Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Blog Therapy

Miss Ohio 1992 Renee Brown published a blog for a while. Upon recently shutting it down she mentioned it was largely therapeutic for her. How true! When I’m stressed, and should be doing more productive things, is often when I blog. Looking at my webcounter rise certainly helps the self-esteem as well! Where did I read Renee’s blog epitaph? On an anonymous pageant message board. A place where, as I have mentioned before, the nastiest of the nasty comments have come out. But never are they this bad:

I just want to let you know that the little skit u do for ARBYS..SUCKS..for one do you think ur black pants could be any looks like someone had painted them on you..and your Wairing blue eye shadow..and red lip stick..can you say 1970..and the belt..yuck..and lets not forget the red blush..i have no idea.Who dose your make up or picks your cloths..but they need help BAD..its funny when were all sittin down at a place for dinner..and the servers..and coustmers..always have something to say about you and your so call fashion..we though leah was bad.but you cut the cake..IM just being honest with you..ohh and lets not forget the blue shrit...HAHAHA...tacky. ABBY..learn how to pick the right colors..and cloths..and with you skin tone. u need to wair light earth tones..not BLUE.AND RED..that makes u look like a hooker..but what can i say..YOUR working for foxtoledo.and half the people there could use help..i know im proubly the only one saying anything about this and u have not receved, any emails.thats because i guess im the only one who has the balls to say..YOU SUCK..and you really need a fashion lesson ..cant wait to see what the people of fox toledo pick for next year..seeing that the last 2 people were homely or just dont know style from a whole n the ground..]

I received the above at my FOX email. Though I’ve felt the rejection of pageants and theatre for years, and clearly this person is an idiot (me in earth tones? hahaha!) but this still stings. I know I should not respond to him, but while I mull over it, it’s therapeutic just to post it here!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Congratulations to the New Miss Greater Dayton, Jillian Dansko!

This afternoon Jillian Dansko was crowned the new Miss Greater Dayton! Jillian is a Communications major at John Carroll University; she performed a tap dance to "Drums" and promotes artistic involvement for the disabled. Jillian exemplifies the perseverance which is necessary for success with her extensive pageant resume. After competing in many preliminary pageants she won the last pageant of the season, Miss Buckeye State, back in 2004. With her first title she was named to the Top 10 at Miss Ohio, after which she went back to a lot of competing, finally winning one of the very first pageants of the 05/06 pageant season, Miss North Coast. Thus, Miss Greater Dayton will be her third attempt at the Miss Ohio crown.

Tonight Jillian also won the Outstanding Interview and Swimsuit awards. [Above, Becky Minger crowns Jillian; photo by PSK Innovations.]

First Runner-up, Alyssa Hanson, a student at Oakwood High School, is new to the Miss Ohio pageants. Her platform is "Embracing Identity Through Personal Achievement" and she sang “Reflection."

Katie Camp was named Second Runner-up; she also won the Outstanding Evening Gown and Talent awards, appropriately considering she is a dance major at Wright State University. Katie performed a tap dance to "Sandman" and promotes the arts as her platform. Katie has no doubt raked in the money by often being a runner-up, but is still in search of a crown!

Amy Allen was named Third Runner-up. She is a graduate student at Mt. Vernon Nazarene College pursuing a Master of Business Administration. Amy sang "I'll Forget You," and works with Habitat for Humanity. She often wins Spirit Awards and I’m so excited some judges have finally opened their eyes to what the rest of us have been seeing!

Kyrsten Chamber was named Fourth Runner-up; Kyrsten studies Political Science and Communications at Miami University of Ohio. She is quite devoted to her platform, Youth Literature and performed a Tahitian dance. She is looking for her second crown, having been Miss West Central Ohio.

Congrats to all! Sorry this blog was a bit delayed… I don’t work too quickly while watching the Academy Awards! So far it seems off-the-shoulder cap sleeves or asymmetric single straps on the gowns is the “it” look, as well as silvers, red and black. Also, I’m so disappointed that Jennifer Hudson just won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar… Dreamgirls was good, but not that good!
On a completely different note than the pageant or the Oscars, today is Hanz’ four month birthday (that’s seventeen and a half weeks in annoying “mommy speak”)!

In the top photo Hanz was only seven and a half weeks old. The bottom photo, taken moments ago, was completely staged for comparison purposed, as the puppy is NOT allowed on the couch… Well, it wasn't completely staged, Loren was actually sleeping! :)

Best of Luck to the Miss Greater Dayton Program!

This afternoon, at 4 p.m. in the Engineer's Club of Dayton Auditorium the fabulous Becky Minger will crown a new Miss Greater Dayton! In her first attempt at Miss Ohio, Becky won a preliminary Swimsuit award and was named First Runner-up; she'll try again this June as Miss Northwestern Ohio. She is a vocalist who attends Bowling Green State University (Go Falcons!); her platform deals with building self-esteem in youth, click here to check out her blog for great appearance photos.

One of ten ladies will have high stilettos to fill, as the past three Miss Greater Dayton’s have been in the Top 10! Thank you (and good luck) to the awesome
Amy Allen for sharing the following contestant list:

1. Kristen Liguori
2. Dashae Johnson
3 Heather Lindsay
4. Alyssa Hanson
5. Jillian Dansko
6. Katie Camp
7. Amy Allen
8. Amanda Culp
9. Heather Wells
10.Kyrsten Chambers

Tickets are a steep $15;
click here for more information.

Best of luck to all the contestants!

Friday, February 23, 2007

My Take on American Idol...

I got it really wrong! I didn't pick one of the four who went home tonight!
I work for a local FOX affiliate, I agreed almost entirely with Simon this past Tuesday and Wednesday... but I guess that means nothing! HA!


Also, I plan to put my critique on my FOX blog after each show and want to come up with a cute, catchy title…
Abby on Idol, Abby’s American Idol Insight, etc..
please help me with some other ideas!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Meet Miss Ohio USA, Anna Melomud

One of the biggest differences between Miss Ohio and Miss Ohio USA is local preliminary pageants. To get to Miss Ohio you must first win a local crown; to compete in Miss Ohio USA, on the other hand, you must simply apply, be accepted and pay. Since Miss Ohio USA is only three days long, has over 80 contestants and there are no prelims to get there… you don’t exactly get to know many of your fellow competitors, nor does the audience.

But, with Miss USA about a month away, the official website has published interviews with each state contestant, so we can finally get to know Miss Ohio USA, Anna Melomud. Click here or read below:

What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
I went parasailing while on a family vacation in the Dominican Republic. I am extremely afraid of heights, so it was incredibly exhilarating, and to my own surprise not a bit scary!

Please list any schools and universities you have attended or are attending. What was your area of study? What year did you finish at the school? What degree or certificate, if any, did you receive?.
High School: Richmond Heights High School; Year Completed: 2002 College: Kent State University; Area of Study: Biological Sciences, Pre-Medicine; Year Completed: 2007; Degree: Bachelor of Sciences in Biology, Pre-Medicine

Please list any honors/awards you have received in the past 2 years?
Kent State University Dean's List

Are you currently employed? If so, what is your current occupation?I am currently a full-time student at Kent State Universtiy.

What are your strongest talents?
I believe my strongest talent is my ability to focus. When I am faced with a task, I give my all to make sure I do my best. Surely, this talent comes in handy when staying up late studying for exams!

Name one personal accomplishment (in addition to being a State Titleholder) that makes you especially proud.
One accomplishment that I am extremely proud of is applying to medical schools. I put a lot of hard work and dedication towards preparing for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). The process was grueling and nerve-racking but very well worth it.

List your hobbies and favorite activities.
Organic, Chemistry, Spending time with my new nephew, Working out, especially Pilates, Cooking, Watching medical shows, Playing with my dog, Meeting new people, Traveling, Reading, Learning about anything medically related

What is the most important thing you want the judges to know about you?
I was born in Ukraine and my family moved to the United States when I was ten years old. I am currently in the process of applying to medical schools where I plan on earning a Doctor of Osteopathy degree and practicing Family Medicine in the future. I am fluent in Russian, which has allowed me to help many doctors with the doctor-patient language barrier that is encountered in medical settings. I also consider myself a bookworm since Organic Chemistry is one of my favorite subjects.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Musical Miss’

Miss America 2002, Katie Harman is truly a Ms. with musical talent. After a few years of dormancy, she has updated her website in conjunction with the release of a new CD. The new site is full of gorgeous new photos and you can listen to all the songs in their entirety. Check it out!

In other news, Miss USA Tara Conner is a musical miss (pun intended), as an “exclusive” article from the New York Post claims she’s headed to Broadway. Columnist Michael Riedel writes:

Tara Conner, whose cocaine snorting and boozing nearly cost her the crown, has secretly been rehearsing to star as Roxie Hart in the hit Broadway musical "Chicago."

CLICK HERE for the entire February 16th article.


What made me laugh even harder was when anonymous contributors on both Miss America and Miss USA fan message boards discussed the article, assuming it to be true. It’s a very well crafted joke, people! A joke I made right here on this blog back on December 19. Allow me to be a huge narcissist for a moment and quote myself:

Much like the character I performed as for my Miss Ohio talent, Roxie Hart from the musical Chicago, Conner said she got caught up in the whirlwind of big city life, but does not think she is an alcoholic.

Grease may have become a reality show but if the talents of the amazing Bebe Neuwirth are replaced by the likes of Tara Conner I’ll be headed straight to NASA to take my rightful place as an astronaut!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Did The Polls Get It Right?

For a second year in a row, the polls did not get it right. In fact, the polls didn’t do well at all! While Miss Oklahoma made both Top 10 lists, overall they each only got 40% of the Top 10 right. The polls are at the I Love Miss America homepage and Turn for the Judges; the results are as follows:

O . ILMAal .. ....Official........ .TFTJ .....
Poll ......... Results ........PPoll

#1. MS........#1. OK........#1. GA
#2. TX........#2. TX........#2. AR
#3. OK........#3. GA........#3. TX
#4. GA........#4. MS........#4. CO
#5. MI........#5. AL........#5. TN
#6. TN........n/a CA........#6. MS
#7. CO........n/a HI........#7. OK
#8. MO........n/a PA........#8. MS
#9. CT........n/a UT........#9. FL
#10. AR.......n/a WA........#10. VI

CMT also sponsored a contest in which you could win one million dollars if you selected the correct Top 10, Top 5 and Top 3 (in order). Neither a winner or results for this poll of sorts have been released. Fan message boards speculate that there was not a winner. Further, many feel certain states we put in the Top 10 to ensure there would be no one million dollar winner. As a contestant, I never allowed myself to “buy into” such conspiracy theories, however, with the fan polls down from last year’s 60% accuracy to this year’s 40%, I imagine many, like me, we disappointed and confused by the Top 10.

In another CMT Poll, Miss Missouri, Sarah French won the Best Smile award. Also, the Miss America contestants voted for Miss Congeniality while they filmed the show "Pageant School" early in the fall. The top three vote-getters were announced to the public, who then got to select the winner. Miss Congeniality went to Miss Alabama, Melinda Toole. While I appreciate encouraging audience involvement, I really feel that Miss Congeniality should be completely selected by the contestants.

In searching for other polls I found Is it time to scrap Miss America? and Do you watch the Miss America pageant? The results thus far are pretty disconcerting, so please, click and vote favorably.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

News from Miss America: McMaster Named President and CEO

February 13, 2007 - Atlantic City, NJ -
The Miss America Organization's Chairman of the Board, Sam Haskell, III announced today that Art McMaster has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Miss America Organization...

CLICK HERE to read this not-so surprising Press Release, as McMaster has clearly been in charge for some time.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Winter Finally Found Northwestern Ohio!

They're calling for the "Valentines Blizzard..." but we'll see!
Here are some of my favorite backyard snow pictures from recent weeks.

[Click each photo to enlarge.]

[Above: male cardinal, left; female, right. Sadly of the five pairs who inhabit my backyard; none of the males and females can share the feeder at the same time!]

[Above: a Carolina chickadee hangs from my suet pack, left; on the right is one of my favorite birds because they’re just too cute, a snow bunting, aka snow bird, aka junco.]

[Above: house finches enjoy the seed while Hanz asks “Why are you taking my picture, it’s cold, woman! Open the door!”]

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Random thoughts on a Sunday night...

First, family is the best! I'm so happy that my parents and niece drove up to visit Loren and I today... but I'm not fooled... they just wanted to see how much the puppy has grown!

Second, in a stroke of luck we caught a Miss America rerun on CMT (the folks don't have cable and couldn't come up and watch it live with me this year, as they both had to work the next morning). Like me, they loved Miss Mississippi from the beginning and my mom was in shock when she didn't make the Top 3. However, my parents felt our new Miss America, Lauren Nelson was the second best of an overall weak Top 10.

Third, in contests of other types, I was extremely elated and disappointed in a matter of moments (I'm a channel flipper!). I was overjoyed when the Grammy's awarded the talent and politics of the Dixie Chicks, as the amazing song "Not Ready to Make Nice" won Best Song of the Year. (And yay, they just won Record of the Year as I type... although they need to enroll in acceptance speech 101.) Sadly, on Beauty and the Geek, (a show which encourages “geeks” to develop self confidence and “beauties” to become less shallow and rely on more than just their looks), the most self-absorbed annoying female contestant, Cecile, has advanced to the final episode. I have no doubt such reality shows are manipulated by producers, so I’m sure she won’t win, as to not disprove the learning aspect of the show; nonetheless, it’s always frustrating to watch such people succeed.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Forensics Photos: CFA and Novice States

The coaching staff who traveled to CFA Nationals in Montreal.
[L-R: Jeff, Paul, me, Anna and Tony]

The team, out and about, in freezing cold Montreal!
[L-R: Amanda, Mike, J*Cole, Lew, Michelle, me, Anna, Kenny and Kayla]

Here I am judging at the Novice State Tournament, hosted by BGSU… probably writing something mean!

Our Novice team last weekend after the State Tournament.
[Standing L-R: Mike, Alex, MJ, Greg and Paul;
kneeling L-R: Amanda, Allie and Kayla]

BG Alumni who judged the Novice State Tournament.
[L-R: me, Kent, Anna and Cynthia]

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Forensics Press: Forensics team works to win it all

Forensics team works to win it all

By Amy Utendorf of the BGNews
Thursday February 8, 2007

They have already won nearly 200 awards. They defended the Collegiate Forensics Association national title for the sixth year in a row. They've won 14 awards as a team, and they are not done yet.... Most join for the experience, which can benefit many majors such as marketing, teaching and law. Others join to get over their fear of public speaking....

The team describes a tournament as being like a track meet. Each member participates in five of 12 events. Some have one speech they carry through the entire season. Others such as debate, change from tournament to tournament.

The past two faces of Fox News have been members. Leah D'Emilio is now moving on to Los Angeles television. Abby Bollenbacher has moved on to the Washington Speaker's Bureau. Shelly Nickson is now in five shows in Chicago.

Click here for the entire article

While it's Jason Lynch, not me, working for the Washington Speakers Bureau, at least we finally got an article...

Monday, February 5, 2007

Pageant Press: Camp crowned Miss Maple City

[LOU REDA/REFLECTOR Miss Maple City 2007 Roberta Camp, of Orient, is crowned by last year’s queen, Erin Jeffery, at the conclusion of the scholarship competition Saturday night at the Main Street School auditorium.]

Camp Crowned Miss Maple City
by Aaron Krause of the Norwalk Reflector
Monday, February 5, 2007

"Roberta Camp has wanted to become Miss America since she was 9, when she'd watch the pageant show with her mother. Camp kept that dream alive after her crowning Saturday night as Miss Maple City 2007. "I really am in shock," the new Miss Maple City said as she signed autographs. "I was competing with 15 beautiful, accomplished young ladies." Camp attributed her victory to hard work."I gave 110 percent for every level of competition."

Read the entire article by CLICKING HERE.

Pageant Pictures!

[Above left: Miss Clayland Allie Krucek with with the new Miss Maple City, Roberta Camp; Right: the new Miss Stark County, Laura Estrada.]

These photos were copied from Allie and Elyse’s blogs; click to enlarge. Check them out for more great photos:

Miss Ohio Sisters

The Road to Miss Ohio Continues...

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Congratulations to the New Miss Stark County, Laura Estrada!

A pageant attendee has just confirmed the following for me:

Miss Stark County: Laura Estrada

1st Runner-up: Lauren Shatlock

2nd Runner-up: Alyssa Spiecher

Spirit Award: Amy Allen

Congrats to all!

[Photo on the left: Laura in Evening Gown at Miss Maumee Valley; taken by Loren.]

Best of Luck to the Miss Stark County Pageant!

Tonight at the North Canton Civic Center, Elyse Healy will crown a new Miss Stark County! CLICK HERE or HERE for more information.

Best of luck to all.

The photo on the right is one of my favorites from Miss Ohio 2006- Elyse and her frog competing in the hopping contest at the City of Ontario Festival. She is a vocalist attending Youngstown State University. In her first trip to Miss Ohio as Miss Stark County Elyse was named the Third Runner-up. She represented Ohio at the National Sweetheart pageant and will be back at Miss Ohio this summer as Miss Greater Cleveland. Visit her blog, The Road to Miss Ohio Continues by clicking here.

The contestants are as follow:

1. absent
2. Amanda Culp
3. Jillian Dansko
4. absent
5. Ashley Hartman
6. Rachel Maris
7. Kimberly Cicerchi
Amy Allen
9. Noelle Lelakus
10. Krystle Formosa
11. Laura Estrada
12. Jami Kinton
13. Lauren Shatlock
14. Alyssa Speicher
15. Jennifer Nageotte

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Congratulations to the New Miss Maple City, Roberta Camp!

Miss Maple City: Roberta Camp

1st Runner-up: Angela Funovits
2nd Runner-up: Jillian Dansko
3rd Runner-up: Katie Camp
4th Runner-up: Alyssa Spiecher

Interview: Angela Funovits
Talent: Roberta Camp
Swimsuit: Jillian Dansko

To meet all the contestant search February 1st of

Special thanks to my “informants,” a carload of BGSU titleholders who peacefully included a University of Toledo student (“rivals of I-75!”) Above left; left to right: Miss Clayland, Allie Krucek, Miss Northwestern Ohio, Becky Minger, Miss All-America City, Lauren Hogan and Miss Maumee Valley, Kristen Haas. Above right: Lauren and Miss Ohio 2005, Marlia Fontaine. [Photos "stolen" with permission from Lauren's Facebook account. Click each to enlarge.]

Best of Luck to the Miss Maple City pageant!

The Miss Maple City Pageant will take place in Norwalk Ohio at the Main Street School.
CLICK HERE for more information.
[Photo on the left from Erin's Facebook.]

Best of luck to all!

The beautiful Erin Jeffery will be crowning one on sixteen contestants. Erin has competed at Miss Ohio three times and at Miss Ohio USA twice, placing in the Top 5 at the later. She is a vocalist studying Communications at the University of Cincinnati, and in exciting personal news, she got engaged to her longtime boyfriend the same day as Miss West Central Ohio this fall. [Right: Erin, Kyrsten Chambers and I after Miss WCO.]
Check out Erin’s platform website, inspired by her dad’s military service: Operation We Remember.

The contestants are as follows:

1. Rachel Maris
2. Jackie Adams
3. Janelle Zindroski
4. Jillian Dansko
5. Amy Allen
6. Jami Kinton
7. Amanda Culp
8. Kristen Liguori
Ashley Hartman
10. Brooke Waddles
11. Heater Waterman
12. Katie Camp
13. Jennifer Nageotte
14. Angela Fungovits
15. Alyssa Speicher
16. Roberta Camp

Friday, February 2, 2007

Sisterly Support in Sin City....

The Miss Ohio delegation supporting Melanie in Las Vegas included the four current/former local titleholders above!

[Left to right: Laura Estrada, Miss Northwestern Ohio Becky Minger, Miss Clayland Allie Krucek and Jillian Dansko; photo from Allie.]

CLICK HERE to check out Allie's blog;
she has many great photos and anecdotes.

Becky has updated her Facebook photos, but not yet her blog; I'm sure it's just a matter of time.