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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:


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

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: 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: Miss NE 1973 talks about her struggles with MS

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


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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:


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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Subject: How is your Miss doing after Miss America?

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Date Posted: 21:40:18 09/29/14 Mon

I was wondering how your titleholder is doing after Miss America. Usually it's a tough time, a bit of a letdown, but most get right back to work. Were they happy with how things turned out, sad, etc.?

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Subject: About Kira and the sorority scandal

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Date Posted: 16:30:10 09/27/14 Sat

Scandals, scandals, and more scandals. This year is probably going to go down as one of the worst Miss America has ever had. First was the Amanda Longacre debacle. And then Elizabeth Fechtel was dethroned and replaced by eventual 3rd runner-up to Miss America Victoria Cowen. Then there was the Nevada mess. And then the complaints about Kira's talent. And now there are the hazing accusations. From what I gather at this point, I don't think Kira is going anywhere unless something worse is uncovered. However, it does not mean that she has gotten out of this unscathed.

I hope no one is surprised at the revelations and scandal. And I hope no one is surprised when this continues next year, the year after that, and the year after that. My favorite journalist Thomas Friedman was talking about politicians, but I think the same rings true for every public figure. He said "If I don't like you, I can go on the Internet and social media in this day and age and I can ruin you in 5 minutes". And it's true. Anybody is fair game. We live in a time of "gotcha" journalism, if you can call it that. Journalism at its core is supposed to be about asking fair, tough questions and bringing about positive change. But now we have a media that in its various forms sells cheap entertainment and rarely focuses on the real news. I get frustrated with it, as do many people. It's as if they think people are not intelligent or have enough depth of character to care about what goes on in this world. Instead, we are told how much we care about Kate Middleton's pantyhose, which celebrity said something stupid, and the definition of celebrity is rather diluted. So, we shouldn't be surprised that any "jouralist" is going to try and get as much dirt on anyone who is a public figure. It's not only a matter of pride, but it's a matter of business. Truthfully, I never heard of Jezebel before this Kira story. Now we all have. Now, this story with Kira is definitely making the Internet, but I haven't seen it covered on television news. That's probably a good thing. When we have a major international crisis, this is fodder. I do think, however that it is very important for all of us who support the Miss America Organization to ask tough questions about our titleholders, and I do not discount the seriousness of this. I think we should all be questioning how our contestants are vetted, the integrity of all involved, and how we can improve. Whether or not I agree with the method in how this came to light, I think we all have to take it very seriously.

I am not a sorority person, nor do I claim to have knowledge of how they are operated. I have always found them fascinating, and thought about what life would be like in one. I think they are both good and bad. The good is that you have a support system that will always have your back, you have a sisterhood, and friends for life. The bad thing is, it's like you belong to a cult, if you will. You have your own rules, you have to provide unyielding support to your sorority, there is a group mentality. It seems like you give up a part of your freedom to be a part of it. And of course, there is the secrecy that surrounds sororities and fraternities. And the hazing rituals. Times have changed, and the good news is that the abuse of other people is not allowed. I know it still happens, but the attitudes are changing and behavior is changing overall. Now, if Kira was involved in some kind of abusive hazing, it's wrong and there is no justification for it. Twice now, on TV and on her blog, she told the story of why she was kicked out of the sorority. Since I have no knowledge of how sororities really work, I can only take her at her word. I don't think she did an adequate job of answering the unanswered questions on GMA. I can't say that it was an appearance which would put crtics to rest. They wouldn't be, anyway, but there are times where someone gives a strong interview and it puts a lot of questions to rest. This wouldn't have done that. And I don't think there is any question about whether or not she was kicked out of a sorority, Kira was. I think the big question for the MAO is if this is a violation of the morals clause. There would be no reason to dethrone her otherwise. If she disclosed all of this previously, I don't think it's going to be an issue. It really looks as if they support her and she's not going anywhere.

However, in the future, I see a huge change coming. I think contestants will be heavily vetted unlike they have ever been before. There might be a squeakly clean Sharlene Wells type next year after the last two winners have had some problem associated with them. And I love Mallory, but she's been somewhat of a loose cannon after her year as Miss America. This is all assuming that they want to avoid scandal. There is 1/2 of 1 percent of me that thinks somehow TPTB think that this is a way to get the pageant relevant again. Or they might have been advised to do so. Get people talking, bad publicity is publicity indeed. Although, I highly doubt it. Last year's tape situation had the chance to really blow up in their face and nothing was done to avoid it. I think the leadership is totally lacking and wouldn't know how to properly "grow the brand" if their futures were riding on it. So I'm not sure how this will all happen.

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt Kira is going to have a difficult time for the time being. What a first two weeks she has had. Realistically, no one else has had it worse. Vanessa Williams' scandal didn't happen until July. I would say whether you love Kira or hate her, I think legitimately, we can say that somewhere along the line, she had a major lapse in judgement that got her dismissed from a sorority. And I think it brings up legitimate questions about her credibility. I do not believe she was involved in abusive hazing, however. At the end of the day, the MAO has clearly demonstrated twice now with the last two Miss Americas that they are willing to take on scandals and bad publicity. But I do think that if at least rational heads prevail, you will see a bit more discretion with contestant backgrounds.

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Subject: Miss America's Are Complex Human Beings: Like Most of Us!

This is a great article!
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Date Posted: 16:34:34 09/24/14 Wed

It has been almost two weeks since Kira Kazantsev, Miss New York won the Miss America crown on September 15 in Atlantic City convention hall. Kazantsev was the third Miss New York in a row to win the title. She was crowned by her predecessor and fellow New Yorker, Nina Davaluri, who became the first Miss America of Indian descent to capture the crown a year ago. No state has had three consecutive winners. In a contest that has historically been dominated by Southern and Midwestern winners, this fact in and of itself is very noteworthy.

The current Miss America speaks three languages and was born in Russia. These facts, distinctive and interesting as they are, however, were not the major issues that has had so many people across he political spectrum buzzing about the new, current Miss America. While her cup performance talent while singing to Pharrell William's mega-hit "Happy" was a source of intrigue and controversy to many social media critics and observers. Indeed twitter, facebook, snapchat, pinterest, instagram and others were abuzz with intense chatter and at times, biting commentary about the newly crowned Miss America. She has confirmed that she was forced out of her sorority while attending Hofstra University but denies that it was for aggressively hazing recruits. Those matters aside, the issue that drew even more scrutiny -- in fact, even intense outrage in some quarters, particularly among a number of those on the political right -- is that Kazantsev worked at a Planned Parenthood Clinic during a three-month internship.

After hearing this news, some conservative organizations such as the National Right To Life (arguably the direct antitheses to Planned Parenthood) wasted no time launching into personal criticism of Ms. Kazantsev. A number of conservative websites personally denounced her, levying attacks against her character and what they perceived as her lack of moral values. For the most part, she (Kazantsev) has taken the criticism in stride, went on the offensive and has been unapologetic about her past internship.

Truth be told, Kazantsev is not the only Miss America that has come under occasional scrutiny for being involved or taking on taking on causes that have negatively aroused or jilted certain segments of the public. While the majority of Miss America's have served quiet, relatively uneventful reigns, there have been a few who have managed to garner ire and controversy. Miss America 1976, Tawny Godin (then Tawny Little), outraged many pageant fans when she stated that she supported a women's right to an abortion. Vanessa Williams, Miss America 1984 and the first Black woman to win the crown was the victim of racial hostility and death threats by those who saw her victory as an affront to the previous image of White, eurocentric womanhood image that was shattered upon her victory. Nina Davaluri, faced similar racial hostility as well from disgruntled internet bloggers. Miss America 1993, Leanza Cornett announced that she was pro-choice Christian republican. While her remarks did not generate the same level of outrage as some of her fellow winners, she was still viewed with a jaundiced eye by some hardcore pageant followers.

In fact, during the 1990s, there were a number of Miss America's who had controversial platforms and still won the crown. Leanza Cornett's adopted Aids Awareness as her platform. Her successor, Kimberly Aiken, Miss America 1994, took on the plight of the homeless for her cause. For Kate Shindle, Miss America 1998, safe sex and condom distribution in public schools was her platform. More Recently, Laura Kaeppeler, Miss America 2012 touted mentoring children of incarcerated parents. While Kaeppeler's platform may not be seen as controversial as some of the aforementioned examples, it is still nonetheless, a topic that a Miss America contestant would not have have touched in previous decades. This shows how the pageants, its judges and society has transformed despite the rigid viewpoints of certain people who have decided to remain latched to certain beliefs despite the fact that society is rapidly evolving all around them.

This should go without saying, but some people seem to fail to realize it. The reality is that Miss America's are complex human beings. Despite wearing a tiara and traveling across the nation for a year promoting their causes, they have emotions like the rest of us. Some are liberal, others are conservative, middle of the road, deeply political, apolitical etc... She should not be expected to harbor a particular ideology or to solely represent just one segment of the population.

There are some on the political right who need to realize that not every Miss America is going to be devoutly religious or necessarily be feverishly patriotic. There are others on the political left who need to come to the realization that not every single woman who decides to participate in the Miss America Pageant or any pageant is a person crippled with low self esteem, has limited intellect., entrenched with a hyper intensive level of narcissism, lacks a social conscience, is shallow or being manipulated by a sexist culture. It is probably safe to say that all of the Nation's Miss America winners have embodied characteristics that can be found in all of us. In short, they are human.

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Subject: So the next question up...who will take NY or better yet, who SHOULD take NY?

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Date Posted: 17:01:41 09/15/14 Mon

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Subject: I just saw Kira on Jimmy Kimmel

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Date Posted: 00:16:52 09/19/14 Fri

It was great. We have heard There She Is in that short clip more than in the last 3 years. Initially, they had a man in a tuxedo singing There She Is at the pageant. Then they showed Kira at "home" and everything she did, he would pop up, scare her, and start singing There She Is. At the end, she chased him out of the house with spray. It was really a lot of fun, and Kira looked great. I hope we get to see even more of her this week.

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Subject: Nevada Corruption - http://m.reviewjournal.com/news/nevada/nevada-creates-controversy-teen-pageant.

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Date Posted: 11:02:12 09/09/14 Tue


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Subject: Hi. New poster here. The Guru board got so vile I had to leave. This seems much more pleasant. Anyway, saying hi. Fellow MA follower supporter and I do really like Kira. I went into finals wanting FL but Kira won me over.

Flipper from Bayou Country
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Date Posted: 06:42:45 09/24/14 Wed

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Date Posted: 02:06:46 09/15/14 Mon

Well, I FINALLY predicted a winner! Usually they make the second runner-up. I didn't get the second runner-up at all, nor the top 5, etc. But all is well that ends well. I just kind of felt with Kira that it was going to happen. She soooo had it. She just radiated. She is her own person, and the judges loved it. I had a feeling that based on what they were saying, she was going to win. The rest of the top 15, well, that's a topic for another essay. I'm not sure I'd be as happy had things turned out differently. I think there has to be some major changes. I think the talent was good this year, although many were left standing.

When I said many were left standing, they really were. Some of the judging I did not get, more on that later. But I kind of expected it. And I'm saying this now--don't ever get your hopes up again. This year was the most competitive in years and you get more of the same. This isn't meant against Kira, it's just the same old judging. And I do think we are moving into a whole new era of judging. I want to also congratulate Courtney Garrett, who really did come out of nowhere. I like her, although I don't know how she got to first runner-up.

I will have a full post in the morning! I am very happy tonight.

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Subject: More about the pageant

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Date Posted: 01:05:07 09/18/14 Thu

Hi everyone!

I am just about caught up with everything from last week I needed to do, so time for plenty more posting about the pageant!

First of all, I didn't mention this the other night, but this was not the year of platforms and/or inspirational stories. A good example of this would be Miss Kentucky not advancing. She had a great story, but it never really saw the light of day. That was the stuff that top 10 and 5 was made of even several years ago. Idaho didn't really get a lot of press despite the public vote. Sadly, she wasn't as competitive as some were this year, but she held her own. Had this been a weaker year, I think she might have seen the top 15.

I guess that is a good segue into the next topic. This year was "strong", but I just don't think it was judged well. But I'm not sure that it was as strong as it was hyped to be. There was a lot of hype this year concentrated around a few contestants. And like most years, the winner was not hyped. A lot of people, myself included, bought the hype that this was going to be the most competitive in years. I don't think that it was, especially given how it ended. Having a few days pass, I guess I can understand some of it. With regards to CT, the minute I saw her a few years ago, I thought she was a Miss America in waiting. Last year, she bested the eventual winner of Miss America this year. She finished 2 places behind Miss America at Miss New York. I think that's why those of us who knew what she had knew she was going to do well. And she did, she made the top 15 based on her own merits. But I really thought she would go further. Although, and this is where it gets tricky, if I want to be honest, she's very old school pageanty. She would have been top 5 10 years ago, or even during the Vegas years. On the other hand, the top 10 was loaded with old school pageanty types--AL, OK, TN, MS, OH, FL, AR, and VA. So, I'm not sure if you can say that it's all about the new. I think the kind of Miss America is changing, and you will continue to see the decline of old school Phyllis George types. I think we can safely say now that 3 of the last 5 Miss Americas--Teresa, Mallory and now Kira have been personality based. I think that's great, I would much rather have a personality queen than an interview queen.
There was also something curious to me. Last year's Miss Texas was a much weaker representative overall than this year's. However, Monique didn't get past the first round and Ivana made it into the top 10. Now, I know what I said about her not having a lot of charisma, and I stand by that. However, she was heads and above Ivana in talent and swimsuit, which are weighted more heavily. I realize this is a whole different year and that you can't judge two different people against the standards of two different years. But it's just curious to me.

Last, this year's top 5 was all over the place. They certainly did not pick a "type". MA was the brainiac resume queen. FL was the swimsuit and gown queen. AR was kind of just there all night and picked up a top 3. VA I am assuming she had a great interview. From that video of herself, she seemed like a wonderful, compassionate young woman and I am sure the judges saw that. And the winner is a personality queen. But they all seemed very random.

All of these reasons are why the judging was very perplexing to me. LOL I realize most of the attention is going to the winner, but I just think that diehards like us have to be wondering what happened this year. I have some more to say about the judging changing overall, that will happen in my next post.

And something random: Did Miss TN wear the same dress that Chandler Lawson sang her talent in? It looked the same.

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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: Overall Impressions, and My Top 15

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Date Posted: 01:47:50 09/14/14 Sun

We're down to less than 24 hours!

It has really been a great week of competition. There are a lot of contestants who really brought their A game, and talent has been the best it’s been in YEARS. The state judges really did a good job in finding their best and sending them to Atlantic City. As such, the competition has been excellent. I really have only seen a few “bad” in each group. And even those have made up for it in other competitions. Overall, though, there have been a lot of consistent, well-performing contestants. I would like to stress something to all of you who have been following along this week:

I say that because I know even ones that I like (and there are many) are going to go home without competing the final night. And I know we have a lot of favorites each year. This isn’t a year where if your favorite doesn’t make it in, she just didn’t have the goods. This year, plenty do. And there’s only so many places. I am hoping that the public vote goes to one of the power states like OK or AL, because they’ll be there, anyway. Then we can have the true top 15 that made it on points.

I will start this out by narrowing down who I have completely out of the competition. I really don’t think you will see any of the following: AK, AZ, DC, ME, MO, NE, NV, NH, NM, NC,PR, RI, SD, UT, VT, VI, WA, and WV. I think WV is good for an NFT award, though. They just weren’t strong enough during the week to make it in.

The next I wouldn’t be totally shocked but for most intents and purposes they are out. They include: AR, CO, GA, HI, IN, LA, MA, MI, MN, ND, PA, SC, WY. A few comments on these:

GA—If she didn’t win SS, I pretty much knew she was out. Her talent was pretty bad, I don’t think she has a top notch interview from what I saw and she just did not stand out until swimsuit. It’s probably too late at that point. If we see her I won’t be totally shocked, but I’m not counting on it.
IN—Get out the smelling salts. If this was a weaker year I would say she could make the lower 15. She seems to speak very well and she’s got a beautiful voice. But this is too strong a year and she didn’t have a good swimsuit.
LA—I thought she would have made it in, and I totally don’t rule it out, but she’s got to compete with other really strong contestants. Her talent wasn’t good at all, her gown was iffy, and even in swimsuit it didn’t seem like she knew how to handle herself and her very fit body.
MA—There’s a slight possibility based on her educational pedigree, but I don’t see it otherwise.
PA—I just don’t think she was well-rounded enough to make the top 15. Others have been more consistent. She was average at best in swimsuit and talent.
WY—I struggled with this one, because she’s been doing okay, just a lot of other competition.

Now, here is who I have in my top 15 that I would almost bet on. There’s always a possibility they don’t make it, but here is the list:

AL—One word: theatrical. I think had she be able to settle down and compete with some sophistication this would be a formality. But she’s not. She has been only okay onstage. And everything she has done has been very dramatic. When she gave her onstage question she was genuine, but she was also rambling off a laundry list of her tragedies in life. Her dance was a bit fluffy—more showmanship than actual skill. Her swimsuit presentation was a bit manic as well. A lot of disappointment with relation to the hype. I would say that she has been consistent, but so have plenty of others. I am basing this basically on her reputation, as we well know, as the former MAOT, QOL winner, and what seems to be a favorite of Sam Haskell. He could barely contain himself as he was talking to her on that QOL interview around her. And she did speak well in her interview.
CA—Has been very consistent, and could have won both preliminaries. Major drawback is speaking ability. One of the strongest onstage this year.
CT—One of the most consistent this week. Very high in swimsuit, probably won gown, and good enough in talent.
FL—Another strong contestant onstage. With SS preliminary and good talent, she’s a shoe-in for the top 10, maybe even the top 5
IL—Has been very consistent throughout the week. No weak areas of competition, has some spark and personality about her.
IA—Very strong across the board and naturally so. Nothing seems forced with her, she’s very natural.
KY—Preliminary talent winner, great personal platform, and can speak well. Would be a good choice with CMN work.
MS—Has been consistent enough throughout the week. I’m seeing no higher than the top 10 at this point. Good, but like I’ve always said, something missing with her personality. She’s just kind of there.
NJ—Solid across the board plus very good speaking ability. Good academic background and appeals to a lot of people.
NY—It’s like I said before, if she was up against it in this competition, you’d never know it. She’s there to win. I kid you not. I think with her personality it’s one of those where you either love her or hate her with her originality. I’m choosing the former.
OH—She has been good enough all week and won a preliminary talent. I’m banking on her talent and personality.
OK—SS win, beauty and the arguably best prep team in the country.

And I think the rest of the 11-15 will come out of the following. The following have all done well enough all week that you would see them in the top 15:

A few notes on these:
DE—has done very well all week. Even if she doesn’t make the top 15 she should be very proud of herself. She assumed the title under unusual circumstances and has done very well all week.
MD—I can’t totally count her out yet. I’m not betting on it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she can speak well.
OR—I knew the minute I saw her video that she might be someone to keep an eye on. I’m still looking. She’s had a very good week, comes across as very likeable.
TN—Of all the ones on this list, I’d bet on her. She comes from a state with a strong prep team and good history of late. But she also seems to be relatable and I could see the judges liking her.
TX—The only reason I have her here is because she is from Texas. Otherwise, she wouldn’t be a consideration, because she hasn’t been consistent all week. Her talent was really good. If she has a good interview that might be enough. But this could also be the year that Miss Texas sits one out. I don’t count her out because a subpar Texas will place over an above average Wyoming, let’s say. But I just think with all the stiff competition, this could be the off year.

Now the three I have not mentioned which are platform based and I see the possibility of making it in, last but not least:

ID—Could very well get the public vote. Onstage, she isn’t outstanding. But neither was Erika Harold, Deidre, etc. She just has so much personality and zing, I think she would be hard to ignore. She’s got a real-life struggle that millions of people have. Now, I am not the mind of Sam Haskell, but she could be so well marketed. If she hooked up with health care organizations, goverment initiatives, etc, I think she’d be very busy. AND a moneymaker.
KS—If her onstage question was any indication of how she did, I think the judges would just fall in love with her. She has been consistent all week—not outstanding, but everything is good. I guarantee she would take this program in a new direction. I think more mainstream types would pay attention to her. I think you’d even see her embraced by the ones that don’t like pageants. She’s talented, very pretty, and she’s a real survivor.
WI—She’s also got a great story and just tells it, not overdramatic, not clichéd, just speaks from her heart about a relevant topic in today's society. As far as competition, she has also been very consistent. I would say a bit more than KS.

So, that’s everyone. So, who do I think will win? I can honestly tell you right now, I have no idea. This year is tricky. I will tell you that I wouldn’t be surprised at this point by either New York or Alabama. I never thought a three peat was possible, but I think it is. She’s actually got as much gas as Mallory seemed to have. She has a lot of energy, she is there to win, and she’s very much her own person. She’s modern, intelligent, and cosmopolitan. It sounds like I am describing Mallory, and maybe those types won’t win twice in three years. But I don’t know. You can’t ignore New York. As far as Alabama, this is the pick on paper. I think most pageant people had her as the one to beat. I will say this much about her: if she wins, it will be not about what she has done onstage. It will be in spite of it. I didn’t quite think about her winning until I saw her QOL interview. She does speak very well. One of the turnoffs I had to her when she was the OT was she seemed sort of overbearing. However, she seemed to have outgrown that. She does seem like a caring young woman and seems more mature. On the flip side, she’s a one trick pony. I think she is relying on her platform to win. Whatever works, I say. It worked for AL’s other winners. Maybe that was the advice given to her. As far as what she is doing onstage, no one has done her any favors. Maybe that’s what worked for her to win OT. It’s not working here. This is the big time. The only big question I have is if she can talk about other things. The owner of the New York Knicks can sure talk about basketball. It’s what he knows. But put him on CNN and have him talk foreign policy he might not be as effective. I just wonder how Caitlin’s skills are otherwise. I suppose we will find out soon enough. If I were to pick another winner who has stood out all week, IA or CT, it just depends on what they did in interview. But I just don’t know. And that’s what is going to make tomorrow night a lot of fun.

I got to the parade earlier, but this wasn’t the best year for it. It was raining at the beginning, and many people, myself included, opted to go indoors. So I didn’t see a whole lot of the beginning. And then after that, you had the people inside trying to find the best places outside, so visibility wasn’t the best. And for reasons such as tonight, I’m not paying for a particular place. LOL it didn’t make a difference to the rain whether or not I paid to be near the Hall. I can do a rundown if anyone would like. I didn’t get to see a lot, especially in the beginning. Everyone was riding past under umbrellas. I can’t say I saw everyone well. And then with as dark and cloudy as it was, as soon as the sun set it got dark and you couldn’t see very well. But that’s Atlantic City in September. I always enjoy the parade because it ends with a bang for the contestants. They’ve worked so hard all week. Then they get to dress up, go out, and have crowds of people cheering for them. For 52 of them, it’s the last night hope is still alive. It’s so festive, and the crowds love it despite rain, anything. It’s always one of my favorite parts of pageant week. One thing that was missing this year was a lot of fun costumes. A lot of contestants opted for evening gowns. There were also a lot of sports and college themes this year.

So, if you think I’m way off, dead on or otherwise, let me know! I’d love to compare notes before the final night.

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Date Posted: 17:14:45 09/14/14 Sun

It's here!

It is not a beautiful day in Atlantic City. It is a GORGEOUS day. Or stunning, as they say in pageant land lol. It's cool, reminds you that the seasons are about to change. But it is just such a beautiful, peaceful day. It's so strange for me personally. Some pageant days, I am as tightly wound as the contestants. You kind of understand their tension, you're nervous for what will happen for them, etc. But this year, I feel very peaceful about the whole thing. So whoever the new Miss America is tonight, I'm sending some good vibes. I think with the pageants available online, many of us have seen more than one of these contestants come up through the ranks from their very first state pageant to the culmination of it all. We've followed their journeys, and it's been fun. When I first started out, you'd see the contestants in Atlantic City and that was it. Now, you know exactly who wins every single local and can follow contestants on Twitter, Facebook, etc. We're all more connected in this world. So, I wish ALL the contestants the very best tonight. It's going to be a great pageant, I already know it. But most importantly, I want THANK ALL OF YOU for reading along and following along this week. It's been fun to read all of your comments, and compare notes. But it's also helped make this board a big success. So, thank you all.

I will be back after the pageant for a rundown of the night, and we can talk about the new Miss America! Have a fun night tonight, and enjoy!

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Subject: Are we entering a new period of judging and winners?

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Date Posted: 14:57:30 09/13/14 Sat

Happy Miss America Eve everyone!

We’ve only got a little over a day before all the fun begins! It’s going to be here before you know it. This week has gone by very fast. I am sure that at times, it has flown by for the contestants and others it has just crawled. But it’s all going to be over very soon. And then, our new Miss America!

This has been a very interesting year. I am on board with most of the preliminary winners, but yet each of them has some major holes as competitors. There have been some stronger competitors who have seemed more consistent. CA is a good example of that. However, she can’t speak. CT has been strong across the board but has not captured a preliminary. There are MANY contestants this year who have been consistent across the board. I could name about 20 of them at this point. And then, there are some who have been heavily hyped who are either performing with everyone else, or even a bit inferior. This year in particular, I see the ones who have won preliminaries as having one major drawback. Here is what I observed all week:

FL—Beautiful, no doubt about that. Especially for Miss America standards. Solid dancing performance, should score well in traditional categories. However, she can’t speak well and is just plain old boring. She lacks any charisma other than beauty. And IMO, she’s nothing different than you would see in any contestant at USA. She definitely stands out here, but is not overwhelming in the personality department.
OK—Another beauty. But the problem for me is, she’s just “there”. Beautiful yes, but lacking the strong dancing of Florida. Make no mistake about it, her talent or lack of it will not matter. But she isn’t jumping out at me other than beauty. I have no doubt she’s in the top 10, or even the top 5 for that matter. This is Oklahoma, and she’ll be at her absolute best. She’s definitely got the face and persona of a Miss America, but I’m not sure what her real chances are.
MD—Definitely not facially attractive like the other two. But she was lacking in talent, pretty badly. It’s almost laughable between the song and her lack of ability. I really don’t think she’s the next Miss America, but I have to wonder if the judges like her based on her win. She is a journalism major and I have no doubt can express herself well. But she’s also very typical pageanty. I can’t see that flying as winner.
OH—Absolutely a doll. You just can’t help but love her. She’s a throwback to what Miss America used to be. She also seems like a very kind soul. Her swimsuit wasn’t perfect, but it is nowhere as bad as people are making it out to be. The last 5 Miss Americas were not strong in swimsuit. I would put Mackenzie in the same category. My big drawback is that her cuteness is not enough to pull her through to a win. It worked for Teresa Scanlan. Also, I wouldn’t say she has excellent communication skills, although she says everything with a smile on her face.
KY—Just about the same as Ohio. I really didn’t notice her the first night. But that’s only one competition. She is a bit weaker than Mackenzie in swimsuit. But again, when has that mattered in the last 5 years? I don’t want to say she has the “better” platform but she lives with MS, and can speak to a lot of sick people, regardless of their particular issue.
PA—She wasn’t on my radar until her talent win. Truthfully, and she is a fantastic singer that I wouldn’t mind seeing in the top 10 but, she doesn’t have “it” in other onstage categories at all. She wasn’t good in swimsuit and her gown seemed to be too big and drown her. Her onstage question wasn’t anything that set her apart. If any of the talent winners miss, it’s going to be her. Although, like Rosie Sauvageau a few years ago, this is her passion. And even if she doesn’t win Miss America, to win talent on your night is a huge win. You will always have that honor of being recognized for your work.

So, who has really stood out to me all week?
CA-as mentioned, she was very strong in swimsuit and talent. Also very pretty in gown. She made a gutsy move by putting herself first and it backfired. But you can’t tell which way the wind is blowing at any time with the judges. I had some big questions about her speaking ability after seeing those videos, particularly the Vimeo one. And then her onstage question was really bad. So, I don’t know what to say here.
CT—Another strong across the board this week. I am going to venture to say that she won evening gown. But if she was connecting strongly with the judges, I think we would have seen a swimsuit win. That’s her ace. And then there’s her interview.
IA—VERY consistent all week with few flaws. She’s one of the few you noticed every competition. I can’t say there are any flaws but she didn’t win her preliminary, either.
NY—Also very consistent. You would never know by her competition this week that she statistically has about a zero chance of winning this year. There’s never been a three peat at Miss America. Although, the way she headed into this, she’d never guess it in a million years.

These four are the ones that have jumped out at me as the strongest across the board in competition who have not won a preliminary.

So goes the larger question: is the competition moving away from rewarding their favorites and judging constructively? Possibly. Each year we have had one or two that doesn’t make it in. However, I would say that for the most part, your odds are very good of getting in if you win a preliminary. This year, I would say going by what you saw onstage through the week that a few are not going to be there. It would be nice if this panel, or any, would judge the competitions based on actual competition and who they are throwing points at. I will be honest, I am not overwhelmed with what I heard at the judges conference, either. First of all, each of these judges seem to have a slightly different idea of what Miss America should be. When they don’t seem to be on the same panel, who knows what happens? And we don’t have the luxury of a second panel to balance out what could be going on with this panel. I was also a bit disconcerted about Shawn Johnson’s comments. If I get what she said correctly, it seems like there is a lot of jockeying for picking preliminary winners. If that is the case on final night, you could have a real problem. It could mean the top 2 or 3 end up being lowballed and you have someone good but mediocre winning. Or, it means that you do get someone who had great qualities all week and that enough people could agree upon.

It has only happened once in the history of the pageant where a non-preliminary onstage winner has won three times in a row. Erika Harold won interview, and likely Deidre did as well. Statistically, the winner is favored by preliminary wins. However, this year there is so much good competition I am strongly considering it. And I wonder if it could be a trend in the future. The 90s had 4 non-preliminary winners as Miss America. The 00s had three, and it took until the last year in Vegas for that trend to break. This is all for a separate post, but it seems like the competition changed over the Vegas years. You have a few states dominate that show no signs of slowing down, but it’s always been that way. Oklahoma now is like MS in the 80s. I’m sure that will change eventually.

There’s always a possibility that the winner is someone you don’t see coming. Nobody saw Teresa, most had Laura as a top 10 and nothing else, and no one had Mallory or Nina winning. Some people had them in their top 15 and that was about it, especially Mallory. Eventually trends come to an end, though. It was almost always a swimsuit winner for a while until Caressa won. Then before that, there were interview queens for a good 7-8 years. I see that Miss America has moved away from the sure bet, but last year we got a “surprise” interview queen. Seeing what the judges are saying, I said this last week and it is worth mentioning again—the judges are also talking strongly, especially Marc Cherry and Gary about a face, a spokeperson, etc. So it’s very possible that’s what you get.

All of this to say, I’m not sure what you’re going to get. But I do think there’s a possibility that the trend moves away from sure bets to the one no one sees coming and someone strong across the board. Or, there’s a possibility that this week ends up in a lot of disappointment. We’ll see tomorrow!

One more thing to note: 2 of the 5 last Miss Americas won Alpha talent--Caressa and Laura. Another was 2nd runner-up, Alicia Clifton. Two failed to make the top 15: NC 2011 and NH 2013B. So, it's either a great position or a really bad one. Katie Harman also won Alpha talent. Other top 10s over the past 10 years have been Diana Reed and Erika Powell. Sigma swimsuit has also been hit or miss. Last year MS only broke the top 15. 2013A Sigma SS was first runner-up. The year before UT won Sigma SS and failed to make the top 15. In 2011 HI was 2nd runner-up. In 2010 PR failed to make the top 15. In 2009 Katie Stam won Sigma SS and won Miss America, as did Lauren Nelson in 2007. In 2008 RI won Sigma SS and failed to make the top 15. Mu talent has been hit or miss as well. Last year FL was Mu talent and 3rd runner-up. In 2013A Rosie Sauvageau won Mu talent and did not advance to the top 15. In 2012 Lauren Cheape won Mu talent and did not advance to the top 15. In 2011 Teresa Scanlan won Mu Talent and Miss America. The year before MI won preliminary talent and did not advance. In 2009 VT won Mu talent and did not advance. Those are some of the trends.

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Subject: OSQ and Evening Gown Night 3

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Date Posted: 18:05:41 09/12/14 Fri

Overall, a bit lacking. The good ones were towards the end. Interestingly enough, it would reflect the scoring of this week. I thought the questions last night were relatively easy, and some contestants struggled.

CA--Rambled a lot, unfortunately. I am starting to really wonder if she has the speaking ability to be Miss America. To contrast, Jacquelynne F had a bad onstage answer and made the top 10, so it's not a death sentence.
MS--Sounded rehearsed, but not bad.
MT--Good enough, she answered logically and without any pauses
SC--average, pageanty tone to her voice
RI--very intelligent, very well-spoken, one of the better answers
OR--you can tell she's intelligent, not overwhelming with charisma during the answer, but good enough
NC--very pageanty in the way she talks, kind of had that big smile that she was trying to look better than answering the question
CO--okay, nothing special but not terrible, didn't quite answer the question
AR--good answer, very relevant
NH--seems a bit meet, nice girl, just didn't have emphatic speaking skills
SD--average, seems a bit silly or distracted. If this is how her interview went I can see why she didn't win SS
FL--I realized that I posted this on another thread, but here goes again: she didn't answer well. It was a relatively easy question, and while it wasn't horrible, it was one of those where you should be able to answer with little thought and it wasn't. Same as CA, except she didn't ramble
HI--sort of like NH she has such a laid back personality, nothing really substantive
IN--well-spoken, very practical answer, thought behind it
KY--very genuine about her struggles, you believe her when she talks. Welcome to the top 15, Ramsey
TN--good answer, like KY she also comes across as very personal
TX--not bad, but nothing memorable
MO--too short, you kind of wanted more. Sounded canned

Evening Gown
Green is the color this year. I couldn't be happier. Overall, a nice group. NY was clearly the standout. But IA was very strong, IL looked elegant, and I liked NM. But nice overall.

MD--one of the green dresses, she did the model flare, the color definitely worked for her 8 for presentation
WA--you know there's blondes like CT who can pull off black and there's others that make them look pasty. WA was the latter 6
VI--white with mesh at the top, high neck. the dress sparkled a bit, she looked okay, nice enough 6-7
ND--white sleeveless with gold designs around the neck, full poofy bottom, she looked nice, confident 7
VT--pretty in a strapless teal dress, very full mermaid bottom, presented nicely 7
UT--Beautiful red, basic but sparkly, she looked tall and statuesque, red definitely her color 8
NY--As I talked about before, probably the boldest dress I've ever seen on a MissAmerica stage. But the best part about it was she acted so coy when she came out onstage. It's like she had this big thing and knew it, yet glided across completely innocent. Just so damned bold, though. I would have liked to see it in another color, but it was all that 10
DC--very plain basic black bottom white top. Dress was boring, I'm guessing it was a Tony Bowls but she looked smiling and radiant 6-7
WV--Long sleeved white with a design on the arms and torso, she just didn't have a lot of confidence in it. 5
GA--It almost looked like she reworked that state gown of hers. Same color and material, no sleeves and that bra look with rhinestone criss-crosses. Sort of disappointing. She walked okay, just didn't like the design. It was very old school 7
NJ--"The Laura" in a pretty sky blue that she won her state pageant in. Nice presentation 7-8
IA--Damn near perfection. Just a basic green that worked PERFECTLY with her color. It's the kind I wished Miss RI would have wore. She had a big smile, walked nicely and just radiated. It reminds you of something you would see a Michelle Williams in on the red carpet 9-10
MA--white and forgettable especially after the few before her, the dress design was kind of weird 6
IL--great! I'm not huge on black but it looked so good on her, she walked well, very nice 8
NM--very pretty sky blue, nice basic dress, not too frilly but she wore it well, walked well 7-8
NE--another white and forgettable one, and she has no presence 5
OH--pretty but basic royal blue, outlined at the top in silver, nice 7-8
ID--yes, white, but she has a lot of personality and that makes you notice her 7

And there you have it! The preliminaries are over, and the contestants have done everything they can do. Either late tonight (like after midnight) or mid-morning I will post my overall impressions. This is a unique year, but I have a feeling the judging may be changing, and this is what we are seeing now. More to follow!

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Subject: SS and Talent night 3

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Date Posted: 15:48:15 09/12/14 Fri

Hi everyone!

Are you all getting excited? I know I am. It's been a great couple of nights. This year's competition has been really good. I'm glad to say after three nights that talent is back this year. I think the state judges have done an excellent job of picking the best their state has to offer. Hopefully, they will get the copyright or whatever issues resolved and everyone will be able to see not only this year, but the past few years. It's been interesting, because this year after three nights I can tell you I don't see a clear frontrunner as have in years past. I am going to put another post up later tonight about what I see overall and where I think this might be headed. But for now, here's SS and Talent.

Overall, I thought last night was very good again. I would say this group was right behind Sigma. No one was really bad. Everyone came with their A game on, and did a good job. I would say with the last two nights, there were a few that were right in the front of things. I would have called the winner GA with NY as a possibility depending on interview. I would have had MD probably in third place, but she was good off the bat. She started the competition much stronger than she did with talent the other night. I will admit, she is a bit thin. But she's clearly defined and she just owned that stage. Confident, great walk, very natural. It's the stuff that swimsuit winners are made of. GA had that kind of tall, knockout body much like South Dakota that didn't win the other night, either. NY you can tell has a naturally fit body and she had a great presentation. Some other good ones during the competition were Illinois, she wasn't quite the bombshell that the aforementioned were, but she was good. I would also call NJ and IA in the good category. But here's a complete rundown:

MD--Strong off the bat, great walk, very natural confidence and not forced, fit 9
WA--Paled in comparison after MD, just okay 6
VI--not bad, a bit of an unnatural walk, not overly confident 6
ND--another in the not bad category, although a bit forced 6-7
VT--not bad, either. she reminds me of Rachel Ray facially, nice enough 6
UT--one of the pleasant surprises, she had a decent presentation, had a lot of personality 7
NY--hot! just a lot of natural confidence, a bit sassy 8-9
WV--she had a nice body, just not very confident, unfortunately, no charisma 5
DC--cute, not bad, just not memorable 6
GA--great, leggy body, very confident, damn near perfect 9-10
NJ--good as well, not some of the charisma as the others but just nice and confident 7-8
IA--not bad at all! she has a nice body, worked it well 7-8
MA--average, nothing remarkable but not bad 6-7
IL--nice! natural confidence, not manic, looked very fit and very confident 8
NM--one of the weaker of the group. she just didn't have the walk but she was confidence 5-6
OH--not "the best" but held her own 7
ID--LOADS of personality. She wasn't the best body but you definitely noticed her. I think had she been able to channel it, she would have been a contender for the win 7

Another good night. I really enjoyed Alaska, but it seems the reality show contestants aren't guaranteed anything. It was a solid night, there wasn't anyone "outstanding" except for PA. She was fantastic. The last time someone sang Wishing You Were Somehow Here was Stacy Momeyer in 1997. I loved Stacy but she made Stacy sound like a third grade recital. She really can connect with an audience. Now, I know I didn't score PA well the other night, and she wasn't that good. But I figured out Pennsylvania's one trick pony. She was hiding all week. Here's a full review:

WI--Hallelujah lyrical dance She was beautiful. Just floated around the stage with such grace. Pretty costume that really fit the mood, she reminded me of an angel up there. It was definitely a spiritual feel to it. I thought she presented as well as Florida the other night 7-8
AZ--I'm Only Human (Katy Perry song) dance--nice. It wasn't "the best", but she genuinely seemed to feel the song, and very nice performance 7
PR--ethnic dance I had high hopes for her to get into the top 15. She's a great young woman. It will never happen after this. It looked more dance floor than actual talent and not very good. The costume was nice and she looked good but she just wasn't good at all 3
AK--Mercy Me vocal--very nice. She has a powerful voice and she knows how to perform. I thought she would have won until I heard PA 8-9
LA--Not For The Life of Me vocal I never heard the song before, but I'm sure the next time I do, it will be better than this. She just doesn't have a singing voice 5
DE--Let There Be Love--jazz dance She tried to be energetic, but it didn't quite work 100 percent. Not bad, though, a lot of energy and she looked great 6-7
AL--Let It Go ballet--it was "okay". It was more theatrical than it was technical. If that is what she was going for, she got it. I hope that you all got to see that video I posted of her teen talent. It was like that. More trying to entertain than dance. I think she could have picked a better dance to make that happen, this isn't the song for it. She wasn't bad but it could have been much better 7
NV--Someone To Love vocal--very good voice. She had a good performance, and you can tell she's got some real pipes behind her. She was probably in the top 3 or 4 8-9
MI--Be Italian dance--This was the perplexing one of the night for me. She's a beautiful lyrical dancer and instead went for typical pageant cheese. It wasn't awful, she can dance, but lyrical would have been much better. In the future, this is exactly what I would warn pageant contestants against. Just do what you do well 6-7
CT--Don Quixote ballet--fun, energetic, definitely consistent with all her performances throughout the week. Costume was great 7-8
OK--dance to Titanium (didn't recognize it) Okay. It wasn't the worst I've ever seen, but certainly not the best. I concur with those who say Oklahoma's talent is not at the level it has been. Although, Emoly West didn't quite tear up the dance floor, either. 6
PA--Wishing You Were Somehow Here vocal--You could picture her singing it in Carnegie Hall or on Broadway. Just beautiful. Absolutely without a doubt deserved the win. She really emoted the song, looked pretty. 10 Probably the best talent of the whole pageant
MN--House of the Rising Sun vocal--there was a contestant that did this on American Idol that was damn near perfect. This wasn't on that level, although it wasn't bad at all. You can tell she's got a good voice. A few sour notes here and there 7-8
VA--Italian opera, I'm sorry, I didn't understand what they said Very pretty, she has a decent voice. I wouldn't call her an opera pro, but she was above someone like Kathryn BulkleySolid enough performance 7-8
ME--Comedy routine. Just like her, it was cute but it wasn't the stuff dreams are made of 5
WY--Feeling Good dance--it wasn't perfect, but pleasant. If they were to like her in interview it's definitely not going to hold her back 6-7
KS--I Didn't Know My Own Strength vocal--she has such a deep, sultry voice, I just love listening to her. The performance was solid 7

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Subject: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/miss-america-find-contestants-watch-25455610?tab=9482931§ion=1206836

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Date Posted: 13:13:08 09/12/14 Fri


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Subject: Onstage Question and Evening Gown

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Date Posted: 15:10:13 09/11/14 Thu

Tonight's were a little better. There were some pretty effective speakers, all platform related questions.

MD--not bad, actually. She answered the question pretty well, didn't ramble
WA--okay, but uninspiring, she doesn't have much charisma
VI--A bit rambly, didn't seem comfortable
ND--answered the question logically, good answer
VT--not bad, but she's not outstanding
UT--okay, didn't quite answer the question
NY--effective communicator, good enough
WV--well spoken but very laid back
DC--cute onstage, but didn't really say anything remarkable
GA--okay. It was one of those where I think she thought she answered better than she actually did
NJ--very well spoken, intelligent response
IA--not bad, just not inspiring
MA--intelligent, although she has kind of a high pitched, sing-song voice and it makes her come across as not as serious. she sounds pageanty
IL--good enough, but you didn't get a lot of information from her
NM--no, she has a very high pitched voice which makes her sound immature, and it's one of those you would have to have a very eloquent answer to overcome. she didn't have one
OH--we're all taking a good look at her right now, and I would say she delivered. She's a bit pageanty when she talks, but you can tell she's a compassionate person. After hearing the judges panel, I have a feeling she has connected with them
ID--She's kind of breathy and hyper when she speaks, but you pay attention to what she is saying

Evening Gown
Overall, it was a good night again. Connecticut trumped even South Dakota from last night. Her presentation was fabulous. It was Miss Universe caliber. No one really came close, but there were some good ones. Some gowns I recognized, others I did not. You are getting a lot of recycled gowns. I would have probably done the same thing for preliminaries.

WI--Very nice. It was a goldish-beige sparkly dress. Very elegant, and it worked very well with her coloring. 8
AZ--Green is her color, and I love that she knows it. Presentation not what dreams are made of, but she did well enough 7
PR--off white long sleeved dress, she looked elegant. like with swimsuit, a bit manic but looked very nice 7-8
AK--basic black sleeveless gown with a silver band across the middle, poofy at the bottom, it looked like she had trouble walking in it 5
LA--good enough I think she's in her state gown. I'm not feeling the dress but she was good enough 7
DE--Nice. Very pretty blue, a little big at the bottom, but the gown was great. Presentation was good enough, not spectacular but good 7
AL--Had to be one of the most disappointing of the night. Very basic, it looks like what was popular 7-8 years ago. Very uninspiring color and design. She walks well, but with having Ann Northington she could have done something much better 7
NV--purple with a rhinestone halter neck, it seemed big and bulky for her 4-5
MI--I don't like white but she definitely wore it well. Very pretty 8
CT--Perfection. She just worked the runway, made a statement, and then glided away. Tall, leggy, the gown flowed. It was a black v-neck that was cut out. One of the best evening gown presentations I've ever seen at Miss America. Is going to make the Tony Bowls disasters look like a joke 10
OK--I think this was her state gown, blue with rhinestone straps. She looked fine but following CT was probably not noticed.
PA--boring white gown with no tan, couldn't have picked a worse color. She's too pale 4
MN--pretty wine gown. It was a nice contrast with her dark hair, but she's also pretty white. Looked good enough 6-7
VA--Same dress style as SD last night but in red. If you put SD and her together for Christmas they'd make a lovely card. SD wore it much better, though. VA was nice, though 7
ME--Pretty in blue, but not that memorable 5-6
WY--Tall and striking in blue sleeveless, very nice 8
KS--sleek black dress, very elegant, nice 7-8

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Subject: State Executive Directors telling contestants which local to do

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Date Posted: 17:39:08 08/07/14 Thu

Local directors guide contestants to their pageant, but I am hearing a state executive director telling contestants which local to do. It also happened last season with this ED. How are you able to do this? Since when does MAO allow this to happen.

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Subject: It's a great night on the I-95 corridor, congratulations Miss MD and Miss PA!

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Date Posted: 01:41:50 09/12/14 Fri

Final night!

That went quick! I can't believe the preliminaries are over already. Now comes the big night. Tonight was great--a lot of good competition in swimsuit and talent. I'm sure there were some people losing their heads over Maryland winning SS tonight. I'm not surprised at all. First of all, I picked her the day of the lottery ;) And she just had hotness going on in her presentation. Georgia definitely had the wow body. Truthfully, I have GA out of the top 15 at this point. This was her competition. She hasn't really had it in other areas. If GA didn't win tonight, I saw this as the only way she was getting in. But, you never know. I want to thank the judges who obviously dropped by this board and apparently took my notes on choosing the end of the group. They threw in a first in group just to trip me up ;)

Talent was really good tonight. Alaska, Nevada and Pennsylvania were the strongest. It was nice to hear some good vocalists after all the prelim winners being unconventional talents. I would also give good to very good performances to CT, VA and KS. There were some solid performances in between. PR was clearly bringing up the rear while shaking hers. But more on that later ;) Overall, this has been a great talent year. There are only a few embarrassing talents this year and one just happened to win a swimsuit preliminary tonight. I'm not sure if she makes it in, though. Of all the nights of preliminary winners, I am just not as certain with tonight's cracking the top 15.

Swimsuits were good tonight. There were a lot of not excellent ones, but good ones and no one was really bad. I thought this was GA's to lose but this year the obvious is not winning. NY was good as well, I would have put her second behind GA. But I totally get MD's win. I would have had her maybe third. A lot fell into the "good" category tonight. Quite a few, actually.

Evening gowns were also good tonight. Probably the most noteworthy was from NY. Before tonight, I would say that CT was the gown standout, and she was. However, NY tonight was the most bold evening gown I've ever seen on the Miss America stage. It was rather loud, but it made such a statement. I can't even begin to explain the statement in made, but it did. She's a free spirit, and it has showed the whole time. Either the judges will love it or hate it. I guarantee. Me personally, I love it. I love independent people. A few green gowns again tonight, couldn't be happier. I love green in evening gowns. It's so classy, and people with different hair colors can make it work for them.

As for the rest of the night, how about we get Mississippi's answer to Dick Cavett his own show? I think next year I am just going to leave and find out who won that night online. It seems like he gets more egotistical every year, takes more time, and becomes even more of a drama queen than the year before. For some reason, he made a big fuss over his wife tonight. If you didn't have reason to reel him in I think he'd still be going. This is Atlantic City--maybe there's one of those canes leftover from a show somewhere that he can be pulled off the stage. Dena has done such a good job of hosting. I'd LOVE to see her host Miss America someday. She's one of the few that can put him in his place. They also had a hilarious sexy dad contestant. I hope they have that again next year.

A full report tomorrow! And then, on Saturday, my fearless top 15 predictions.

By the way, upon expanding upon my topic, 3 of the preliminary winners live in a state where I-95 runs and 2 live in a state where I-80 runs. Or 90, I can't be sure.

You never knew I drove truck, did you? ;)

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Subject: For the great board monitor here

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Date Posted: 22:42:51 09/10/14 Wed

I have really enjoyed all of the reviews of the preliminary competitions you have spent much time posting here with both person comments and constructive commentary.

As a request, to benefit myself and others who are not familiar with all of the 53 talent selections of the contestants, could you please include the talent selection and song number when your review tonight's Wednesday and Thursday night's preliminary talent competitions.

For example....TX, classical piano, Chopin "Fantasy Impromptu"
or...SC, lyrical dance "Let's Get Loud", using made-up examples if you get what I mean, and then add your commentary, so at least we know what the talent and performance song number was...very much would appreciate it. Thanks.

PS---Also, do you have an email address for me to send you private questions and comments for you? Keep up the great work all this week.

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Subject: SS and Talent Night 2

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Date Posted: 14:04:11 09/11/14 Thu

Hi everyone!

I hope you all are enjoying your Thursday. I am looking forward to tonight's final competition. I think it's going to be another great night. I would say at this point I'm curious to see who wins talent, because either dancing or singing will be let out. I think it would be unusual if singing was left out. That rarely happens, but either is notable.

Overall, this was more of a variety than Sigma. You did see a variety of the good, average and not that good. The top were really, really good, one after the other. It was pretty much a two person race last night. There were others that were good, though.
WI--nice presentation, confident yet not manic, had a nice walk 7
AZ--not bad, a bit of the uncomfortable presentation 6-7
PR--a bit manic in her presentation, but definitely has the island sexy 7-8
AK--a bit thicker, not a lot of confidence. 4-5
LA--definitely fit, a bit of an awkard walk, but good overall 7-8
DE--very nice body, you can tell she's fit, decent presentation 7
AL--very nice body, good presentation, a bit manic though 7-8
NV--okay body, but just seemed awkward 4-5
MI--very pretty, carried nicely, a tad bit awkward but good overall 7-8
CT--hot! Nice body, long legs, and walked very well. It had to be close 9-10
OK--hot hot! Great walk, tall, leggy and just looked great 9-10
PA--then it dropped off, not the best build, and looked drowned out, she's very pasty 5
MN--not bad, not the best of the night but held her own 6-7
VA--nice look, decent presentation 7-8
ME-cute, but so laid back, not much presentation. not a bad body but just no confidence 6
KS--not bad, a little bit of a clumpy walk but not bad 7

Talent was really good last night. I was impressed. This year the talent is really good. Except for MO and MD, you haven't had any real bombs. It is a much welcomed change after years of abysmal talent.
CA--Bring Him Home vocal--near perfection. She has such a beautiful talent. I guarantee it will go over well on Sunday night. Very emotional, and she has a beautiful presentation. I know she's at a disadvantage at the beginning of the group but it was definitely win worthy 9-10
MS--You've Got a Hold on Me vocal--also good. She has a deeper voice than I remember, or else it was just the song. That was the one noteworthy part about it. Same as CA, I don't think the earlier people have a chance to contend this year 8
Montana--singing with harp, I'm sorry, I don't know the name of it--very pretty, she's got a beautiful voice and the harp just added to it. If there's any year where Montana should break through, it's this year 8
SC--Think tap dance--it was one of those where her intentions were there but the ability was just average, sort of uninspiring. on the surface energy 6-7
RI--Devil Went Down to Georgia flute solo--it's nothing you are used to hearing on a flute. just okay 5-6
OR--For Good vocal--better than Miss MD last year, the song is somewhat uninspiring vocally, but she did nice 6
NC--The Song of Doretta--very good voice. In the case of IL as well, with this judges panel, it's not flying, but she was up there 8-9
CO--a Tahitian dance to a popular dance song--the costume was gorgeous, her dancing ability is actually pretty good. the only thing I would say is she probably would have done better to pick appropriate music 7
AR--Via Dolorosa vocal--not bad but it's not a song you want to take on if you don't have the voice for it. She doesn't 6
NH--On My Way vocal--she has a nice voice, presentation was just okay 7 because she has a nice voice
SD--You Raise Me Up lyrical dance--beautiful costume, but she was injured, so it's hard to tell. I hate to say it, because she deserves a lot of credit but it wasn't good 5
FL--lyrical dance to religious song--very pretty costume, expressive dancing 7-8
HI--The Prayer hula--pretty, nice performance 7
IN--Somewhere Over the Rainbow vocal--Very good. The only thing I would say is that she tried to do a lot more runs with the song than needed to, it would have been perfection otherwise 8-9
KY--Orange Blossom Special--we've heard it before, but she has a great technique, very entertaining 9
TN--I Who Have Nothing vocal--nice vocal, about on par with Miss TN performance 7-8
TX--ballet, I'm not sure of the song name, but it's the same as on the video I posted--very good. She had very clean movements, a lot of energy 8-9
MO--See this video:
Hopefully that explains it lol 3-4

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Subject: SS and Talent Night 1

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Date Posted: 12:37:32 09/10/14 Wed

Hi everyone! I hope everyone has enjoyed pageant night 1, whichever way you are following along. I'm excited for tonight. There should be a lot of good competition tonight as well. Some of my favorites will be competing in swimsuit. But I digress. Here is the first half of night 1. I used ranges for some, because they were right in the middle of those scores.

One note about swimsuit. I didn't recognize the song, but it sounds like a march. At first, I sat there thinking that the tempo might either make the contestants look like they are in the military. But actually, it gives the contestants a good walk to keep tempo with. You can really time your movements.
CA--Good, had a good walk, a bit manic and at times she tended to lean a little bit, but good 8-9
MS--Good as well. A bit more stiff her walk, but not bad 8
MT--Another good one. She's got a rockin body, not as good a presentation as the first two 7-8
SC--Great body, good enough presentation 8
RI--not as strong as the others, not bad, but not overwhelming. not a lot of presence 6-7
OR--not bad at all, not attention seeking but nice, just nice quiet confidence 7
NC--okay, nothing notable 6-7
CO--okay, but her walk was a bit off 6-7
AR--average but nice 7
NH--also average but she's cute onstage 6-7
SD--fanastic body, great walk, confident, everything. ripped off 9-10
FL--good, solid 8
HI--not bad, not a lot of charisma 6
IN--short and not natural LOL sounds like I am describing an alien but then again she certainly ain't normal! One of the weakest in the group 5-6
KY--average but she was pretty. walk a bit off 6
TN--great look, nice walk, overall good 8
TX--no. She seemed uncomfortable, walk was not natural, no charisma at all 6
MO--can definitely see her USA roots here. great walk, tall, statuesque, sexy 9

Overall a good night but you wouldn't know by the first talent. Maybe next year for the sake of humanity, we can start with a strong talent.
MD--Two words: KAYLA MARTELL. Down to the dyed red ballet shoes and everything. Dancing to the uber hip Everybody Dance Now, which was either popular when you or your kid was in 8th grade. What a horrible way to start out the 2014 competition. The only good thing I can say is that she was better than Kayla, although that's not hard to do. 5
WA--Nice enough, not bad, not overwhelming. Overdone, though, and when it is you have to bring something more, she didn't 7
VI--Not bad! Rolling In The Deep, she has a nice voice, good performance 7
ND--See above re: overdone. Feeling Good. She did a nice enough job with it 7
VT--No. Minimal talent, sadly, very old school song 5
UT--usually they send a talented pianist. This year, they have a flapper type dancer. It would have worked well in the 60s and 70s, a bit silly 6 (just because the music was upbeat and entertaining)
NY--detailed in last night's post, but not bad. she holds her own 7
WV--beautiful, powerful voice. Sang Gravity, a tribute to Sara B. There has to be a NFT 9
DC--Malaguena. It's a piece you can't do wrong with because it's upbeat. Nothing special, but entertaining 7
GA--Bridge Over Troubled Water. Play on words, maybe? It's one of my favorite songs. I didn't like it. Her costume only needed large platforms to look like she was going to a 70s nightclub. She sang it fast and not somber the way it is supposed to be. Her showmanship wasn't bad 6-7
NJ--Listen, better than at state. She did win prelim talent there. A lot of emotion, a lot of movement 8
IA--Very good voice and did a subtle, nuanced performance. Very strong 8-9
MA--Overall good. Nice look, she looked very elegant and classy, decent performance 7-8
IL--Had this been anything but the last few years it would have easily won the prelim talent. Very good performance, comfortable with the stage 8-9
NM--more suitable for a burlesque show, not a lot of talent 5
NE--"Nice" She has a nice voice, but lacks charisma 7
OH--Definitely the most entertaining of the night, a lot of energy, she's cute. You like her as much, if not more, as the routine. Nice shade of purple as well 8-9
ID--Sang the song UT danced to. She doesn't have a good voice but gets about a point extra for presentation. At least she picked a song that you noticed her personality more than her lack of voice 6

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Subject: Night 2--Play it again! And congratulations to Miss OK and Miss KY

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Date Posted: 02:05:04 09/11/14 Thu

What a great night! Lots of great talent! Congratulations to Miss Kentucky, she beat a strong group of talents. Talent tonight was the highlight. IMO, it was every bit as good as last night, if not a little more. I could have seen talent go MANY different ways tonight. Swimsuit was not quite as good as last night, but the ones that were good were REALLY good. It was more of a spreadout tonight. I was totally on board with Oklahoma winning. She was hot. So was Connecticut, it had to have been close. The gowns were definitely a mix of colors, every bit as nice as last night. Very elegant, very nice. The onstage questions were a bit better tonight. I am starting to see some trends. The first thing is that the judges are going for entertaining talent. If they were told to pick the one who you want to hear or see over again, they've done it. I am more on board with Oklahoma winning than I was Florida last night. I think at least from Sigma, you are starting to see who the "game on" contestants are. And let me tell you, a LOT of them are on their game. Right now, CA, MS, MT (yes, Montana!), SC is doing well, OR is doing well, FL obviously, and TN have been at the top of their game the last two nights. You can't judge onstage question, really, so it's hard to tell in the other two groups. I have some impressions of some of the contestants, will wait until tomorrow night to make a full opinion. But so far, it's been a GREAT competition. Truthfully, I am not sure that you can say a frontrunner has emerged. Sunday night is going to be fun to see. A couple of things. IMO, CA is farther ahead of where Crystal was last year, and you can see how that worked out. Very consistent. Tonight's singing was beautiful. I just about teared up when I heard it. Her voice just filled up that room, was so full of emotion. I had her as one of the possible preliminary winners. Indiana was good, Mississippi was good, Montana was good, Florida was good, and Texas was good. Oh, and Tennessee was good. In swimsuits, it had to be a close battle between CT and OK. Both were near perfection. Oklahoma just looked hot. So did CT. Another trend is the judges have been picking later in the group. Sadly, CA and MS picks really backfired. Although, I am listening to the judges conference as I am composing this, and it's not going to matter. I see that they are very thoughtful about this process. I will post more later on that, it was a very good conference. Kathy Ireland from what I am hearing could win interview ;)

A full review will come in the morning, complete with talent descriptions!

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Subject: Best news I've heard all day!

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Date Posted: 18:18:27 09/08/14 Mon


This is a great partnership, and EXACTLY what is needed to get Miss America back into the public eye. These are the kinds of appearances that are desperately needed. Some of these events are seen by in excess of 8-9 million people, and that's great. I know I seem critical at times, you have to be if you see what mistakes are almost burying the Miss America Organization. But I see this is as a great turnaround. As far as the pageant community's reaction, I say LOL. I find it amusing that people are making their picks based on this. As good as this is, it is about 6 or so appearances. I stand by what I said last night that this might be a spokesperson competition, and nothing more. This isn't going to change things that much, and they're not going to pick Miss America based on this. But this is great, and it's good to be associated with a great production company.

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Subject: OSQ and Evening Gown Night 1

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Date Posted: 14:10:54 09/10/14 Wed


Overall, I wouldn't say I was wowed by this group. What I am looking for is a strong answer with good logic, and confidence when speaking. No rambling, and answer the question directly. I won't "score" these because they are hard to score, but I will just give highlights. They were all asked a question about their platform. Some sound rehearsed, and truthfully, they should be. I guess I just never am overwhelmed because it can't be that hard to formulate a single sentence or two regarding your platform.

WI--Very convincing and compassionate. You could tell there was a lot of thought behind her answer. She doesn't need to be overdramatic to get her point across, it's just there.
AZ--Not very good. She isn't charismatic and didn't quite answer the question.
PR--Very passionate about her platform. She is very genuine and you can tell what a caring person she is. It caused her to ramble a bit, and she sounded very emotional. She is beautiful, though. If her inner beauty comes through, it would make me very happy to see her make the top 15.
AK--Nothing special. She is very laid back. Not a commanding presence.
LA--Very well spoken, answered directly and confidently.
DE--Wow. If this is any indication of her speaking skills, I am considering putting her into my top 15. She is a very effective speaker, very powerful and articulate. If anything, she will be NFI.
AL--If you saw her videos that I posted, you know all you need to know. Except she was rather overdramatic. Very pageanty. She looked good, though. She looks much better with her hair in her face.
NV--No. The way she speaks, it's kind of like she's at this party and thinks that she's the center of attention, and there's no action. It's like she's there but nobody else is.
MI--Meh. Not a commanding speaker, which I feared all along.
CT--Not bad, but she hasn't quite gotten rid of that sing-song tone. A bit pageanty.
OK--Good, she's a bit Oklahombot but she effectively communicated.
PA--Just fine. Nothing special, although she answered directly.
MN--Upon second review, she was better than I thought last night. She was a bit airy, but good overall.
VA--Good. She showed a lot of compassion and you can tell her work means a lot to her.
WY--Not bad. A bit prepared and got a bit rambly, but not bad.
KS--Easily the best and my favorite of the night. She is so genuine and such a survivor. I guarantee if she wins, people are going to listen to what she says. If she came across like this in interview, I think they would have a hard time not crowning her. Not that I am looking for a social activist, but there is something special about her. I think she could find common ground with a lot of people whose lives are not perfect.

Evening gown
Overall, it did not disappoint. Lots of pretty gowns, and they were colorful, too. I hate white for the most part, and we didn't see a lot of it. And the nice thing is, I did see more fashion forward dresses as opposed to the typical old pageanty same old same old. But then again, we don't see the Tony dresses until Sunday night.
CA--VERY nice. I had her at the top of the group tonight. She just radiated, very strong, very elegant, very pretty. I'm pretty sure it was the gown she won Miss CA in. Very strong presence 9
MS--Not bad. I also think it was the dress she won her state in, or very similar. It was white, somewhat sparkly. She didn't "sparkle" but okay enough. 7-8
MT--Very nice. It was a bright blue, similar to the top 2 last year. I loved it. 8-9
SC--one of your more typical pageanty dresses. Okay presentation, not bad but nothing outstanding 6-7
RI--I'm not sure I would have picked that color for her. It reminded me of the gown Kate Winslet wore when she won her Academy Award. She would have looked wonderful in a jewel tone. Doesn't have a lot of presence 6
OR--Nice! Almost like CA last year, simple but elegant in a navy blue. Definitely held her own in this group 7
NC--Another pageanty one. Velvety black with straps and those side things that come down 6
CO--In a way, it reminds me of the same material of Angela Baraquio used, except a bit more modern. Okay presentation 6-7
AR--pretty green, a bit basic. Not bad presentation 6-7
NH--basic black evening gown with long sleeves. Not overwhelmed but she was pleasant 6
SD--Perfection. She looked red carpet ready, fashion forward, modern. Long sleeved basic emerald green gown, not too garish. It's how it SHOULD be done Terrific! 10
FL--Not overwhelmed. The dress was boring. From far away it looked like white lines with silver sparkly underneath. She looked okay 7-8
HI--Pretty. Similar to CA, not as strong presence 7
IN--Basic black, nothing to write home about 6
KY--White, sparkly bodice. She wasn't bad, wasn't overwhelming 6-7
TN--Also white, but much more sexy. Cut out bustline Her overall look was great 8-9
TX--Non descript navy blue, kind of plain. Expecting more from TX. Presentation wasn't anything noteworthy 6
MO--It reminded me of Emoly West's gown from a few years ago, same style. She definitely wore it well. 9

And there you have it! Here's to a wonderful night 2! Stop back for a report tonight!

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Subject: NIGHT 1-Congrulations to FL and MISS OHIO!!!!!!!!!

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Date Posted: 01:48:39 09/10/14 Wed

Woo hoo!

First of all, I want to send out my wishes for the best to Ivy DePew. She became ill onstage and I believe had to be taken to the hospital. She was always a favorite of mine at Miss TN. I hope that she's been taking good care of herself this week. I know how grueling it can be. So, get better soon, you've got to play the flute tomorrow night!

Now, onto tonight. What a great first night! Talent was really good, swimsuits were really good, and we've got some real wonderful women competing for the crown this year. It certainly did not disappoint! I must also say, it feels more natural this year. It feels like September in Atlantic City again. Last year, it didn't quite seem like the pageant was back. Now it does. So,onto the competition. A lot of contestants really shined tonight. It's going to be fun the next two nights. The long and short of it is while I was thrilled with OH's win, I wasn't quite on board with FL winning swimsuit. I think that South Dakota was impeccable. She was hot, tall, and presented well. But then again, you have to consider that it's an uphill battle for some states. Florida is a Miss America regular. I wouldn't say I disagree with her win, but let's put it this way--I don't think there was a lot of thought put into it. Same as last year. Florida is the quintessential beach girl and did it well. Can I argue with the win? No, but believe me, it was a safe, typical win. Do I think she's the next Miss America? Not at this point, we'll see, though. I wouldn't put a lot of thought into it at this point. There were a lot of good swimsuits tonight. I know that I predicted CA for a SS win. She did not disappoint, but there was something a tiny bit off about her. Couple that with the fact that she was first out of the group, I think it backfired on her. Overall, this panel went for end of group winners. I have found over the past years that it does follow a trend. So, tomorrow night I will not be surprised if you see an end of group winner again. The biggest surprise of the night to me was Texas, and that's not in a good way. She just doesn't stand out to me at all. Her gown was a bit of a surprise. It just didn't seem to me like anything that she would choose. It's nothing special from the design to the color. I was surprised. The most improved to me was Tennessee. Good lord, what a marvelous transformation. Especially after seeing her tonight, I will not be surprised if she is in the top 15. She went from looking like a leftover 80s relic to a sleek, modern young woman. She was one of the better in swimsuits. I would have said the best tonight was CA, MT, SC, SD. TN and MO. I would call a few of them "good", including MS, OR, and HI. Full report in the morning!

Now, onto talent. This is what it is--you just fall in love with Mackenzie when you see her. She is just darling and so is her routine. As I am sure most people will compare her to Alyse Eady, Mackenzie's routine is a bit more energetic, and I think that's why she won. Tonight, I had her "up there" based on entertainment value. I thought perhaps IL or WV was going to take it. IL was classic what used to win and you might see in future nights. She was really good. WV was excellent. You can tell how much she puts into her talent. I don't say this about many contestants but I swear I would buy a CD of hers. I also had IA high up there. I would have had those three above OH. However, if talent was about "what would you want to see again", the crowd LOVED her. And wait if she does it Sunday night. I am kind of wondering if this bodes well for her chances. I thought she was cute in her video. Believe me, she is the type that America would just fall in love with. And seeing how well Alyse did in the press, as long as Mackenzie makes the top 10, she will likely end up on some TV shows. Now, to what will probably be the most talked about talent of the night--Miss New York. I was pleasantly surprised. First of all, she has a good voice. I'm kind of surprised that she didn't pick a regular song. However, as I sat there thinking about it, I think her choice was brilliant. Sorry, but what 17-20 year old knows a Patsy Cline song? They DO know, however, a popular song and that cup singing is popular right now. I think she pulled it off. And I applaud it. I know some will hate it. But I thought it was certainly good enough. I was critical of it. But seeing it up close, it was a lot better. Believe me, it will not hurt her chances. Some of the other good talents of the night begins with NJ. She is improved from the state pageant. She wore a very pretty costume and I know she scored well. MA was good as well. For Alpha supposed to be so strong, there were some weaker talents.

OSQ--off the bat, I would say that hands down, KS and DE were the clear winners of this group. I damned near stood up clapping after Amanda gave her answer. I'm telling you one thing right now--if she wins SS tomorrow night she's your next Miss America. And she would be a fine one. DE also gave a very strong answer. Miss WI fan, you will be happy to know that Raeanna did well also. She sounded very genuine and compassionate when she spoke. That quiet confidence was there. But she's also very articulate. I know she had to do well. LA was very well spoken as well. In the good column I would say OK, PA, and VA.

Evening gown--EVERYONE looked wonderful. In this round, I would have had to give it to CA and SD. I think CA wore her state gown, and she just looked great. SD was VERY red carpet. She was one of the few. A lot of typical pageant gowns but not as bad as I expected. That will come Sunday night ;) SD was my favorite, I think she edged CA out. You didn't see a lot of white, THANK CHRIST. HI had a similar gown to CA. But really, no one looked bad. MT looked very pretty in blue, she was one of my favorites.

I will post the complete rundown tomorrow, so stay tuned!

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Date Posted: 12:48:06 09/09/14 Tue

I will be in attendance for preliminaries, as well as the parade, and final night. So, stop back for all the in detail reviews! Last year, I usually posted a partial review late at night, and then a full review by midday. I go down every contestant and give full details of all the competition. Stop back often, and be sure and post any questions you have. And these better be good tonight--I'll be missing the premiere of the final season of Sons of Anarchy for this ;)

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Subject: Going Into Tomorrow

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Date Posted: 22:09:08 09/07/14 Sun

The Miss America interviews begin in about 12 hours or less. How exciting! While we were relaxing and enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon, the contestants were likely going over current events, getting their thoughts together, and preparing for the interviews. Mu and Alpha both have interviews tomorrow, so it's very possible our new Miss America is interviewed tomorrow. Let the competition begin!

I was thinking about something that I wanted to share. Last year, they interviewed one of the judges on the local TV station. (The one with the really curly hair). She was asked what she was looking for in the new Miss America. Her response was that she wanted the person that could best represent and be the face of the organization. Not the best personality, not beauty, not talent, etc. Essentially, she was looking for a spokesperson. That doesn't sound like something she came up with on her own. It sounds like something she was given. There was a great video about Kim Aiken posted earlier on Sash Factor. I'm not convinced that she would even win today. Years ago, Miss America was not responsible for working with the revolving door of sponsors, being a spokesperson for Ribkoff, or being a STEM representative if that was not remotely her major. In addition, Miss America is the spokesperson for a very lopsided relationship with CMN. That is not to say I don't fully support CMN. Anything we can do to help sick children is well worth the investment. But from a business standpoint, it's not a good one. Essentially, CMN "allows" Miss America to be a spokesperson, doesn't pay her for it, and then takes a lot of money which should be going to the MAO directly. And when the CMN telethon rolls around, they get big named celebrities. I have already sat through them and hardly saw Miss America. They should be given a prime spot during the most visible event they have.

Looking ahead, I am not certain that we will get a Kim Aiken/Laura Kaeppeler type. Beautiful, you don't have to think about it too much, talented, but it's not a spokesperson contest. But we might end up with a spokesperson. I hope that it's not disappointing, but it's possible. I will say this much--I do think we will get a more "manageable" winner. I saw that video of Nina talking about "the job" and took everything she had not to start foaming at the mouth. LOL ok, not that bad, but you could tell that she was not pleased with it. We will likely find an easygoing winner that can speak well. As long as she's got "it" onstage to back it up, more power to her. I would say with this group of judges, I do think they will go for a more compassionate, thoughtful winner. I think Kansas would be a great Miss America just with her platform alone. However, it might be intimidating to those sponsors and Sam Haskell who believes that Miss America should be a 1960s relic. I guess we will see in 169 hours from now ;)

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Subject: The Arrival Ceremony

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Date Posted: 18:00:46 09/06/14 Sat

Happy Saturday before pageant week!

In a few days from now we'll have a full pageant going on! I can't wait. So far, I have been very impressed. There are very few contestants that didn't come to win. Judging from what I have seen so far, jumpsuits are the in thing, as is black and white. My favorite ones were WI's departure one and CA's at the arrival ceremony, both for their color. And I also thought MI looked great. She looked tall and elegant, and it was a nice color. It was fun to see the arrival ceremony. Of course, you have to deal with the windbag, but he kept it to a minimum. Can't be said for preliminary nights ;) Nina looked miserable sitting there, she seemed bored. But she's on her way out, and this week she is not in the spotlight. I was initially going to go down a good, bad and notable list, but just about everyone has something, so here is my thoughts on each contestant:

AL--Very confident walk. That Mu SS group is going to be tough. As for her attire, I am not joking, I saw Beverly Goldberg with a similar outfit on The Goldbergs last week. (By the way, I am going to take the time to plug the show if you have not seen it yet. If you love the 80s, or nostalgia shows, or your family is crazy, it's a great show for you. And it's a family comedy, although it's not quite My Three Sons lol.)
AK--I didn't like it. The skirt looked like something you would cover a roof with.
AR--Average intro, but I actually liked her dress. I'm sure other people didn't, but I did.
AZ--Average, but I think she looked great. The green was pretty, and the dress was simple, but she just looked good in it.
CA--Looking good, good enough intro.
CO--Oops. Not quite Youtube worthy but she definitely stumbled on her words.
CT--Good enough
DE--Very well spoken, presents well
DC--Happy birthday, cutie!
FL--Beautiful but boring
GA--Good enough, a bit rambly. Something about her voice that doesn't meet with me.
HI--I really like Stephanie, but that looked like something a 50-year-old woman would wear to her church function. She speaks well, but that outfit did not work.
ID--Really has a lot of energy. I also liked her look--simple and noticeable.
IL--Yes! Personality and presents well.
IN--Nothing memorable
IA--I didn't like that look. It looked more nightclub than arrival ceremony. Also, her shoes made the bottom of her legs look bigger than they likely are.
KS--Nice color, and just by her intro, I'd like to hear more about her story.
KY--Good presentation
LA--Damn, is she fit! I thought she presented herself very well.
ME--Cute but just so laid back
MD-She seemed to try a bit too hard. The dress was interesting.
MA--Nothing memorable, but I'd take it after her awful video.
MI--I hate to say it, but there's something about the way she talks :( But she looked great.
MN--All that black drowned her out.
MS--Fine, nothing memorable, although the way she walks, she seems to have an air about her.
MT-I like the dress, and nice legs!
NE--She reminds me of Lexie Madden from far away. Flat intro.
NV--Nothing memorable. Looks her age.
NH--Cute, natural.
NJ--Great intro. Very proud of her state.
NM--A bit of a stumble, has a very high pitched voice.
NY--Personality and confident. I feel like she is every bit as competitive as Nina was last year.
NC--Not sure I liked the skirt.
ND--Pretty, speaks good enough.
OH--Cute, bubbly and I like the dress.
OK--Not overwhelmed with her speaking, but she looks great.
PR--Happy average lol
RI--Interesting and well spoken
SC--Loved the dress and she has a great body
SD--JHC that body. She reminds me of Jeri Ryan facially. She needs to RUN to USA
TN--Fun intro, good personality
TX--Not sure, something off about that intro. She seemed to be too energetic, but it didn't come off as real.
VT--Sounded memorized, but she's cute and I liked her jumpsuit
VA--Average, I'm not sure how I feel about that dress
VI--I don't know if because of her accent, but she didn't pronounce obstetrics correctly. I would hope she knows otherwise.
WA--Nothing memorable
WV--See above
WI--Pretty in red, I liked the dress, and I saw that quiet confidence
WY--Sort of reminded me of WI's dress, and the color is great on her. And she looks great.

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Subject: After watching all of the videos

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Date Posted: 13:41:43 09/02/14 Tue

When I was compiling the videos, I had the opportunity to see most of them, particularly the interviews. I didn't see every single talent video, but enough to get the idea. So, I got a good idea of who has what in interview. I made some changes and noticed some things I haven't before. Here are the ones that are noteworthy to me:

CA--I'm afraid that I'm not overwhelmed with her speaking skills. If they are looking for a public speaker, she's not your gal. I don't think her skills will hurt her, because she's got plenty to make up for it onstage. And Jennifer Berry and even Katie Stam were no Toastmasters. Yet they still won. She's still one of my contenders. However, I am a bit concerned.

DC--The video with her and Miss MD, MD completely dominated that interview. I know it's just one interview. But if she shows up competing like that, she's not going to make the top 15. She just seemed so passive. When you compete, you don't have to be aggressive, but you can't let others walk over you, either. I think DC is adorable, and she's one of my favorites this year. But I hope that she ups her competition up a bit.

ID--Confirmed everything I thought about her. She is dynamic. She is bubbly and just has so much good energy. And if her runner-up was that good imagine what she has.

IL--She's now solidly in my top 15, possibly a SS winner. She's very personable and can speak very well. I think she's good all around and has the charisma to back it up.

IN--Surprisingly, her interview was good. If she can get herself together, she comes off well. I don't think she's a factor in Atlantic City, but she was a pleasant surprise.

KS--Most improved since she won with regards to speaking. You can tell she's been working on her interview. I am really hoping we see her in the top 15.

MI--I hate to say this, because I really like her. But if she hasn't gotten SERIOUS interview help, she's going nowhere. Her speaking skills are not good at all. I actually wondered how she won a state pageant after hearing her interview. I guess the good news is she probably has improved, because you can't win a state competition with an interview like that. But I don't know.

MS--Interestingly enough, she is very hit or miss with regards to her talent. Sometimes she sounds great, and other times she does not. The clip of her singing from the American Idol CD she was nothing but average. And her talent from 2 years ago at Miss MS, if you compare to Pam McKelvy, was not that good.

NC--Very good talent. Let's face it, MS or TX is the likely talent winner. But I think if anything, she should contend for a preliminary talent award.

SC--also a very good speaker. I'm not 100 percent sold on her, but she seems to speak very well, and that will take you far.

WI--OK, I'm starting to get it. She will be there if she's got something, and I think she does. She seems well put together, and her talent has improved since the 2011 clip. She also seems very well spoken. Too bad we won't get to see that beautiful crowning dress, unless it is a Tony Bowls, which I doubt. It's too nice.

I'm curious to hear any of your thoughts after the videos. Has anyone went up or down? Any surprises?

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Subject: More on Sweetheart

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Date Posted: 12:42:11 09/02/14 Tue

Hi everyone!

What a great Miss America day--all of our contestants are gathered in Washington DC, and the next time we see them is tomorrow at the arrival ceremony! Last year it was on the radio. If that's happening, we don't know it yet. I am hoping it will be.

Back to Sweetheart. A few things--first of all, with the exception of Washington, the top 16 had a very realistic feel of what Miss America could be like. I would even say with the exception of Arkansas, that looks like a realistic top 5 at Miss America. I guess it just goes to show you that some states really have it going on. Second, the pageant had a very USA feel to it. That's not a bad thing. For lack of a better term, Miss America has gotten somewhat stale with the same old same old. You plug in a formula, some states have it figured out, and you see the same ones over and over again. I think the top 5, with the exception of MS and AR to a certain extent, was personable, dynamic, modern, and very likeable. Elizabeth Kramer also had that started out the night slow and then you just fell in love with her over the night, much like you see at USA. And while the winner wasn't quite the one you thought it would be, she was better than you ever thought. I was a bit surprised with some of the ones who did not move on, namely Oklahoma. She was one of the best in swimsuit. So was CT. I was sad not to see Rachel Foehlinger there. I have always been a big fan of the Foehlinger family. But her talent was fantastic. No doubt she's got a bright future, whatever she does. However, with such a great winner, how could I possibly complain about the judging? That was a great top 3. Now I've got several great contestants to cheer for next year. One more thing--I thought KY was top 5 worthy, but I would venture she was fighting it out with AR. And speaking of Arkansas, thank god that was not a televised pageant, because she'd get a Utah/South Carolina award.

Overall, I thought it was a great presentation. The only thing I would say is that it is a no frills pageant, which isn't the worst thing. What I think, though, is if they invested a little bit in stage decorations and some production, PLUS cut it down time wise, they could have one of the most go-to pageants in the year. I really enjoyed it, and you could tell how much pride Hoopeston put into it. Well done. And the webcast was one of the best I've seen. Save Tennessee, it was the best picture and best connection I've seen at any state pageant.

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Date Posted: 23:07:23 08/31/14 Sun

There is a pageant God! I absolutely LOVE her. And I loved that top 3. I would have been happy had that gone any way out of them. This soooo reminds me of USA--she just was beautiful, engaging onstage, might not be the most eloquent speaker, but just great all around and captivating. And she's beautiful. I HOPE she wins Idaho next year and we will get to see her at Miss America. And with Sierra looking strong, this might be a real breakthrough year for Idaho. Congratulations to the judges for not crowning the typical type. Thanks for going old school--to the ones that stood out onstage and you knew exactly why they were there.

What was wild to me when watching the pageant is that it seemed like you went back to the 1960s. I just couldn't help but thinking this is the kind of place that your glory days winners came out of. I could see Judi Ford, Debbie Bryant, Debbie Barnes, Pam Eldred, Terry Meeuwsen, etc. being sponsored by the Rotary Club or Jaycees. It's kind of cool to see there are still places left over like that. LOL I guess you can tell I am not a Midwest person. It's just fascinating to me.

More later!

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Date Posted: 14:46:11 08/31/14 Sun

Megan’s Youtube channel

I think that Cierra is in the pink shorts.
Cierra is at approximately 20:00 into the video


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQM_KqFzisA (in Russian)

Interview starts at approximately 10:55
Interview starts at approximately 9:05
Beth’s Youtube channel


Notes: There are over a dozen clips of Mackenzie forecasting the weather. I only loaded two, but they can be accessed via Youtube. Also, there are clips on Youtube of Mackenzie singing. However, since she is not performing this talent at Miss America, I decided not to put them up. She also has a Youtube channel with one of her songs, but mostly other non-related videos.

Note: Alex has a Youtube channel, but it does not have any related content.


Amanda’s Youtube channel









Talent (starts at 1:00, plus pageant highlights)

Note: Kailee’s performance starts at approximately 2:00. You can also see her onstage question at around 6:05 and her evening gown presentation after talent.

Evening gown and Interview
Evening gown starts at approximately 2:20 and interview starts at approximately 5:25
Paige’s Youtube channel with additional talents and her reporting



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Date Posted: 14:42:06 08/31/14 Sun

Note: This is her singing, which she is not going to be doing at Miss America, but you can get an idea of her stage presence
Note: She is part of a troupe, she seems to be the one with the darkest hair
Caitlin also has a Youtube channel, but it is uploads of other people speaking

Malie's Youtube channel:



Link to Isabel Inserra's Youtube channel, with 20 videos of Marina's singing and appearances


Interview starts at 1:40




Maggie’s Youtube Channel

Talent and Interview


Note: Audra has a Youtube channel, but it is videos that she liked and has uploaded

Note: Aly has her own Youtube channel but only has videos that she uploaded


Note: She is part of the ensemble, playing fiddle
Note: The above video is first listed, but the second video features a different ensemble.

Lacey’s interview starts at approximately 11:30
Pageant highlights with clips of Lacey’s talent and swimsuit:


Note: This is a compilation of her reporting clips
Highlights from swimsuit starting at 1:47
Highlights from evening gown starting at around 1:50
Jade’s Youtube channel:

Lauren’s Youtube channel

Interview (Radio)
Note: This is a part of a troupe
KT’s Youtube channel


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZrA6DeyS10 (this has some singing)
Jasmine’s Youtube Channel



Interview (group interview)
Interview and Talent

Interview and Talent
Ellies Youtube Channel

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Subject: The contestant videos are here, with over 300 clips of your favorites!

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Date Posted: 14:35:09 08/31/14 Sun

Hi everyone!

It's about that time. Time to sit down, look at clips of your favorites, and figure out who your top 15 will be! I made that prediction post a few days ago, but after seeing a lot of the videos, I can tell you that this is indeed a great group of contestants. In years past, you could tell who the haves vs. the have nots have been. This year, a lot of the contestants are put together, look great, and are well-spoken. I'm going to put up a separate post of what I thought, but I have changed my mind on a few, solidified what I already thought, and some aren't as strong as I thought.

Interesting to note: Some traditionally strong states like CA have a lot of web presence, as they did last year. But, I was hard pressed to find a video of NY or OK. In fact, unless you understand Russian, I can't guarantee that you will get much from the lone video that I found. If any of you have any additional videos that I might have missed, please feel free to post them or email them and I will gladly put them up. This was a real labor of love for me. I put in a lot of time, but I think this is a great resource. And what's nice is there are several sendoff videos. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the contestant videos!

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Subject: My Fearless Top 15 Predictions...and my picks for Miss America before the competition starts

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Date Posted: 17:38:20 08/27/14 Wed

Hi everyone!

The fun starts THIS WEEKEND! The contestants will be leaving for Atlantic City and the next time we see them, they will be competing for Miss America. How exciting! This year, it seems like things are back to normal. Last year, it felt a little strange having 2 pageants in 1 year. And it felt awkward in a way being back in Atlantic City. At first, anyway. But now, it's like we've settled in and everything is back to normal, where it should be.

So, there's been a lot of speculation about who the new Miss America is going to be. This year has been interesting. First of all, the hype and declarations of the next Miss America seem to be around only two contestants--Alabama and Mississippi. I would say CT comes next, but I still see AL and MS as the main two. The only time recently I can remember that it was this concentrated around 2 contestants was 2009 with the showdown between Katie Stam and Chasity Hardman. And we know how that went. I think this year is going to be interesting for several reasons. The past 4 Miss Americas no one saw coming. NOBODY saw Teresa save a few judges. The pageant public sure did not. The year after, I think some like myself had Laura in the top 10 and there was some talk about Betty Thompson winning, but it wasn't a foregone conclusion to most fans. Mallory was not talked about much, but Ali Rogers was. And last year, most people expected Nina to make the top 10, but the hype was around OK and VA last year. In years past, some of the heavily hyped contestants did not make the top 15 at all. So, it's always interesting to see how the hype goes. This year, I think it's a foregone conclusion for a lot of people that Alabama is winning. The same went for Mississippi, especially when she was crowned but it seems like every time there is a new picture or something of Alabama, the proclamations begin. Me personally, I don't see either of them winning. I'm not sure you can count Alabama out, she is indeed a competition queen that knows the teen system well. There are differences between the systems, and what works well in one may or may not work well in another. Furthermore, I don't see the first MAOT to ever compete to win. But most importantly, I see Caitlin right out of 1995. If this was 20 years ago I don't think this would even be a competition. But it's not. She is extremely pageanty and has that old persona. It hasn't worked for a while now. Could this be the year? Yes. But the overall trend is away from programmed competition queens, which is what Caitlin is. Jennifer Berry was the last one that fits this description. And it's possible that if she's that strong onstage, Caitlin could win. But I just don't see it, based on the winners we have been having. You've got to be young and modern, or glamourous like Laura. With regards to Jasmine Murray, I don't see a lot of charisma. I think her strengths are her talent and the fact that she was on American Idol. She knows how to compete in a much tougher environment than Miss America, and that will take her far. But the big drawback when she was on Idol is that she's just wasn't engaging. And personality is huge in this system.

So, who do I think might be the next Miss America? Here's who I think has a great chance of making the top 15:

AL—I doubt I even have to explain this, but just in case, she’s a competition queen. She knows the system.
CA—Right now, she is one of my frontrunners. From what I understand, she beat a very competitive group at Miss CA, one of the most loaded state competitions. Second, she’s well-rounded across the board. And you know how CA has been lately. But at the end of the day, there’s a charisma about her and even seeing her talent, you can tell she just lights up a stage. I’ve heard nothing but good things about her personally as well.
CT—I’ve seen her, and she’s good. A lot of charisma and she’s beautiful. More importantly, she comes across as a compassionate person who loves nature, and that tends to connect many of us.
FL—One of the main reasons I have her is because replacements do well at Miss America. The last FL replacement made the top 10, and I think it will repeat. Plus, Florida has been doing well of late.
ID—Yes! The minute she was crowned I just knew it. Then, I saw her video. She’s very natural, very bubbly, and has a great message. Plus, she’s got a rockin body.
IA—A great personality and strong talent. Plus, IA has been on a great roll lately and I’m sure she will be every bit as ready to go as was Jessica, Mariah, et al.
MS—Another competition queen who has had experience on a major reality competition. Plus, she’s from a bona fide competition state.
NJ—I knew from the minute she was crowned that she was someone special. She’s very compassionate, intelligent, a young woman of today who also is very relatable. She would be one who I think would appeal to a lot of different people. She also looks good in a SS. I wouldn’t call her talent amazing, but she will hold her own.
NY—I expect her to at least make the top 10. I explained it before, but someone with cup singing as a talent and a bad gown who won has something to make up for it. She seems like she’s got a great personality, too, plus very intelligent.
OK—It’s Oklahoma. Nuff said. She’s a beauty, with a strong swimsuit and gown. And rest assured she will be well versed in everything else come competition time.
TX—It’s Texas, first of all. If last year proved anything, TX gets in just about no matter what. But Monique is strong across the board. She’s one of the few I think could be a double preliminary winner.

I think the rest of the top 15 could come from the following group:
GA—Georgia is Georgia. While I’m not overwhelmed with her, I wasn’t last year with Carly and she did well. GA makes it if they have someone competitive. It’s a fact.
HI—When Stephanie puts her hair up and gets onstage, she’s very beautiful and regal. If she’s got the interview and personality to back it up, she will be there. Another thing to consider—she was picked by at least one former Miss America and an impressive judges panel at Miss Hawaii, and they had some strong contestants to choose from.
IL—They have been doing well since the 2012 pageant, and it seems like they are getting back to their days of old. Marisa has been competing for 5 years, I think, and that can only help hone her competition. She competed against 2 top 10 at Miss America candidates, 1 who was a preliminary SS as well.
KY—Kentucky is Kentucky as well. They’re a state with a proven track record. I almost have her in my top 15 but I am not 100 percent convinced yet. Also, with her story, I think she will win the judges over.
LA—She’s not one I initially had as potential until I saw her video. I remember being impressed with Hope Anderson in her video and she made it in. Same goes with Lacey. And, LA has had much success over the years. I’m sure if she’s got something, she’ll be there.
MI—She’s very pretty, would do great in SS, and seems to be a strong dancer. It will all come down to interview.
MO—I’ve said it all along, she could make it in, and I’m still saying it. Her big drawback is talent.
OR—Another one that I didn’t see coming until the videos, but I like her presentation. She seems intelligent, well-spoken, and charming all at the same time.
TN—I’m not 100 percent convinced on this one, but you have to consider what TN has been doing at Miss America as of late. She seems like a good speaker as well, and that will get you far.
VA—Never count VA out. I believe she is a former OT and has good talent.

I still think you could see AR, you can never count them out. And, I'm going to listen to the Wisconsin folks. States usually have a way of knowing when they've got someone, and I've heard it this year. I'm not 100 percent convinced on either of them, but I'm not counting them out.

So, who do I think could be Miss America? I've got it down to two:

Texas--I'm not quite sold on this, but she seems to be one of the most well-rounded contestants. If she has a decent interview, and I think she won interview at Miss Texas, I think what she brings onstage could win her the title. She's got the looks for it. I don't know, I'm having a harder time explaining why, but I just think she could be it.

California--Right now, if I was betting, Marina would be it. And I can easily tell you why. First, I have heard nothing but good things about her personally. She is said to be caring, personable, compassionate. I think all of those things will bode well with this year's judges. But secondly, she just seems to come alive onstage. I have heard the criticisms about her not looking in candids like she does onstage. Doesn't matter. She's not competing on a walkway at Disney World. She'll be onstage, where she just sparkles. She's also strong across the board. While I think it might be a hard time for her to win talent, she's strong enough. When I watched her performance, it was very heartfelt. I got a lot of emotion from it. Plus, she's got a rocking body. I think she's just one of "those people" and has the competitiveness onstage to back it up.

Miss Wild Card--I say that because if this year follows the trend, Miss America is going to be someone that is either not being discussed or being discussed very little. Or, maybe for the top 10. Who do I think it could be? Impossible at this point.

This is just my opinion, but I think it's going to be a traditional Miss America state that wins. I'm not sure that you get a 2011 where an obscure state wins. Either tomorrow or Friday, I am going to put up a post about who wins at Miss America, so stay tuned. Statistically, I am right ;)

So, what say you?

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Subject: I was just watching Live From the Red Carpet

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Date Posted: 20:06:39 08/25/14 Mon

And all I saw was red, red, red. And that's fine with me, because it's my co-favorite color (along with blue, go figure). So what does that mean for the Miss America pageant? You will see a sea of white, boring gowns. Maybe if you're lucky, one with a mermaid bottom. You won't see anything like the beautiful, simplistic gown that Heidi Klum wore. Or, you'll see a sea of black/nude dresses like Leigh Taylor Smith wore almost 6 years ago now.

Just sayin ;)

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Subject: 2014 Contestant Video Rundown

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Date Posted: 16:20:27 08/21/14 Thu

Well, it’s about that time again! We ALMOST had a year without your typical pageant girl. Miss MD gets the 209312 razzie for ruining the almost perfect “I’m not your typical pageant girl” year. The goal next year—not one contestant says “I’m not your typical pageant girl”. I hereby call it the 209312 challenge. Challenge on, class of 2015!

So, the videos. As with other years some good, some not so good. Overall, these seem to be not as produced or put together as in years past. Some, anyway. Some were good. Some states you are starting to get the same video year after year (I’m talking to you, New York) but if it works, don’t fix it. What I look for in a video—I don’t look for cheesy or contrived. I like when you get a sense of who a contestant is, what her life is like outside of pageants, and a bit about her life story. As always, you don't judge the videos per se. But you can get a very good idea of how a contestant communicates, and if she's got something for interview. Also, see how a contestant presents herself. If she can sell it well on a video, she can sell it to the judges. Here is what I thought:

AL—I am getting a bit wary of the constant name dropping of her charity and she’s getting very one-dimensional. That being said, it seemed like a nice video.
AK—I would call it average. She’s cute, though.
AZ—Kind of cheesy and silly. Very pageanty.
AR—Kind of what you are used to from Arkansas as far as the video. She comes across as very nice, very humble, and someone I would relate to if she won Miss America.
CA—Same video you get from California every year. I do like that they highlight different parts of the contestant’s lives. I get a real likeability from her.
CT—You all know how much I like Acacia. This video did not do it for me. Something about it was very off. It wasn’t very professional. It seemed like bad acting. Miss CT from last year was much better.
CO—She’s a very pretty girl and I like what I saw out of her from Orlando. But this video doesn’t do much to highlight her. At times, it seemed like she was reading from a cue card, and then she spoke very rapidly at times.
DE—Nice and inspiring, but would have liked to know a little bit more about her. I just felt like I didn’t get a good idea of who she was.
DC—Winning! Anytime you can get the future host of the Late Show to appear in your video, you’ve done something right. I also like that it was lighthearted. I must admit, even though I’m a politico, I have no idea who that representative was. I think she's very cute, and I hope she makes the top 15.
FL—Like DE, she surrounded herself with children. She’s kind of a flat speaker. I have her making the top 15 at this point, but she’s got to be a bit more animated.
GA—Average. I do like the videos where you get a chance to see where a contestant is from and who they are, and she did a good job with that. Kind of the same as last year’s Miss GA.
HI—Same as GA. And I think she’d be an excellent veterinarian. I am not counting her out either for a spot in the top 15.
ID—There’s something about her. I think she came across as very genuine, committed to her platform, and someone that would be an excellent role model.
IL—I don’t know, it didn’t quite work for me. Kind of silly, not put together well.
IA—Nice. The only thing I would say was the music was a bit melancholy.
IN—If there was any doubt that she came from a state that has loads of fertilizer, this should prove it. I am assuming her ED lives near some, too, because no one would allow their titleholder to act this weird on the first video that you’re presenting of yourself to the public. I love non-conformists, don’t get me wrong, but some of the cow stuff or whatever she was doing made her seem like a child.
KS—Wow. I never knew she had such a tragic life, and I’ve seen every webcast of MO. I thought it was very well done, not overly sappy, very mature, and she is a real survivor. I imagine last week had to have been very hard for her. I think she’d be an excellent Miss America.
KY—Also very nice. She seems like a very nice person, too. I would be very happy to have her represent us for a year.
LA—Very well done. She’s very well-spoken, she presents herself very well, as well as her accomplishments. I hadn’t paid too much attention to her before, but after this video, I think she could do well at Miss America.
ME—She is absolutely adorable and stands no chance whatsoever in Atlantic City if that is how she acts.
MD—Well, she just ruined the “I’m not your typical pageant girl” streak ending. It wasn’t a bad video but I tend to shut down to someone after that nonsense statement. She’s a dead ringer for Melissa Rauch. Maybe she could play Bernadette’s evil twin in an upcoming episode of the Big Bang Theory.
MA—No, just, no. She is no doubt accomplished and she could have done a much better job of presenting that. It was silly.
MN—Average as well(it felt like an infomercial for the state of Minnesota, although MN is a beautiful state) , although I really thought it was sweet to put her pageant sisters in her video. That impressed me a lot.
MS—She was very well-spoken in her video. It was a bit thick with the American Idol shtick, but she’s playing the game well. That’s what she needs to do. I still think she needs more personality, but she is very articulate.
MO—She’s beautiful and that was the worst video I’ve ever seen. Or should I say, lack of video. She twirls around and doesn’t even say anything about herself.
MT—Cute. I love seeing the culture of our different states, and she did well bringing it into the video. And she’s got GORGEOUS hair.
NE—I apologize to Rachel Foehlinger for whatever the judges were smoking the night they chose Megan over her. This was the most boring video I’ve ever seen. I get no personality whatsoever.
NV—Average, although it was nice to hear about her musical accomplishments. Not very inspiring, though.
NH—I liked the science references. It was cute, and she tried to be original. I think she did a good job of presenting herself. I look for her to be a strong finalist for the STEM award.
NJ—I don’t think this was the best produced video ever. It just seemed like she grabbed a camera and threw something together. But see what I mean about her? Despite the poor video, she’s a great speaker and there’s just something about her.
NM—Very cute, and I liked seeing her farm. I also think she was very direct in her answers.
NY—OK, how about we make a generic NYC video with the background, and just edit the new titleholder in each year. I say, do what works for you but this is just a carbon copy of the last two years. As far as Kira, she’s very well spoken and I expect her to do well. In fact, after hearing her speak, I see the “it”. There’s a part of me that is entertaining a three peat, although highly unlikely.
NC—Okay, nothing memorable. The only thing I would say is at times, she seemed like she was going to burst out into laughter.
ND—Aside from the camera swinging around at the end, I thought it was good. She seems to have a lot of personality. I wouldn’t be disappointed if she made the top 15 at all. She seems very cute and likeable.
OH—She’s is a very pretty girl and she has a real cuteness about her. But the video wasn’t that good. She tries to be cutesy in a way that doesn’t work. I hope that this isn’t what we see from her at Miss America, because I think with polish, she could easily walk away with the crown. I’m afraid she doesn’t have it. Also, she looked to be reading.
OK—Also the same kind of video as we’ve seen before from them, but good. I felt like I got to know a lot about Alex. The only thing I would say is to use better language. Don’t say “slums”. It’s a very judgmental word, especially when you are doing it as charity work. “Impoverished” would be a lot better, or just choose to say on a missions trip, or whatever.
OR—Like Louisiana, I didn’t pay a lot of attention to her, mainly because I didn’t know a lot. But this video showed me a lot. She is very well-spoken, very natural, and very goal oriented. I also think she is very humble and very nice. Maybe we’ll see Oregon back in the mix of things again.

PA—Silly at the beginning, good in the middle, silly at the end. It was a good attempt. PA’s videos can be a bit outlandish at times. I would say, though, quit the talk about being from Florida. You ARE representing another state.
PR—Very pretty girl and a great message. I felt like she can connect with people, and seems very compassionate.
RI—She did a good job of articulating herself and her accomplishments. It sounded a bit like she was just rattling off MAO talking points, but she was good enough. I just didn’t get a lot of charisma, though.
SC—They are also starting to do the same video year after year. In fact, I think I saw that same girl before. That being said, I thought it was very good. She seemed very natural and well-spoken, and very compassionate.
SD—A lot of personality in this video. It was a bit “edited”, and sometimes she seemed a bit manic, but at least it had some personality.
TN—Very well done. I think she did a great job of describing CMN without being patronizing. I think more personal stories like this should be told. Hell, I’d even use this as a commercial if I were CMN.
TX—I expected more from Texas than a video in an airport. Underwhelming personality, and sounded either rehearsed or that she was reading off of something. Also, try and stay away from the word “ethnicities”. It sounds very stereotypical. Cultural background is a much better term that sounds more contemporary.
UT—I realize you’re not competing for the Academy Awards, but you want it to be a little bit better than this. She sounded like she was reading the whole time, everything was cheesy and contrived. No one seemed natural. This was pretty bad, and I usually like who Utah sends. I don’t know much about Karlie, I was hoping to get to know her, this didn’t help at all. This makes a bad first impression.
VT—Well, she was sweet and to the point. I would have liked a little more, and she talked a bit fast. She’s a cute girl, though, and she seems like a real go-getter.
VI—Very cute and seems like a compassionate, kind young woman. I’d love to see a Miss VI make the top 15 one of these years.

VA—I was wondering why she was doing the flash card thing, and then when she finally started speaking, I got it. Very nice and thoughtful. I like her message.

WA—Oh my god, why did you have to bring the classy Nicole Renard into this atrocity? One was as bad as the other.
WV—A bit bland, but she seems very genuine.
WI—She seemed like she was reading a script, but I am definitely going to check out her website. I liked that she talked about her family but did not dispense with the typical pageant family phrases.
WY—Like MT, one of my favorite western states, I enjoyed that she spoke about her life and brought the culture of it into the video. I enjoyed it.

In my opinion, the best videos were DC, LA, SC, and TN. The worst were, in my opinion, AZ, IN, MA, MO, and WA.

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Subject: When picking your pick for Miss America

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Date Posted: 17:36:17 08/17/14 Sun

Keep this in mind:


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Subject: The 2014 Judges Panel

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Date Posted: 11:12:05 08/14/14 Thu

Good afternoon/morning everyone, depending on when you read this! It's still early in many parts of the country. This morning, the judges were announced. As always, we fans spend a lot of time analyzing the judges picks. After last year in particular, I think all bets were out the window. I thought for sure with the preliminary panel that we'd get nothing but Southern, traditional contestants, but we didn't. And the winner did not fit the overall mold of those judges. This year,we are back to one panel. That experiment didn't last very long. There has been a little bit of talk over these past few weeks that Nina pulled a Gretchen Carlson on final night. Meaning, if you read William Goldman's book (I highly recommend if you haven't done so already), he said that Gretchen was in 10th place going into the final night, and the judges just picked her the final night. Mallory H. has alluded that Nina wasn't the favorite going into Sunday night. Things happen with judging,as you know. So, onto this panel from this year. LOL I asked someone to have on GMA and I could call them to see who the judges were, since I couldn't see it live. She said that the announcement was very quick, and she tried to write down their names. Some we all heard of, obviously. And then she said something about a McDonald. I asked who and she said "I don't know, I think her name starts with an A". LOL then I started yelling about OMG, Audra McDonald is on this panel. I would love Audra McDonald to judge someday. What a wonderful, talented performer, singer, everything. But we were both mistaken. So, here was my thinking:

First, this panel is more random than some we've seen over the years. That was the first thing that came to mind. It is a very diverse group of people. The one thing that I thought of, however, is that the year Lee Meriwether judged, there was also a high ranking officer from the Navy and that was a panel that chose Katie Harman, who was a delight. But these judges do not fit any kind of mold, at all. And I think that's a good thing. There are people on this panel who are known for certain things (like Kathy Ireland) who have strong opinions about things, but they are only one judge. You are going to have to appeal to everyone across this board.

Second, and this is important--two of these judges served within the last 5 years. What that means, I can't say, but I don't remember recycling judges this soon over the years. It's been only 3.5 years since Marc Cherry judged. Although, I like him. If you have the interview tape, he was a lot of fun, wasn't intimidating, and seemed to love the process. He's also spent years creating comedy genius with the likes of Betty White. He selected Teresa, and I know from the press conference afterwards, he actually voted for her. Shawn Johnson was on the panel that selected Caressa Cameron, so I'm a bit suspect. However, she did not ask many questions in interview, and seemed overpowered by some of the stronger personalities there. This year, I don't see the personalities nearly as strong (more on that in a minute), but she's at least young enough and relatable to the contestants.

Third, this panel does have judges that will appeal to certain contestants more, and I see them having an advantage. One thing that was of concern to me was that Caitlin Brunnell would have an advantage if there was an NFL judge. Voila! This will help her tremendously. Although, she's got to appeal to more than one judge, as do all of the contestants. And I do think Donald Driver is mature enough not to let that influence him. The entrepreneur on the panel (who admittedly, I never heard of) is going to likely feel a bond with New York due to their cultural background. And God help the contestant who suggests a 2 state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. I say that in jest, but Kathy Ireland is very strong in her conservative beliefs.

So, at the end of the day, what does this panel have in common? Two things. First of all, they are real achievers. Not that the other panels have not been, but there are several entrepreneurs, athletes, and for once, two champions of Dancing With the Stars. Believe me, their personal lives are most impressive beyond a dancing competition. But these are also judges who are heavily involved in charitable causes. Donald Driver, Shawn Johnson, Kathy Ireland all have their own charitable outreaches. Most importantly, I see this panel as very kind, non-egotistical people. They are not controversial at all, and they all seem to have a real streak of humanity in them. The only one I can't say for sure is the businessperson and the Army commander, I don't know much about them. But the rest of the panel seems to be warm, kind people and I think they will select a Miss America as such. I really think you will see someone with a big heart, that is humble, and will appeal to a lot of people. Overall, I think this is a great panel of judges. And they've got their work cut out for them.

I will end with this--the Miss America Organization fumbled on this announcement in a major way. It wasn't announced until yesterday afternoon, there wasn't much press about it at all. And when I tried to check their Twitter account, nothing was mentioned directly after. Furthermore, the official press release is tacky. It sounds like a seventh grader who was trying to impress his English teacher wrote it. How many times did they have to use the word illustrious? Once is plenty. It's also a word which is very superlative. And star-studded? Star-studded means Oprah, Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and George Clooney will be there. Why not just put it as it is--an accomplished, impressive panel of judges who are leaders in their respective fields. See, that sounds much better.

There's my take on this. How about yours?

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Subject: Elizabeth Fechtel speaks out

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Date Posted: 13:54:15 07/01/14 Tue


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Subject: Weekend Roundup

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Date Posted: 02:17:30 08/03/14 Sun

Hi everyone!

It's a big weekend in the pageant world, particularly if you are between the age of 13-18. Best of luck to the new Miss Teen USA and Miss America's Outstanding Teen. I will not pretend to be the biggest fan of the MAOT system, but I wish the new MAOT nothing but the best. I don't follow it, but I have heard NOTHING but good about Olivia. While to me this seems like nothing more than a regionalized pageant (and tonight's results reinforced that), I do think we've got a non-traditional winner that was a bold choice. From what I understand, she is a proponent of support for families who have autistic children. That's a great platform. Lord knows families who have a loved one with autism needs all the support they can get. Also, I thought Miss South Carolina was a good choice. Pennsylvania was my favorite, I hope we see more of her in the future. Also, New Jersey is a lovely young lady. All I could think was how perfect she would be for the MAO system.

The one good thing that comes out of MAOT week is that we get to see some of the Miss titleholders for the first time since their state pageants. I have been most impressed with what I have seen this week. Most have looked really good, and you can tell many are on their A game already. One of my biggest pleasant surprises of the week has been Miss North Dakota. She looks great! If the way that you look makes a statement about your chances, there's something about her I am liking. I can't wait to see what she brings come pageant week. Also, Miss New Mexico and West Virginia are some of my pleasant surprises. But my favorite surprise--Miss Maine! She's very cute, she's one of those who are cute and pretty at the same time, and she looks great. Plus, she's got big, engaging eyes. There have been some who you knew were going to look good, and they sure do. That group would include Oklahoma, Connecticut, Texas, Virginia has been looking good as well. I think Mississippi is looking very well put together, and Missouri has been looking good, too. New Jersey has been looking good. I have been liking New York because back when I actually cared about fashion (lol), I had my unique sense of style. I like someone who likes what they like and are bold enough to do it. There have only been a few who have not impressed. Something about Minnesota, can't explain it, she has a strange demeanor that comes across on pictures to me. But the big no for me is Maryland. For lack of a better term, she looks mean. She never has a smile on her face, she has an angry look in her eyes.

Now, I wanted to mention two contestants that are getting NO attention that jumped out at me. The first is Colorado. I realize that Colorado does not have the best record, but she looks very put together. I like what I see. The other one, and this is mystifying to me, is Michigan. She looks great, and quite frankly, after seeing her, I have her as a possible preliminary swimsuit winner. (Have you seen those legs?) From what I know of her, she is a dance major and that is her talent, so I expect it to be good. This is also Michigan, who had a Miss America within the last 7 years. The nice thing is, message board hype (which has been very limited this year) hardly determine who wins, so I'm sure she will be just fine. I'm looking forward to seeing more of her.

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Subject: So far.......and looking ahead

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Date Posted: 15:57:01 07/13/14 Sun

Well, the new Miss America has been crowned in her state! And she's just over two months away from being crowned the new Miss America. To put that in perspective, what were you doing on Mother's day? If it is that fresh in your mind, that's when we'll have our new Miss America! I'm getting excited.

Like many of you, I've gotten to see more state pageants than I ever have before. So, I am getting a better perspective on who to keep an eye on, who is bringing what, etc. I also try and draw my own conclusions. So, here is who stands out to me, who I've been keeping an eye on, etc.

CA--It is always competitive. However, Marina beat a lot of competition. I liked her and Caylynn Simonson, as well as Jordan Krinke, but those two dropped this year, unfortunately :( CA is one you automatically have to move to the front of the line in terms of Miss America contenders. But Marina seems to have the total package. You can't necessarily judge people's Twitter remarks. However, I was reading Mallory's Twitter, and she had nothing but glowing remarks about Marina. It takes a Miss America to know one. I've heard many stories over the years about formers picking the winner, etc. I'm not saying I think Marina is the next Miss America, but I have no doubt she's going to do well.

NY--She won overall interview at Miss NY. If the last two years have told us anything, it is pay attention to a New York interview winner. Furthermore, she did a cup performance which me personally I wouldn't give more than a 4 to. And her gown, maybe the color was pretty but no one would mistake her for Michelle Warren. So, I say, she's got something special about her. I don't think New York will three peat, but she could go and be successful. I want to make one thing clear, though. I am fascinated by Kira. I didn't know much about her before she won, and I was pulling for the long competing Desiree Wiley to win. She's a great contestant and she's had the unfortunate draw of having to compete against a second runner-up and two Miss Americas. So, I was kind of hoping for a crown for her. But, I also am fascinated by the Russian culture, and Kira just seems so cute. So, while I might sound critical, I'm just trying to say despite her weaknesses in competition, she's got something special, or else she wouldn't be headed to Atlantic City.

AL--She obviously knows the system, and is purportedly strong across the board. I don't think she will win, but I think she is strong enough to make the top 5. I wasn't a big fan of hers when she won MAOT, but maybe she's toned it down a bit.

CT--The first time I saw her compete was in 2011, and I remember thinking that Connecticut could have a Miss America there. She's got something special about her. And there is no doubt in my mind that her time competing in New York will have helped her gain valuable competition skills. She looks fantastic. Even her appearance says that she wants to win. I can say having seen her she is strong across the board. The only concern with her is that she doesn't seem to have the strongest speaking skills.

TX--I will be up front and say something about her is off putting to me. I was hoping for Christina Tang or Kathryn Dunn to win this year, but Texas is very tough. So, it's not like I am disappointed. Many of my favorites in TX never won, or other states for that matter. I can't put my finger on it, there's something that just jumps out about her that kind of gets me. Although, it doesn't matter. She seems to be strong across the board.

ID--I know she's only been crowned last night, but something about her really stands out to me. She has a special glow in pictures, she looked great in her crowning shots, and even in candids. Sometimes, I think when you go from a state like Idaho, you have to let the judges know that it doesn't matter if you are from Idaho. Something about Sierra seems to tell me she will let them know. I can't explain, I just have a feeling about her.

OK--Let's face it, she will be right in the mix. And that would make me happier than a hog in slop. LOL that's how they say in Oklahoma, don't they?

Some others that I think have a decent chance at placing:

NJ--All along, I said that Brenna Weick was going to be the one to put New Jersey back on the map at Miss America. However, I think Ciera could be the one to end the drought. She is a very articulate speaker. She's competed for several years and has been a decent competitor. But all of a sudden, she's come to life. She came to win, and she won. Do I think she's the next Miss America? Probably not. But I think given her strong interview, and everything else about her competitions are good, she could easily make the top 15. She's also a very humble, very likeable young woman who is going to have a wonderful career.

HI--I saw the pageant and I didn't quite see her coming until they started announcing the awards. This is how I figure about her. There is a real changing of the guard in Hawaii these past few years. A lot of have aged out, you aren't getting a lot of returnees. Some seem to be going to USA, like the lovely Moana Hari. She would kill it in swimsuit if she came back to the Miss America system. I think she should. But, I digress. My pick for the crown was Keilani Carr. She didn't disappoint, and she would also kill it in swimsuit. But all of a sudden, this first time competitor comes and pulls off a win in a very competitive state. Off stage with her hair down, she looks very plain and unforgettable. Onstage, she looks very regal with her hair up, she's very captivating. If that Miss Hawaii shows up, she could easily win over the judges and win Miss America. I could see her winning the whole thing or going home empty handed.

MS--I'm sure she's got enough competition savvy and is well rounded enough to make the top 10. I am not really too big a fan of hers. Unless she has grown a personality, I don't see her doing much else. She's very bland and boring. At least she was during her time on American Idol.

MO--There are some contestants that most people say 'no way' and I've heard a lot of that particularly about Miss Missouri. I could be way off here. But I have a feeling that she's going to at least make the top 15. It doesn't make sense, particularly as weak as her talent is. But she has a lot of presence. A lot. And despite that talent, she beat out the heavyweights of Mary Bauer and Jeni Dixon.

I am going to post this in a future post, but you are going to assume at this point you will see a lot of the Miss America regulars--Georgia, Virginia, Florida, Tennessee, etc. I don't know much about Florida at this point, but the replacements have a good history at Miss America. I did watch the TN pageant, and after the Q&A, I had Hayley Lewis winning. Until that point, I had Kaleigh Bullard, and the minute she opened her mouth, it was all over. IF she could get herself interview help, and plenty of it, she could be Miss America. I think she might want to give it a try at USA, I could see her winning. She is one of the best swimsuit presentations I've ever seen in my many years of pageantry. To me, Lewis was the only one without any holes. This is Tennessee and she follows the mold of the fried blonde hair winners. She has a decent voice. If she's got anything, she'll be there. Kentucky and Arkansas are a bet to be at least a first round appearance.

So, tomorrow, our next Miss America is picking her place. Here's a rundown of how I would pick if I was some of the contestants:

I don't know who is a killer swimsuit this year, but CA might want to go in Sigma. I don't think she would win talent unless she's in a really weak group. I would try for swimsuit first. Or, possibly Mu if she wanted to win. Mu isn't a particularly strong swimsuit group. Although, Mu was very competitive last year. It's not a group for slouches.

CT--At first, I was feeling Alpha for her. She could definitely win a SS preliminary. Although, I could see her going into Sigma and taking talent depending on who is there. I think CA, CT, AL and TX will be fine no matter where they end up. But if they want to win, they might want to be very strategic. Also, OK looks great in a swimsuit. I would try and go for that win. She shouldn't do Alpha, though, I heard her talent is very weak. Haven't seen it yet. NJ might do well to have her interview early, I think I would choose Mu if I were her. This year in particular, I think it is important to win a preliminary. In all the years of Miss America, it only happened once that a non onstage preliminary winner ended up winning three times in a row. It was 2002-2004. Erika Harold won interview and we can assume Deidre Downs also won. But that is rare, and I'm not sure that it's going to happen again. Although, you can't go basing on that. I'm just saying how things tend to trend. I'm sure Mallory won interview, not 100 percent sure Nina did but it wasn't her stellar swimsuit or difficult talent.

Lottery picks are important enough. If you're going to rise to the top, you're going to rise to the top no matter what. You don't have to worry. The ones that should be more concerned are the ones that are bubblers. For instance, last year, Annie R., Miss PA, was towards the end of Sigma. She impressed me, but didn't make the top 15. I think had she been earlier, she might have at least fared a bit better. I'm looking forward to it tomorrow. And of course, I'll be posting my winners and losers in the lottery. I'll be honest, this year I don't know a lot about the contestants, so it will be more of a shot in the dark. I'm going to start the talent video search soon, so maybe I will know more. One last thing of note: Contestants that are early in Sigma or Alpha have nothing to fear. I think the only place with regards to placement that is at a disadvantage is way at the end of Sigma. I might go back and study that sometime, but you don't see a lot of late Sigmas advancing.

So, here's to a great lottery tomorrow, and please, post your thoughts as well!

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Date Posted: 01:12:34 07/16/14 Wed

Top of the evening!

So, the lottery is all finished. The next step is to hone that talent, practice your walk, and plenty of mock interviews. Miss America is 2 months away! It will be here before you know it.

Sooooo.....the lottery. Same as other years, Sigma filled up rather quickly. There were 11 contestants in Sigma just in the first 20 choices. And as usual, Mu filled up very slowly. Although, you can't say that a slow start is a strong finish. I see three solid competitors out of that group. And, some good talents will be there as well. Last year, Mu talent was well above average, and I have no doubt it will be this year. Overall, I wasn't impressed with the choices. I think it's going to make for some very interesting preliminaries. I do think Sigma seems strong, but maybe not as strong as other years. And as usual, Alpha on paper seems to be the weakest. But I think it will be filled with good talents. So, here's the good, the bad and the ugly. And, the iffy. A lot of iffy this time.


Virginia--She had a chance to pick well, and she did. I don't think she's the strongest in this group, but it was good to pick later in a group that was not full. I think she's right at the point to shine.
New Jersey--I don't think she will win a talent preliminary, but she could very well win swimsuit in this group. I actually thought she won swimsuit at Miss NJ, probably should have. And with interview, she's right in the mix of things. I also think she's going to stand out more in this group.

And that's it.

Connecticut--If you've read this board you know how much of a fan I am of Acacia. I am not sure about this pick. At the time, she was picking right before CA, who I think most people know is going to be a strong competitor. And it's possible if they showed up in the same group, Acacia would not have a chance at a preliminary win. Also, I don't think she would have won talent in Alpha. From what I understand, Iowa is very strong in talent, and I think Ohio picked by that point. Now, I'm not a huge ventriloquism fan, but judges seem to go for it. Nebraska is also supposed to be very good. Sigma was filling up quickly, and there were some strong competitors there already. She would totally be out of contention for a preliminary win the way it stacked up. So, I think Mu was a good enough choice. There are two plusses. First, she is at a good interview spot, and that's the most important. She's at the spot where interviews really start to pick up. Teresa won from around that slot a few years ago, as did Kirsten H. Second, if she was planning on going head to head with a strong competitor, she put herself ahead of a very strong competitor in Alex Eppler. It was gutsy. The only problem is that I am not sure she will win a preliminary, which I think is important this year. I would just about bet she could have won Alpha SS. I still think she could win Mu SS, and it's probably better to go before Alex Eppler, from her vantage point. Her predecessor was early in Mu, like 4 or 5 and made the top 10.
New York--Cup singing on talent night one? Although, Texas was abysmal and made the top 10 from Alpha last year. At this point, if they like her in interview, they'll forgive the talent. However, I think she's a strong competitor for the SS preliminary in that group. So, it's not all bad.
Missouri--she was one of mine who I thought could win a preliminary SS. She still might, but going dead last in the group on the strongest swimsuit night is going to be the kiss of death. And there are other strong competitors in that group.
Mississippi--I think she'll be fine, but I also think she would have been better suited to Alpha. I only remember her singing from AI, and she's good, but there are surprisingly some stronger talents in that group. I also think that she could have contended for Alpha SS, but she probably won't in this group. It was a bold move, though.
Wisconsin--It was either first or second, neither of which is good to be in. But, someone's got to go first. I think she should have picked the second slot if she had the opportunity to do so. I guess from her perspective, she was confident and decided to lead the way. Also, it's a classy move to Miss Arizona. But it's so hard to go anywhere from Mu 1. Although, it has produced a SS winner in 2009 and talent winner in 2012, as well as talent in 2007. So, it might work. I'm just concerned about interview.

Rhode Island and Hawaii--I always liked Ivy from her TN days, but I'm afraid she's going to get completely lost in this group. Same for Hawaii. Unless she goes into interview and wows, I'm not sure what she can do against the heavy hitters in that group.
Tennessee--same goes. I don't know if she actually picked, because it seems like her time expired, and then she went into the last spot. Does anyone know for sure?

Miss California! She could have gotten a prime spot in Alpha and there were a few left here and there in Mu. But, she decided to put herself first in Sigma. I was like, damn! when she did that. No better way to throw down the gauntlet than leading the way. It's always a great spot, anyway. That's amazing confidence. One of the gutsiest moves I've seen since these lotteries have gone online. My only slight concern is that she might have put herself out of the running for a preliminary in swimsuit, that group is going to be tough.

Sigma gets congested quickly. For the last 4-5 years, it fills so quickly. In the last 10 years, Deidre, Lauren, Katie, Mallory and Nina have come out of Sigma to win. So, the odds are good. I can see the appeal. But I am not sure that there has been a three in a row. I would have to go back and look, or maybe someone knows that can post. It usually evens itself out. At the end of the day, you have to be your best and show up ready to win. That's how you'll make it out of each group. And please, don't get caught up in the statistics. I am just throwing some of this out, and see that there are some advantages and disadvantages. Interestingly enough, over the past 10 years or so, we are starting to see more lopsided results. Common sense says you have to attribute it to the lottery. It's the common denominator here.

So, here is who I see advancing from each group:
Confident AL, CT, OK
Possible VA, KS

Confident NY, NJ
Possible IL, otherwise I'm afraid I don't know much about that group to make a judgement

Confident CA, MS, TX
Possible AR, FL, HI, TN, MO

SS--OK, CT, possible AL, VA, or KS
Talent--AK, DE, PA

SS--NY, NJ, possible MD, GA, IL, ID
Talent--IA, NE, OH

SS--CA, SD, TX, MO, possible FL, HI
Talent--MS, TX

Two things of note:

First, OWN did a wonderful 1 hour show about Vanessa Williams this week on MasterClass. I highly recommend it. She speaks very candidly about her experiences. I really walked away with a whole new respect for her. Not that I didn't have it already, but she really, really struggled more than most to get where she is today. OWN repeats it shows regularly. My schedule is saying that it is going to air again Tuesday at 6 p.m., however their schedule is subject to change, so please check back.

Second, Atlantic City is taking a major hit. It is very possible that 3 and 4 of the casinos are going to be closing if they do not find a buyer. One is Trump Plaza, which would close right after the pageant. The legendary Showboat is in the same position, although it may close before the pageant. Very sadly, they are talking around 8,000 jobs could be lost before it is all said and done. This does not bode well for the future of Atlantic City. And it can't be good for the pageant. Part of the hit they took was because of casinos opening in neighboring states. Vegas is more of a gambling destination, but AC is definitely draws the east coast. I realize AC's history is not one of small town American ideals, but for the workers this will affect, this is devastating. And it is going to affect the economy badly.

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Date Posted: 13:49:28 09/18/13 Wed

I got to see the Kelly Ripa interview last night, and I can say I have more insight into why Nina won. She has a presence about her. And, she looks great. She will easily go down as one of our more beautiful Miss Americas. The hosts were clearly found her engaging. I see she has that quality, which is very important. I must also say, I was impressed with her parents. They went over to I believe Crystal's parents and the mothers hugged. Nina's father seemed overjoyed as well. Right now, with all of the controversy over the negative Twitter postings, Nina is getting a lot of press. And the media seems to be behind her, rightfully so.

I want to like Nina. But I just can't get on board with her. I have tried. I found myself warming a little bit until I heard those comments that she made on Extra. It may seem like I am blowing this out of proportion, but the way that she laughed off the comments that she made was not becoming. I think she would have been better off saying something to the effect of it is in the past, etc. I don't think you should ever laugh off insulting someone else. Interestingly enough, I think Mallory likes Nina more than Nina likes Mallory. So, putting that aside, I just don't get a sense of who Nina is. Mallory was fun, spunky and real. Laura was laid back and compassionate. Teresa was personable and perky. I just don't know who Nina is. The only real thing I know for certain is that she is the first India native to win Miss America. I didn't actually know anything about her scholastic ambitions until she won. And I don't get a sense of what her personality is. I don't get a sense of her, the essence of who she is. I do get clearly that she fashions herself the modern day Vanessa Williams. I think the comparison is a bit lofty, although I get the correlation. There are two things I keep coming back to. First, she doesn't seem to have much humility. I don't think she seems very down to earth. There is a definite air about her. Second, I am not too enamored with what she is saying her motivation was to win Miss America. She said that she wanted to be the first Indian native to win Miss America. That is a fine aspiration, and one which she should be proud of. But is that the only reason that she is competing? She has said this on several occasions. I know when I knew I wanted to be Miss "whatever was in the stars for me", I really saw it as an opportunity to serve other people, children, and my community. Now, everyone is different. Not everyone gets in it for the chance to serve others. Some get in it for scholarships, some get in because they love the competition, And you can probably bet that there are very few people that enter for 100 percent altruistic motives. But, I have once yet hear her say she is proud to serve, that she wants to meet with the children, etc. And, there is the issue of how she has handled the scandal surrounding her. I just am concerned that she is phony and will turn it on around people, and then be different in private. I know there were plenty of young women on that stage that were very genuine and you would have no doubt who they were.

I guess what I am trying to say is that when I can understand "why" she won, I can't connect with her. There is no doubt how good she looks. She is one of our few winners who could go to USA and win. And I guarantee you she will get a lot of good press this year. She does seem more modern, and I really think this program is headed in a different direction. I hope that we get to see some redeeming qualities these next few weeks. I am not saying that I dislike her. I am just saying that out of all of our winners in a very,very long time, something personal seems to be missing. That is the essence of who Miss America is supposed to be. She's supposed to be personable and someone who, while representing young women, should be relatable. I don't know who Nina is and I don't feel like you can connect with her.

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Subject: I AM NOT DEAD

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Date Posted: 20:15:58 06/21/14 Sat

No, really! It's really me. I am so glad that it's pageant season once again! And it's shaping up to be a good one. Am I to understand that goddess Alex Eppler is going to Atlantic City? At least if Damaris couldn't make it, we get Alex. And I'm sure she's going to continue Oklahoma's long streak. I'm also excited about the possibility that Vermont might be making their first appearance in the top 15.

Tonight is Miss Tennesse, and I will be tuned in. This has been a most impressive year there. I have a feeling that if Kaleigh Bullard wins, I might have seen my first Miss America crowned at her state pageant. She has incredible presence. The only thing is, if I would base her speaking skills on the onstage portion, I don't know. Tennessee doesn't really place that much emphasis on interview, though. And if that's the case, I am hoping Sarah Stokely or Jessica Haas takes the crown. Actually, I think Jessica has been giving Kaleigh a run for her money all week. It will be fun to see. I'm also hoping that Kara Mitchell makes history in Ohio tonight. We'll see in a few hours!

I must apologize for being away so long. I have been really considering closing down this board after Miss America, I'm not sure, though. I just haven't had the time to devote to it. But that's for a future date. The cool news is, I'm not exactly sure the logistics, but I'll be in Atlantic City once again!

Here's a stab at my top 15 for Miss TN:
Maria Shepard

I'm not sure about anyone after Ketron, but we'll see. It seems like the rest have had a great week. I'm going to say that the obvious wins, Bullard, but I am not ruling out Haas or Stokely.

We'll chat more after the pageant!

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Subject: Former Pageant Contestant Still Making Music

No name
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Date Posted: 16:04:25 11/29/13 Fri

Bought the pre-release of a former Miss NJ's album after reading this online last week in the music news on the examiner: http://www.examiner.com/article/giving-back-comes-first-for-international-diva-tr-s-hanley-millman. It arrived this am and have to share. The vocals and orchestrations are amazing. Some great original and little know songs which will be been fresh material for future contestants. She also has photos from her prelim talent night on www.facebook.com/treshanleyfanpage in one of her photo albums.

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Subject: So, I'm curious if you received a copy of this year's Miss America interviews. I received mine awhile ago and have watched it several times. If so, curious as to how you thought the interviews went.

WI fan
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Date Posted: 01:21:36 11/04/13 Mon

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Subject: The pageant "fulcrum" is swinging back to normal

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Date Posted: 12:45:52 11/16/13 Sat

After a few really good years in all systems (save MAOT), it looks like we are back to normal. Miss Universe pretty much proved that. After Laura and Mallory, we are back to an interview queen that didn't stand out at all onstage. (And that is not to mention all the baggage that comes with her.) And Miss Universe was a major disappointment. Venezuela is nothing we have not seen before. I thought Spain was young, cute, fresh, and had the face of a Miss Universe. After a few good years where we have had pleasant surprises, the judges picked the same old same old same old. I didn't even pick her to win Miss Venezuela, although that goes to show how much I know.

I guess I am just frustrated. When I was growing up, most pageants had clear standouts, likeable winners, and some variety. I thought the MAO was finally on a different course and its not. I thought Miss Universe was getting away from the same old same old and that's what we got again. I will say, at least the USA/Universe system has some variety. You did have Angola win 2 years ago, you get the Wendy Fitzwilliams every now and then. Meaning, they were pleasant surprises and out of the box. Laura and Mallory were very popular and very well-liked. Now we are back to the same kind of winner from 12-15 years ago--an interview queen that no one saw coming.

I guess we just hold out for the next 10 years or so until someone awesome comes along. It was 10 years between Katie and Laura.

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Subject: Miss Universe tonight!

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Date Posted: 16:43:44 11/09/13 Sat

And I almost missed it. I'm not sure why, but I thought it was closer to Thanksgiving, to be aired during the week. I happened upon a commercial by accident, thank goodness.

I am hoping for good things from Erin Brady. I am also rooting for Mexico, I had the pleasure of watching the pageant and I like her. I saw Venezuela, not really on board with her. I also have sentimental favorites like France, Italy, Spain, Australia and Phillippines--they always send great contestants. Half to most of the time I am disappointed with who wins. It will probably be the same this year.

But it wasn't the case last year. Congratulations to the outgoing Miss Universe, Olivia Culpo. She has done an amazing job, is a beatiful young woman, and has a great future ahead of her. That includes a Jonas brother, from what I hear. See, great things CAN come out of little Rhode Island!

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Subject: Miss Mexico will also air on Univision!

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Date Posted: 14:46:05 10/13/13 Sun

It is slated to air next Sunday, both at 4 p.m. on local affiliates and 7 p.m. on the Univision cable network. It is listed as Nuestra Belleza Mexico 2013.

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Subject: Miss Venezuela is on today!

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Date Posted: 09:12:41 10/12/13 Sat

I just saw it on the schedule. I was looking for this for a while, but I didn't even see this as of a few days ago. Apparently, it is on twice for some people.

Here is how you can check to see if it is in your area:

If you don't have a local affiliate, you can check to see if you have it as an actual cable station.

This is a great pageant. If you love glitz and glamour, be sure and tune in.

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Subject: Pageant Alert!

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Date Posted: 23:22:24 09/27/13 Fri

Sorry this is so late, but the Miss World pageant will be airing tomorrow morning at 8 p.m. Eastern on E! I am not sure what some of the other airings are for the rest of the country, I am guessing 7 Central/Mountain and probably 8 a.m. Pacific.

Believe me when I say, this is nowhere near the production value of Miss America or Miss USA. But, it's a pageant, and we are all pageant junkies here. I am going to DVR it and watch it when I get up.

Tune in and enjoy! We should be coming up soon on some pageants on Univision as well. Venezuela and Mexico usually air. There is nothing on my schedule for the next 2 weeks, but I will keep my eyes open and let you all know ASAP. If you have never seen one of those, you haven't lived. Take the old Miss America pageant and multiply it by 50.

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Subject: This article is awful. Missouri is listed at Ky, facts are wrong.

Bikini Bodies.
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Date Posted: 15:17:53 09/19/13 Thu

Please check this out and look at Miss Florida's legs. Surely that is photoshop, right?


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Date Posted: 02:37:45 09/16/13 Mon


It was a great night at Boardwalk Hall. The energy was unbelievable. I swear if my car ran on the energy in that room I could drive to Alaska tomorrow. What a great evening! I think I saw some pageant royalty, I think I saw Jordan Krinke, the new Sweetheart there, and I think I saw Angela Venditti.

A COMPLETE review will follow in the morning. It was a zoo tonight in AC. There were huge crowds, a lot of congestion, but it was great. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Sooo, if you heard weeping and gnashing of teeth, it was coming from Miss Mississippi. LOL, OK, just kidding. I don't think anyone was surprised but her. It was really great to see some different faces. And I am so thrilled for Minnesota. It was also nice to see Connecticut and Missouri in the mix of things tonight.

As for our new Miss America? I am somewhat surprised, not surprised but still kind of surprised. I wouldn't have picked her from what I saw onstage. Although, there were some major holes in all of the contestants, I will address tomorrow in my review. The bigger question I have now is what is going to happen in the press? I have a feeling the MAO might have some problems here. I have a wait and see attitude about the new Miss America. I lost respect for her after I found out the story, if I am being honest. Maybe there is something we haven't seen. I think she will be good enough at maintaining what Mallory started. She looked great in her evening gown.

I just want to note--it was REALLY, really loud in BH. When Nina missed her cue, it was kind of awkward. Then it seemed like later the hosts missed their cue that they were back on the air. A lot of mishaps tonight. I am pleased to repeat that each former Miss America seemed to be happy with their accomodations ;)

I can't tell you how wonderful it is to be home. This year will always be special to me for that reason. And there were a lot of great contestants.

I will post my full report in the morning!

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Subject: The night that was, Miss America 2014!

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Date Posted: 16:35:18 09/16/13 Mon

Well it looks like I was half right ;)

I said that this could go to a non-preliminary winner, and I was right. I just had the wrong one. What a great night it was in Atlantic City. If my car would run on the energy in that building, I could drive to Alaska. Then I could hang with Michelle Taylor. I am telling you, the place was electric. But it was also really, REALLY loud. Even when people were not cheering, it was still pretty loud. I also think the hosts missed some cues due to it. But it can be forgiven. I can't tell you how many people were just so genuinely thrilled to be home. I *think* I saw Jordan Krinke, the new Sweetheart, and I also think I saw Angela Venditti. If anyone has any information if they were there, please let me know. Otherwise I am making an appointment with the optometrist.

The top 15
Overall, I wouldn't say that anyone truly surprised me. I didn't really have AR, KY or TX, but I did initially have KY on my top 15 list. She fell out after this week, but this is a state with a good record. They'll get it done if they have the goods. I guess I could have made a case for AR but there were some others left standing. Same goes for TX, although she really should have only lasted 1 round. The way this year was, I wasn't really surprised anyone was left standing or was called in. I was really proud of Shelby Ringdahl for making it in. It's too bad we didn't get to see her talent. And I wanted her to make it in, but Iowa just didn't have the goods onstage. I still think we have some work to do in this system on getting beyond some of the same old same old judging, but more about that later.

SS Competition

Overall, we saw some good presentations this year. I thought everyone looked good. I thought that everyone was at least on par, except for MO. She didn't seem very confident, she seemed very tentative. I had her going out that round, and I wasn't 100 percent sure Minnesota was going to stay. Texas didn't seem confident, either. I didn't think AR would last, she wasn't a stronger competitor and just seemed okay in swimsuit. Those would have been my pick, but I could have put Kentucky in that spot as well. However, if they would have been able to give the rest of the top 15 some MS' complete and bona fide cockiness, they might have all propelled to perfect 10s. For the life of me, I never saw a presentation like that. I really never saw someone that hung up on herself. It came across as arrogant. And I suppose the judges didn't like it, either. In this round, I thought that the best was OK and FL. They both had good, confident presentations. I thought FL actually rocked it even better than OK did.

I was surprised to see MO get past swimsuit, and she looked great. That gown was a perfect choice for her. She's tall, statuesque and can pull it off like those of us short of stature can rarely do. Although, it was all for naught with that complete mixup onstage. I've seen it happen at least once before, back in 1997 during the swimsuit competition. But Shelby just kind of stalled, and I wasn't sure what happened. She seemed very hesitant, but she also did in her swimsuit. CA didn't do quite as well as she did the preliminary night. I didn't like OK's dress and her presentation was just okay. I thought Nina's dress was great and I think it complemented her in every way possible. WI was about the worst, it seemed too big for her and she seemed like she couldn't move. But she was about the only one that was subpar. At that point, I had MO not making it, even though I really wanted to see her talent. She just seemed awkward and not very confident. You can get away with that in 1 competition and advance, but not two. I also think Texas should have exited at that point, but I had a gut feeling she was about to be in. I thought maybe Wisconsin would head forward. She seemed to have that spunk, and they had the piano ready. My guess is that she was going ahead or they wouldn't drag that heavy thing out.

OK--She sang better on preliminary night. She really sounded off key last night, at least live. She also seemed to hit some sour notes at the end. To me, this was the beginning of the end for her. I also heard a lot of hype about her singing. It is true that she is good, but she is perhaps a bit overrated.
Then there was that complete mishap where Nina did not hear herself and GA stepped off. I don't know how Carly in any way shape or form heard her name. Maybe she just took the opportunity and ran with it ;) But then NY finally got up and did her thing.
NY--I was a bit underwhelmed at the beginning of the dance. But when she started twirling on the floor, it looked good. The crowd loved it. It was definitely a talent that hit its stride at the end.
KS--She started out okay. But I think the song was not good for her. She looked really good, her gown was very pretty and she looked elegant. At times, she sounded very shrill.
CA--simply beautiful. She looked gracious, everything she did was with emotion. And when she started to twirl, she was exquisite. The crowd really loved her. One of the best of the night.
CT--I liked it. I liked it better than Betty Thompson's performance, because Kaitlyn was not afraid to own the stage and dance around it. She moved a lot more and had a lot more energy. Where I think that Betty T's was more "polished", I think Kaitlyn was much more engaging and enjoyable. I wish her much success in her dancing competitions in the future.
GA--I heard good things about her talent. Didn't see it last night. Some of the notes she hit were plain dreadful. I figured this was the end of the road for her.
TX--I'm not convinced she should have been there in the first place, but this just sealed the deal. She clearly doesn't have a strong voice, but I don't think that arrangement helped. She just ran out of gas.
MN--Exquisite. I was so excited that we were going to get to hear it. I knew we wouldn't probably get to hear Shelby, but I was so glad that the crowd and America got to see the abilities of Rebecca.
MD--I realized something, that when she was singing up close, a little bit, she reminds me a bit of a young Carly Simon. But she doesn't have her voice, unfortunately.
I knew at that point FL was the one moving on. And she didn't disappoint. And, she was gaining steam. I honestly thought after that, there was a chance she was going to win. She just kept gaining steam the whole night. I knew she was headed to the top 5. At that point, this was my top 5:


To me, these seemed the most consistent, had the best stage presence and really stood out the most. I knew TX, GA and MD hit the end of the road with their weak talents. I thought KS was holding her own but her talent wasn't that good, either. I didn't have NY really standing out at all, so I was surprised she made top 5.


OK--She pulled out a verbal gun and shot herself right in her red boot. First of all, she shouldn't have made that joke at the beginning. I wasn't quite sure where she was going with it, and it didn't make a lot of sense. Secondly, when you say that she's an artist just like me, it just doesn't come off well. If a question could lose you the pageant, there you go. She just presented like a loose cannon, very unpolished and very immature.
MN--By far, the best of the top 5. She was eloquent, didn't take forever, spoke with confidence, and made a joke at the end. Honestly, I thought that she just might have won herself the whole shebang then and there. She was cute, relatable, and well spoken.
CA--Lucky her, she got the Syria question. But unfortunately, she started to use a lot of pause breakers and she sounded like she couldn't get the question out that she wanted to. It wasn't the worst I've ever heard, but I think she didn't sound clear. Especially towards the end.
NY--This is a gotcha kind of question. It is very hard when you have to stand up and say whether or not someone's actions were right. I think she gave a very diplomatic answer, and she sounded confident. I wasn't overwhelmed with her response, but it wasn't bad. It was just oka for me.
I knew at that point FL was going to be the last one called.
FL--I think her immaturity was showing here. That was one heck of a hard question. How can you possibly answer that question in 20 seconds? As you can tell with the kerfluffle last night, you can't. But it is also one of those questions that if you hear a young white woman who really isn't wise in the ways of the world spouting off solutions to, it can be offensive. Do you think a pageant contestant has the answer to those problems? Would you be offended if they stood onstage and you were unemployed and faced these problems? I probably would. I don't think it was the most sensitive of questions they could have asked. To her credit, she did take from her personal experience and tried to answer. But then it ended up being much about her trip to Atlantic City, and then she got cut off. I still think it came off not in the best light, if you are unemployed and struggling, how do you get lavish evening gowns and costumes? It was probably not the best way to come off.

At that point, I wasn't sure who was going to win. I didn't have NY winning, I had her dead last. I thought there was a chance that FL might actually take it until that answer, and I also factored in how her overall speaking skills were. Common sense said that this belonged to CA or MN. I had a feeling she wasn't quite there, MN. I thought maybe there was something that might be holding her back, but she did so well all night, coupled with her question, that she would win. CA, to me, was the most consistent, she would be very marketable, intelligent, social media savvy, I thought she would win. The only thing I could say about both her and MN was that somewhere along the line, there was just something not quite there. MN didn't have loads of extroversion. CA at times seemed just sort of there--good at what she did, but maybe a bit of a personal connection missing? OK started to lose it in talent and I could have seen her lose places based on that horrid answer. But I knew she was a competitor and OK comes to win. FL made sense in 3rd runner up spot because she just seemed immature and had speaking issues. But she did have a great night. So, this was my guess:

4th ru--NY
3rd ru--FL
2nd ru--OK
1st ru--MN
Miss America--CA

I was getting more surprised as NY's name was not being called out. Then, when she was standing next to Crystal, I thought to myself "Could she really win this thing?" I didn't think so, but then again something put her that high to begin with. Honestly, on stage, I don't know what it was. Maybe there's something I was missing. But I didn't get her win based on what she did last night. I said she came to win, and she did. But I just didn't see that "it" factor. It could be that she didn't have some of the "holes" that some of the other contestants had. Also, according to one of our board regulars here, she beat Mallory as interview winner at Miss New York. Keep in mind, New York has been on one hell of a streak lately. It was the most competitive of all state pageants this year. And you knew sooner or later, we were going to have an OT win. That was a given. We knew that whoever won was going to win big. You automatically had to consider whoever won a top contender at Miss America. I would really like to see the interview DVD to see if that sheds some light. At this point, I have kind of a wait and see attitude. I am not sure you get a real likeability factor like you did with a Mallory, or a Teresa. No one can complain that we got a non-attractive winner this year. She is very pretty and she looks great in a gown.

But there is the elephant in the room. What happens in the press now? I understand already there are some complaining about her win due to race. I knew that was going to happen, the same thing happened with Rima Fakih. It's unfortunate, and sometimes I think we are going backwards rather than forwards. In no way, shape, or form do I think her ethnicity influenced her win. And I will not even entertain some of the other criticisms I have heard. That is the press from today. But we can't ignore the press from the other days. I don't know what part of this is true and are rumors. I don't know if there is a tape or not. But the fact that she apologized, I think that at very least, her judgement was poor. If it does come out, in fact, that she was making racist statements and there is evidence to back it up, they are going to have a nightmare. Especially the fact that she is trying to promote diversity. It would be akin to promoting child abuse prevention and then going out in public and slapping a child in the face. It could be that there is a real story that no one knows about. It also very well could be that the MAO knows the whole story and was not uncomfortable with it. I guarantee this will all come out if there is some validity to it. I believe that there is on some level. I think at any rate, this should be a valuable lesson to all titleholders out there. You have got to always watch who you associate yourself with. But if that was really what was in Nina's heart, is she all for naught? You will have a very hard time getting someone to take her seriously. I really, really think the MAO should have thought about this long and hard. They had to know she was a contender. And they HAD to know what comes along with Nina as a winner. She never once said that these rumors were untrue. But I am not going to judge until I know all the facts. None of us do at this point, so I think it's best to just stick with what we do. I just don't want to feel like our Miss America is a fraud or a phony. There were plenty of young women who would gladly stand where she is and be honest about who they are. All I can hope is that the truth comes out.

It was a great night, and one I think that will be special for many who love the pageant for a long time to come. You can go home again. I'm going to be writing some other thoughts up later on today, so stay tuned! But this is the complete review, and feel free to add your thoughts about last night's pageant, the winner, the talent, anything!

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Subject: Ratings are up!

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Date Posted: 12:46:59 09/16/13 Mon

My full review will be up shortly! But here is some information we will all be happy to see:


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Subject: First of all, thank you for this board! Does anyone know of any ustreams/livestreams tonight? Dying here on the west coast.

thank you!
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Date Posted: 14:22:37 09/15/13 Sun

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