|Subject: Who's going to benefit from this panel? A Commentary|
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Date Posted: 03:03:57 08/16/14 Sat
I had to laugh reading some of the instant analysis of who the judges panel would favor immediately after they were announced, in particular the notion that dancers would be heavily favored. To the best of my knowledge, and based on a little research, only the 2 DWTS judges (Donald Driver and Shawn Johnson) have any dance background. And I think it's worth noting that about 95% of the dancing they do on DWTS is partnered dancing, not solo - like MAO contestants - and those two are very different animals. In Shawn's winning season, and in her appearance on the all-star season, she never danced a style that any MAO contestant would dance, and the same is true for Donald. So yes, they understand the discipline it takes to be a good dancer, they understand some general aspects of good form, but their experience on DWTS doesn't give them any special expertise on ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary or any other dance style they'll see performed at the pageant.
So much for the dancers' advantage.
So, looking at each of the judges, who are they likely to favor?
Marc Cherry - he's probably seen every Miss America pageant in his lifetime (and so have I, but the older ones on video.) He was on the panel that picked Laura Kaeppler - but we have no idea if HE personally picked Laura. Maybe he preferred Jennifer Sedler? Noelle Freeman? Betty Thompson? Who's to say? For all we know Laura was 5th on his final ballot. But it was a very pretty top 5 in 2011, so I'm going out on a limb to say he's going to favor someone with facial beauty and who has good to excellent talent.
Lee Meriwether - She was crowned 60 years ago this September, and she has seen just about every one of her successors crowned ever since. The last time she judged Miss CA, Noelle Freeman was the winner. The last Miss America she judged was Katie Harman. Both were very talented; Noelle a beauty, Katie very attractive, and from what I heard, the only contestant to address in her interview how the role of Miss America that year would be different due to 9/11. I call that smart, savvy and most of all, compassionate.
Shawn Johnson - She was on the panel that selected another talented Miss A, Caressa Cameron. Caressa looked like a million bucks during prelims when Gaspar did her hair and makeup, less than a million on final night when she had to do it herself, and during her year, appearance was clearly an issue. I think a lot of it was MAO's fault for not giving her the time and money to have her hair done properly on a regular basis, so she had to resort to cheesy wigs. In any event, Caressa had a fab interview, though in retrospect some people think it was a a bit of a "bait and switch," that she wasn't the nice girl she played in competition. I'm trying to think how a Shawn with one year of judging experience and 4 more years of maturity will approach this pageant differently. I suspect she'll be more vocal in interview, she'll evaluate the contestants as peers rather than role models, and when it comes to talent, she'll go with whatever she finds entertaining. Which may not help the classically talented girls....
Donald Driver - I think will be looking for the girls with genuine commitment to their platforms, with personal stories of overcoming adversity, with good communication skills and charisma, and when it comes to talent, I think he, like Shawn, will score based on entertainment value.
Kathy Ireland - More than anyone else on the panel, she will be looking for natural beauty that the contestant has highlighted well with her hair, makeup and wardrobe choices, and good taste in those choices that flatter the contestant. When you've been a supermodel as long as she was, that stuff doesn't fly out of your brain the minute you retire. But as a smart and very savvy businesswoman, I think she's going to look for the girl that can market this program and take it the next level of awareness and participation. And like Donald, with her commitment to service, she will be looking at those contestants that sincerely demonstrate their commitment to using the Miss America title as an opportunity for service to others, not personal advancement for themselves.
Gary Vaynerchuk: This is the e-commerce guru and I hope he will be asking every one of the contestants how they can use social media to advance the Miss America program's awareness, participation, sponsorship, etc. I also think he will be looking for creative thinkers who have solved problems and issues in their lives in an innovative way, demonstrating that they have the skill to do the same on a bigger scale as Miss America or beyond. He will also be looking at how each of the contestants has created and developed her own personal brand, and how she stands out from the crowd. In short, I think he's a "big picture" guy, not focusing on individual competitions so much as the overall persona of each contestant - which could mean he may be gifting points in some on stage competitions to girls he's really interested in, and scoring down others who may have strengths on stage, but lack the overall persona of a standout contestant.
Gen. Anne Macdonald - As a career military person, she is clearly someone who values discipline, goal orientation and achievement, and maybe a sense of adventure. Her more recent post-military focus is in non-profit service, so platforms and a service orientation to the job of Miss America may play a big role with her as well. A far as traditional pageant beauty and talent go, she may be an "easy judge" and not very discriminatory, at least during prelims. But when it comes to final night, I think she will be quite the opposite, making clear distinctions between her favorites and the other semifinalists.
I haven't addressed physical fitness much in these reviews. My overriding sense is that there are very few contestants this year who won't look fit enough to be on the Miss America stage. However, girls with somewhat more athletic bodies may be favored a little over traditional thinner swimsuit winners. I don't think that's a bad thing at all; in fact, it may be a real positive development for MAO in the long run. It's just my gut feeling that what this panel will like in general are fit, athletic looking girls over thin, model looking girls (and that goes for Kathy Ireland as well as the rest of the panel.)
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- Thanks for this valuable input. (NT) -- No name, 04:14:30 08/16/14 Sat
- In the long run, MAO will decide what they are looking for and the judges will pick the winner based on that direction. Last year was the return of Miss America to Atlantic City and it was obvious from the top 5 that MAO wanted an impact winner. With the exception of Oklahoma, all of the others would have been a first: Indian-American, Chinese-American, Filipino-American, and a baton talent to win. I expect the same this year especially with someone as influential as Lee M. on the panel. (NT) -- ureka smoke, 07:42:44 08/16/14 Sat
- This year is going to be a traditional southern belle. Watch it. Lee M. (NT) -- No name, 07:52:04 08/16/14 Sat
- Excellent analysis, Ernie! One correction; Marc Cherry judged Teresa Scanlan's year. (NT) -- No name, 09:31:27 08/16/14 Sat
- Kathy Ireland was also a DWTS contestant (NT) -- And I believe that although it is partnered dancing, the show also stressed showmanship in performance, and I am convinced it will be a dancer this year., 09:46:30 08/16/14 Sat
- Kathy Ireland is very religious and a person with very far right views. I'm interested what the girls think of her in interview. (NT) -- No name, 09:50:36 08/16/14 Sat
- I believe Marc Cherry was on the panel that selected Teresa Scanlan, not Laura K. (NT) -- No name, 11:21:22 08/16/14 Sat
- This conservative-liberal dichotomy, I don't know...I've heard folks say Marjorie Vincent's panel was liberal yet they also put in Miss Virginia who's now Shannon Bream & she was attending conservative Liberty University. (NT) -- No name, 11:26:17 08/16/14 Sat
- I think Donald Driver will go for beauty - after all, he is a football player. (NT) -- **, 14:16:44 08/16/14 Sat
- I agree with the poster who said: "Sam and MAO will tell the judges what they want this year, and that's who the judges will pick. It won't matter if there are 12 classical vocalists or jugglers or newscasters on the panel." (NT) -- No name, 15:38:07 08/16/14 Sat
- I believe their might also be a tendency to "throw points" & not compartmentalize scoring -- sort of the way Scanlan won talent on the final preliminary night. (NT) -- No name, 15:45:39 08/16/14 Sat
- Keep in mind that final night scoring is really odd. And in a one panel pageant like this year's, I think the final night of competition is more a formality and a TV show, rather than an actual competition. By Sunday, most of the judges have probably made up their mind as to who they want to win, and they score accordingly. Rumor has it that Katie Stam came in first in every category on final night in 2009. Katie Stam first in talent? over Chasity Hardman? Olivia Myers? Jackie Geist? Kate Grinold? Amanda Tapley? Ellen Carrington? Give me a break. But you get my point. On Sunday, the judges evaluate each contestant in each competition based on her ability to do the job of Miss America, so Katie Stam gets scored the highest in talent, because they think she's the best one for the job of MA, not because she's a great singer, and let's be honest, she wasn't. MORE INSIDE -- Ernie Koneck, 01:41:23 08/17/14 Sun
- Ernie, how can you say you should be betting on who the judges love in prelims when the past two Miss Americas didn't win a prelim? Sometimes, it's hard to tell which way the judges will go as we don't see the interviews and that's where the winner is chosen (NT) -- No name, 08:45:25 08/17/14 Sun
- Kind of how Mallory was first in swimsuit over all three preliminary winners and a host of other super fit girls? Yeah okay. (NT) -- I agree with this completely, 11:15:33 08/17/14 Sun
- EXCERPT FROM KEN NELSON'S 1ST NITE PRELIM RECAP 2009: Swimsuit was strong. There were several who could have easily won. It was a toss up crap shoot and so many you just could not have argued with had they picked her. Indiana WILL DEFINITELY be a contender Sat. night. Lots already have her crowned. So that she came out on top in this group, the panel is obviously looking at her. CLICK IN!!!! -- Because we're on the subject of Katie Stam, 14:40:42 08/17/14 Sun
- EXCERPT FROM 2ND NITE RECAP 2009 (GOWN): Evening Wear Mississippi clear winner.Damn Beautiful. Her gown same colors as what LT will wear tonight. I also liked California, Arkansas and District of Columbia. Michigan had on one of the ugliest, most unflattering white gowns I have seen in some time. She dropped significantly with me, where up until now I'd been watching her...Texas gown was a wine color, strapless and when she turned around made her hips look as broad as The Brooklyn Bridge. (NT) -- No name, 14:57:54 08/17/14 Sun
- 3RD NIGHT TALENT RE: JACKIE: California, dying swan ballet, she is good; (she is LT's roommate). (NT) -- just fyi, since we're discussing katie's finals night sweep, 15:04:18 08/17/14 Sun
- Ernie, this is exactly why I dislkie the single-panel judging system. Judges fall in love with someone in interview, and throw points at them on finals night, in a way that makes no sense to the audience. And I'm one who thought Katie Stam was the right choice to win and did a great job. (NT) -- pageant flan, 13:20:04 08/18/14 Mon
- No one on this board will be on the judges' panel. It's up to them, on that final night, to choose who they feel will make the best MA. Sometimes the girl with the highest pointsjust doesn't win--the panel looks at the girls with the top points and sometimes it's a gut feeling, something intangible. We can arm chair quarterback all day long; it's fun to speculate. But in the long run, the panel will choose who they feel is the best. And that may not be your pick. Nina is a fabulous MA but was not even in my top 5. (NT) -- No name, 08:54:44 08/17/14 Sun
- I like the one panel as they will watch the girls all week and have a good idea of what is going on. (NT) -- No name, 13:32:37 08/17/14 Sun
- Shawn Johnson is an Olympic gymnast and they have extensive ballet training. (NT) -- As for the year she judged, it was common knowledge that Vivace ran that panel. I do think she will be more vocal this time. She's in college now so she can relate to the girls more than anyone judging., 15:24:58 08/17/14 Sun
- I have lost faith in these celebrity panels. As nice as it is to speculate, like Ernie has done, that each judge will give considerable thought and pull from their POV, I think most of the celebrities are looking for air time and are jaded when it comes to pageants. Most of these celebrities do amazing work with other charities which help those who are far less fortunate than beautiful pageant girls in designer gowns who have already received a lot of $$ and other perks in life. I think they will be at a loss to take this job seriously. I think they will rely on what Sam tells them to look for. Most of these celebrities have been around, even from their own personal unfortunate backgrounds, and won't seriously consider a pageant which is built around upper-middle-class/wealthy (for the most part) beautiful girls needing "scholarships". And the more celebrity panels without MAO expertise, the more odd choices for winners. (NT) -- Wondering what's to become of MAO, 15:27:27 08/17/14 Sun
- Actually it is the contestant's background that influences the vote. To assess how these judges are going to vote is ludicrous. (NT) -- No name, 18:31:05 08/17/14 Sun