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Some of the lovely new members of the class of 2015.

Subject: The Preliminary Judges


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Date Posted: 16:37:41 07/24/15 Fri

The preliminary judges were announced yesterday. It's getting to be more and more pageant time by the day! I think we will probably hear within the next week or two who the final night judges are going to be. But with the two panel system, I think our preliminary judges are most important. I have a post a few pages back about the one vs. two panel I can bump up or repost if anyone would like. One thing that I like about preliminary judging is that the judges aren't under pressure to pick the eventual winner. They give the final night judges the top 15 and say have at it. They can afford to be a bit more picky, if you will. Theyit judge each category more intently and more on its own merit. This is in theory, anyway. They may or may not try to inflate their favorites scores. They can't do much other than hope their favorites get in, and they usually do. But they are specifically given the job of finding the best among the 52.

That being said, I like this panel of judges. Truth be told, the only one I have heard of is Kylene LOL. But when I read their bios, I just immediately get that this is a modern, relevant panel. This is more of a pop culture panel. Miss America needs to appeal to everyone at the end of the day. But Miss America cannot appeal to folks that are stuck in the 70s. Miss America has got to be relevant, talked about in blogs, fashion magazines, etc. I know that Kira has been controversial. However, she and Mallory were the most forward Miss Americas we've had. The 1970s interestingly enough had the liberal Becky King in 1973 and a Tawny Godin 2 years later. But then the pageant stayed traditional. This time around, I think modern Miss America is here to stay. This panel reflects that in a major way. I just hope that if we find an "interview queen", that she is like Mallory or Kira where they interview very well yet have that modern vibe about them.

What I think we will get with this panel--I have a feeling we will get more modern, USA type contestants. I am sure we will get some "interview queens", but I think they won't be as prevalent than other years. I think this panel will give us "good" interviews with a lot of stage presence. I'm not going to get into comparing what the 2013b panel gave us because that panel was very traditional. Of note--that top 5 was more diverse in terms of the contestants themselves. You had three very intelligent young women, 1 of whom was very talented musically. OK was the all-around traditional contestant, FL was more pageanty, CA was intelligent, modern and very unique, and NY was the interview queen. All that to say that with 2 panels of judges you will sometimes get a more varied group of contestants. And I will be looking forward to that.

I have heard some chatter that conservative contestants should be concerned with this panel. Not at all. Remember that a flaming liberal was completely charmed by Teresa Scanlan. You can't control how judges are going to feel about someone's answer, but I do think that they are responsible enough to judge the style and not the substance. If someone can articulate their opinion with a strong belief, you can respect them even if you disagree. Someone who cannot answer the question will be the ones the judges will not connect with. For those of you who have the interview DVDs, a good example of this was Miss AR 2007. The judges asked her if the contestants said anything about the judges. She danced around the answer, the one judge even challenged her. He said "Come on" and she didn't say anything. That's what judges are looking for. Or, answer it fun. Teresa, for example, was asked by Joy Behar if homeschoolers were weird. She had fun with it a bit and joked that they were all a little weird. But then she turned it back around and said that there was a perception that homeschoolers were socially inept, but that was not accurate. That's what you have to do in a good interview. Sometimes you need to use humor. You need to think on your feet. If you can do that, you will have a great interview. I will not get into who this panel will choose, that is impossible to tell at this point. I just think overall they will go for young, trendy, modern types. The kind that would fit right into pop culture.

I am curious to hear others' thoughts on the panel. Please share your thoughts, we'd love to hear them!

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Subject: 2015 Lottery--Well Done Misses!


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Date Posted: 01:17:30 07/14/15 Tue

Top of the evening to all!

What a great lottery this year. The class was completed Saturday night, congratulations to our newest winners. Destiny is beautiful; Loren bested a strong group of contestants EXCEPT in that god awful gown. It looks like it came right out of 1972 but uglier. That is an insult to all of those gowns, because they were nice back in the day. But I digress.

Overall, I was impressed this year. For once, when Sigma started to fill up, contestants started to spread themselves over Alpha and Mu. VERY wise. As usual, Sigma got congested early. But then things started to change around. I really liked that. I think it shows good sense and everyone showed a lot of common sense. Interestingly enough, I am not sure that Sigma is as strong this year as has been the last few. I actually think Alpha is going to be strong. In fact, I think Alpha SS could rival Sigma this year. I don’t think one particular group is going to have a stranglehold, though. I can see some quality contestants in each group. So, let’s get to down to the nitty gritty:

THE GOOD

Where do I begin? I think a lot made good choices.

Mu
WI, RI, VT—some of my favorites this year, all possibilities for the top 15 and in a good spot. Not too early that they might be overlooked, but right around the time judges are getting going. Teresa and Kirsten won from just after these slots and you never know! The only drawback is that RI will be last in talent, but she is one where she’s lucky it’s the last competition. They have to like her then, anyway. I thought VT was an outside shot at a talent in a weaker group but GA has pretty much taken care of this whole group. (More on that later)

FL—Of the sash states, she is one of the few in this group. She and GA are the only real regulars/sash states in Mu, and Mary Katherine is at the end of the group. Very good choice.

WV—Also a very good choice. I think she is stronger than some of the Miss WV’s we have been seeing, and she’s at a good slot in the group. I don’t think she’s strong enough to win a preliminary but she can distinguish herself.

Alpha

KY—She got to pick early and she is very fortunate. She’s pretty much got it tied up for talent in this group.

NY—I like this pick. She is strong in talent, not enough to win a preliminary but it’s a solid middle of the pack choice. The only drawback is that she will be close to the end of the interviews but I think she’s going to do well there, anyway.

Sigma

SC—almost perfect pick. Starts somewhat early on Tuesday A.M. interviews, not impossible to pull of a SS win.

TX—She could win a SS preliminary and lack of talent gets hidden on the second night. OSQ last, she picked very well.

NE—This one was quite curious to me in the beginning. Of late, NE has been picking Mu. And I don’t think she is wise to start off with SS. However, I think she’s just about guaranteed a preliminary win in this group. Very well done.

THE IFFY

KS—Someone’s gotta go first. Every now and then does a Mu1 score a preliminary victory, but she had the opportunity to be maybe 3rd or so in the group and she didn’t take it.
GA—I guess it doesn’t make a difference, she was screwed either way. I think she should have, for interview purposes, chosen 3 but I guess one more slot will not make a difference this early on. She should win talent, though.

OK—Usually they have their picks down to a science. This one I am not so sure about. Believe me, the rest of the country would not be sad if OK did not win a preliminary for once. I can see where she probably felt it better to put herself in the middle of a group than to go closer to the front. She could have still found a few slots in Sigma by that point. And by the time she chose there were already some strong SS contenders in her group. She just may find herself shut out of a preliminary win after all. She will be in the top 15, no doubt. Just a more questionable one.

UT—She had the chance to pick well and she picked the end of the group. I think she’s got the goods for a SS preliminary but she runs a big risk of the judges forgetting about her by that point if they score someone else high.

THE BAD

MS—The worst pick of the whole pageant. Far and beyond. She was early enough to pick the middle or even end of a group and she went for slot 3. Her talent is solid, I would say maybe a 7 at the national level and her swimsuit is good but not enough to win a preliminary. She could have done so much more, I think she will be forgotten.

IA—She was also early enough to have gotten a decent slot in another group and contended for a talent win. She could have easily won Sigma.

THE BEST GIVEN THEIR OPTIONS

AL—Late in the lottery, she picked well. Crystal Lee did well in Alpha 2, she will be second in the afternoon interviews.

MA—This one was tricky. I really wouldn’t want to follow SC. However, if she went to Alpha there were already some strong SS contenders there. I think she would have been “okay” in Mu and maybe contended for the SS win there, but she would have been earlier in the group. This way, she will be in a good interview spot. She was around the last 10, so she didn’t have much to work with. But seeing what she had to work with, she chose wisely.

Well, I got my wish and GA and KY will not be in the same group. I am slightly concerned about Betty’s placement. I still have no doubt she will be in the top 15 and will likely win talent in her group. But I think this placement is going to kill her in interview, and that’s where it is won. The only thing that will help her, and any contestant for that matter, is the two panel system. If their composite score is high, they will get to the top 10. I am not even concerned about preliminary wins at this point. Numerous contestants have won the top of their groups, most recently this past year. I just think when the preliminary panel judges they will hold scores.

WHO I THINK COULD MAKE IT OUT OF THEIR GROUPS TO THE TOP 15:

Mu

GA, DC, WI, RI, VT, FL, WV

Alpha

AL, MN, OK, ID, KY, NY, AR

Sigma

SC, MA, CA, TX, TN, LA, UT

PREDICTIONS FOR PRELIMINARIES:

Mu
SS—KS, GA, PA, FL, PR, MD
Talent—GA (very outside chance of VT or WV)

Alpha
SS—AL, NV, MN, OK, ID, NY
Talent—KY (outside chance of IA)

Sigma
SS—SC, MA, CA, TX, UT
Talent—NE

Right now my talent predictions are a bit lean, but I don’t think talent will be at a premium this year.

So, there you go! How do you feel about the lottery? Did your state pick well, or bomb? Please post your thoughts. Overall, I thought that this was one of the better lotteries I have seen. Best of luck to all of our lovely ladies as they prepare for the pageant. 2 months!

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Subject: LAST WEEK IN REVIEW (and a preview of tonight)


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Date Posted: 20:40:53 07/04/15 Sat

Hi everyone!

I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday. Ours here is subjected to rain so I am done for the day. I wanted to get this finished yesterday but it was a hectic evening. So, now it’s a good time to settle down and share my thoughts about last week’s pageants and what will happen this evening.

As of late, with my job responsibilities I get locked into a dungeon the last 10 days of the month and they don't let me out. Just kidding ;) But it does get very hectic, so much so that I did not get a time to sit down and comment like I usually do. I think as of tonight, the crown is pretty much Madison Fuller’s to lose in Texas. LOL that commentary has been interesting. From what I gather it’s an off year in Texas. I heard really bad things about the talent or lack of it. I have also heard the swimsuits are not up to par. Every state goes through rebuilding, but Texas is Texas. It really doesn’t matter who they send, they are a lock for the 15. The swimsuit winner Madison Adams looks like what preliminary winners are made of in swimsuit at Miss America. I am also hoping for Melissa Cox tonight in Kentucky. But from what I understand, there is a lot of stiff competition for the crown. If she were to win I would have a lot of favorites going into September.

Two of my favorites in their states aged out and won't represent their states, but it all ended halfway happy for me with the crowning of Meagan Fuller. I have a feeling she could do very well at Miss America. Massachusetts is one of those states where if they have someone good, they will place. Case in point, Lauren Kuhn. I would love nothing more than to have back-to-back placement for the beautiful Bay State. And I think Meagan has the potential to make that happen. One of my other favorites this weekend is Madison Esteves in Arizona. I am not sure what she brings to the table but I LOVED her gown. I heard her talent is strong as well. To me, she reminds me of a young Jami Gertz in looks.

In other pageants, I am going to put up a separate post, but I took part in the pageant otherwise known as Miss Mississippi. This is my first time, and I heard a lot of good things about the pageant. So, it was very curious to be tuning in for the first time. It was interesting, to say the least. In CT, I think the new winner was a surprise. There was a lot of hype around Jonet Nichelle. The only thing I would have to say is as long as she can come back, she is pretty young, I think she will win Miss CT. I think this was her first year, so she’s got plenty of time.

CA—I think Bree’s win was predicted. I am anxiously awaiting some feedback from our other posters about what Bree brings to the competition. I have never seen her compete before. I know she was Miss Congeniality, so there’s something to be said there. And this is CA, so you always have to take them seriously.

SC—There has always been a lot of hype around Daja. I don’t remember seeing her much, but I only watched when Miss SC was free, and I don’t think she was placing then. I heard a lot of good things about her through the competition, and I don’t think anyone was surprised by her win. So I checked her out a bit, and I was impressed with her speaking skills. There are 52 other contestants but this is a speaking competition. Like Kira, she can really convince you of what she is saying. Her contestant videos were a bit overdramatic, and I would suggest she tone that down a bit for the national competition. However, she really is an excellent speaker, and very natural. Very likeable. There is a talent clip on Youtube if anyone would like me to post it. She’s not as strong as some of the people have suggested, but she is certainly strong enough to win. I posted the picture above because sometimes it’s about the overall picture that you present. She looks like a queen. She makes a statement. She certainly looks in swimsuit shape. Basically, she has emerged as a frontrunner and I agree with those think so. Anything can happen, but I would say she and GA are going to be ones to keep an eye on. As for Lauren C, I wish her nothing but the best for her future. As in the case with Caylynn in CA, she also was a first runner-up to the first runner-up at Miss America (although I will never get that one until the day I die, but that's a whole other story). She could have and really should have been there one of the last two pageants at Miss America. But I wish her nothing but the best and keep on dancing :)

LA—She kind of reminds me of your typical contestant that will make the top 10. I don’t think she stands out as remarkable, but she seems like she might have the stuff to make top 10. Cute, some talent, enough charisma but just your top 10 filler. You know the type. But if she doesn’t you wouldn’t be surprised. Off the top of my head, I am not sure that she was as strong as Lacey who didn’t make the top 15.

MD—WTF happened there? I saw the crowning video and it wasn’t pretty. I guess this was a case of the mean girl won, and that was very apparent. I understand there is a lot of baggage that follows her, so I am not sure how this is going to go. I would tell the runner-up to be on standby. It does happen, you know. The winner is no doubt a pretty girl but something is wrong. Even Jade looked pizzed. At any rate I am not going to look for her in the top 15 at Miss America this year. She may not even make the pageant. I hate to see Maryland’s streak end, and I think Maryland is most deserving of a Miss America. I just don’t see it continuing this year.

NV—I don’t know much about her, but she’s very pretty. I could see her as a preliminary SS contender depending on her presentation. Good luck to her and the new Nevada’s Outstanding Teen. They sure deserve a better year.

OR—Granted, I am not familiar with the competition, but I haven’t been overwhelmed with what I have seen so far. My feeling is that she is a weaker candidate than Rebecca.

VA—There has been a mixed reaction to her win. I think she’s a decent speaker and she’s got a great story, so I think she will resonate in interview. I think she’s pretty. VA is a state you can never count out, especially after last year. Courtney just came out of nowhere to first runner-up.

WV—I was impressed with the winner. She had a convincing victory. I didn’t get to see much of the webcasts, but I have a feeling she’s among the stronger winners WV has sent in a while. I wish her well, it’s always nice to have WV in the top 15.

WA--Just added as of last night, I don't know much about her. If anything has anything to add about her, we'd love to know!

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Subject: 2015 LOTTERY PREVIEW


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Date Posted: 13:35:33 07/11/15 Sat

Hi everyone!

The last post turned into a huge discussion about the lottery in general, and I figured it was too much to try and put in thoughts about this year. So, here is what I think about this year.

Overall, from what I have seen, I don’t think there are many “killer” talents out there. Of the pageants I have seen (HI, NJ, TN and MS) none of those will win talent. I have been finding some talents on Youtube and I am sure that many more will pop up by the time I post all the videos (stay tuned!). So far, the strongest talents are GA and KY, both vocalists. If I was advising either of these, I would tell them to steer clear of each other if they have the chance. If they are picking 51 and 52, they have no choice. Otherwise, they both have what it takes to win preliminary talent and if they are serious about winning, they need to avoid the other. I think NY is strong in talent but unless she was in a weaker group she would likely not win preliminary talent. SS is another story, more on that later. Depending on how the judges like her, I think VT could win with her science experiment. Talent is now being judged by “Do you want to see it again?” and it is charming and engaging. She would have to be in a weaker group, though. I wouldn’t expect her to win against GA or KY but there’s an outside chance. AZ is a pretty good dancer; there are clips of her on Youtube. The only drawback is that the only non ballet or tap routine that has won preliminary talent happened only once in the past 15 years or so (MI 2010). CO is doing a monologue and the only contestant to do anything in the past 20 years to do one and place was Teresa Benitez, NV 2002. IA is a strong singer as well. I could possibly see her as a preliminary talent winner, again, considering she is not up against GA or KY. I know WI won preliminary talent at Miss Wisconsin but I haven’t seen it. Maybe WI fan could provide some commentary. I have seen some other contestants and they are NOT strong in talent. I am already waiting for the backlash if and when they make the top 10. There is no shortage this year.

Swimsuit

I am excited because I think this year in particular you could see some of the non-traditional states contend for SS wins. Specifically, I think UT, MA, ID and MN are strong possibilities for a preliminary win. UT is RIDICULOUSLY fit and UT has won preliminary SS twice since 2003. I would like her chances in Sigma but that’s going to be competitive. I might pick Alpha or Mu because she would really have a chance to stand out. The only drawback for her is that ridiculously fit did not work for Desiree Williams. MA and MN both look fantastic and both have won SS preliminaries in their respective states. TX could pull a Kendall Morris and win even though she did not win at Miss TX. Believe me, that’s her ONLY chance at a preliminary award. If she makes the talent round she will be on The Soup and set Twitter ablaze. I think SC could contend for a SS win, especially if they like her in interview. AL has come a long way with regards to fitness. If you look at some of her previous pictures she lost some weight and looks a lot better. I think she could possibly win SS if all goes right for her. She’s got the physical beauty down. Depending on who wins AR I think they could contend for a preliminary win. However, I was just thinking about this, if Bailey Moses was the sweetheart contestant, she gave one of THE worst onstage questions I’ve ever heard in my life. I am not holding my breath for Miss America should she win. I think that Bailey’s top 5 sisters NY and ID could contend for SS wins as well. I have seen some of Kalie since she has been crowned and she looks really good. Realistically, you have to consider FL and OK as repeat winners this year, and I think CA has won SS at Miss CA already. The sash states must always be considered. I think there is an outside chance that GA could win SS. This is especially true if she were to have a Jennifer Berry “sorry we didn’t give it to you last night” type win. I also am taking a look at KS, NV, and MO. KS and MO both won at their state competitions and I have heard good things about MO in SS. NV is tall, very pretty and if she’s got the walk I could see her winning. PA is a possibility although from what I understand her talent is very weak and she would not likely advance to the top 15.

LOL is there anyone I did not cover in swimsuit? The good news is that while I don’t think there are some as in other years that you avoid like the plague, I think there are some good ones this year and it is going to make the competition that much more interesting. I don’t think I would “avoid” anyone, I think there are enough strong contestants to make it on their own. But I don’t think it’s like talent where you know one pretty much has it in the bag.

So there goes, folks! If you have any thoughts about your titleholder, please share it with us. If I missed yours and you know something we don’t, please, let us know! The more feedback we get the better.

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Subject: ALL THINGS LOTTERY


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Date Posted: 11:25:26 07/11/15 Sat

Hi everyone!

Happy final day of the Miss America Class of 2015 state pageant season. We just get through 2 more competitions and then we can definitely say the next Miss America has been crowned on the state level. I understand there are several strong contestants in Arkansas. A lot of people seem to think it will be Bailey Moses. We will see!

Monday afternoon is the big day. The next Miss America will have chosen her spot for the all-important interview, talent, swimsuit, etc. And as always, we as fans/formers/enthusiasts/moderators will watch with anticipation. We will pick apart, assess, pick winners and losers, and beat the dead horse lol. But that’s the fun. And there is something to be said for the lottery. I think it is true that they will find Miss America from wherever she is in the group. Last year was the exception, but there were a few years where contestants that were later in Sigma were not advancing. Sigma ALWAYS gets congested, for whatever reason. And it fills up quickly. Mallory, Nina and Kira were around 6 and 7, the first two in Sigma and Kira in Alpha. Talent was likely Kira’s weakest competition and I will have to go back and review my notes, but she was one of the ones I was concerned about her pick. But it did work out in the end. So while Miss America is always going to prevail, there still is some strategy involved. This is especially true for at least 11-15 and some of 5-10. The judges are going to have a few on their radar and that’s that. If they are a 4 in talent and the judges see them as Miss America they will get 10s final night. But if you are Tnot on the radar in the judges’ room, you have to be on the radar onstage. Anywhere from about 7-15 is on the line and up for grabs, so it is important to stand out from the rest. There can only be one Miss America, and that is the ultimate goal. But you also want to be realistic and set the goal as top 15.

This year, preliminary judging is going to determine a lot more with moving back to two panels. So, there is a bit more pressure to stand out. You have got to go through it on final night as well. And interview has got to be top notch if they are doing it like they did 2 years ago. The judges only see 3 minutes of the interview. I would rather they saw all top 10 interviews in their entirety rather than get 3 minutes of a 10 minute interview. Plenty of things can happen. Miss America is a PR representative and I am sorry, but 3 minutes is hardly enough to get a feel for the spokesperson for an organization. So, you do have to do well onstage. That being the case, back to the lottery.

How to pick? Do you pick based on how the previous years judges scored? Hell no. In 2011 5 of the top 10 came from Mu including Miss America. In 2012 only one Mu contestant made the top 10. Of late, contestants who were later in Sigma were being shut out. Then last year, 4 of the top 15 came from Sigma 12 and beyond, 3 in a row starting from 15. Most years you get about 3, 3, and 4 and it is evenly divided. The one famous exception was Kim Aiken’s year when I think it was Sigma or Mu was completely shut out of the top 10.

Do you consider interview when you choose? Yes, but only to a certain extent. 2012 was a year where the judges didn’t seem to get going until Alpha and Sigma. But the overall wisdom is that you should consider when you want to make the impression on the judges. Some contestants want to go early. Mu interview is Monday A.M. The advantage there is that the judges will get to know you early on and will remember you. And that makes perfect sense. Last year, Mu 7, 10, 11 and 14 advanced to the top 15, 14 being the first runner-up. Early in Mu has been a little lean these past few years and that usually fills up last in the lottery. If I were competing I would choose at least Mu 5. I think Kaitlyn Tarpey was either Mu 3 or 4 (I have to get out my notes for that year) and she did very well. But she was an exception. Alpha interview is Monday P.M. Alpha interviews are right in the middle of the pack. Alpha 1 produced the first runner-up in 2011 and Miss America in 2012. It also produced the preliminary swimsuit winner on Thursday night. Alpha 2 produced the first runner-up in 2013b. Last year, Alpha 7, 12, 13 and 17 advanced to the top 15, Alpha 7 won Miss America. So, early and middle Alpha is a great place to be. There is little concern about Alpha. I would say of all the groups, this is the least risky. And there have been contestants with mediocre talents who have gone on to do well and advance from Alpha. A good case of that is Ivana Hall, Miss TX 2013b. So, even if talent is not your strongest competition, Alpha is a good place to be. The only risk with Alpha interview is that by the end of the day, even the best of judges is starting to zone out a bit. So you’ve got to make sure and come on strong. They have heard 34 contestants by the end of the day and you’ve got to make sure you make your impression. Sigma interviews Tuesday A.M. I think that is why it is so popular. First of all, the judges are well rested (or rested lol) and they are ready to go at it for another round. And more importantly, the minute you hit the stage later that evening they are still remembering you. In theory, anyway. Sigma SS winners have either been feast or famine of late. Last year Sigma SS went on to become 3rd runner-up, as was the case in 2006. In 2007 and 2009 Sigma SS won Miss America. The following year Sigma SS did not advance, and did not in 2008 and 2012. In 2013b Sigma SS made the top 15 and was cut first round. In 2011 Sigma SS was 2nd runner-up and in 2013a was first runner-up. So, you’ve got to like your chances if you win swimsuit in Sigma. Talent has done decently in Sigma, but not like swimsuit. Sigma talent has not won in a VERY long time. In fact, I can’t remember the last time it even was. The closest came with OK 2012 at first runner-up. In the past 10 years Sigma talent winners have made the top 10 in 2006, 2007, and 2013a, was first runner-up in 2009 and 2010, top 15 in 2011 and 2014, and 4th runner-up in 2013b. So, I would also like my chances as a Sigma talent winner. Last year, Sigma 2, 9, 12, 15, 16 and 17 advanced to the top 15.

Here’s the other burning question: Do I choose my best competition first or last? There is actually some debate on this. This is my opinion only, but if I were competing, best first. The idea that you want to save your best competition for last in the hopes that the judges will remember you is probably not true. This year, it won’t make a difference because those judges don’t need to remember you that much. But why would you want to participate in the biggest competition of your life and be bringing up the rear? If the judges aren’t feeling you throughout the week, they will not be impressed by your talent that much come Thursday night. They will just remember you as oh yeah, Miss Arkansas, she had good talent. If they like you in an evening gown and give a strong answer onstage, they will forget that you aren’t an 8 or 9 in talent. You’ve got to build momentum throughout the week. You don’t just float through and then bet on your last competition. The judges will have their favorites by the time interview ends and then everything else just adds to the points. You have to be consistent and you have to impress them EVERY chance you get.

Let’s review each group with pluses and minuses:

MU
Monday A.M. Interview
Tuesday Onstage Question
Wednesday Swimsuit/Gown
Thursday Talent
Advantages—early in interview, talent last if your weakness
Disadvantages—early in interview
Best kind of contestant for Mu—interview queens. Interview comes early and first onstage question is first. Also, contestants who are consistent across the board do well in this format. Because they have the advantage of swimsuit and talent last, they will consistently impress throughout each competition.

ALPHA
Monday P.M. Interview
Tuesday Talent
Wednesday Onstage Question
Thursday Swimsuit/Gown
Advantages—most interview slots are good, talent first for strong talent, swimsuit last if your weakness
Disadvantages—a few later slots may not be ideal for interview; fills up quickly with strong talent
Best kind of contestant for Alpha—also a good group for consistent contestants. If you are consistent across the board you can do no wrong.

SIGMA
Tuesday A.M. Interview
Tuesday Swimsuit/Gown
Wednesday Talent
Thursday Onstage Question
Advantages—judges regrouped after interview; swimsuit first for strong swimsuits, more fresh in judges minds than other contestants, talent midway through competition for weak talent
Disadvantages—some later interviews; has been filling quickly the last few years
Best kind of contestant for Sigma—“USA” type contestants—strong in swimsuit and gown. If talent is weak this is a good choice because you have the opportunity to bury it and hope you come back with a strong onstage question. Talent is usually very weak in Sigma. Also a good group for contestants who might be inconsistent and have a glaring weakness in a particular area. May be good for strong interviewers who have interview Tuesday A.M. and then onstage question as last competition.

When I sat down to write this, this kind of morphed into a post of its own. So what I am going to do is leave this post to stand alone. I am going to use it again in the future, stay tuned :) And I am going to post a separate thread about this year's contestants shortly. This is a pretty long post but there is a lot of good information in it. If you want to print it out, feel free to do so. Even if you are not competing, some people enjoy reviewing the lottery process.

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Subject: How do you post pictures here?


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Date Posted: 23:46:49 07/10/15 Fri


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Subject: OT--For 80s fanatics like myself


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Date Posted: 17:37:10 07/07/15 Tue

Believe me, there is plenty more to talk about with the end of the state pageant season this week, but I wanted to share this:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/amanda-peterson-dead_559b05c3e4b04a9c98e824e6

Can't Buy Me Love was one of my favorite 80s movies. I always thought Amanda was headed to be the next big thing but apparently she wanted out of the business. I can't say I blame her. She was one of my favorite actresses from that era. I just hope that it was natural and that it wasn't substance abuse or suicide.

For our younger readers lol, that movie really personified high school in the 1980s. Cliques, fashion, social status, popularity contests. But there was never an African Anteater Ritual. ;)

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Subject: EVERYTHING IS BIGGER IN TEXAS--INCLUDING THE ELEMENT OF SHOCK


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Date Posted: 23:32:06 07/05/15 Sun

It seemed like the Rio Grande Shockeroo happened in Texas last night. Everything is bigger in Texas, and I think a lot of the pageant community seemed shocked. This year was certainly interesting in Texas. I did not pay for the webcast, so I didn’t really see any of it. However, the commentary was really interesting, to say the least. All states have rebuilding years, and it sounds like it was one in Texas. If I am correct, the new Miss Texas did not win any preliminaries and was not on anyone’s radar. I think that’s how it was with Ivana Hall and that worked out just fine for her. And that’s what we need to consider here. If Shannon is an excellent interviewer, she will be in the top 15 at Miss America. I am going to post a lengthy discussion about it later, but that’s what Miss America has come to these days. Texas is in pretty much no matter what. I think Shannon is pretty, if in nothing but an old school Texas pageanty way. She doesn’t look like the more modern Miss Texas type of Ashley Melnick. I just think this was one of those surprise years in Texas. Although, they have happened 2 of the last 3 pageants now. Maybe the state is headed in a different direction. Maybe they should. They haven’t had a Miss America since the Gerald Ford era. This year, though, I wouldn’t call Shannon a new type of winner. Maybe she presents differently, but she definitely screams old school. I heard a lot of good things about Miss San Antonio, who has a hearing impairment. As much as I loved Heather Whitestone, I would welcome another young woman who is uniquely abled to win us all over again. So I hope she comes back.

I guess like many, I just assumed that the heir apparent was going to win last night. It’s fine with me, because I’m not wild about old school pageanty anymore. But this year has been interesting at state pageants. This year hasn’t been kind to high runner ups (meaning first, second, etc). So, I don’t think any of us should be surprised. I am at 18 and counting of contestants I would really like to see win Miss America, some I would be “satisfied” and none that I really dislike. There is only one, which shall remain nameless where I just have to say about her state, “Oh, how the mighty have fallen”. I don’t think there are any holy terrors this year, but I feel like there were a lot of good contestants left standing at their state pageants this year.

In the other pageant that happened last night, Kentucky, it seemed like the winner has emerged as the love or hate contestant of the year. I listened to her talent on Youtube and she’s got some major pipes. I think her win was expected since the beginning of the competition, anyway. I am not sure that she was expected going into pageant week, but she does seem more real and fresh.

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Subject: Picture of Holly Blanchard with Hillary Clinton this weekend is front page on Yahoo


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Date Posted: 17:07:45 07/05/15 Sun

It won't let me copy and paste the link, so you will have to go to the page itself. Pretty cool for Holly to be front and center on Yahoo.

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Subject: 2015 STATE PREVIEW


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Date Posted: 18:45:25 04/26/15 Sun

Even thought I said that this was a changing of the guard, I think that this will be a great state pageant year. Part of the fun with a whole new group is that it's not so formulatic. You don't know who will bring it to the table, and it's more fun when the winner is announced. However, there are still going to be some good runs at the crown. Some states should be very interesting and well-competed. Her's a rundown, plus some thoughts and observations about other states.

The Mid-Atlantic states are going to be among the most competitive this year. As we know, whoever wins Miss New York you are going to want to pay attention to. This year will be no exception. It is going to be a showdown between two strong candidates who will both be aging out this year. Desiree Wiley, who would have won Miss New York in any other year but who had the unfortunate circumstance of competing against three future Miss Americas. And then there is the very competent Jamie Lynn Macchia, 1st runner-up at Sweetheart, very ready-to-go and could very well make the top 10 at Miss America. There are some other contestants who seem strong as well, so I think this will be very interesting. In Pennsylvania, it seemed almost certain after last year that Caroline Collins would walk in, take the crown and be off to Atlantic City. However, Julia Rae Schlucter, 1st runner-up at the MAOT pageant came back home from competing in NY last year. Competing against the best of the best in NY can only help. And to do well in MAOT you have to have a good interview. Then there is the uber talented Alyssa Murray, who was 4th runner-up to Amanda Sasek in KS last year. From what I hear, she has phenomenal talent and got a standing ovation for rendition of Over The Rainbow. Sending strong talent worked out very well for Pennsylvania last year. Then there is Miss New Jersey. They have no less than 6 of their former OT winners competing. I always believed that Brenna Weick was the one that would break NJ's spell until Ciera came along last year. I still think Brenna would be their best chance if she can get it all together and not seem like she's just going through the motions. Kaitlyn S is going backwards each year, and not forward, so I am not sure what her chances are like. I have seen some back and win, and some who just don't. But I think she'd make a fine Miss NJ. So make sure and keep your eye out for these states, there's going to be some great competition.

In some of the other states, there are always ones that you know darned well if you win you are almost guaranteed a top 10 at Miss America. CA is always a great competition and whoever wins there wins big. I have always been a fan of Caylynn Simonson, and I am hoping that she can finally break through and win it all this year, but she will have plenty of competition. In OK, whoever wins there is all but guaranteed a top 10 at Miss America and some kind of preliminary win. I know they had their orientation and Georgia Frazier seems to be cleaning up already. I have seen year after year that whoever wins early tends to be the one that comes out on top. While I think you have to pay attention to whoever wins, I'm not sure she's my cup of tea. There's something very old about her. I would like to see Sarah Klein, actually. She's not your typical kind of Miss OK contestant and yet she's so competitive she's in the top 5 year after year. No doubt in my mind she would be ready to go to Atlantic City once the prep team gets a hold of her.

In HI, the revolving door seems to continue. I am not sure what is happening there, but it seems like the first runner-up is not coming back the last few years. And there are always an influx of new contestants and some of the older ones are not sticking it out. Their success at Miss America has certainly waned over the past few years as well. No doubt their production is better than a Miss America pageant. But I have to wonder if there is something going on that we don't know about. Something is wrong that the past few years there is almost all new contestants every year. And I say that because from the outside, competing for Miss HI you have to like your chances. In the past 15 years they've had a Miss America, a 1st runner-up,a 2nd runner-up, top 10s, numerous preliminary wins. But, we'll see who comes in and takes it. In VA, there seems to be a bumper crop of newbies. However, you can never count Virginia out. Courtney Garrett was barely mentioned and was the first runner-up at Miss America. Some of the Southern regulars that start with A (lol, I know bad categorization but it is what it is) have a mixture of old and new like AL and AR. I loved Elizabeth Cramer at Sweetheart and I would love to see her make it to Miss America. But that's one of those states where the competition is tough.

MO seems to be wide open this year. Sadly, the first runner-up (who probably would have done a little better at Miss America) has aged out. Kelby Czerwonka, who I really like, doesn't seem to be competing. I was liking her chances. She went from not even placing in 2013 to 2nd runner-up last year. She would have needed some work on talent but she was no better or worse that we've seen lately. I would have to say that Makeita Brantley has to be one of the favorites. She would certainly get noticed in AC for her talent. I would like to see Darbi Fuhrman take it all after all these years. She'd be a great Miss MO. IL seems to have a lot of newer faces. As we saw with Hannah Smith, if they've got someone there, they will get noticed in AC. ID, who we rarely talk about, has the reigning National Sweetheart, and I hope to god she wins. And I wish she'd be from another state because if she was from CA or OK she'd already be considered a favorite for the crown. Facts are sadly facts in the MAO, and she will likely get overlooked, but maybe with some open-minded judges they would find her as charming as the Sweetheart judges did. From what I understand, MA is shaping up to be interesting. I think they have another out-of-stater this year that might come in and take it all. I'm not overly familiar, but this is my understanding. I always liked Megan Fuller and I hope she wins. KY was competitive last year and I understand that Merriebeth Cox's sister is competing. There can never been too many Coxes at Miss America, you know :) Always pay attention to who wins GA, OH seems nothing short of a disaster, pay attention to FL, TX is always good bet to make the top 15. I was not overwhelmed with the Sweetheart from MS last year but she seems like a strong competitor.

Those are the ones that I can think off or comment on off the top of my head. If I missed your state, or you know something I don't, please let us know! You could have the next Miss America.

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Subject: On Trump and this week's dismissal of the Miss USA pageant


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Date Posted: 17:15:40 07/03/15 Fri

When pageant scandals hit they usually hit big. I would say that this week’s events have to be among the biggest to hit the pageant world. When a pageant loses its home it is big news. When a pageant loses its home because the part owner who happens to be running for President makes horrible, untrue remarks about an entire group of people, it is quite a scandal. I find it sad for several reasons. I think it is safe to say most people find Donald Trump obnoxious and he is not well-liked. He might be famous but it is certainly not for the right reasons. I never liked him involved in the Miss Universe Organization for other reasons, but now that relationship has proved toxic to the whole organization. In his tenure, despite his “great relationship” with NBC, Miss Teen USA, the longest surviving teen pageant, is no longer televised and is now webcast. Like Miss America, the USA pageant was bleeding viewers and I think its future on NBC was in jeopardy.

So, as pageant fans and supporters, none of us should be happy about these events. Miss USA/Teen USA/Miss Universe was a well-respected organization whose winners have gone onto public life in their respective countries. There are many actresses and entertainers who have started their careers in the Universe system. I think there are many people who aren’t sorry to see an obnoxious loudmouth get his comeuppance. But the tradition of the pageant and the many respectable young women still deserve our respect and support. For that reason, we should be very sad. The pageant will now be seen on Reelz, which is best known for picking up the Kennedy miniseries that was banished from the History Channel. For Reelz, I suppose they see it as a win. They might get a boost in ratings and they get the notoriety. They also run the risk of being associated with a racist. I get the channel and some of their rerun shows I have tuned into in the past, but there’s not much there. It’s kind of like E!, just mostly tabloid television. And there are elements of Trump supporters (they are out there) who will tune in just to support him. Also, there are conservative folks out there who see this is him being persecuted and will do anything they can to support him. Case in point, some of Trump’s books are trending on Amazon. I highly doubt he needs their money, but people who can barely put food on their table would rather pay for that to make a point. So, Reelz might be happy with the ratings. But overall, this does not bode well for the future, especially for USA. The Miss Universe pageant would likely find a home given its worldwide viewership. But the larger question is the same the Miss America pageant is facing—who is going to take it on with numbers that low? Honestly, I am not sure how lucrative the Miss Universe Organization really is. But as is the case with Miss America, the telecast is a big part of that. The difference is that the Miss Universe Organization is a for profit corporation. So, I think there may be some kind of resolution to this. I wish Donald Trump would sell his share and let someone else take over, but I don’t know that it is going to happen.

What is most sad to me, however, is the remarks that caused this uproar. I have heard people say, “He’s just saying what everyone is thinking and isn’t afraid to say it”. No, that’s not true. I can speak for myself, and I am 1/8 Hispanic, and many people who welcome all kinds of Mexican immigrants into our society. There is a family in my neighborhood who is Mexican. This time of year they embarrass me. They are such hard workers and do a much better job at taking care of their yard and garden than I do. When they first came here, they didn’t know a word of English. Imagine my surprise when they started a conversation with me in English. They took lessons, both are working, and their family is part of our society. They still hold their own traditions, and I enjoy learning about them. We have spoken about what their lives were like before they came to the United States. And being at least part Hispanic, I have always been raised to appreciate my heritage. I know what Trump and his ilk say about immigrants, about Hispanic people in general and it is very disrespectful. It is discouraging to hear that relatives of yours are nothing but lazy, unmotivated, criminals, disrespectful, you name it. There are good and bad members of every culture. And there are people that believe that it just one culture and immigrants from a particular country and there is nothing you can do to change their minds. That’s what is even more frustrating. I was not alive for the race riots of the 1950s and 1960s but I have heard enough. The past few years I think we have seen our own racial wars and look what happens as a result. People are making ignorant remarks and hold ignorant beliefs. But there is also a greater good that is coming. It will not be tolerated by many people. Look how many people were outraged. And they should be.

What is ironic in all of this is that while Trump claims to be so smart, he’s actually the opposite. Someone with basic business skills understands that you do not insult any of your consumers, as it were. Look how many titleholders are Latina and from Latin countries. Nia is Hispanic. Look at how popular the pageants are in the South and Central American countries. He can take out Mexico and substitute Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Honduras, Colombia, anywhere. You don’t think those countries are not also insulted? And what is also ironic is that the USA/Universe pageants, in my opinion, were more culturally diverse than Miss America. Since 2000, there have been 2 black titleholders, 1 biracial titleholder, 2 Hispanic titleholders and 1 Lebanese titleholder as Miss USA. As Miss Universe, 9 Latinas have held the title since 2000. The competitions over the years have featured many diverse contestants. I have felt that it was easier to succeed at USA, because they recognized beauty as beauty was. If you were able to confidently represent yourself, no matter who you were, you succeeded. Sadly, I don’t think anyone is surprised by Trump’s remarks. But I also think that while some people hold them, many people do not. I just hope that the Miss Universe Organization finds owners who are worthy of them and can restore some much needed class to the pageant.

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Subject: Kira will be participating in the Philadelphia Independence Day Festivities


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Date Posted: 15:38:18 07/03/15 Fri

Kira will be following in the footsteps of many of her Miss America predecessors and participating in the Independence Day festivities. There is only local coverage on WPVI and you have to be in market to be able to view it online. However, Kira is keeping her Instagram updated and you can see her appearances.

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Subject: BETTY CANTRELL IS MISS GEORGIA!!!!!!!!!


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Date Posted: 23:29:41 06/20/15 Sat

I can't see anything but I just heard the EXCELLENT news! Look for her to do well in Atlantic City!

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Subject: Miss TN Finals


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Date Posted: 21:16:58 06/20/15 Sat

Not bad, I got 11 out of 15 :)

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Subject: Miss TN Final Night Preview


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Date Posted: 16:07:31 06/20/15 Sat

The competition has been strong at Miss Tennessee this year. There are a lot of new faces, but a lot brought their A game. Some have upped their competition, and some brought a whole new persona. The biggest example of that is the daughter of the Miss America sitting with Letterman at the top of the page (I will be changing that this weekend by the way). I think I liked Cassidy last year better when she was green. She morphed into a totally different pageant personality. With the advent of the Internet and watching pageants online, I have been able to follow many contestants. I can’t remember a change so severe. And quite frankly, a change for the worse. It doesn’t work. It doesn’t seem natural. A good example was her talent. It wasn’t real. It was forced. I would actually deduct points as a judge because the performance aspect was so unreal. She didn’t connect and seemed to be told when to move her arms, etc. At first, I thought she might be a threat for the crown, but I don’t think so. Believe me, I think she will win before she ages out. Too much politics and I am sure her mother carries clout. I am sure she does at the national level as well. But this isn’t the year. She needs to find out her true personality first and let that shine.

Right off the bat, I would say this is Hannah Robison’s crown to lose. You also have to take a look at the fact that you need to be ready to go by September. She’s very consistent across the board. I think that if Hayley made the top 10 Hannah will as well. She’s got some solid stuff to work with. The only thing I don’t know about is her interview. The two other most solid contestants for me have been Stephanie McKain and Grace Burgess. I would say Stephanie is a bit stronger than Grace. She has been right there at the top of every onstage competition. She is also a master’s degree candidate so I am sure she is intelligent and well-spoken. If it were to go to a non-preliminary winner (which it usually does not), I would have to go with Stephanie or Grace. Madison Snipes would be perfect in 1985, not 2015. I just am not a fan. I still don’t agree with her talent win. Over the top, showy, and not to be taken seriously. It was like Sherry Thrift years ago. She could never do that at Miss America. I think she could be top 5, but it just depends how the judges view her. They have enough old school judges on the panel that I think she will still be considered okay. But I don’t see that working on the national level. I am pretty sure we will see most of the preliminary winners. The only one I am iffy on is Aria Stiles. She is a phenomenal violin player. It was Gretchen Carlson good. I just am not sure she stood out enough in other competitions. I think if she does she probably finishes 11-15. Caty Davis has been consistent all week, I would say a solid top 10 for her. I am afraid to say, I think Jaclyn Torrento is going to drop. The competition is too tough this year and she’s kind of stayed the same. Top 10, but probably not top 5. I think we will see Shepard solidly in the top 10 as well. Emily Ketron is probably headed for the top 10 as well. I have been impressed with Johnson City this week. I think she is new, but she’s got future Miss Tennessee written all over her. I think she will be solidly in the top 15. I also have been impressed with Miss McMinnville and I think there is a chance we see her in the top 15. She’s got a lot of charisma. I could also see her as a Miss Tennessee in the future. I also liked Decatur County, and I would say the same about her as Miss McMinnville.

Here is who I have in the top 15:

Burgess
Snipes
Davis
Torrento
McKain
Bobinger
Robison
Neikirk
Williamson
Shepard
Ketron
McCullough
Shadrix

And the following for the remaining slots:

Crawford
Roser
Gallant
Caton

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Subject: A Preview of Tonight


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Date Posted: 13:53:15 06/20/15 Sat

Tonight is the biggest night of the pageant season. By the end of the night, we will have 13 new titleholders. I am looking forward to who gets crowned. So far, my wish list is a bit slim this year. So I am looking at you Betty and Kalie to win tonight ;) Here is my observations about each state to the best that I know:

CO—I am afraid I don’t know much about what is going on there. I think that Meredith Winnefeld would be considered the frontrunner, but I don’t think she won any preliminaries. That happens regularly in Colorado from what I understand. So I like her chances. Did she previously compete in Arizona?

FL—This state is hard to call. Usually their winners come from the top 5 the previous year. They have a lot of pretty girls this year as always. I might guess Chloe Lupo but I’m not sure. I know the sister of Elizabeth Fechtel is competing and I am not sure that Mary wants two crowned in a row. Whoever wins you have to consider for the top 15 at Miss America. I would venture to say even though I don’t know who wins they would be a consideration for a swimsuit preliminary. Lots of good swimsuits from the pictures I have seen.

GA—There is at least one double preliminary winner. From what I am hearing, the competition is good this year and it is very competitive. I will be watching TN but will try and tune in for the crowning at least.

ID—It is looking good for Kalie right now. She won swimsuit and talent, so she is definitely impressing. Oh pageant gods, let this happen.

IN—Morgan Jackson won two preliminaries and should likely be considered the frontrunner. However, I am not totally sold. I don’t know, she just looks so young to me. She reminds me a lot of Ariana Afsar in looks. I think she will eventually win Miss Indiana, but I would rather see it in a couple of years. I would think Gracie Lyons would be the best representative for this year.

MI—I forgot the lovely Alana Wilson, daughter of one of my all time favorite Miss Americas is competing. So, add her to my wish list. I am thinking that Kelly Gooch could win; she’s at least seasoned at this point. However, it seems like they have a lot of promise for the future at Miss Michigan. I expect Alana will win in the next few years. She’s got THE best coach ever :)

NM—I will go ahead and add preliminary talent winner Gabrielle Torres to my wish list. God, she is beautiful. I don’t use that word lightly, but when I do, I mean it. She is striking. I think Stephanie Chavez is one to watch also.

NC—Interesting one. I know the lovely Michelle Warren is judging, so she knows class. I would say off the bat that Mackenzie Faggart is the one to beat. However, there is a lot of hype around Rajmeekah Cox. From what I am getting she doesn’t have strong talent. But that hasn’t stopped anyone before. I have never seen her compete before. However, if she is that strong in other areas, they should really consider sending her to Miss America. It’s been a while for North Carolina.

OH—I kind of like Sarah Clapper but I don’t know about the competition this year. I think many have aged out or are no longer competing.

SD—I am afraid it’s another state I don’t know much about. Sadly, they are so much overlooked at Miss America that whoever wins doesn’t have much of a chance. I would strongly encourage Meredith Gould to RUN to USA. She was robbed of a preliminary SS win last year.

TN—I will be posting a full rundown later, but I think it’s looking good for Hannah Robison. I think she would be competitive at Miss America.

UT—I don’t know much about the competition, but UT always sends good talent to Miss America, save last year. So I would look for one of the preliminary talent winners to win.

WI—WI fan if you are here, maybe you can give us a rundown on what to expect. I know Raquel Breuning has been around the top 5 for a few years and I would think she is one of the frontrunners. I like the looks of Rosalie Smith, too. WI tends to send strong talent as well, so I would consider her to be a frontrunner.

We’ve got a few hours before all the fun begins! If anyone has any insights, please feel free to post them. I am not like Santa Claus, I can’t be in all states tonight ;)

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Subject: Miss New Jersey Review


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Date Posted: 13:20:13 06/20/15 Sat

A week later, here it is!

It was a great competition in New Jersey. Overall, it was a very nice production, albeit a little long. But that’s the way most state pageants roll. As always, Dena did a fabulous job of hosting. Julie looked great; she mentioned that she was in her Miss America gown. She had some issues a few years ago with a wedding dress business that she owned. The media was involved as well. But good hosting, good production numbers, and a fun theme.

I didn’t see the preliminaries, so it was hard to say who was left standing and not. I was shocked that Kaitlyn S did not make at least the top 10. I can’t imagine that she was lacking in competition. Also, I was sad that Courtney Fairfield didn’t make the top 10. I think this was her last year of eligibility. For those of you who do not know, Courtney is the sister of former Miss New Jersey Ashley Fairfield. The only other contestant I thought would make it was Amanda Moss, but she can always look ahead to the future.

Talent

Overall, it was not a bad night for talents. Lately at state competitions, some of the talent has been abysmal. Olivia came out strong, then Anna. I would strongly suggest that she pursue American Idol, especially since it is in its last year. She just had the classic ability to take a simple song and just do it justice, a la Jennifer Hudson. I also thought the Irish step routine was good. It wasn’t quite to the level of a Kaitlyn Tarpey, but it was definitely good. I also thought Alyssa Sullivan was quite good. I would have liked to hear her all over again. I hope she comes back next year. Brenna’s dancing has improved since last year. I actually preferred this routine to last year’s. I think something slower and lyrical showcases more of her, and it works better. I would recommend that she stay with that. Lindsey’s talent was entertaining. She actually has some good moves, but will address the rest of it later.

Swimsuit

Some great bodies last night! Jersey girls are showing how they can rock it and look great. I thought Olivia was strong off the bat. Anna didn’t have the strongest swimsuit ever, but that’s not as necessary at the national level. She didn’t look bad. Devon V had a great body but even her walk and presentation screamed pageant patty. I will address that more later, but if she could tone it down she would likely fare better. Some of the ones that were not as strong just didn’t have the confidence and energy. But there wasn’t one that I thought was really subpar. Lindsey did have a good presentation, Brenna didn’t have as much energy behind her performance. She’s no doubt got a great body, but she wasn’t quite as energetic as Lindsey.

Evening Gown

Very nice overall. I saw some nice gowns. The clear standout to me was Brenna. She was soooo channeling Natalie Portman. If she had a little bit more energy, I think she could win the evening gown preliminary at Miss America. I also liked Olivia, I loved the gown, loved the color, and she was so elegant. I liked Anna as well.

By the time the competition was done, I didn’t feel one contestant had all the momentum. Last year, Ciera seemed to get stronger as the night went along. She convinced us she wanted it. It’s not that this year’s contestants didn’t do that, I just didn’t feel that one was the clear frontrunner. I felt they all had strengths and weaknesses. I was pretty sure this would be the top 5:

Olivia
Lindsey
Brenna
Devon
Alyssa S

The only one of those I really did not want to see there was Devon, because she was sooo pageanty. But those types still resonate with the judges. I didn’t count Anna out. She had a pretty consistent night. The only one I wasn’t totally sold on in the top 5 was Kelsey Claus. I “got it”, but didn’t totally agree. I thought Alyssa was better all around and should have been there. I was glad to see Anna, though. Throughout the night, I just ended up liking her more and more. By onstage question, the three that I thought would win were Olivia, Brenna, or Lindsey and I could have seen it going in different directions. I knew it was going to come down to who the judges connected with.

Onstage question

Overall, I was pleased with the questions and answers. I think all of the contestants expressed themselves intelligently. However, they tended to ramble at times and speak a little too long. Olivia is a good speaker and she presented herself well. When Brenna started to speak, any doubts I had about her not winning were put to rest. I thought she was very eloquent and spoke with conviction. The ending was a bit canned, but she seemed to be genuine about her beliefs. Now, there is one thing that made me cringe and if any contestants are reading this, be very careful. The final question is not the time you want to make it known to the judges that you competed for the title before. If I did not know the contestants, I would immediately wonder what it was that we should know. Why didn’t this contestant win? There isn’t enough time to undo the doubts. That was the last impression she would be leaving with the judges. The final question is the time that you put your best foot forward, not present the judges with a question about your ability to win. Anna showed a lot of personality and was very natural. The only drawback was that despite her journalism background, she tended to talk very casual. LOL, at times she sounded like she was from New Jersey. But I really liked her answer for the platform question, she was very firm in her beliefs and she really believed in what she was doing. Lindsey’s first question I could definitely see her personality. My impression was that if the judges saw that in interview, I could see why they liked her. Kelsey’s first answer was cute. She wasn’t the strongest speaker, but she was a cute girl overall. I could see her doing well in the future.

By that time, I think that Brenna had it. I felt that it was either her, Olivia or Lindsey depending on what the judges were looking for. I really thought that Brenna expressed herself well onstage save that admission about her previous competition. I thought that she improved since last year and I thought she was going to win. I thought Olivia did great onstage and I thought she had a possibility, too. And then I thought Lindsey might have had it, but that Brenna had more of the ability to get it done at the national level. Some states will tell you to judge that way; others not. I don’t know about New Jersey.

This is how I had them ranked:

4th runner-up: Kelsey
3rd runner-up: Anna
2nd runner-up: Olivia
1st runner-up: Lindsey
Miss NJ: Brenna

I thought that the judges did a very good job and I could have made a case for every single one of them winning save Kelsey. The only problem is, I don’t think Lindsey is going to be competitive at Miss America. I just think she will be a good Miss New Jersey. This is just my opinion, but I don’t think that dances to modern songs go over well. She clearly has dancing ability, but when is the last time you saw someone make the top 10 with just dancing to a modern song? I could see tap dancing, but I just don’t think it makes a good impression otherwise. For example, Miss OH 2007 whose name I can’t remember at the moment. She was the cheerleader. She could definitely dance but it came off as kind of hoochie mama. Many contestants were successful taking older music and dancing to it. A great example is Mallory Hagan, and back in 1993 Kalyn Chapman danced to Duke Ellington and did very well. Although, NJ isn’t exactly good at advising talent. Anyone who saw the 2011 preliminaries knows what I am talking about. Ashley’s talent was not even of the level of Claire Buffie.

My impression of some of the contestants:

Anna—I am just sorry she doesn’t have more time. However, I think she is headed for big things. She’s got a beautiful instrument, and I think the world would like to hear it. I kind of wonder how she would have fared at Miss America.

Alyssa S—Girl, COME BACK. You’ve got all the workings of a future Miss New Jersey. A lot of potential there.

Olivia—Same goes. She had an excellent night last night. Very competitive, I could easily see her as a Miss New Jersey.

Devon—EXTREMELY pageanty. I mean, extremely. It doesn’t work well anymore at any level. Even her swimsuit walk was pageanty and clichéd. I think if she got over it she’d have a decent shot at winning, but I don’t know.

Brenna—I think it’s her energy factor. She’s got the goods to be competitive at a national level. I just hope she does not become the next Mary Bauer. I know it’s hard to make the argument when she can’t seem to win at the state level. However, I think it’s one of those things that if she fixed, it could really transform her.

I thought the tribute to Lou B. was very nice. I think it is a great testament to the camaraderie and people that you meet in this organization. There are so many Lous all throughout America that take their time to improve the lives of young women in this program. There can only be so many volunteers at the national level, but the ones at the state and local level are the ones that keep this program alive. Thank you for all that he and his family has done over the years.

And the best for last—the wonderful Ciera Kaler-Jones. I cannot say enough about this young woman. I have seen many pageants. This is the first time I ever saw a titleholder get back in line with the woman that were waiting to be called and hold their hands. That’s who she is. I know that she served New Jersey with a lot of heart. And she will no doubt have a great future. She will be in Department of Education someday. I insist, because after all, I am a taxpayer and therefore I am the boss. So I say who gets hired ;)


Overall a great pageant, and I wish the class of 2015 nothing but the best.

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Subject: Miss TN Night 3


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Date Posted: 21:26:03 06/19/15 Fri


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Subject: Miss TN Night 2


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Date Posted: 21:05:41 06/18/15 Thu


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Subject: But I loved Hayley's dress. Best thing about those last few minutes. Oh, and I forgot to say Decatur County was good in evening gown, too.


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Date Posted: 23:30:45 06/17/15 Wed


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Subject: IT IS TIME FOR THE ANNUAL TRIP TO YESTERYEAR/MISS TENNESSEE


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Date Posted: 19:52:33 06/17/15 Wed

I will be posting a bit through preliminaries. It starts in about an hour!

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Subject: LAST NIGHT'S RESULTS


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Date Posted: 11:32:13 06/14/15 Sun

Good day everyone!

What a great night of pageantry last night. It was full of some surprises, and a lot of hard work paying off. Overall, I think there were some very pretty winners last night. And, I am getting my wish! As I said, there can never be too many Winemans at Miss America. And they are twice blessed as a family now. Congratulations to Danielle, she looks a lot like Alexis. I am impressed with Miss Minnesota. She and Danielle are probably my favorites of the winners last night. I am looking forward to District of Columbia today as well. Here is a rundown of my thoughts on the winners:

DE— She’s a cute girl, but I don’t see her as strong as Brittany Lewis. She follows the trend of Delaware for the most part. You don’t see them coming, they don’t seem quite ready, and they might have needed a few more years to get it together. I don’t expect much at Miss America, but I am sure she will make a great Miss Delaware.

IL—I am afraid I don’t know much about her, but IL has a great track record and if she has what it takes we will see her in the top 15.

IA—I think it was a long time coming for her, so congratulations. She has improved her looks greatly. At first, she was not very glamorous, but she picked that up. I am not sure what she will do at Miss America. IA has done well of late, so I am sure whatever she has to work with will be up to par. I am not quite ready to put her in the top 15, though.

MN—Wow! She is very pretty and swimsuit ready. Rebecca Yeh put the state back on the map at Miss America, and I am thinking that maybe Rachel could as well. MN has been very successful at Miss USA over the past decade, so it is not like they have subpar competitors. Here’s hoping for good things. I am going to post a swimsuit picture later.

MO—She reminds me of either a soap opera actress or someone that does made for TV movies, but I’ll be darned if I can remember who. I am not sure why, but there didn’t seem to be a lot of excitement about her win. IMO, this is a rebuilding year for MO, but she seems pretty and I am sure she will do her job well. My only complaint is I am very over parents spelling their children’s name so trendy. The trend is irritating when parents take names such as Mackenzie and start with Mc. It sounds like a last name, not a first one. Same goes for former judge McKayla Maroney. It just doesn’t make sense. (LOL, I’ll get off the soapbox now)

MT—Hooray for another Wineman! The family got some press during the 2013 pageant, and they are fine people. I am sure that that they are thrilled. Hey mom and dad, you have a greater likelihood of having a son that plays in the SuperBowl than to have a daughter go to Miss America. You obviously did something well for two of them to make it there. As with any of the plains and western states, it is an uphill climb in the Miss America system, but I am happy nonetheless.

NJ—I am going to post a full review of the pageant later, but at any rate, Lindsey is a pretty girl. She was consistent over the night, and I could have seen that pageant go several different ways. Truthfully, I don’t think she does much at Miss America. I still maintain that if Brenna was able to win that she is NJ’s best hope at putting the state back on the map at Miss America, but that’s a whole other subject in itself.

ND—She is a newbie from what I know. I don’t know much about her, but I’d like to learn more. Sadly, ND isn’t much of a factor at Miss America, so she will have her work cut out for her.

PA—I don’t know much about Ashley except that she was a strong competitor the year previously. I don’t think her win was a surprise. She bested some strong contestants, so there might be something there. Eventually PA is going to get back in the top 15. I just think they are lacking something in prep. Chet was good at getting his titleholders to win Miss PA but they can’t seal the deal otherwise. There was a lot of potential with Courtney T and Annie and I’m not sure what happened. So, we’ll see. I think Ashley has some other pageant experience, I think in the USA system. Sometimes it helps and other times it hurts.

Please feel free to post your thoughts. If you have anything to add about your new titleholder, we’d all love to hear it!

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Subject: A PREVIEW OF THIS WEEKEND'S COMPETITIONS


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Date Posted: 14:35:03 06/12/15 Fri

This weekend is going to be a big one. We should have at least 1/3rd of our class by this point. I am not quite sure if I will watch Miss MO or not. If I do, I will post a complete rundown. $10 is reasonable but I am still not sure.

DE—They have a few of their runner-ups and top 10s as they always do. I am thinking possibly Amanda Debus.

DC—Amelia Wolf seems like the obvious choice, but you never know. DC is always fun because you always get a few transplants from other states that have done well in their home states.

IL—I think they are seeing a lot of newbies this year. I don’t know much about the swimsuit winner from the first night of preliminaries, but hot hot, smoking hot hot! She looks like a USA contestant. I wouldn’t mind looking at that face for an entire year and I would avoid her swimsuit group like the plague in AC should she win.

IA—That should be a tough competition. I have seen the pictures and a few of those look like they are competing for Miss America. Very well put together. Based on what I see, they should repeat their success at Miss America. I have heard good things about Kristen One who I think is a newbie. But this one is hard to call. I would say one of the remaining top 5 from last year is going to win, but you never know!

MN—I am not sure about this pageant. If anyone has any information, please share it with us. I just don’t have a lot of information about it.

MO—I will wait for tonight’s swimsuit results to make more of a guess. And even then, you can’t tell. Perennial runner-up Mary Bauer was a double preliminary winner several times and failed to seal the deal. One thing I can say is that with Makeita Brantley not winning talent, I am not sure she is impressing the judges. She has a very strong talent. I have always believed it is wide open this year and tomorrow should be fun.

MT—I don’t know much about Montana, either, but I am hoping for another Wineman. I know they have some runner-ups competing.

NJ—I am hearing different things coming out of NJ at this point. One thing I am hearing is that Brenna is not quite up to competition. I don’t know, I think if she doesn’t win this year that she’s going to follow in the way of some of the other OTs. I will wait until after the pageant is over to assess what is happening with her, but last year Ciera wanted it more. I just posted the same about Caylynn S in CA and I am hoping Brenna can get it together. I am hearing Devon and Lindsey are both strong. Who knows? Again, it should be a good one, and fun to watch.

ND—Another that I am afraid I just don’t know much about. If anyone has any previews, please post.

PA—This one is quite interesting. I thought that Caroline Collins just had to show up and collect her crown. It could happen that way, but the judges seem to be taken with Cassie C in competition. Also, I heard Julia Rae’s talent was not up to par but she tied for talent. Either they like her or the talent isn’t good in PA this year. Or, maybe she improved. That happens every now and then. I wouldn’t go calling this for Cassie C just yet because I have seen more often than not the past few years double winners do not win. But it should be fun! Another thing, I am not sure if they have 3 nights of preliminaries but I thought Alyssa Marsh should have won a talent prelim. That is also telling. I haven’t seen this particular group compete so I can’t speak to who would do well at Miss America, but we’ll see. Last year they sent a strong talent. If they don’t have a competitive contestant, they should probably send one that would contend for a preliminary.

The last two years were very interesting in that there were so many double prelim winners at the state competitions. That hasn’t been happening this year, I kind of wonder if there was a shift in judging. I think it’s a good thing for many reasons. First, you know that judges aren’t just throwing points in a competition. Second, it makes for a better competition. Third, it shows that judges are judging every competition consistently. And at the end, most of the double prelim winners were left standing at the end of the night.

Feel free to post your predictions, your thoughts, or anything else you would like to add! There is plenty of good competition this weekend.

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Subject: Last week's results


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Date Posted: 13:25:21 06/12/15 Fri

Even though this is almost a week late, here is my thoughts on last weekend’s winners:

AL--Very cute. She reminds me of a happier, perkier Kirsten Haglund. I always knew her name but I didn't know much about her. What I see, though, I have been impressed. I like her. I would love to see her in the top 15 in Atlantic City.

AK--I'm afraid I don't know much about her.

KS--Where have you been hiding all my life? This weekend's complete pleasant surprise. She came out of nowhere for a decisive win. That has been working well at Miss America in the last 10 years. Kirsten, Lauren, Katie all did so. She is very pretty, obviously very talented, and KS can get it done. I am looking forward to getting to know her in Atlantic City.

NE--Even though I was pulling for someone else, I can be objective. Alyssa has been competing for a while now and I'm sure this is a great victory for her. I just don't see her doing much at a national level.

NY--Yes! I feel really bad for Desiree, but she will no doubt go onto great things. She just had the misfortune of competing against three future Miss Americas and a first runner-up at Sweetheart. In any other year, she would have made a fine Miss New York, as Amanda Mason. Both would have done very well at Miss America, too. As for Jamie Lynn, she is a mix of very cute and strong onstage. I think the judges will really gravitate to her. She’s ready to go as it is, and I have no doubt that the NY prep team will help her become even better. I just think she is very likeable and I think she’s going to do well. She could be top 5. I am a fan :)

OK—I was pulling for Sarah Klein, but I knew it maybe wasn’t in the cards for her. I think that Georgia’s win was foreshadowed at the spring meeting. She seemed to clean up with all the awards then and that usually is an indication of the frontrunner. I am, and always have kind of been meh on Georgia. However, she will be at least top 15. She reminds me facially of Andi, the Bachelorette from last season. However, she completely reminds me of every other Miss Oklahoma. She just seems so interchangeable. OK obviously does what works, but I am getting really bored with what I termed the Oklahombot.

Out of these, I see the usual suspects—AL, NY, and OK as good guesses for the top 15 and I think KS has a good shot.

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Subject: MY 2015 WISH LIST


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Date Posted: 13:03:20 06/12/15 Fri

I wanted to post this earlier, but my schedule would not permit. But here goes, anyway.

The following I wanted to win their state pageants, and they are not competing:

HI--Carr, the first runner-up from last yr (I forget her first name)
ME--Marisa Butler
MI--Shelby Gardiner
MO--Kelby Czerwonka
NC--Jessie Smith
TN--Sarah Stokely
TX--Larissa Bonaquisti

I was pulling for the following who already competed:
AL--Elisabeth Chramer :( or if she couldn't win then Mia Callens :(
NE--Kaylie Carlberg :(
NY--Jamie Lynn Macchia :) or Desiree Wiley :(
OK--Sarah Klein :(
VT--Alyssa Westcom :) or Nina Merriam :(

I am still pulling for the following to win their state pageants:

CA--Caylynn Simonson
DC--Amelia Wolf
GA--Betty Cantrell
ID--Kalie Wright (oh please God)
KY--Melissa Cox (there can never be enough Coxes at Miss America)
MA--Meghan Fuller
MT--the Wineman sister (see above, just change last names)
NJ--Brenna Weick
SC--Lauren Cabaniss

Good luck to all the lovely ladies still competing!

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Subject: The Nevada Situation


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Date Posted: 17:47:25 09/27/14 Sat

I attended a small high school in which there was a lot of nepotism. There was a teacher who was very thick with the principal. This teacher made sure all of their children were superstars at everything at the school. And it was gotten away with because there was a lot of politics at the school. This teacher schmoozed with the principal, and because of that relationship, a deaf ear and blind eye was turned to the students who were being affected by it. I was one such student. So, I have a lot of empathy for everyone who was affected by the situation. It is very disheartening when you work very hard for something only to have someone else either working against you, or trying to be a young person fighting against bad adult politics. I think Haleyann was likely screwed out of a title, for lack of a better term. This should have been handled at the national level immediately, not inviting her to the MAOT pageant a week before it was ready to start. I will be honest--I'm not even sure how this all came to light. But if someone had suspicions, it should have been addressed right after the pageant was completed. Whatever happened in Florida was dealt with within a week.

This leads to the larger question of what really happened. I think we can all agree that sometimes, bad things happen in the land of pageantry. Pageants can be rigged, pageants can be manipulated. I guess the big question for me is--how exactly did this happen? I don't think it is hard at all for anyone to get the winner that they want. All they have to do is get close to a few board members, the board members tell the judges "This is what we want in a winner". And the judges go with who they think fits that description best. Usually with pageants, it is a lot of payback. It is either someone is close with the ED, the winner comes with a lot of cash resources, etc. I don't know the first thing about the Smith family or what their resources are like. But it does seem like there was some sort of manipulation.

Now, all of this is my opinion only. Like the story I shared, there are a lot of helicopter parents and stage moms who want their children to rule the world. They want them to succeed so they can live through them, brag about them, and to basically fill their own need for attention or approval. And that's one hell of a burden to put on any child. I was pushed in this direction to a certain extent, although not with academics or sports, entertainment, etc. But many parents choose the acceptable way of the world--sports, academics, theater, music, etc. I had a feeling this was the case with the Smith family as soon as I heard this story. Then, as I was doing the contestant clips, I came across Ellie's website. You can find the link to it under the contestant videos. If you look at that site, she was being touted as the next Justin Bieber. (and if you think I'm kidding, just take a look at the page for yourself) But if you look at the pictures, you see a real sadness in her eyes. It's like there was no life in them, just sadness. I really think Ellie is a sad child who is being pushed into unrealistic expectations of performing to the outside world. The very sad thing is, she can be Miss Nevada, the next great singer, or whatever, but it's really no way to live. Also, that clip of her with her sister Amy was kind of curious to me. It seemed like Amy was Ellie's backbone. She couldn't seem to communicate without looking at her, she seemed to need her to verify everything. So, looking at the overall picture, I wouldn't be surprised in the least that someone wanted them to win Miss Nevada and OT. Yes, the story was "cute" that they both won but it wasn't anything noteworthy. The press could have cared less. I feel like these two are as much victims in this as anybody. Ellie was not the mature teen that Teresa was. Amy is only 15. I don't think they deserve the vitriol in all of this. Imagine trying to live with the fact that your parent didn't think you could win of your own merits. They faced a lot of scorn that most teens do not have to deal with.

I am glad that everyone involved lost their franchise. They should have. I don't think the national level showed a lot of leadership on this, but they don't with anything. The Sanders crew in SC had to be practically forced out. I think, and know, that there are a lot of problems at state levels and nothing is done about it. So, at least this group was given the door. I am not too familiar with the folks in Nevada, so I have no idea if whoever is taking over is good or not. Me personally, I think that whoever takes over should not have any ties to this particular group. For the sake of ethics and fairness to future contestants, I think that a new broom should sweep clean. As for Haleyann, I wouldn't blame her for never coming back again. I don't think that she should, as a matter of fact. If she wants to compete, she should go to the USA system. So yes, this was a horrible story, and I think that it deserved more attention than being discussed on message boards.

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Subject: And if all else fails, sing Via Dolorosa. It will get you at least 2nd runner-up. And a review of final night


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Date Posted: 20:41:08 09/15/14 Mon

I love New York….concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do………(emphasis on that last part).

Wow. I am still recovering from last night, in a good way, I’m tired, too! Three in a row. I was young and didn’t follow USA when I was younger, so I never remembered much about the 5 peat. There’s a first for everything, and it happened last night. For once, despite the much ballyhooed talent, to me, Kira was the clear standout last night. It’s kind of sad to me the negative reaction that her talent is getting. It’s getting universally ripped. While I wouldn’t call it a 10 by any means, and no one will be seeing her name in lights, it wasn’t that she lacked talent. Although, this is the time we live in. Everything is going to be nit-picked in social media. I guess we should be glad we have arrived. Last year of course there was negativity. But very few people are jumping to Kira’s defense unlike last year. And the truth is, I don’t think it affects Kira. She made the choice, sang with a smile, and was her own person. And I’m sure this will die down.

There are so many aspects of what happened last night, and I think I might address them in separate posts because I think they are noteworthy. But first, I want to congratulate New York. This is the culmination of an amazing streak that I don’t see going away anytime soon. I have said this before, I think Mallory and Kira are a lot alike, and it seems like that is how Miss America is headed. I don’t think what worked in the past is going to work in the future. And the judging is changing. You have 3 non-preliminary winners in a row and for the second year in a row, 2 non-preliminary winners as the last two standing. So, what’s going on with that? I don’t know, but it’s probably a good thing. It means that judges are not throwing points at whoever they like in different competitions. I am going to guess that Kira was an interview winner. I can’t wait to see her interview. I can’t wait to see her on TV for that matter. She’s one of those winners that I just can’t wait to hear more about. Maybe once the dust settles, people will grow to appreciate her. Or maybe not. They never did with Teresa.

As far as the competition last night, I walked away very discouraged with the overall judging. I have pretty much resigned myself to the fact that unless you get a daring panel of judges like the ones in 2011, you are going to see the same old same old with one or two thrown in for good measure. I was not on the same page with a lot of what went on. And sadly, I have resigned myself to the fact that in the Miss America system, there’s not going to be parity. I sat at the final two of USA and thought that hell would freeze over, the earth would be hit by a meteor, regrow itself and get hit again before we’d ever seen North Dakota and Nevada as the last two standing at a Miss America pageant. Miss Montana did so well this year. There was no reason she shouldn’t have finished even in the top 15. Maybe she wouldn’t have even cracked the top 10 but she should have been 11-15. Same goes for Miss Maine last year. The only credit I give to these judges is to save North Dakota AND not dragging her along. I would have rather they drug her along than Miss Washington the other year. But I digress. Congratulations to Jacky, by the way. She seems delightful, and maybe had those judges had their heads on right, we might have gotten to know her a bit better.

I will be honest—the more the names were called and some of the really strong candidates were left standing, I just felt less and less. I realize CA couldn’t speak, but she did more than enough to make up for it onstage. Unless she got a 3 in interview, which I highly doubt, she couldn’t have been that bad. There were other people that I had on my list like NJ and IL where you knew it would be close depending on how the judges saw it. Overall, I didn’t do half bad. But then there was the issue of how they all ended up. I know you all know that I was always a huge fan of Acacia Courtney. When I saw her compete for the first time in Connecticut, I thought they were going to have a Miss America. Whatever happened apparently did not resonate with the judges in Atlantic City. She had a good week and I’m almost positive she won evening gown. The only thing I could say is that she was more traditional than the eventual winner. But so was TN, AR, FL, VA, AL, et al. I’m not sure Texas should have been out in the swimsuit round, either. Both obviously had lower composite scores, but had better bodies and presentations than those moving on. I didn’t get MA initially being there but she had a good competition night. It was nice to see Massachusetts competitive again. They’ve had a few girls over the years that should have done well but did not. After the first round, I didn’t have ID, KY, ND (just by sheer points if they didn’t play into the gimmick) and AR advancing. By gown, I had KY and MS, although I should have known her talent would be featured. I just didn’t think MS had a lot of energy. Truthfully, I think OH should have been gone but I knew darned well that if her talent wasn’t featured there would be a backlash. They also needed that for social media, but then Kira’s talent created that in and of itself. I knew OH was running out of steam and I didn’t think she was going to be in the top 5. But MA was coming on stronger and stronger. The first few talents save MS were pretty bad. I thought MS was going to make the top 5 with her talent. She was mediocre every other way but I don’t know, this top 10 seemed rather dull at times. There was no real energy out of most of them. Maybe it was just the show itself. I don’t know if I was the only one that felt this way, but it seemed to lack energy. And that top 15 announcement, judges save, etc took up almost a half an hour. It wasted time. Back in the 70s they had at least 2 minute talents and they worked in 2 cheesy production numbers. There’s no reason that much time had to be wasted. By the time they worked down to the last talent, I knew it was going to be AL. I thought the best talents were OH (by a mile), FL, MA, VA, and MS. By that time, I thought that pageant politics and talent would play out. So I had the final five being MA, FL, NY, AL and MS. Although, I saw AR gain steam throughout the night so I wasn’t surprised she was in the top 5. I was surprised at VA. She was certainly solid. And I think with Kira being a sure thing, it was quite an honor for whoever would be first runner-up. By that point, I was also considering an outside possibility of MA or AR winning. But by the final questions ,I knew FL was out of the running. She was just so lifeless when she answered that question. I was hoping that Kira would have got that question, I knew she would have blown it out of the park. But it all worked out well, anyway. I didn’t think any of the answers were bad, really. I’ve heard a lot worse over the years. At the end, I had VA as 4th runner-up, NY winning, with MA, AR and FL for the spaces in between. Although, I thought AR and MA would the the top 3. I wasn’t that far off with it. And the rest is history.

So, our new queen is off to her TV shows. And I mean this—Kira has more of a queen quality than most of the Miss Americas over the last few years. Nina was prissy, Mallory was a firecracker, Laura was a classic beauty, and Teresa was young and cute. But there’s something very charismatic about Kira. I hope that more people will give her a chance. I also think there are some who are wary of the crown staying in New York, that times are changing, etc. And the talent.

I will post more on some of what I touched on with judging later, because there has been a major shift. Overall, I say all’s well that ends well, but there needs to be some major repairs along the way.

P.S.—The Tony Bowls gowns were as boring as I thought they would be. But I don’t think he got his money’s worth for that sponsorship, which might be a blessing. It wasn’t even mentioned that all the contestants were in his gowns, and they were just blurs on the stage at that point. I guess from a contestant’s standpoint, at least they didn’t pay for it.

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Subject: Any chance of bringing this board back to life? I'm sick of Sam discussions on the guru board.


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Date Posted: 20:43:25 04/07/15 Tue


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Subject: Calling all pageant paticipants in Illinois! Please go to Cara Kokenes' FCB page and sign her petition to get the IL Ed removed!


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Date Posted: 09:58:35 05/24/15 Sun


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Subject: Tune in or set your DVR


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Date Posted: 16:43:58 05/18/15 Mon

Kira is going to be on Hallmark's Home and Family tomorrow morning.

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Subject: Shocker! (sort of)


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Date Posted: 09:58:13 05/11/15 Mon

http://www.inquisitr.com/2080968/american-idol-cancelled/

This is pageant related,since the Miss America system has seen several contestants over the years. I can't believe it's going off the air, but I know the ratings have been dwindling.

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Subject: MISS NEW HAMPSHIRE


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Date Posted: 20:19:50 04/30/15 Thu

Another great New England state is having their pageant this weekend. The winners of New Hampshire have gone on to win preliminaries and make the top 10 at Miss America just as recently as 2013. If I remember correctly, New Hampshire has tended to crown either talent winners or some of the contestants with stronger talent, so I am going to look for who wins that as a contender. Right off the bat, my guesses to win are Kendall Wipff, Holly Blanchard, or Lauren Percy. My safe choice/obvious conclusion contestant is Kendall Wipff. She was an OT winner, and the New England states have a history of crowning them. She was also first or second runner-up last year. Holly Blanchard I am also thinking could win, very strong possibility. She has been around the past few years and has always done well. Sometimes it's just your time and it could be hers. I am not sure why Lauren Percy is jumping out for me, I know she's a former OT. But I just have this feeling that she is one to watch. I am not familiar with some of the newer contestants, but I am sure there will be a few of the newbies that come in and do well. We'll see some results shortly! Their preliminaries are starting tonight.

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Subject: Welcome Back...I actually read more interesting material here in one visit than on Pageant Guru for nearly the entire past year. Good Luck


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Date Posted: 06:59:14 04/30/15 Thu


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Subject: CHANGING OF THE GUARD


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Date Posted: 17:50:38 04/26/15 Sun

I was just thinking that there is a real changing of the guard going on this year throughout the states. I think this is the first year in a very long time where there aren't a lot of contestants that have been competing for a long time, very well-known throughout the system and ones that a lot of people are rooting for. There are a lot of new faces in many of the state contestants that I have seen. And I think there is a real shift going on. It seems like the next few years we will probably get a whole new group coming in that will seem like the new class. But this year, when a lot of our queens will crown their successors, it seems like we are coming to the end of this era, sort to speak. Look at how many people looked for Caitlin Brunnell and Jasmine Murray to make it to Miss America, and they did in the same year. Initially, there were two MAOT winners but whatever happened with Elizabeth Fechtel she wasn't going to compete. Then there were those of us who saw the raw potential in the likes of Acacia Courtney. Even though she didn't make the top 15 at Miss America, Marina Inserra was certainly a favorite to win Miss California for many years. There were a lot of well known contestants who had a lot of fans and many looked forward to that. They were like all-stars coming into Miss America. I don't think this year features that many. This is the first of many years I can think of that it just isn't going to happen. I think this is a rebuilding years in a lot of the states. There are a lot of perennial favorites who aged out as well. There won't be Mary Bauer in MO this year, Jordan Krinke in CA, Kara Mitchell in OH, Christine Tang in TX, are just some off the top of my head. I think all of those would have been fine representatives for their states.

Anyone else feel the same way?

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Subject: Miss Universe


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Date Posted: 20:23:49 01/25/15 Sun

The top 5 has yet to be announced, but I don't see this NOT g going to a non-Latina. The only one I think is Australia or Russia. They are both beauties and their countries know how to get it done.

And how cool to see DeSean Jackson as a judge :)

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Subject: News?


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Date Posted: 11:10:28 01/01/15 Thu

It's a new year, is there a new director for Nevada? Have prelims begun?

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Subject: The emotional lives of our Miss Americas


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Date Posted: 14:30:24 12/24/14 Wed

This might seem like a strange topic for Christmas Eve, but I have some free time finally and it's a topic that I have wanted to discuss for some time. This video came out last year around pageant time:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-W_aBA1B4cE

I have no doubt that stressors contributed to Teresa's depression. Her father is a psychiatrist, and he along with every mental health professional would tell you that nobody really knows what causes depression. There are some that believe that a chemical imbalance causes it. There are some that believe stressors cause it. And then there are some who believe certain things just don't work at the same time and come together to cause it. I am glad that Teresa got help for what she was going through. It seems that she is really working hard to not only gain control of her depression, but her whole life. She is very dedicated to fitness and is working hard in her studies. But I think it took her a long time to get her footing.

I don't think Teresa's story is that different from many Miss Americas. The problem is, I don't think that many Miss Americas talk about it. How could you? You are to put on a happy face 24/7. You have to be "on"--if someone meets Miss America and they do not make you feel like the most important person on the earth, they have failed somehow. In this day and age, they have to please sponsors. Being Miss America is a dream come true when they put the crown on your head, and it seems like a nightmare in between. I have often said if you took the title Miss America out of the job description most people would not want it. I don't know that I would want it. I give any titleholder credit for putting themselves out there to compete. It's not easy. I think by the time someone wins their state title, their life morphs into something they've never imagined, both good and bad. But you are also open to endless criticism, both from meddlesome directors, control freaks, pageant moms, and from people on the Internet. That is not just limited to pageant people. I am sure most of the people mocking Kira's talent did not even see her do it. I realize at the end of the day if someone is secure enough in themselves, they won't let people's opinions affect them. I really don't think Kira does, for instance. And I think there have been a lot of strong women in this program. You don't get to be Miss America without steadfastness. Mallory is no shrinking violet, and I think she was more than prepared to handle what came her way. But after her year was over, she seemed to struggle. I have been reading her Twitter and her blog, and she had the same issue. I think it's VERY hard to find yourself after your year is over. Some girls have wanted to be Miss America since they were 5 years old. And then you work for years and years to make that happen. Then your world is a whirlwind, and then what? I think it was Debbye Turner who said when she was Miss America everyone carried her luggage for her and the minute she gave up her crown, she was stumbling around with her own luggage and nobody helped her. When I was in college, there was a point where I was working 2 jobs and going to class. Sitting down for down times when I rarely had it, I didn't know how to feel. I felt like I had to be doing something, anything. I didn't know how to relax. Now multiply that by years and years of working for something and then moving on to the next thing. It's a huge change. And then what do you do? You go from being someone that is the face of an organization to when you give up your crown, you are beloved at reunions and once a year at Miss America. Life changes. Granted, Miss America is not the end all be all. Most of the titleholders have gone on to have families, children, careers, etc. So, they do get on with their lives. But I think that the time in between is very difficult.

The question is: what is being done to help them? At this point, it seems like very little. If you have read the book Boardwalk in Disrepair, the incident with Lauren Nelson and the backlash against her was mentioned. For those that have not read the book (I highly recommend you read it), Lauren went on America's Most Wanted and helped do a sting for online child predators. I thought it was a great idea. However, people were critical of the appearance, and there was some backlash. According to the book, Lauren was very downtrodden about the backlash, and the organization did nothing to back her up. They didn't issue a statement supporting her or giving support in any way. Apparently, she felt like she was on her own. I have no doubt that is true today a few years later. This is particularly true right now. If Sam Haskell spends any time with Miss America it is all about how great he is. You would think he is the queen (LOL, ok, take that any way that you want, I am not changing it). I am sure that families are left picking up the slack for what happens during any given year. But there are some days when Miss America may not be able to even talk with their families or friends. And you can't sit down and just unwind with them. I don't know the situation with the traveling companion right now. But I think at least part of the time, there should be a younger woman with Miss America. Even Frank DeFord said in his book in the 1970s--Pam Eldred's traveling companion (who was older) basically sat with her at a table and they had nothing to say to each other. I'm sure it's great to have a mother figure at times. However, I just think that there are generational differences and it might feel more familiar to have a peer relating to you. Peers can relate to online backlash. Peers understand the world they live in.

What can we as the pageant public can do? I think the best thing we can do is to encourage them as best as we can. If you see Miss America at an event, let her know that you support her, that you have her back. If you are a praying person, keep her in your prayers. Even if she can't respond as she really wants, let her know you understand how hard it is and that you want her to keep going. We can't do everything, but we all know how our words can make a difference. Encouragement can make a difference. Sometimes it's just nice to know that people don't expect something of you, but are giving something to you instead.

I think I've just scratched the surface of this topic. And I think it is true for any titleholder. There is no shortage of stress and pressure for young women in their titleholder duties. Many are just young women starting out in this life and are getting some real fiery training. Let's all do what we can do help them along the way.

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Subject: Final Question for Top 5, Miss Ohio Pageant 1964


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Times of changed
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Date Posted: 13:07:46 12/22/14 Mon

Each of the five finalists were required to select a painting which they were asked to describe and interpret. This final task in the competition was evaluated by the judges on the basis of self-expression in describing what meaning the individual painting had for each girl and what she felt on viewing the painting.

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Subject: Miss NE 1973 talks about her struggles with MS


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Date Posted: 16:03:09 11/07/14 Fri

http://www.everydayhealth.com/health-report/managing-multiple-sclerosis-mind-and-body/ms-videos-personal-stories.aspx?xid=aol_eh-ms_3_20141103_&aolcat=aja&icid=maing-grid7%7chtmlws-main-bb%7cdl39%7csec1_lnk2%26plid%3d559105

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Subject: It's Time for Miss Venezuela!


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Date Posted: 01:08:18 10/11/14 Sat

It will be airing on Univision this weekend. Here is a list of local affiliates:

http://tv.univision.com/univision

You might have to go to the bar that says TV Local and it will list the cities and channels. If you live in one of those areas, you can catch it on your local affiliate, as well as on the actual network itself. If you have never seen it before, and you love yourself some good old fashioned pageantry, you need to see it. It's fantastic.

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