|Subject: The night that was, Miss America 2014!|
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Date Posted: 16:35:18 09/16/13 Mon
Well it looks like I was half right ;)
I said that this could go to a non-preliminary winner, and I was right. I just had the wrong one. What a great night it was in Atlantic City. If my car would run on the energy in that building, I could drive to Alaska. Then I could hang with Michelle Taylor. I am telling you, the place was electric. But it was also really, REALLY loud. Even when people were not cheering, it was still pretty loud. I also think the hosts missed some cues due to it. But it can be forgiven. I can't tell you how many people were just so genuinely thrilled to be home. I *think* I saw Jordan Krinke, the new Sweetheart, and I also think I saw Angela Venditti. If anyone has any information if they were there, please let me know. Otherwise I am making an appointment with the optometrist.
The top 15
Overall, I wouldn't say that anyone truly surprised me. I didn't really have AR, KY or TX, but I did initially have KY on my top 15 list. She fell out after this week, but this is a state with a good record. They'll get it done if they have the goods. I guess I could have made a case for AR but there were some others left standing. Same goes for TX, although she really should have only lasted 1 round. The way this year was, I wasn't really surprised anyone was left standing or was called in. I was really proud of Shelby Ringdahl for making it in. It's too bad we didn't get to see her talent. And I wanted her to make it in, but Iowa just didn't have the goods onstage. I still think we have some work to do in this system on getting beyond some of the same old same old judging, but more about that later.
Overall, we saw some good presentations this year. I thought everyone looked good. I thought that everyone was at least on par, except for MO. She didn't seem very confident, she seemed very tentative. I had her going out that round, and I wasn't 100 percent sure Minnesota was going to stay. Texas didn't seem confident, either. I didn't think AR would last, she wasn't a stronger competitor and just seemed okay in swimsuit. Those would have been my pick, but I could have put Kentucky in that spot as well. However, if they would have been able to give the rest of the top 15 some MS' complete and bona fide cockiness, they might have all propelled to perfect 10s. For the life of me, I never saw a presentation like that. I really never saw someone that hung up on herself. It came across as arrogant. And I suppose the judges didn't like it, either. In this round, I thought that the best was OK and FL. They both had good, confident presentations. I thought FL actually rocked it even better than OK did.
I was surprised to see MO get past swimsuit, and she looked great. That gown was a perfect choice for her. She's tall, statuesque and can pull it off like those of us short of stature can rarely do. Although, it was all for naught with that complete mixup onstage. I've seen it happen at least once before, back in 1997 during the swimsuit competition. But Shelby just kind of stalled, and I wasn't sure what happened. She seemed very hesitant, but she also did in her swimsuit. CA didn't do quite as well as she did the preliminary night. I didn't like OK's dress and her presentation was just okay. I thought Nina's dress was great and I think it complemented her in every way possible. WI was about the worst, it seemed too big for her and she seemed like she couldn't move. But she was about the only one that was subpar. At that point, I had MO not making it, even though I really wanted to see her talent. She just seemed awkward and not very confident. You can get away with that in 1 competition and advance, but not two. I also think Texas should have exited at that point, but I had a gut feeling she was about to be in. I thought maybe Wisconsin would head forward. She seemed to have that spunk, and they had the piano ready. My guess is that she was going ahead or they wouldn't drag that heavy thing out.
OK--She sang better on preliminary night. She really sounded off key last night, at least live. She also seemed to hit some sour notes at the end. To me, this was the beginning of the end for her. I also heard a lot of hype about her singing. It is true that she is good, but she is perhaps a bit overrated.
Then there was that complete mishap where Nina did not hear herself and GA stepped off. I don't know how Carly in any way shape or form heard her name. Maybe she just took the opportunity and ran with it ;) But then NY finally got up and did her thing.
NY--I was a bit underwhelmed at the beginning of the dance. But when she started twirling on the floor, it looked good. The crowd loved it. It was definitely a talent that hit its stride at the end.
KS--She started out okay. But I think the song was not good for her. She looked really good, her gown was very pretty and she looked elegant. At times, she sounded very shrill.
CA--simply beautiful. She looked gracious, everything she did was with emotion. And when she started to twirl, she was exquisite. The crowd really loved her. One of the best of the night.
CT--I liked it. I liked it better than Betty Thompson's performance, because Kaitlyn was not afraid to own the stage and dance around it. She moved a lot more and had a lot more energy. Where I think that Betty T's was more "polished", I think Kaitlyn was much more engaging and enjoyable. I wish her much success in her dancing competitions in the future.
GA--I heard good things about her talent. Didn't see it last night. Some of the notes she hit were plain dreadful. I figured this was the end of the road for her.
TX--I'm not convinced she should have been there in the first place, but this just sealed the deal. She clearly doesn't have a strong voice, but I don't think that arrangement helped. She just ran out of gas.
MN--Exquisite. I was so excited that we were going to get to hear it. I knew we wouldn't probably get to hear Shelby, but I was so glad that the crowd and America got to see the abilities of Rebecca.
MD--I realized something, that when she was singing up close, a little bit, she reminds me a bit of a young Carly Simon. But she doesn't have her voice, unfortunately.
I knew at that point FL was the one moving on. And she didn't disappoint. And, she was gaining steam. I honestly thought after that, there was a chance she was going to win. She just kept gaining steam the whole night. I knew she was headed to the top 5. At that point, this was my top 5:
To me, these seemed the most consistent, had the best stage presence and really stood out the most. I knew TX, GA and MD hit the end of the road with their weak talents. I thought KS was holding her own but her talent wasn't that good, either. I didn't have NY really standing out at all, so I was surprised she made top 5.
OK--She pulled out a verbal gun and shot herself right in her red boot. First of all, she shouldn't have made that joke at the beginning. I wasn't quite sure where she was going with it, and it didn't make a lot of sense. Secondly, when you say that she's an artist just like me, it just doesn't come off well. If a question could lose you the pageant, there you go. She just presented like a loose cannon, very unpolished and very immature.
MN--By far, the best of the top 5. She was eloquent, didn't take forever, spoke with confidence, and made a joke at the end. Honestly, I thought that she just might have won herself the whole shebang then and there. She was cute, relatable, and well spoken.
CA--Lucky her, she got the Syria question. But unfortunately, she started to use a lot of pause breakers and she sounded like she couldn't get the question out that she wanted to. It wasn't the worst I've ever heard, but I think she didn't sound clear. Especially towards the end.
NY--This is a gotcha kind of question. It is very hard when you have to stand up and say whether or not someone's actions were right. I think she gave a very diplomatic answer, and she sounded confident. I wasn't overwhelmed with her response, but it wasn't bad. It was just oka for me.
I knew at that point FL was going to be the last one called.
FL--I think her immaturity was showing here. That was one heck of a hard question. How can you possibly answer that question in 20 seconds? As you can tell with the kerfluffle last night, you can't. But it is also one of those questions that if you hear a young white woman who really isn't wise in the ways of the world spouting off solutions to, it can be offensive. Do you think a pageant contestant has the answer to those problems? Would you be offended if they stood onstage and you were unemployed and faced these problems? I probably would. I don't think it was the most sensitive of questions they could have asked. To her credit, she did take from her personal experience and tried to answer. But then it ended up being much about her trip to Atlantic City, and then she got cut off. I still think it came off not in the best light, if you are unemployed and struggling, how do you get lavish evening gowns and costumes? It was probably not the best way to come off.
At that point, I wasn't sure who was going to win. I didn't have NY winning, I had her dead last. I thought there was a chance that FL might actually take it until that answer, and I also factored in how her overall speaking skills were. Common sense said that this belonged to CA or MN. I had a feeling she wasn't quite there, MN. I thought maybe there was something that might be holding her back, but she did so well all night, coupled with her question, that she would win. CA, to me, was the most consistent, she would be very marketable, intelligent, social media savvy, I thought she would win. The only thing I could say about both her and MN was that somewhere along the line, there was just something not quite there. MN didn't have loads of extroversion. CA at times seemed just sort of there--good at what she did, but maybe a bit of a personal connection missing? OK started to lose it in talent and I could have seen her lose places based on that horrid answer. But I knew she was a competitor and OK comes to win. FL made sense in 3rd runner up spot because she just seemed immature and had speaking issues. But she did have a great night. So, this was my guess:
I was getting more surprised as NY's name was not being called out. Then, when she was standing next to Crystal, I thought to myself "Could she really win this thing?" I didn't think so, but then again something put her that high to begin with. Honestly, on stage, I don't know what it was. Maybe there's something I was missing. But I didn't get her win based on what she did last night. I said she came to win, and she did. But I just didn't see that "it" factor. It could be that she didn't have some of the "holes" that some of the other contestants had. Also, according to one of our board regulars here, she beat Mallory as interview winner at Miss New York. Keep in mind, New York has been on one hell of a streak lately. It was the most competitive of all state pageants this year. And you knew sooner or later, we were going to have an OT win. That was a given. We knew that whoever won was going to win big. You automatically had to consider whoever won a top contender at Miss America. I would really like to see the interview DVD to see if that sheds some light. At this point, I have kind of a wait and see attitude. I am not sure you get a real likeability factor like you did with a Mallory, or a Teresa. No one can complain that we got a non-attractive winner this year. She is very pretty and she looks great in a gown.
But there is the elephant in the room. What happens in the press now? I understand already there are some complaining about her win due to race. I knew that was going to happen, the same thing happened with Rima Fakih. It's unfortunate, and sometimes I think we are going backwards rather than forwards. In no way, shape, or form do I think her ethnicity influenced her win. And I will not even entertain some of the other criticisms I have heard. That is the press from today. But we can't ignore the press from the other days. I don't know what part of this is true and are rumors. I don't know if there is a tape or not. But the fact that she apologized, I think that at very least, her judgement was poor. If it does come out, in fact, that she was making racist statements and there is evidence to back it up, they are going to have a nightmare. Especially the fact that she is trying to promote diversity. It would be akin to promoting child abuse prevention and then going out in public and slapping a child in the face. It could be that there is a real story that no one knows about. It also very well could be that the MAO knows the whole story and was not uncomfortable with it. I guarantee this will all come out if there is some validity to it. I believe that there is on some level. I think at any rate, this should be a valuable lesson to all titleholders out there. You have got to always watch who you associate yourself with. But if that was really what was in Nina's heart, is she all for naught? You will have a very hard time getting someone to take her seriously. I really, really think the MAO should have thought about this long and hard. They had to know she was a contender. And they HAD to know what comes along with Nina as a winner. She never once said that these rumors were untrue. But I am not going to judge until I know all the facts. None of us do at this point, so I think it's best to just stick with what we do. I just don't want to feel like our Miss America is a fraud or a phony. There were plenty of young women who would gladly stand where she is and be honest about who they are. All I can hope is that the truth comes out.
It was a great night, and one I think that will be special for many who love the pageant for a long time to come. You can go home again. I'm going to be writing some other thoughts up later on today, so stay tuned! But this is the complete review, and feel free to add your thoughts about last night's pageant, the winner, the talent, anything!
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- Yes, that was Jordan Krinke, National Sweetheart! Just a beauty, inside and out. -- no name, 19:34:31 09/16/13 Mon
- I thought Calif had it but I also thought that NY did quite well. It sounds kind of sick but all these racists comments are sort of a blessing in disguise because it takes a focus off her comments she made after she won Miss NY. (NT) -- ., 19:57:14 09/16/13 Mon
- What do you think would happen if the tape of her racist remarks was made public? -- disappointed in her, 20:01:42 09/16/13 Mon
- About the talent mixup - it's not that GA thought she heard her name; neither she nor NY could tell what state was called. They were seated next to each other on the bench and stagehands were pointing at them saying "go! go!" Nina didn't move so GA thought 'omg, I guess they're pointing at me.' Once she realized her mistake, she did the best she could to play it off. The singers were also having a hard time hearing their tracks on the final night, which was a switch from rehearsals when they were blasting. -- No name, 15:01:40 09/17/13 Tue