Thursday, June 14, 2007

Abby’s Take on Preliminary Night Two

As I mentioned below, Loren and I watched Wednesday night’s competition at (Check out the site; you can rewatch the past two nights any time, they're listed as archives!) Of course, it’s unbelievably better in person, but the web access is still great.

Some aspects of the production changed, such as the theme from Titanic instead of the old Hollywood tap number, and a disco finale instead of Grease. This is a very nice touch and I’m sure the variety is much appreciated by the parents and E.D.’s who are there every night.

And if you ever wonder what it's like from the contestant's and entertainer's point of view, now you know thanks to the great photo above.

The Contestants

While the ladies glided across the stage in Evening Gown, Loren and I sat at the kitchen table enjoying grilled chicken and corn on the cob, which was even odder than being in the audience. Again, most of the women had new gowns. I absolutely loved Jillian Dansko’s strapless animal print gown! Nanciann Strosnider floated across the stage in a gorgeous white gown that has already been proven crown worthy in Nebraska.

I predicted Night Two would be a very tough talent night, and though folks from across the country who were watching and chatting online were not hugely impressed, I know that in person it must have been amazing. Ericka Gelhaus performed an outstanding aria in a lovely rose colored ball gown to win the Preliminary Talent Award. I’m sure this is very exciting for Melissa and the Miss Lake Festival crew. Hopefully my hometown newspaper will write an article about her, and if so I’ll be sure to share the link. As usual, I was impressed by Karissa Martin’s rendition of “I Feel Pretty.” This song is decidedly overdone in pageantland, but that doesn’t matter when it’s done well. Christie Youssef’s harp performance was also quite competitive, thanks to its uniqueness and seemingly high level of difficulty, in the opinions of Loren and I. Finally, Kasey Wilson always does a nice job; her new song was very soothing but perhaps not engaging enough. While the title probably doesn’t ring a bell, the melody is quite familiar, I am almost positive it’s used on a national ad campaign, but I can’t recall for what… a credit card commercial perhaps…?

Swimsuit was probably the most difficult to judge via the internet broadcast. Despite a slight stumble, Rachel Maris looked great. Loren and I also liked Kristen Haas and Roberta Camp. Roberta and her red two piece won the Swimsuit Preliminary Award, making her a double preliminary winner! Allison West and Ericka Gelhaus have the chance to become the same as they compete in Talent and Swimsuit in the final prelim, respectively.

As for Onstage Question, as usual Elyse Healey was very confident. Emcee Mark Schnitkey accidentally called Lauren Hogan “Logan;” I thought her humble correction really showed her personality, unlike women in the past who have come off rather snotty in the same situation. Finally, I love both Andrea Andrycik’s platform and the passion with which she speaks about it.

So… that’s my take… again, please don’t be mad if I didn’t mention your contestant, or if you disagree with my opinion.

[All the photos in this entry (except the new Miss Nebraska) are by Jason J. Molyet of the Mansfield News Journal. The entire photo gallery is HERE and don't forget to check out the official Miss Ohio photographer's shots HERE.]


  1. "I Feel Pretty" was used in a Nike commercial with Anna K., a tennis player. I loved that commercial.

    Jillian's gown was designed by Kayne from Project Runway and now a designer for Wow Prom.

  2. Thanks Amy, that's great info!

    I'm still driving myself nuts trying to remember what commercial Kasey's aria is featured in.

    I am so jealous of Jillian, I really wanted to go meet Kayne when he was at Catan's!

    Have a fun and safe trip to South Korea, Amy, it's so exciting that you're going!



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