whole, “Are you from Tennessee, because you’re the only 10 I see,” line…
MM: Now this is really important: what’s your favorite flavor of Hooters wings? MR: Chipotle honey! It’s different. It’s not so tangy but more of a sweet and sour taste.
MM: Would you say you like your men sweet and sour as well? MR: I like my guys sweet and very down to Earth—someone that is thoughtful and has good manners. I appreciate little things they do more than huge presents. For example, I appreciate if they send me a good luck text before an interview, or show up to a bikini contest to support me.