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


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


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Subject: Tune in or set your DVR


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

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

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Subject: Shocker! (sort of)


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

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

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

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Subject: MISS NEW HAMPSHIRE


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

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

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


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


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Subject: CHANGING OF THE GUARD


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

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

Anyone else feel the same way?

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Subject: 2015 STATE PREVIEW


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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Subject: Miss Universe


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

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

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

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Subject: News?


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

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

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Subject: The emotional lives of our Miss Americas


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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Subject: 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

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

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Subject: It's Time for Miss Venezuela!


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

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

http://tv.univision.com/univision

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

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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!


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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

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

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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.


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


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Subject: CONGRATULATIONS TO MISS AMERICA 2015, KIRA KAZANTSEV!!!!!!!!


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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.
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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 YorkÖ.concrete jungle where dreams are made of, thereís nothing you canít doÖÖÖ(emphasis on that last part).

Wow. I am still recovering from last night, in a good way, Iím tired, too! Three in a row. I was young and didnít follow USA when I was younger, so I never remembered much about the 5 peat. Thereís 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. Itís kind of sad to me the negative reaction that her talent is getting. Itís getting universally ripped. While I wouldnít call it a 10 by any means, and no one will be seeing her name in lights, it wasnít 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 Kiraís defense unlike last year. And the truth is, I donít think it affects Kira. She made the choice, sang with a smile, and was her own person. And Iím 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 donít 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 donít 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, whatís going on with that? I donít know, but itís 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 canít wait to see her interview. I canít wait to see her on TV for that matter. Sheís one of those winners that I just canít 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, thereís 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 weíd 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 shouldnít have finished even in the top 15. Maybe she wouldnít 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 honestóthe more the names were called and some of the really strong candidates were left standing, I just felt less and less. I realize CA couldnít 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 couldnít 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 didnít 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 Iím 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. Iím 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 didnít get MA initially being there but she had a good competition night. It was nice to see Massachusetts competitive again. Theyíve had a few girls over the years that should have done well but did not. After the first round, I didnít have ID, KY, ND (just by sheer points if they didnít 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 didnít think MS had a lot of energy. Truthfully, I think OH should have been gone but I knew darned well that if her talent wasnít featured there would be a backlash. They also needed that for social media, but then Kiraís talent created that in and of itself. I knew OH was running out of steam and I didnít 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 donít 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 donít 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. Thereís 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 wasnít 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 didnít think any of the answers were bad, really. Iíve 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 wasnít that far off with it. And the rest is history.

So, our new queen is off to her TV shows. And I mean thisóKira 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 thereís 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 allís well that ends well, but there needs to be some major repairs along the way.

P.S.óThe Tony Bowls gowns were as boring as I thought they would be. But I donít think he got his moneyís worth for that sponsorship, which might be a blessing. It wasnít 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 contestantís standpoint, at least they didnít pay for it.

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