“Choose Joy.”

It’s the simple statement that graces the background photo of Landon Chapman’s Twitter page. It’s actually the statement that the 19-year-old Jackson, Mississippi, native -- who is the social media intern for the Miss America Competition -- says he lives by.

But if you’ve been following Chapman’s social media presence -- he’s better known as Landon The Intern -- his mantra throughout the competition in Atlantic City should be “Give Joy.”

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“Y'all... I can't tell you enough how much I actually love @LandonTheIntern. He needs to be on the Miss America staff for life” was tweeted by a Whitney Paige early Thursday morning.

Preliminary judge Nicole Lapin double jokingly posted to Twitter and Instagram: “Prelims night two have been zero fun with @landontheintern! #judgelife #missamerica2017” It accompanied a photo of Chapman laying across the judges’ table, surrounded by the other preliminary judges.

Miss America fans have been able to interact with Chapman via social media. The slim teenager, who says bow ties are his signature fashion accessory, has posted backstage peeks via the organization’s SnapChat account. He even has his own hashtag: #LandontheIntern. His Twitter handle is @LandonTheIntern. He’s been videoed dancing to Shania Twain during breaks in the competition and wearing emcee and former Miss New Jersey Dena Blizzard’s dress onstage.

“I’ve gotten 500 followers on Instagram in the last two days,” he said Thursday. “(On Wednesday) people were running up to me. I was standing next to Dena, and I felt so bad. They were asking her, ‘Can you take this picture of me with Landon the Intern?’”

He's most conspicuous on social media, but he does do other work. He swears. He’s helped organize the Miss America after-party, which will follow the competition finale on Sept. 11 at the WAV Nightclub in the Playground Pier. He’s also helped provide lighthearted moments for contestants and staff.

Thursday night, during the final preliminary competition, the Miss America Organization thanked Landon by giving him a "Landon the Intern" sash, which Blizzard said was overnighted from The Sash Company. 

On the back of the sash: Contestant #53. 

The women were taping scenes on a boat in Atlantic City on Sept. 3, as Tropical Storm Hermine seemed headed for South Jersey. Everyone was tired after hours of taping. So Landon the Intern started singing some Shania Twain, the artist he’s loved since he was a little kid. He remembers a Halloween party when he sang “Honey, I’m Home” as a first-grader.

“My mom always said I’ve always loved performing,” he said, laughing.

He first got in touch with the Miss America Organization through CEO Sam Haskell’s wife, Mary. The Haskells and the organization’s chief operating officer Josh Randle are alums of the University of Mississippi, where Landon is a sophomore majoring in integrated marketing communications. Chapman is involved with the Ole’ Miss Womens Council for Philanthropy, which Mary Haskell chairs. (You can find Chapman on the main photo on the council’s website, all the way to the right.)

Mary Haskell heard about Chapman’s aspirations to work in the entertainment industry. It just so happens her husband, Sam, has some connections as the former worldwide head of television for the William Morris Agency, an entertainment talent agency.

“They’ve kind of taken me under their wings and helped me establish myself as Landon the Intern,” he said. “I’m very blessed.”

It was actually the Miss America contestants who gave him his current title. During a Jitney ride toward a clam bake hosted by the Greater Atlantic City Chamber, “Lady Marmalade” came on the radio.

And that was the solidifying moment, when Landon Chapman became Landon the Intern.

Chapman said he’s been able to provide some relief to the contestants during stressful preliminary nights.

“You can tell when they get in their heads,” he said. “I’m just here to lighten the mood a little bit.”

Chelsea Mineur, office and public relations coordinator for the Miss America Organization, said the whole team has been happy to have Chapman on board.

“He’s impressed us so much. We’re thrilled,” she said.

This isn’t the first time Chapman has come to the aid of someone who might be nervous or scared. This year, he was an orientation leader at Ole Miss, helping freshman students acclimate to college life.

His dream job isn’t necessarily in pageants but, just as when he was that first-grader singing “Honey I’m Home” karaoke, it’s got to be in entertainment. His “dream dream” job would be as an entertainment correspondent for an outlet such as E! News. But he’d be just as happy working anywhere in the field.

“I always said, a legacy doesn’t have to be left in a textbook or in words,” he said. “Hopefully, I’ve been able to make someone smile, or make someone’s day brighter.”

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Features reporter, Flavor magazine editor

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