Monday, December 31, 2007

The Clock is Ticking... On More Than Just 2007!


[Dolly Ruffing
146 East Main Street Norwalk, OHIO 44857

Also, RSVP to Roberta's send-off party by tomorrow.

740 775-2825

Reservations can be made by check to MOSP, MasterCard or Visa This will be an event you don’t want to miss!
*** DONATION: $25.00 *** ]

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Roberta's "Up-close and personal" Video for Miss America

Congrats to the New Miss Southeastern Ohio, Kylie Johnson

[MATTHEW LEASURE/Times Recorder]

Miss Southeastern Ohio: Kylie Johnson

Kylie played "Orange Blossom Special" on the violin for talent and hopes to promote environmental conservation and the performing arts.

1st Runner-up: Summer Sands
2nd Runner-up: Marissa Mills
3rd Runner-up: Ashley Heuberger
4th Runner-up: Amelia Vincent

Interview and Commitment to Community Service: Ashley Heuberger
Public Choice Award: Renae Wright
Spirit Award: Amelia Vincent

CLICK HERE for a photo gallery of the competition.
Click here for the late breaking news article.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Best of Luck to the Miss Southeastern Ohio Pageant!

Although Miss Southeastern Ohio is no longer a local preliminary to Miss Ohio, it is still an excellent scholarship and leadership opportunity for young women in the Zanesville area.

CLICK HERE to view the fifteen contestants vying for the title tomorrow night, which include several returnees!

From both 2006 and 2007: Amelia Vincent (4th RU in '07), Megan Earley and Courtney Wallace (also an MOA contestant).
From 2007: Jessica Myers, Kylie Johnson, Kirsten Grandstaff and Renae Wright (Teen participant).
From 2006: Summer Sands (Gown winner) and Lawren Kayulich.

The first year contestants are: Marissa Mills, Ashley Heuberger, Melissa Miser, Megan Wise, Tiffany Furbee and Meghan Huston. Many of these new names sound very familiar, but I can't figure out why! Specifically Ashley Heuberger and Tiffany Furbee; leave a comment if you can connect the dots for me.

So many returning contestants is one of many indicators of how great this program is. According to this article by Jacqueline Sprague it's also becoming quite a community tradition:

A local tradition continues this weekend in downtown Zanesville.The Miss Southeastern Ohio Pageant will take place this Saturday at Secrest Auditorium.The 15 contestants are busy preparing for the big day and organizers say this year's participants are very diverse.

“I think what's especially important and special about this particular group of contestants is its a very unique blend, all of them have a variety of educational backgrounds, stage experience, their talents are all different,” explains director Vicki LeVeck.

LeVeck says everyone will be able to enjoy this year's show because there is a wide variety of entertainment.

“What the audience is in store for is more than just a pageant. We actually have some great entertainment coming along as well, Mic Amicone, of course a local entertainer, Y-City Star Shelly Bobo, the Solid Gold singers and dancers will all be there as well,” says LeVeck.

The pageant will take place this Saturday at 7 P.M. at Secrest Auditorium. Tickets are $12 at the door and $10 in advance. You can purchase tickets at the Zanesville-Muskingum County Welcome Center, Wade's Clothing and Jillian's.

Pageant Press and Pageant Poll: Miss France Compromise

Valerie Begue, 22, will not compete in the Miss World or Miss Universe beauty pageants, Miss France organisers said.

But Begue will not be stripped of the Miss France title she won on December 8. Begue described the outcome as "a compromise which satisfies all parties".

Click here for the entire article.

Direct link

Miss South Carolina Teen USA- Still Making Headlines...

Slip-up lands Miss teen S.C. on new path

When Caitlin Upton of Lexington flubbed an answer at the 2007 Miss Teen USA Pageant, it turned out to be the best mistake she ever made. The 18-year-old is actually better known to many than the pageant winner, Miss Teen Colorado Hilary Carol Cruz.

...Job offers came, too, including one for a recurring role in a new sitcom.

So, what does she think about YouTube?

“I think it’s awesome; 20 million people know who I am,” says Upton, laughing. That’s not to say she liked being the butt of jokes, however. “When people say negative things, it makes me want to prove I can be better. I think I’ll always have the last laugh.”

...To her credit, Upton turned down most of what was offered to her, reasoning that she was being set up for a career parodying her 30-second faux pas.

...She signed with the Trump agency a few weeks later and intends to spend part of 2008 modeling in Spain, Italy and Australia.

...She graduated in May from Lexington High School with a 3.7 grade-point average, expecting to study graphic design at Appalachian State University. After that, she hoped to attend the International Academy of Design Technology in Los Angeles and find work designing special effects for movies.

That’s still Plan B, should modeling prove less than lucrative.

Click here for the entire December 27th article.

Also, according to Fred R. Shapiro, the editor of the Yale Book of Quotations, Caitlin's Miss Teen USA flub ranked #2 among this years Top 10 Most Memorable Quotations!

Click here for the complete list, and read below if you forgot the moment the pageant world stopped for 30 seconds and all fake smiles dropped to open, gaping mouths...

I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don't have maps and I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and Iraq and everywhere like such as and I believe that they should our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S. or should help South Africa and should help Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future for us."

— Lauren Upton, South Carolina contestant in the Miss Teen USA contest, when asked why one-fifth of Americans cannot find the U.S on a map.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Miss Ohio Update: Roberta Goes Back to "Blessed" and was Honored by Ohio's House with a Resolution!

It seemed that everyone had a strong opinion on whether Miss Ohio, Roberta Camp, should change her talent selection for Miss America.
Well, those of you who were “pro-Blessed” can let out a cheer!

Rumor has it that seven Miss America contestants were recently told to change their talents; while I don’t know if that number is correct, it is confirmed that TLC was not able to get a release from the group Journey for Roberta to sing “Open Arms.” She will be going back to the song that won her a talent preliminary award and the title Miss Ohio, “Blessed.”

Roberta says, “As much as I was looking forward to "rocking it out" on the Miss America stage...I know this song [“Blessed”] like the back of my hand. So my nerves will be a little less out-of-whack!"

Also, Roberta was honored on December 12th by Representative Larry Wolpert and Speaker Jon Husted at Ohio’s House of Representatives; she received a Resolution for the accomplishment of being crowned Miss Ohio 2007. Roberta even got a laugh, from what I assume to be a very tough crowd, by saying she would love to see Ohio bring back two titles in January- the BCS National championship (college football) and Miss America!

CLICK HERE for a video clip of the presentation!

Pageant Press: Life After the Crown

I did a google search to see if any photos of Melanie Murphy and Matt Miller’s wedding had been published in a newspaper yet, a bit voyeuristic, I realize. While I found no photos of their big day, I did discover this great article about Mel:

Cleveland State's own Melanie Murphy or as some know her, Miss Ohio 2006, gave up her crown this past June. The new Miss Ohio is Roberta Camp from The Ohio State University. So what's next for the former Miss Ohio? We will get to that later.

Behind the Scenes with Melanie Murphy

You may only see the exterior beauty of Melanie, but the woman has brains too.

Double majoring in Digital Media and Journalism, the blonde bombshell has over a 3.0 grade point average while juggling extracurricular activities in the community. As part as her Miss Ohio fulfillment, Melanie has been extra busy this past year.

"Miss Ohio is a full time job," Melanie says.

She spoke at churches, campaigned for Toys for Tots, sang the national anthem (yes, she is a singer too) at various sports functions and became the spokesperson for the Career and Technical School of Ohio.

Due to the strenuous schedule, Melanie took the year off at Cleveland State, which she does not regret.

"You can always go back to school, being Miss Ohio comes once in a lifetime," Melanie says.

And what a great decision she made. By winning the title, Melanie collected cash prizes totaling $11,500 and going to compete for Miss America gave her an extra stash of $5,500.

"My Cleveland State education is already paid for," Melanie says.

And let's not forget that spiffy Pontiac Sunfire that was given to her by the past Miss Ohio winners.

One of Melanie's significant speaking roles included the RJ Reynolds's "Life Decisions Right Now," which discussed the effects and health risks of drugs and alcohol as well as goal setting and getting involved in the community, which is strongly related to her Miss Ohio platform, "volunteerism."

What made Melanie pursue Miss Ohio?

I asked her that question too.

Melanie stated that it was always her dream. "As a child, I always watched the Miss America pageant and waited for the talent competition," Melanie remembers.

You see Melanie has been dancing since she was three years old. Her styles include ballet (her foundation), tap, and point. Being a Cleveland Cavaliers dancer the past year expanded her dancing range to hip hop. However, she actually did a ballroom number to seal the deal for Miss Ohio. How is that for well-rounded?

Now for irony…Melanie was teased and bullied in middle school and the dream of becoming a crowned icon quickly began to fade.

"My motivation was the bullying," she says.

I bet those bullies are now regretting every remark they made. Winning Miss Ohio did not come overnight however. Melanie explains that preliminaries have to be won in order to even compete for the Miss Ohio title.

It took Melanie six times before she won the preliminaries and advanc e d to compete for Miss O h i o , which she actually won two m o n t h s prior to the Miss Ohio competition! But Melanie being the bionic woman did not fold under the pressure. She took on this challenge and of course you know the outcome.

Life Changes Post Miss Ohio

Melanie owes all her glory to the Lord.

"Being able to work for the Lord is the greatest reward for me," she says.

You see while speaking at a church in Wooster, Melanie became saved and at this same church she met her fiancé whom she will be wedding in nearly five weeks. Melanie tells me the story on how they met.

With glow, she says, "I was speaking at the church and he was sitting there. After the service, I went in the back for interviews and my sponsor introduced us. I gave him an autographed picture that lists my e-mail address."

Melanie says that he e-mailed her the day after New Years and asked her out. Their first dinner date, which was also two weeks before Miss America, lasted for four hours.

She says, "we just couldn't stop talking."

Matt Miller [the fiancé] popped the question during Melanie's farewell act as Miss Ohio on the runway.

Miller is an Ashland County Commissioner who is running for U.S. Congress. Melanie says, "hopefully he will win" and we will move to Washington, Melanie calls him a huge angel.

Biggest accomplishment as Miss Ohio

Melanie's grandparents are from Hungary and they came to the United States after the Hungarian Revolution. Side note: For many of you who may not know, the Hungarian Revolution was an unplanned nationwide revolt against the Communist government of Hungary that lasted for about a month.

Being Miss Ohio helped her learn more about her heritage and culture by going to the memorials. Also, seeing how proud her grandparents are of her is a great reward she says.

Another great accomplishment is that she created a coloring book called the "ABC's of Volunteerism" which was a fundraiser for Toys for Tots and Miss Ohio.

What's Next?

Melanie will be getting married in five weeks and now she is back in school. With her drive and focus, there is no doubt she will become the big time news anchor she hopes for. Recently she landed a deal as a WBNX spokesperson.

Final Thought

I asked Melanie for some advice to give to young women who may be facing some self-esteem issues.

"This is something my mom used to always tell me…never let anybody's opinion become your reality," she says. "You are what you think."

Due to a conflict, Melanie's reign as Miss Ohio was actually the shortest in history; 11 months, but her inspiration and the lives that she has already touched will live on for a lifetime.

CLICK HERE to see photos included in this November 19th article by Ebony Cash.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

From Miss America's Outstanding Teen: Caitlin’s Closet Challenge!

I have to say, I am very impressed with the email communication I get from Miss America's Outstanding Teen Organization; I'm going to have to double check that I'm on the same type of list from Miss America...

Caitlin’s Closet Challenge!

Miss America’s Outstanding Teen, Caitlin Brunell needs your help. She’s challenging all the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen State Representatives to clean out their closets!!

Caitlin’s Closet, a non-profit organization that collects gently used special occasion dresses and distributes them to prom-hopefuls, is hosting a Dress Drive at the Miss America Pageant. Every State Representative that brings gowns that equals 10 points receives a prize and the titleholder who accumulates the most points will win a $250 scholarship and her state organization wins a $250 scholarship to use at the state pageant in that teen's name!

How do you get Points?
* Dresses size 0-10 are worth 1 point
* Dresses size 12 and over are worth 1.5 points (dress sizes 12 and up go first at Caitlin Closet Events!)

Where do I turn them in?
There will be a drop off box set up at the Miss America Communication center in the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. Each teen or state director (if the teen can’t make it to Vegas) should bring all dresses to the drop off box before 10am on Saturday January 26, 2008. Please make sure they are packaged together and clearly marked with your state and teens name. The winner will be announced at the ED meeting on Saturday. Let’s help Caitlin fill her closet so she can host events across the country this year!

I've sent an email to see if Ohio would like to aggressively pursue this challenge.

I also received this beautiful email on the 24th:

Miss France Irony

Check out this YouTube clip of the Miss France Swimsuit competition:

First of all, it's a great production, but did anyone else laugh out loud (like me) at the irony?

The contestants are walking to Madonna’s "Like a Prayer;" the video for this song was extremely controversial, with themes of racism and rape; it depicted a black Jesus and burning crosses. The video lost Madonna an ad campaign with Pepsi. Click here for the video.

One of the pictures Miss France was dethroned for showed her floating on a cross in a pool. Click here for the picture. Ironic! :)

Madonna went on to win the Viewer's Choice Award and MTV VMA for her video; although Valérie Bègue probably won't experience such a positive outcome, she is being supported:

France faces a rebellion in La Réunion, its Indian Ocean island, after the Miss France beauty pageant tried to sack this year's winner for appearing in provocative photographs.

Many of the 800,000 inhabitants of the island, which is legally part of France, have risen up in support of Valérie Bègue, 22, a business student who won the Miss France 2008 crown two weeks ago...

Click here for the entire article.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

SPOILER ALERT: Reality Check Results Revealed?

TLC’s Miss America: Reality Check is essentially a pre-competition for all the Miss States. The recent synopsis tells us:

…the advisory board will award an amazing prize package to the top three girls who embraced the changes and truly capture the look, attitude and personality of the new Miss America. These girls are the ones to watch at the finale.

Several photos were also released and some fans wonder if TLC has accidentally let the cat out of the bag! The photo below seems to be some sort of judging or awards ceremony and three women seem to be standing apart from the rest. Were they just lucky to be placed in the front, or are they the winners of Reality Check? Only time will tell.

The front three contestants in the photo above are Miss Virginia Hannah Martine Kiefer, Miss Illinois Ashley Nicole Hatfield and Miss South Carolina Crystal Alicia Garrett.

What do you make of this photo? LEAVE COMMENTS!

On a side note, last year Miss Arkansas, Miss Delaware and Miss Colorado won CMT’s Pageant School and none of them made the Top 10 or won preliminary awards at Miss America.

Pageant Press: au revoir Miss France

The following article from Yahoo News confims the new Miss France, Valerie Begue, has been dethroned for the suggestive pictures seen below.

Dec 22 (ANI): The president of the Miss France beauty pageant has asked the winner of the 2008 competition to return her crown after a magazine published suggestive photographs of the 22-year old model.

Valerie Begue, from the French-run Indian Ocean island of Reunion, was elected Miss France 2008 earlier this month.

But she has refused to resign, saying she had been betrayed.

Before the competition, contestants assure that they have never been photographed in compromising positions.

But, one of the pictures shows Begue licking yoghurt provocatively, while another has her floating on a wooden cross in a swimming pool.

Following the surfacing of the pictures, President of the Miss France contest, Genevieve de Fontenay, went on French radio to demand that Begue would have to stand down, or would be stripped of her crown.

"If she had some courage and a bit of dignity she would say 'I'm resigning because I'm not worthy to carry on as Miss France'," The Australian quoted de Fontenay, as telling Europe 1 radio.

She went on to say that if she had been aware of the pictures, Ms Begue "would never have been let into the Miss France competition".

"I wouldn't want to be seen touring the provinces with a girl like that," she added.

This is not the first instance when a beauty queen has embarrassed the competition organisers. The 2004 Miss France, Laeticia Bleger, was suspended for six months after photos of her surfaced in Playboy.

Pageant Press: Cops: Oops, Miss Puerto Rico Was Peppered

Turns out Miss Puerto Rico was right all along.

Weeks after initial tests suggested she might have made up her pepper-spray story, Ingrid Marie Rivera was vindicated Wednesday when police in the territory reversed themselves and announced she was indeed targeted during the tiara contest.

Authorities vowed to look into the matter. But the first battery of tests failed to turn up any traces of capsicum, the active chemical ingredient in pepper spray, on Rivera's evening gown and makeup brush, and a skeptical police spokesman suggested the whole thing was a hoax.

Rivera went on the defensive, making stops on the talk-show circuit. During an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, she adamantly denied her rashes were self-inflicted and said she had noticed a pungent odor and something with a "Jello-ish consistency" on her outfit.

The police conducted a second round of tests, which did reveal that Rivera's gown and bathing suit had been doused with pepper spray.

"Miss Puerto Rico Universe was speaking the truth. She was being sincere about the allegations," said Lieutenant Eddie Hernandez, a spokesman for the San Juan Police.

Click here for the entire article.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Head to Cleveland Tomorrow for Miss Lake Erie and Miss Northeast Ohio's Christmas Caberet Show

"Merry Christmas, OKaaaaaaaayy"

Saturday, December 22, 2007
from 7:00 to 8:00pm

Bounce Night Club
W. 28th and Detroit
Cleveland Ohio


Miss Lake Erie 2008 Kasey Wilson
Miss Northern Ohio 2008 Nanciann Strosnider
Miss Lake Erie 2005 and Miss Ohio 2005 Marlia Fontaine
Miss Lake Erie 2006 Leslie Ondrey
Executive Director James Grimes
and Katie Cooper on piano

Tickets are $10 at the door and all proceeds go to benefit the Miss Lake Erie and Miss Northern Ohio Scholarship Programs.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Pageant Poll: Impressions of Miss America: Reality Check

If you read the post below, you know the synopsis for TLC’s Miss America: Reality Check and the show’s commercial put a really bad taste in my mouth. What’s your reaction?

Miss America "Reality Check" Synopsis from TLC

We knew the Miss America contestants spent a week in LA filming a four epsiode reality show for TLC and today the network released a synopsis of each episode... You will find my opinions between each episode...
Let me warn you, I'm in a mood, I seem to be coming down with something and I'm not sorry for my opinions. :)

Episode One: Premieres January 4, 10 PM (ET/PT)
The premiere episode begins when the 52 state winners arrive at the mansion in full pageant regalia – dresses, sashes and crowns. Immediately they meet their host Michael Urie who delivers the painful news that Miss America is perceived as being outdated in contemporary society. Quickly crushed, their hopes are restored when they discover that TLC is giving Miss America a makeover! Everything the girls have spent their entire lives training for is about to change.

Through a series of events and challenges, the girls will be retrained with the new criteria for Miss America and be put to the test. This is meant to revolutionize not only their look, but the whole package – their attitude, how they carry themselves and the way they relate to the everyday world. Their first challenge…Stacy and Clinton from WHAT NOT TO WEAR arrive to riffle through their bags looking for fashion mistakes. They will give the girls advice that will let them know what’s in store: becoming Miss America means becoming a modern “IT” girl. This look will need to carry through to Miss America Live! To help them through their transformation is the expert Advisory Board comprised of celebrity photographer Mark Liddell, celebrity stylist Jeannie Mai and US Weekly’s West Coast editor Dina Sansing.

This first episode will be telling for the advisors of how far these girls have to go. It won’t be easy to chip off the makeup, get the girls to dump the hairspray bottles and ditch the canned “world peace” answers, but the advisors will be there every step of the way to evaluate their progress. Before the games begin, the girls are split into six groups. Their first challenge is Americas Challenge, a physical challenge to test their teamwork and knowledge of America geography through a series of obstacle courses and puzzles. Next, they attend a dinner party to discuss relevant, controversial topics that would stir the pot in any crowd. At the end, the girls face the Advisory Board for the first time. To the girls’ surprise, they are ranked in the top and bottom according to who is embracing the changes and who is still resisting. The judges at Miss America Live! will be looking for the girl who embodies the new image of Miss America, so this should serve as a warning for the girls who aren’t getting on board.

I have to begin by saying I love What Not to Wear’s Stacy and Clinton; many pageant fans had hoped they’d be the pageant’s hosts, but this will surely be more entertaining! Aside from that I have a huge problem with the picture the paragraphs above and commercial are painting. “ ...delivers the painful news that Miss America is perceived as being outdated in contemporary society. Quickly crushed, their hopes are restored when they discover that TLC is giving Miss America a makeover!” Are you kidding? It’s not shocking or "crushing" news to anyone, least of all the contestants, that Miss America is in a slump. But it’s not the contestants fault. Let me repeat that: it’s not the contestant’s fault. I can’t stand the idea that a miracle makeover from TLC can fix everything when the problem lies with a lack of year-round publicity and modern leadership at every level of the program. I am happy that TLC is airing and promoting the pageant, but it is unfortunate that in doing so it seems they will be embarrassing and belittling the contestants.

Episode Two: Premieres January 11, 10 PM (ET/PT)
Episode two begins with Are You Smarter Than a Miss USA Girl, the poolside trivia challenge that is about being intelligent…and looking good in a bathing suit while doing it! The challenge ends with each eliminated woman jumping into the pool where their hair and makeup are wiped clean in preparation for their one-on-one beauty consultations.

Bye-bye hairspray and caked on makeup! The girls are surprised by two very special guests – celebrity hair-stylist Kim Vo and makeup guru Napoleon Perdis, who give each woman a one-on-one “prescription” for fixing their outdated looks. There’s no picking and choosing, either they take all or none of the advice. Those who choose to redo their “winning pageant looks” are immediately transformed for new headshots. Those who don’t are left wondering whether they made the right decision. Finally, the girls meet with the advisory board to find out if their
bold makeover will pay off or if they didn’t go far enough, as they are ranked in the top or bottom.

I have two big problems with this. First, “Are You Smarter Than a Miss USA Girl?” The concept is fine, it’s very America’s Most Smartest Model, which was a cute reality show that just wrapped on VH1, but to continue to foster a rivalry between the two pageant systems with that name is unnecessary, and frankly, classless. More women than ever have competed in both, including our Miss Ohio, Roberta Camp. Second, this line angers me, “…give each woman a one-on-one “prescription” for fixing their outdated looks.” Again, they’re trying to sell the idea that all 52 contestants are helpless and style-less.

It’s widely known that many states do not offer much support or recourses to their contestant; at the local and state level the directors are often sweet, well meaning people who do not have any actual fashion sense or awareness of current trends. So free style tips are probably welcome by many of the women. I, however, cannot help but think of their emotions in the midst of all this… It’s all the little tedious aspects of preparing for a pageant that can eventually break you, so I can’t imagine being pressured to cut your hair, or change the color with a camera in your face! I’m assuming it’s similar to the makeover episode on America’s Next Top Model. It’s emotional! The difference is that those girls can trust Tyra Banks, whereas Miss America is in a state of flux. Are the contestants guaranteed that the pageant judges will all understand and follow TLC’s new criteria? Or, would they be better off to keep doing what has worked for them? Will their E.D. be upset with them? Are these stylist considering stage hair and makeup or daily appearance wear?... I'm getting a really bad vibe about the situation this reality show put the contestants in.

Episode Three: Premieres January 18, 10 PM (ET/PT)
Episode three is all about fashion, baby! The hour begins with The Ultimate Balancing Act, a challenge that tests the girls on their confidence and adaptability as they traverse across a balance beam in a race to the finish.

Head up, shoulders back and work it, girl. Now that the women have the look, can they carry it? An expert walking coach teaches the girls to work it like they are going down a runway in Paris. And now that the Miss America hopefuls know how to move their bodies, they get a quick lesson in how to dress it! A celebrity designer teaches them how to accentuate the good and disguise the, shall we say, not so good. Finally, they put what they learned to the test in the Little Black Dress challenge. At the end, the girls face the Advisory Board to find out who ranked in the top and who ranked in the bottom. There isn’t much time left, so the girls will have to decide how important it is to them to be the last woman standing on that stage on January 26.

Okay, I don't actually have a problem with anything in the episode three synopsis, but the ladies do look pretty silly in the photos... It doesn't make sense that a show trying to increase their beauty and appeal would put them in such awful outfits!

Episode Four: Premieres January 25, 10PM (ET/PT)
In the final episode, the Miss America contenders are put to the test … they’ve survived “it girl” boot camp and now it’s time to see what they’ve learned. First, their stage presence is put to the test when they compete in the Don’t Forget America Lyrics challenge, where the girls are put on the spot to recite the lyrics to American anthems. But this isn’t about who can carry a tune, it’s about showmanship and captivating your audience no matter what your talent. After the challenge, they receive advice from several music industry professionals. And their last challenge is the most difficult, the Red Carpet Walk. The girls have to apply everything they’ve learned thus far about hair, makeup, walking the runway and dressing the part. The paparazzi will be waiting to snap away while the advisory board asks the tough questions Miss America needs to be prepared to answer. This is the ultimate test of the whole package and in the end, the advisory board will award an amazing prize package to the top three girls who embraced the changes and truly capture the look, attitude and personality of the new Miss America. These girls are the ones to watch at the finale.

I really like the Red Carpet challenge, and while I feel sorry for non-singers, I’m sure Roberta did fabulous with the National Anthem.

I really don’t know why this is striking me the wrong way; I was very happy when Miss America moved to TLC and the idea of a four episode series is wonderful, but the tone they are taking seems to be very negative toward the women who have obviously done something right to get where they are! My friend Jeff made a great comparison- it’s funny for the Oscars to poke fun at itself for always running overtime, but the mocking attitude of the Reality Check commercial makes Miss America just look desperate. It seems as thought they're trying to draw in a new audience by making the contestants out to be fashion charity cases, with no concern for alienating current fans and contestants.

For over 50 photos from the show CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Pageant Press: Heather French Henry - Miss America 2000

Heather French Henry is not only one of my favorite Miss America’s, she seems to rank high on most everyone’s list. I have been honored to meet her on two separate occasions and she perfectly meshes relatability and celebrity, which is exactly what Miss America should do.

This month Fourpoints Magazine published the following article about her, along with this beautiful cover:

When Heather French was crowned Miss America 2000, she made history as the frst-ever Miss America from Kentucky. She wowed the nation with her eloquence and fervor regarding homeless veterans. Today, she continues to be highly involved with both her original platform and the Miss America Organization. A wife, mother, and former Miss America, Heather French Henry continues to put the shine in the Miss America crown.

When Heather was a little girl, she knew she was going to be Miss America. This lofty goal was made even loftier by the fact that Heather didn’t have much interest in pageants and, in fact, did not start competing in pageants until age 20. She, of course, did realize her dream of becoming Miss America. After giving up her crown, however, she also realized that life as a former Miss America could be just as challenging as the journey to the crown.

“After you give up the crown, you are still expected to do all the things a Miss America does—you just no longer have a staff,” says Heather with humor in her voice.

The transition from Miss America to wife and mother has not always been an easy one, a fact that Heather readily admits to.“It’s very humbling to go from a limo to a minivan,” says Heather. “People see me at the grocery store and say they’re surprised I do my own grocery shopping. But I don’t hide the fact that I’m a wife and a mother. And before that, I was just a normal young lady. We are all really just ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things.”

And Heather has continued to do extraordinary things. Her platform regarding homeless veterans has grown into the Heather French Foundation for Veterans, which concerns itself with all the lights of veterans, including health care issues like Hepatitis.

“The foundation works on a broad spectrum of issues. We work with special pieces of legislation and lobby to get more money for community organizations. A lot of civilians don’t understand the problems facing veterans. There are so many issues, ranging from homelessness to Hepatitis C from non sterile military vaccines to inadequate healthcare,” explains Heather.

In conjunction with the Heather French Foundation for Veterans, Heather has authored five children’s books centered around veterans and patriotic holidays. If the books are purchased directly from Heather’s Web site, 100% of the profits goes directly back to the foundation.

“The books initially started with teachers need information on veterans and it developed into more. They are a service tool to help with the daunting task of teaching kids about veterans,” says Heather.

She is also currently working on a book for adults—pageant contestants in particular—with former Miss Americas Ericka Dunlap and Katie Harman Ebner. The book will highlight each woman’s individual journey to the Miss America crown. “The book is really for people, contestants, to learn more about the successes beyond the crown. Don’t get me wrong—the crown brought a lot of benefits. But it can also overshadow all that you can gain,” says Heather.

It is her hope that the book will help derail the misconception that only a rich, white contestant can become Miss America.“You have the three of us, who each had totally different upbringings. The reader is going to actually see three different perspectives. And while I know that we have a basic unity of opinions, the reader will definitely walk away knowing who thinks what. The underlying concept in the whole book is that you can get there, no matter who you are,” says Heather. The book will also provide tips and hints to women hoping to become Miss America one day.

“We want to teach our readers things we wish we would have known. When I was competing for Miss Dunesland, I think the think I cried my eyes out about the most was getting a song cut for my talent. I had no idea how to do it and I had no money, so I ended up going to a music department at a college and ending up with this choppy, embarrassing song. I had no idea how to do that,” recalls Heather.

This type of information, and more, is the kind of thing some beginning pageant contestants may not know about.“Not every girl can afford to have a coach, and that’s okay. Part of the beauty of this is teaching these young ladies how to do things on their own. The whole experience really is in the journey—and you’re the only one on it,” says Heather.

Another exciting project Heather is working on is her own line of pageant wear that will be debut at the 2008 Miss America pageant.

“I originally went to school for fashion design and since I’ve been so heavily involved in politics for the last few years, I wanted to get back to this side of me,” says Heather. “In the past few years, I have really seen a need for new pageant design.” Heather, who has always been known for her engaging personal style, aims to offer contestants “beauty, with a little tweaking.”“I want to cater more to Miss America contestants, because my standard will be the American woman. A girl should feel like a millions bucks in her gown and that gown should enhance what the girl is actually like. I believe that great design does not necessarily mean liquid beading. After all, sometimes more is just more,” says Heather.

Anyone who saw Heather at the Miss America pageant the year she was crowned knows that she has a keen eye for style.“The gown I wore at Miss America was designed by Sherri Hill, who has always been such an inspiration to me. The gown came to me as a sample. It didn’t have a stitch of bearding on it and when I put it on, I felt like I could walk down the red carpet at the Oscar’s,” recalls Heather. “I chose that gown over two others because it enhanced what is good about me; my hair, my face, my shoulders. That is what a gown should do.”

In addition to providing contestants with the perfect gown, Heather wants to provide them with something else: her years of experience as a successful Miss America contestant.“When a young lady purchases a gown from me, she will deal with me directly. That young lady will get the added bonus of spending time with me. This is really a two-folded mission to provide a one-of-a-kind experience,” says Heather.

In addition to volunteer working, writing, and designing, Heather also remains very active in her home state of Kentucky as a spokesperson for Dean’s Milk and AAA Kentucky.

“I have to get used to kids knowing me as the milk lady and not Miss America,” jokes Heather, although she acknowledges that some people will always see her as Miss America.“For a lot of people, especially people in my hometown, I am their symbol for Miss America,” says Heather.

Though she may always be royalty to some, Heather is simply known as wife and mother to three very important people: her husband Steve, a surgeon, and her two daughters Harper and Taylor.Her daughters think it’s hilarious when she is recognized in public, but don’t exhibit a particular interest in pageants.

“They like to play pageant and wear the crown and all of that, but I’m not sure yet if they are going to want to compete. My oldest daughter Harper, gets it. She understands the whole concept of Miss America. But my youngest, Taylor, immediately thinks that any evening event is a pageant and I am going to compete. At the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen pageant in Orlando, I had to leave early for the show one night and she wanted to give me a kiss and a hug in case I didn’t win,” laughs Heather.

If the two girls ever show an interest in competing, Heather will certainly support that, but she won’t push it.

“It’s more important to me at this point that they understand the mission of the Miss America Organization,” says Heather.That mission—to provide scholarship assistance to millions of young women—has changed Heather’s life completely.

“Being Miss America really and truly changes my life. Everyday, I think about what my life would be like if I wasn’t Miss America. I think about all the opportunities this organization has given me. Would those have come along otherwise?” says Heather.

She continues, years later, to sing the praises of the Miss America Organization and all the volunteers that make it possible.

“The duty I feel to say thank you to the volunteers who actually fun the program is overwhelming. It’s all about the volunteers. That’s why I feel it is so important to give back to the local and state pageants,” says Heather.

She and her family also make it a point to attend the Miss America pageant each year.“I can’t imagine not going,” says Heather. “You can sympathize and collaborate with these people and it becomes a very close-knit circle. When you compete, you make life long friends.”

Although Heather French Henry predicted that she would become Miss America at age 4, she could in no way predict how it would affect her life. The journey she stated on that stage in Atlantic City has given her a voice, a mission, a new set of dreams, and a whole new life. She is committed to giving back to the organization that gave her so much. And she has no regrets.“If they asked me to be Miss America tomorrow, I would do it all over again,” says Heather.

Winter FINALLY Came!.. and gave me a reason to share these!

Last weekend we certainly did not get the 16 inches of snow that was called for, but there was more than enough winter weather to close schools and give me some beautiful scenes to photograph!
Click each to enlarge... it's worth it!

[Niki loves to run and romp in the snow! Check out the photo below on the right- she's flying! She also likes to catch and eat snowballs!]

I realize she looks intimidating in the photos above, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. Niki is the sweetest dog I've ever met... see on the right...

[Below left, a junco, otherwise known as a "snowbird!"
Right, some frosty finches.]

[I was elated that the cold weather brought the beautiful red-bellied woodpecker above! Left, our state bird, the cardinal.]

Here are some more of my photos from this summer and fall that I am rather proud of...

[Above left, feasting and flying finches, and right, my cat fuzzy is fixated on a hummingbird. Below a chickadee and grasshopper pose for me.]

[Above left, a nuthatch... right, it steals a nut! Below left, bluejays always look mean... and on the right they prove they are!]

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pageant Poll: Vegas Baby!

Scroll below for a related post.

True Beauty Workshop, featuring Miss USA Rachel Smith... in Las Vegas... during Miss America...

If you're headed to Las Vegas to watch Miss America live, for $295 more you can also see Miss USA, Rachel Smith! Some have noted the irony that she will be speaking at a workshop the same weekend and in the same city as the Miss America pageant, but to me it seems wonderfully convenient for pageant fans and contestants!

Click the graphic above to enlarge it and read the details. The event is sponsored by the Miss Nevada USA organization and rumor has it photographer Fadil Berisha and swimsuit designer Jamye Shaw will be there as well.

Monday, December 17, 2007

FINAL UPDATE: Miss Ohio's Miss America Send-off!

I know people have been wondering, so I got permission from Roberta to share that her send-off for Miss America will be:

Saturday, January 5, 2008
from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
at The Grove City Church of the Nazarene
Grove City, Ohio

$25 Donation


Miss Ohio Roberta Camp modeling her Miss America Wardrobe
and singing "Open Arms."

...With additional performances by:
Miss Lake Erie,Kasey Wilson
Miss Northwestern, Erica Gelhaus
Miss Clayland, Karissa Martin
and the Grove City High School Jazz Ensemble

Drinks and hor'dourves will be served at a meet-and-greet reception.

According to Megan's blog, RSVPs are to be made by January 1st.
Click her link for additional information.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Pageant Reality Run-Down!

Best of luck to Survivor China's Amanda Kimmel! She won Miss Montana USA 2004 after placing in two previous attempts. Though Amanda did not place at Miss USA, she went on to represent the US at Miss Earth where she was in the Top 8. [On the left she's crowned Miss Montana USA; below she wins all important Survivor immunity. Which do you think meant more to her!?]

Thanks to a wise alliance Amanda is one of the final four on Survivor, having made minimal enemies. While she says “like” way to much when she actually speaks, I am pulling for Amanda! I think the jury will definitely vote for her over Todd or Courtney, but she and Denise need to be careful, or they’re going to get backstabbed! The Survivor China finale is this Sunday at 8 p.m.

Known for shocking shows, the FOX network has outdone itself with The Moment of Truth, a new game show in which contestants are strapped to a polygraph and asked personal and social questions. Check out the commercial below featuring former Miss Ohio and Miss California contestant, Christie Youssef. She's wearing the same orange dress she signed into Miss Ohio in and saying "now I'm nervous."

Tori Hall was Miss Virginia Teen USA back in 2005; she placed in the Top 10 at Miss Teen USA, then went on to MTV’s Road Rules 2007: The Viewer’s Revenge. This fall Tori won Miss Virginia USA and is headed to Miss USA 2008. However, rumor has it she has also signed on to do Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Gauntlet 3. Some pageant fans are wondering, should she be allowed to do both?

Claudia Jordan, otherwise known as Case #1 on NBC's Deal or No Deal, represented Rhode Island at both Miss Teen USA and Miss USA.

And, no, I've not forgotten about CW's new reality show Crowned... my analysis of that train wreck is coming soon. For now, I need to get to the grocery, in case we actually get the 16 inches of snow they’re calling for in the next day!

Miss America's Job Description: 2008

If you're a MAO contestant,
you need to read, understand and embrace the job description.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Breaking Pageant News!

Tune into Entertainment Tonight NOW for a special Miss America Announcement.

I'm headed to a 7:30 movie, but rumor has it the announcement will be that ET's Mark Steines will be hosting the finale of Miss America.
I usually like adding something new to this blog every day or so… but lately it’s been a ton of updates once a week… Hopefully things will get back to normal, but for now, scroll below for the following pageant updates:

Win your favorite contestant a new gown!
A former Miss Virginia talks Vagina!
Miss North Dakota USA Resigns!

Win Your Favorite Contestant a Couture Gown!

Who says pageant message boards are all bad? You could win your favorite contestant a designer gown from Pageant Central, run by the infamous pageant fan and critic, Meemaw. Check it out:

We are proud to announce a new contest where the winner will receive a custom designed evening gown courtesy of JDI Couture!

We're asking all of you to submit an essay on your favorite pageant contestant who is currently competing or planning to compete for Miss America, MAOT, Miss USA or Miss Teen USA. You should explain why she is your favorite contestant and why you think she deserves to win the prize!

This is not a popularity contest. Your favorite contestant does not have to be well-known, she can be someone who is still competing at the local level and would love to have a custom designed gown. It doesn't matter if she is a current state titleholder or a local competitor, Miss Pageant Central will be based on one pageant fan's passion!

All essays will be judged by the moderators of Pageant Central and JDI Couture, and the judging process will be overseen by the accounting firm of Cristina Silva and Associates. The top 5 choices will be posted on the board and everyone will get to pick the winner!

The contestant in the winning essay will receive a custom designed gown by JDI Couture! She will be under no obligation to wear the gown in competition, however JDI Couture is already providing the national gowns for 2 USA and 2 Teen USA state titleholders, so the winner would certainly be getting a gown worthy of wearing! In addition, the author of the winning essay will have their name inscribed in the Miss Pageant Central crown and will be posted, along with a photo of the winning contestant, at the bottom of our board throughout the year!

Thanks to Patricia Gentry for proposing this idea, and to JDI Couture for their generosity! Patricia will serve as host for this contest and we hope everyone will participate. Good luck to all of you and your favorite contestants!

Contest Rules:

* Any Pageant Central poster may submit an essay for their favorite contestant.
* The contestant can be a current state titleholder or an unknown local competitor.
* Note: Current state titleholders for Miss America are not eligible due to the upcoming pageant date.
* Contestants themselves may not enter.
* BamaMan may not enter himself, Latronda, Sonja Garness, Lauriane Gillieron, Gretchen Polhemus or ObviousMan.
* Each contestant must be participating or planning to participate in a local or state pageant leading to a national pageant for Miss America, Miss America's Outstanding Teen, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA.
* Current state titleholders for Miss America are not eligible due to the upcoming pageant date.
* Essays must be no more than 500 words.
* Subject: Why your contestant is your favorite and should receive a brand new gown designed just for her.
* Include personal qualities or any related anecdotes about your favorite contestant.
* Entries may be submitted beginning December 12, 2007.
* The deadline for entries will end at noon CST, January 31, 2008.
* All essays must be submitted via email to:
* Any essays posted on the board will be removed to prevent plagiary.
* All essays will be judged by the moderators of Pageant Central and JDI Couture (moderators and JDI Couture not eligible to submit essays).
* The top five entries will be posted to the board where a public vote will determine the winner.
* The winning contestant will be contacted and asked for size, measurements and a photo.
* A custom JDI Couture gown will be made for the contestant. The contestant is not obligated to wear the gown during competition.
* The winning essay author will have their name inscribed in the Miss Pageant Central crown and will be posted, along with a photo of the winning contestant, at the bottom of the board throughout the year.
* Decision of the judges are final.

Pageant Press: Nancy Redd Sees Vulvas Everywhere

It seemed as though Nancy Redd had done it all... But Miss American and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire were NOTHING compared to this!

Growing up, Nancy Redd had a poor relationship with that part of her body that rhymes with Mulva, as Seinfeld famously noted. "I grew up in southern Virginia, where you're lucky if it's referred to as a hoo-ha," said Redd, 26. Then she majored in women's studies at Harvard, won Miss Virginia 2003 and placed in the top ten at Miss America 2004. With a postfeminist résumé like that, it was probably inevitable that she would write Body Drama, a version of Our Bodies, Ourselves for the self-image-addled teen girls and young women of Generation Z, coming out December 27. Covering everything from woes about lopsided boobs and personal smells to serious health issues, it's full of un-retouched photos of buck-naked everyday women, all New Yorkers whom Redd found over Craigslist — including a centerfold of 24 vulvas that gives new meaning to the term "full spread." Redd recounted that shoot to Tim Murphy.

So what did the Craigslist ad say?It said, "Come show your vagina for a good cause." We ended up shooting about 50. We wanted a variety of colors and shapes, hair and without hair. We concocted this table in a photo studio like you'd have at the gyno — a clean, sterile table with disposable paper. I paid $50 a vulva.

What kinds of women showed up? There were artists and bankers and a lot of students. Women who wanted to share themselves with the world. I wanted it to be fun vaginas, a happy and wholesome project. We had a pizza area where people watched TV. One woman said, "I can't wait for the book to come out. I'm going to make my boyfriend pick mine out."

Who has actually seen this many vulvas? Lesbians and men who get a lot ofplay? Men don't look. When they saw [the vulvas in the book], they said, "I've never seen anything that looks like that." They're so used to their little airbrushed Playboy vulvas. They don't understand that they've got makeup and glycerin down there in porn. When guys have sex, they're not even paying attention to the real deal.

How do women relate to their vulvas? You'd be surprised about the shame they feel. They say it's too dark, it's too deep, it's too hairy, it's not feminine — which is the most ironic. How can your vulva not be feminine?

How did your editor feel about the vulva spread? It was preapproved in the contract, but when she saw it, she said, "Oh, wow, when you said 'vulva,' I thought you meant the front — the muff." That's the whole point. Anyone can see a muff. It's not that interesting.

Um — did you take part in the spread? I did. I couldn't recognize myself in the photo, though. I was, like, "Oh, really?"

The book has a bit of an anti-waxing slant, don't you think? I don't care what you end up doing as long as it's for you first and foremost. If you're waxing because your boyfriend won't have sex with you otherwise, you need to think about that.

Do you wax? I was totally into it, but in doing my research and realizing what it takes for a place to be sanitary, I went on a panic attack. So right now I'm au naturel. But I don't see the point of just removing some from the sides. For me it's a Brazilian or nothing.

Do you think the shoot would've gone differently if you'd done it in L.A.? Absolutely. They're way more manicured. People are more real in New York. I had Indian, Hispanic, Asian, white, and black women who were all so full of spirit. New York is a city of dreams.

How has your family reacted? My mom — for the first year she thought I was creating porn. She said, "At least I can tell the pastor the title."

If you stare at the vulva spread, it takes on a beautiful, abstract-art quality. If you ever go into a Cheesecake Factory, their lampposts are totally vaginal, too. Now I see vulvas everywhere.

Two weeks after graduating from Harvard with an honors degree in women's studies, Nancy Redd won the title of Miss Virginia, going on to make the top ten and winning the swimsuit competition at Miss America 2004. Nancy has been named one of Glamour magazine's Top Ten College Women, L'OREAL's Beauty of Giving Young Woman of the Year, and one of Harvard magazine's Top Six Seniors. Nancy once won $250,000 on Who Wants to be a Millionaire and donated 10 percent of her winnings to 4-H, the nation's oldest youth development program where she is currently a member of the National Board of Trustees. She and her unique views have been featured on E! True Hollywood Story, NPR, PBS, Inside Edition, CBS's The Early Show, Eyewitness Kids News, Discovery Channel, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, USA Today, The New York Times, Forbes magazine, Good Morning America, CosmoGIRL!, J-14, and more.

I am surprised, but very happy to report that thus far on the usually prudish Miss America message board, where I found this article, is actually reacting favorably!

Miss North Dakota USA Resigns

To be blunt, Miss USA fans have expressed some discontent with their class of 2007, but Miss North Dakota was an exception. Most everyone was elated when Bethany Nesheim was crowned. She is one of few beautiful blondes in a field largely comprised of brunettes (not that hair color matters, but people notice). However, I came home from my roadtrip to read rumors that she has resigned. The following was supposedly posted on her Facebook group:

DECEMBER 12, 2007: Relinquishing the title.

I officially relinquished the title today. I'm really feeling relieved and excited about it, though it was a hard decision to make. I'm not totally out of the boat yet as I have to wait on official acceptance from the Miss Universe Organization of my resignation. But I'm pretty excited to be 'regular Bethany' again as I've never truly enjoyed the limelight. I more just enjoy being part of bigger ventures and goals in life, doing things that get noticed rather than me directly being noticed.

Thank you all for joining in on this update group. I'm guessing dissapointment might be a common feeling for anyone who was pumped to see me on national TV. Yes, it would've been a big deal, but so are other commitments I've already made in life.

You see, I've committed two years to helping college students grow in faith and life decisions. The organization I'm with is listed officially as a 'missionary order' under the government, therefore having regulations most jobs don't. Those regulations, and my own personal convictions, don't mix with keeping this title.

To briefly describe my career: I get to see students live's changed for the better constantly as I watch them grow stronger in their faith and making positive decisions in life. For example, it's one of the most honoring things ever when I get to encourage a student coming out of a bad relationship, or help sort through the options as they seek to decide what job to take after graduation, or see them spend their spring break doing things like helping with Hurricane Katrina Relief.

I get to be part of teaching students to develop healthy dating relationships that lead into marriages with minimal chance of divorce. I get to pray with small groups about hard things they are going through with their families or in school. I get to rejoice when I see students find the right career niche that they were 'made' to do. And at the root of all this, I get to see them grow in faith and love of God.

Especially for all the younger student women I know, I already end up being watched as a 'role model.' Often I'm not aware of it when they are -- I tend to hear about it later and then feel surprised that I did anything that mattered. But I realize that how I conduct my life becomes very significant when girls who know me as their 'biblestudy leader' are watching what I do.

Though I know this title would've given me a lot of platform to influence many as a role model, I wouldn't have felt right knowing I'd be compromising many other areas of my life. It's an integrity thing on who I am and the faith I stand for.

This Sunday I'll be passing the crown to the first runner up -- a beautiful girl who is a friend of mine and former pageant competitor. Her name is Stephanie and she'll be wearing my fabulously-designed evening gown to nationals. I'm so excited to write to you next about how it goes and the further meaning of things behind it!....

In Love,
- bethany marie

On a side note, Bethany competed a few times for Miss North Dakota (America). Her First Runner-up at Miss North Dakota USA is Stephanie Tollefson [right], also a former MAO competitor.

Pageant Press

Swimwear maker got no buzz from links to Miss America

It's time to pass the crown: After just a year as an official sponsor for the Miss America Pageant, Venus Swimwear has pulled the plug on its sponsorship of one of the most well-known competitions in the beauty circuit...

"Miss America is a great organization, but we considered the pageant to be a promotional vehicle for us," said Daryle Scott, the company's founder and chief executive officer. "But the pageant would have played a more noticeable role if we had a greater reach with a multitude of stores. We come from a catalog background, and we know that works."
Art McMaster, the Miss America chief executive officer, told the Times-Union last January that Venus was chosen for its noticeably sexier styles, a big departure from the sportier, modest suits from the previous sponsor, Speedo. The edgier designs were more in tune with the modern viewer, he said. The 2008 pageant will feature a markedly smaller swimwear company: Former Miss America contestant Sueanne Winn will design the swimwear under her label Winnwear.

...there's always a chance Venus will return to Miss America next year, Scott said. "We had a great relationship, and there are no hard feelings," he said. "But for now, we had to stand down."

Click the link above for the complete article; as mentioned above, this year's contestants will be outfitted with WinnWear swimsuits.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tune-in Alerts!

Loren and I are headed on a road trip to celebrate our anniversary, but tune-in to 92.5 KISS FM tomorrow morning anyway because Lauren Hogan will be filling in for me! They'll be broadcasting from 6 to 10 a.m. at Toledo's Westfield Franklin Park mall collecting toys for needy children this holiday. In the 7 a.m. hour they might be having a mother/daughter beauty pageant! I say might because they're having trouble getting contestants...

The mother/daughter beauty contest is, of course, inspired by the new CW show,
Crowned. It premiers tomorrow night after the finale of America's Next Top Model (which I hope Chantal wins!)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Pageant Press: Queen 4 a Day

QUEEN 4 A DAY - A pageant-winning NBC4 reporter allows others to bask in her reflected glory

At this moment, somewhere in America, a young woman prepares for her shining moment in the local beauty pageant. With a lot of hard work and a little luck, she will parlay pageant success into her dream job as a TV reporter. It seems that just about every beauty pageant contestant aspires to a job in television news. Channel 4’s Monica Day went the opposite direction. As of Saturday night, she’s your new Miss Ohio USA.

Already an on-air reporter, Day was crowned in Portsmouth on Saturday and will go on to compete in the Miss USA pageant...

“Anything you can do promote yourself, maybe to a higher position or a larger market—if you can do something that’s going to give you that extra push, go for it,” she said.

That’s not to say Day’s motives are entirely selfish. After all, Saturday night’s crowning achievement was good not just for her, she believes, but the entire Channel 4 family. “How great is it for my colleagues in the station that I’m doing this?” she said. “It’s exposure for them as well.”

At last Saturday’s pageant, Day forgot to bring her all-important swimsuit adhesive, which keeps the fabric stuck to skin in strategic places. Another contestant, sensing her own prospects in the pageant were limited, offered her adhesive to Day. “We’re not all bad,” Day said.

A lack of bikini tape isn’t the only crisis Day has faced. A few years ago, when preparing for another Miss Ohio USA pageant, she attempted to obtain that bronze tan that got her noticed as a teen by applying sunless tanning lotion before going to bed. “I woke up to go compete and somehow—from putting it on at night, getting out of bed and going into the shower—large patches of this sunless tanner had come off my body,” she said. “I looked like a cow.”

There’s a great debate among pageant fanatics about which circuit is better. Miss America is a scholarship-based pageant that features a talent portion. Miss USA is about prizes and sponsorships, and it doesn’t have a talent competition. Both pageants hang their hats on the vast charity and volunteer projects undertaken by contestants. Day prefers the Miss USA system because of the brighter spotlight and professional format. “It’s highly televised on NBC and has great ratings,” she said. “There’s a focus on business, and it’s geared toward people who are really looking to promote themselves.”

“As far as going to the local supermarket and signing autographs, that’s not required,” Day said. “You wear the crown. The crown does not wear you.”

CLICK HERE for the entire article- I only included snippets.