Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Miss Portsmouth and Miss Scioto Valley in Review

Saturday night in Portsmouth two tappers danced away with the titles Miss Scioto Valley and Miss Portsmouth. Miss Ohio (and former Miss Scioto Valley) Roberta Camp was on hand as outgoing Miss Portsmouth and Top 10 Semifinalist at Miss Ohio, Christie Youssef, crowned Katie Camp. Karissa Martin, the outgoing Miss Scioto Valley, Second Runner-up to Miss Ohio and reigning Miss Clayland, crowned Megan Wombacker.

Originally from Newark, Katie Camp studies Business Marketing at Wright State University and is a member of Alpha Xi Delta. She often performs the tap routine “Sandman” and she advocates Mentoring Through the Arts. Katie has placed consistently in past pageants, specifically this season she was First Runner-up at Miss Miami Valley. With the title Miss Portsmouth she will be competing at Miss Ohio for the first time.

The new Miss Scioto Valley, Megan Wombacker is also headed to Mansfield for a first time, after persevering through four previous local pageants this season. She is an Accounting major and Marketing and Management minor at Kent State University. A native of Hermitage Pennsylvania, she performs a tap routine to the pop song "Black Horse and a Cherry Tree" and her platform is “Giving Voice to Vision.” Be sure to check out Megan's Blog for a great account of the winning moment.

Katie and Megan have competed tirelessly at locals and I am so excited to finally see both of them heading to Miss Ohio!

First Runner-up Emily Cousino is a vocalist who advocates Heart Start Education. She studies Art Therapy and Business and Computer Systems at Lourdes College. This year at Miss Ohio as Miss Mansfield she won the Non-finalist Interview award.

The Second Runner-up, Ashley Hartman, is a lyrical dancer who studies Communication at the University of Akron. She advocates Internet Safety, so of course she has a website, click here to check it out!

The non-finalists were Melissa Nicole Stevens, Adriane Eastman, Ceci Purtee, Amber Bussa and Carrie Lewis.

[Above left to right: Teen Runner-up Amber Miller, Ohio's Outstanding Teen Ashley Miller, Portsmouth's Teen Kara Beth Wagner, Scioto Valley's Teen Kari Boles, Miss Scioto Valley 2006 Karissa Martin, Miss Scioto Valley 2007 Megan Wombacker, Miss Portsmouth 2006 Christie Youssef, Miss Portsmouth 2007 Katie Camp, 1st Runner-up Emily Cousina and 2nd Runner-up Ashley Hartman.]

Ashley Miller, Miss Portsmouth’s Outstanding Teen went on to become Miss Ohio’s Outstanding Teen and represent the state at Miss America’s Outstanding Teen in Orlando. She crowned not only one, but two new teens Saturday night. Kara Beth Wagner is Miss Portsmouth’s new Outstanding Teen and Kari Boles was crowned Miss Scioto Valley’s Outstanding Teen. Amber Miller (Ashley’s sister) was named First Runner-up.

The remaining Teen contestants were Hannah Pack, Megan Willis, Emilee Lowe and Shelby Willis.

Several former titleholders attended to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the pageant!

[Pageant photos from Paul; scroll below for more.]

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Congrats to the New Miss Portsmouth, Katie Camp and New Miss Scioto Valley, Megan Wombacker!

Miss Portsmouth:
Katie Camp

Miss Scioto Valley:
Megan Wombacker

1st Runner-up:
Emily Cousino

2nd Runner-up:
Ashley Hartman

Thanks to Paul for the photos; more coverage coming soon...

Congrats to the New Miss Portsmouth and Scioto Valley Outstanding Teens!

Miss Portsmouth Outstanding Teen: Kara Beth Wagner
Miss Scioto Valley Outstanding Teen: Kari Boles

Amber Miller: 1st Runner-Up

Saturday, October 27, 2007

I just got home from the Forensics tournament to find these photos waiting for me in my inbox; thanks Paul! They're from the litter girls pageant held earlier today in Portsmouth.
Still no word on tonight's Miss and Teen pageant...

Friday, October 26, 2007

Best of Luck to the Miss Portsmouth/ Scioto Valley and Outstanding Teen Programs!

Tomorrow night in Portsmouth four, that’s right FOUR women will be crowned: Miss Portsmouth, Miss Scioto Valley, Miss Portsmouth’s Outstanding Teen and Miss Scioto Valley’s Outstanding Teen!

The pageant will take place at 7:30 p.m. at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts on the campus of Shawnee State University. [The photo on the left is from Christie's Facebook, I assume it's from their Miss Ohio send-off. L-R: Christie, Karissa, E.D. Greg Davis and Ashley.]

The outgoing Miss Scioto Valley is Karissa Martin, who was Second Runner-up to Miss Ohio; she has already won a new title, Miss Clayland. Miss Portsmouth, Christie Youssef was a Top 10 Semifinalist, but I believe she has “aged-out.” Ashley Miller, Miss Portsmouth’s Outstanding Teen went on to become Miss Ohio’s Outstanding Teen and represented the Buckeye state at the national pageant! (This is the first year for Miss Scioto Valley’s Teen.)

Reigning Miss Ohio and former Miss Scioto Valley Roberta Camp will be in attendance, and I believe, a part of the show.

The following women will be competing for the Miss titles:

1. Melissa Nicole Stevens
2. Ashley Hartman
3. Adriane Eastman
4. Katie Camp
5. Ceci Purtee
Megan Wombacker
7. Amber Bussa
8. Carrie Lewis
9. Emily Cousino

Teen Contestants

1. Amber Miller
2. Hannah Pack
3. Megan Willis
4. Emilee Lowe
5. Kara Beth Wagner
6. Shelby Willis

I'll be judging a Forensics tournament all day in Akron tomorrow, then have a Halloween party when I return, but will try to post the results quickly in between. Best of luck to everyone!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Return of the Pageant Poll of the Week: Pageant Place

Now that three episodes of Pageant Place have aired, what do we think?

Direct Link

Feel free to leave your thoughts about the show, and what you've heard others say (especially non-pageant people) as comments.

*For those of you voting for "Huh? What is Pageant Place?," it's a reality show on MTV feature the Trump titleholders (Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss Universe) who live together in a New York City apartment.
Former Miss USA, Tara Conner, who is known for almost losing her crown, then going to rehab is also on the show as a helping "mother hen."
CLICK HERE for yesterday's article 'Pageant Place' star Tara Conner sees mistakes as "life lessons."

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pageant Press: Miss Ohio helps promote food drive...

Miss Ohio helps promote food drive at dealership

MANSFIELD -- Miss Ohio Roberta Camp came to Mansfield on Tuesday to kick off the Make A Difference Day Food Drive scheduled Friday and Saturday throughout Richland County.

The drive will help restock seven food pantries in Richland County. Camp, of Grove City, said she wanted to help out the food drive in the home of the Miss Ohio Scholarship Program. At Graham Auto Mall, Camp signed autographs and spread the word about the need for donations.

She also visited students at Malabar Middle, Plymouth-Shiloh Middle and Mansfield Senior High schools to remind students to bring in items. Students will orchestrate drives today, Thursday and Friday.

Camp, who spends much of her time visiting Ohio schools, spreads the message of character education.... "I talk with students about the importance of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship," she said, noting this week is National Character Counts Week....

On Monday, she will leave on a Miss America fundraising cruise with 24 other contestants.

"The first week of November, I'll be gone 10 days filming in Hollywood," she said of the Miss America reality show taping. "You won't see me until Thanksgiving."

A vocalist, she has been busy rehearsing her song for the talent presentation at Miss America. She has chosen "Open Arms" by Journey.

"I got my new interview suit in the mail Monday," she said. She's counting down the days until the competition.

"I'm excited, but when I envision standing on the Miss America stage, I get a little nervous," she said.

Tuesday night she headed back to Grove City to begin packing. Since winning Miss Ohio in June on the Renaissance Theatre stage, Camp has put more than 12,000 miles on her car.

"That was four months and five days ago," she said.

CLICK HERE for the entire article by Lou Whitmire.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Pageant Press: American Idol Director and Fashion Rocks Producer Tapped for Miss America 2008

LOS ANGELES, CA and ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – October 22, 2007 – TLC has teamed Grammy Award-winning producer Anthony Eaton and Emmy Award-winning director Bruce Gowers to helm the all-new 2008 MISS AMERICA LIVE! event, the stunning conclusion to TLC’s Miss America reality series.

CLICK HERE for the entire press release.

TLC tapped Grammy Award-winning producer Anthony Eaton and Emmy Award-winning director Bruce Gowers to produce its live Jan. 26 Miss America Live pageant telecast.

Eaton, who heads up Tall Pony Productions, has produced such major network specials like Fashion Rocks, Tsunami Aid: A Concert of Hope, and The 6th Annual Radio Music Awards.

Gowers, best known for directing Fox’s American Idol has also directed such shows as So You Think You Can Dance and Celebrity Duets.

CLICK HERE for the entire article.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Extended Miss Maumee Valley/ All*American City Deadline

I am disappointed to pass along that Eric and Linda need 3 more contestants in order to give away both titles! Contact them and apply by this Thursday, the 25th at 5 p.m.!

I know the CMN donation sucks, to be blunt, but with double the chance to get to Miss Ohio and the Gallippo's photo shoot, this pageant is worth it!

Oh, what an Oklahoma parade...

I’ve been scrolling past this link for a few days on the unofficial Miss America message board and finally clicked on it to find quite a production!

CLICK HERE and take five minutes to watch!

It’s the Oklahoma Centennial Parade featuring all five Oklahoma Miss Americas in a musical number. Reigning Miss America, and Oklahoma native, Lauren Nelson has a lengthy solo and is the grand marshal. Of course it’s extremely campy* and Lauren's attire is disappointing, but you can’t ignore the production value. It obviously took a lot of choreography and practice and is impressive in that respect; it’s always great to see former Miss Americas together and in the press too!

*Campy: the theatre word for expected and accepted corniness. Sorry to offend anyone's intelligence, but I was told it's not a well known term.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Apply for Miss Maumee Valley, Miss All*American City and Miss Maumee Valley's Outstanding Teen!

The application deadline is TOMORROW (October 22) for Miss Maumee Valley , Miss All*American City and Maumee Valley’s Outstanding Teen. If 15 Miss contestants apply three crowns would be given, but I have a feeling that’s a big if. Nonetheless, this is a quality program and I strongly encourage all eligible contestants to apply. [Left: reigning Miss All*American City Lauren Hogan, reigning Miss Maumee Valley Kristen Haas and I at last years pageant after I crowned them.]

The pageant will be held Sunday November 4th at the Maumee High School Performing Arts Center. This is the same wonderful facility that housed it last year. Also, the winners receive one of the best prize packages among Miss Ohio locals, a photo shoot with Gallippo’s Photography.

So… Get those aps in the mail tomorrow ladies!

Eric and Linda Wagener
7530 Yawberg Road
Whitehouse, OH 43571

Lauren's Gallippo's photos

Kristen's Gallippo's photos

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Roberta's Miss America Headshot

The Miss America website posted pictures of the 2008 contestants over a month ago, but Roberta was one of nearly a dozen who didn't show up. Finally the problem was corrected and this is the image on the website. “Official headshots” at the state and national level are always anxiously anticipated, thus the website glitch has been frustrating and inexcusable to many. I find Roberta’s photo lovely, and the best headshot I’ve seen of her, as it should be. CLICK HERE for my take on some of the other headshots.

It’s interesting to notes, when the headshots initially appeared on the Miss America website there was quite a bit of message board discussion about the rules for the headshots this year. Apparently they were supposed to be straight-on with no head turns or funny angles and the background was to be plain. Only a few states followed these guidelines closely, and the consensus was that their pictures were not good! Those guidelines make for mug shots and passport pictures more than a pageant headshot! (IE: Florida, California, Texas and South Carolina.) People from states who did follow the rules were frustrated that Miss America accepted the photos from “rule breakers.” I for one am glad that Paul, Roberta and whoever is helping her, selected the best picture of her, even though it doesn’t follow the guidelines.

Miss Portsmouth/ Scioto Valley Contestant list

Check out Megan and Amy's blogs for more infomation and the Miss contestant list for Miss Portsmouth and Scioto Valley.

The Teens are:

1. Amber Miller
2. Hannah Pack
3. Megan Willis
4. Emilee Lowe
5. Kara Beth Wagner
6. Shelby Willis

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Breaking Pageant News: Winnwear Named Miss America Swimsuit Sponsor

Winnwear Designer Swimwear, a swimsuit company founded by former Miss America contestant Sueanne Winn, has been named the official swimwear sponsor of Miss America Live! for 2008. Winn’s designs, which feature European fabrics and a custom fit, will make a cool splash with the 52 Miss America contestants...

Winnwear founder and CEO Sueanne Winn expressed her enthusiasm at being named Miss America’s swimwear partner. “As a former contestant myself, I know from personal experience how the Miss America Pageant can make dreams come true,” said Winn. “In addition to showcasing our swimwear collection, Winnwear will donate to the Miss America scholarship program to help talented young women achieve their personal and professional goals.”

CLICK HERE for the complete press release.

CLICK HERE for Winnwear's website to view their collection (The photos were not "savable" or I would have just posted some here.)

Thank you Nancy M. for bringing this press release to my attention! In other good news, Miss Portsmouth/ Scioto Valley/ Portsmouth Teen did get enough contestants to give away all three crowns! You can breath now Greg!

And now I'm off to get my makeup done for an IMTA headshots photo shoot. Then I'm teaching an acting class from 6 to 8... and I've been up since 5 a.m. to do the radio show this morning, after which I had a job interview. I'm sooo tired!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Pageant Press

Tokyo - Miss Universe, Riyo Mori of Japan, has agreed to stop wearing fur after a protest campaign by animal-rights activists...

CLICK HERE for the whole article.

UHRICHSVILLE – The third time proved to be the charm for Karissa Martin, 19, the newly crowned 2008 Miss Clayland. Martin was second runner-up in the 2007 pageant and first runner-up in the 2006 event. “It’s just amazing!” Martin said...

CLICK HERE for the whole article.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Miss Clayland Photos

[Above: Allie Krucek crowns the new Miss Clayland, Karissa Martin.]

I've been away for a few days, first to my parents and then to a cabin in Amish country near Mansfield where Loren was hunting. (He got his first buck with a bow!) It was so nice to be away… where cell phones barely work and there’s no internet! From my hometown where every farmer is in the field picking corn, including my 89 year old grandpa, to the beautiful rolling hills and curvy roads of mid-Ohio…

Anyway, here are the pictures you've probably already seen on other sites.
[Below left L-R: April O'Brien, Community Service winner Megan Wombacker, Miss Clayland '06 Allie Krucek, Miss Clayland '07 Karissa Martin, 1st RU and Talent winner Erica Gelhaus, Ashley Bowman, Interview winner Amy Allen and Grace Caudill. Right: Allie says farewell.]

[Above left: Miss Clayland '06 Allie Krucek, Miss Clayland '07 Karissa Martin and 1st RU Erica Gelhaus; right: Miss Lake Festival Heather Waterman, Miss Ohio Valley Brandi Herceg, Miss North East Ohio Jenna Wilson and Miss Open City Zephylia Khooblall.] Above photos by Paul Krajnyak.

These last two are from Amy Allen.

Check out pictures of the entire pageant HERE.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Congrats to the New Miss Clayland, Karissa Martin!

Miss Clayland: Karissa Martin

1st Runner-Up: Erica Gelhaus
Talent: Erica Gelhaus
Interview: Amy Allen
Community Service: Megan Wombacker

[Photo on the left was taken last fall after Karissa won her first title.]

Roberta with Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel

Thanks Paul Krajnyak for the above photo.

Best of Luck to the Miss Clayland Program Tonight!

Tonight in Uhrichsville the always lovely Allie Krucek will crown a new Miss Clayland! This year at Miss Ohio Allie was a Top 10 Semifinalist. [Right: Allie performs her lyrical dance at Miss Ohio to "Oh so quiet." It was oh so cute!] The “Clayland Crew” is known for well prepared, successful contestants at Miss Ohio, and giving great scholarships. This year the winner will receive $2250, 1st Runner-up will get $400, the Talent, Interview and Community Service Award winners will each receive $200 and excitingly, each non-finalist will also receive $200!

Thus, it is sad and shocking that only seven women are competing.
They are:

Amy Allen is a vocalist who works with Habitat for Humanity. She holds a Master in Business Administration from Mount Vernon Nazarene. Amy is no stranger to the pageant system, having won many Spirit awards. [This season: Amy won the Spirit Award at Miss Greater Cleveland/ Open City and competed at Miss Lake Erie/ Northern Ohio.]

Ashley Bowman was listed in contestant paperwork, but she does not have a CMN donation page. She is a high schooler who advocates Demolishing Domestic Violence. [This is Ashley's first pageant of the season.]

Grace Caudill studies International Relations, Diplomacy and Business Administration at Ohio State University. In 2006 she was 3rd Runner-up at Miss West Central Ohio where she sang and accompanied herself on the piano; her platform was Youth Self-esteem. [This is Grace's first local pageant of the season.]

Erica Gelhaus is a Music Performance major at Otterbein College. She performs opera for her talent and her platform is “Turning the page for youth literacy.” In her first attempt at Miss Ohio (as Miss Lake Festival) Erica won a preliminary Talent Award and was named 1st Runner-up. She then represented the buckeye state at the National Sweetheart Pageant where she won both preliminary Talent and Swimsuit, and brought home the crown! [This is Erica’s first local pageant of the season.]

Karissa Martin studies Music and Communications at West Liberty State College. She is a vocalist; her platform issue is Skin Cancer Awareness. In her first try at Miss Ohio this summer she was named 2nd Runner-up as Miss Scioto Valley. [This season: Karissa competed at Miss Lake Erie/ Northern Ohio and was 2nd RU at Miss North East Ohio.]

April O’Brien is a vocalist who attends Bethany College. Her platform is Body Confidence in Young Women. [This season: April competed at Miss North East Ohio.]

Megan Wombacker is an Accounting major and Marketing and Management minor at Kent State University, with plans to go into their MBA program. She is a tap dancer who advocates Vision Awareness. [This season: Megan has competed at Miss Greater Cleveland/ Open City, Miss Lake Erie/ Northern Ohio and Miss North East Ohio.]

CLICK HERE for the article, "Seven set to compete for Miss Clayland title" which include talent titles!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

How To Get Started In Pageants

I recently realized, although I have tons of links in the sidebar, it’s been awhile since I’ve explained the basics for new readers, so here goes…

How to compete in Miss Ohio (America):

* To get to Miss Ohio you must first win a local preliminary title.
* Select a local pageant; they are listed on the Miss Ohio or Miss Ohio News websites. Some are open to anyone, others are “closed” only to women in certain counties. “Closed” locals usually give more money and are often less competitive.
* Locals usually have 5 to 20 contestants; Ohio has 20 to 25 locals.
* Fill out rather involved paperwork and send it to the local director. (Most of the paperwork can be downloaded from
the Miss Ohio website or the director will mail you hard copies once you contact them.) The paperwork includes a 16 page contract which must be noterized and a platform sheet and resume which the judges will see. Be aware of deadlines!
* Sign up for a Children’s Miracle Network donation webpage and raise a $100 “donation” for CMN for your first four locals. Once you win a local you must raise an additional $250 to compete at the state level.
* Phases of competition: Evening Gown, Swimsuit,Talent, single panel 10 minute Interview and Onstage Question.
* Community service “Platforms” are required; Miss America is nationally partnered with the Children’s Miracle Network.
* Talents presentations are a maximum of two minutes long; visit Musical Creations or Omega Sound for pre-edited pageant accompaniments.
* You may compete in as many locals as you are eligible for until you win.
* Most locals are one day. Miss Ohio is comprised of three nights of preliminary competition and a final night in which only the Top 10 compete.
* At Miss Ohio contestants stay in pairs at a host home and are shuttled around by a chaperone, who also helps them backstage.
* Contestants are in Mansfield for a total of nine days for rehearsals, events and competition.
* Brief eligibility description: must live, work and/or go to school in Ohio; have never been married or pregnant; have always been a woman; have “good morals;” be between 17 and 24 (I am unsure of age specifics in terms of dates).
* Miss Ohio goes on to compete at Miss America. Miss America does NOT go on to anything else.
* Miss America is considered the oldest pageant; it began in Atlantic City in 1921 and evolved into a scholarship program in 1944.
* Links: Miss Ohio website, Miss America website, Miss Ohio News, Miss Ohio message board, CMN/Miss America website

Basic Tips for Miss America System:

* Gowns should just brush the floor- it’s distracting if your shoes/feet show, and I scream “prom dress!”
* Overdoing the jewelry is distracting too. This is why most pageant women just wear big earrings. Rarely will you find a gown that needs a necklace and wearing multiple pieces would be disastrous!
* Quality talent accompaniment is so important- it’s not good enough to tape record someone playing the piano or dance to a track that obviously and abruptly cuts off.
* Don’t wear sandals in the interview room; I say peep-toes are okay, but some swear only pumps are allowed!
* Pick a platform you really believe in and already work with. On your paperwork and in your interview, don’t talk about what you’re going to do, talk about what you’ve done.
* Always speak from the heart; say what you believe and never merely what you think the judges want to hear (they can usually see through that).
* Always type the paperwork that the judges will see and have someone else proof read it for you.
* Make sure you actually look like your headshot.

How to compete in Miss Ohio’s Outstanding Teen:

* A few local Miss programs also hold Teen pageants, or you can apply as an at-large contestant directly to the state teen pageant.
* I am certain there is paperwork, but do not know how involved it is.
* Contestants must pay an entry fee of $435 to $510.
* Phases of competition: Evening Gown, Sportswear,Talent, single panel 10 minute Interview and Onstage Question.
* Talents presentations are a maximum of two minutes long; visit Musical Creations or Omega Sound for pre-edited pageant accompaniments.
* Brief eligibility description: must live in Ohio; have never been married or pregnant; have always been a woman; have “good morals;” be between 13 and 17 (but NOT a senior in high school.)
* Miss Ohio's Outstanding Teen goes on to compete at Miss America's Outstanding Teen, which does NOT go on to anything else.
* Teen programs were developed as fundraisers and to prepare girls to enter the Miss program. Some states have held them for years, but the first Miss America's Outstanding Teen was crowned in 2005.
* Links:
Miss America's Outstanding Teen website and those above.

How to compete in Miss Ohio USA/ Ohio Teen USA:

*Download an application from
Miss Ohio USA's website and submit it with a recent photo.
* If accepted (and it seems everyone is) you'll receive a confirmation letter with a bit more paperwork.
* Pay and entry fee of just under $1000 directly to the organization. (Arbitrary local titles are given.)
* Phases of competition: Evening Gown, Swimsuit, short split panel private Interview, Onstage Question for Top 5. (Swimsuits color is mandated.)
* Compete in one night of preliminary competition called a “presentation
show;” then the Top 15 compete in the final night.
* Contestants stay in a designated hotel with a roommate; they are shuttled by bus with one chaperone per group of 15 contestants.
* Contestants are in Portsmouth for three days, including one day of rehearsal and a welcome dinner, then competition.
* Last year around 80 women competed at Miss Ohio USA.
* Community service is encouraged by not mandatory; the organization is nationally affiliated with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
* Brief eligibility description: must live, work and/or go to school in Ohio; have never been married or pregnant; have always been a woman; Miss Ohio USA: must be at least 18 and under 27 years of age as of February 1, 2008. Miss Ohio Teen USA: must be at least 15 and under 19 years of age as of September 1, 2008.
* The winners go on to compete at Miss USA/Miss Teen USA. Miss USA then goes to Miss Universe to take on international competition!
* This organization is currently owned by Donald Trump; it was created by Catalina Swimwear in the 1952 after Miss America 1951 Yolande Betbeze refused to wear a swimsuit in public.
* Links: Miss Ohio USA website, Miss USA/Universe website, Miss Ohio USA message board, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation

Basic Tips for the USA System:

Are you kidding? I’m still trying to figure it out! But here’s what I do know…

* Loosen up! Be more “modely” and less “pageanty.”
*It seems like anything goes in the interview room. Ironically, trendy outfits trump business suits!
* Go for a more natural, but glamorous look- no updos or clown make-up.
* Gowns should just brush the floor- feet/shoes are distracting.
* Overdoing the jewelry is distracting too. This is why most pageant women just wear big earrings. Rarely will you find a gown that needs a necklace and wearing multiple pieces would be disastrous!
* Always speak from the heart; say what you believe and never merely what you think the judges want to hear (they can usually see through that).
* Always type the paperwork that the judges will see and have someone else proof read it for you.
* Make sure you actually look like your headshot.

- Of course, there are many other pageants and pageant systems; the way to get started is almost always to check out the website, or contact the director for an entry application. Never let fear or insecurity hold you back, everyone has to start somewhere and you'll regret waiting!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tune-in Alert: Pageant Place

Tonight the much anticipated reality show Pageant Place debuts on MTV at 10:30 p.m. It follows the titleholders who live in NYC’s Trump Towers. Articles:

Three Crowns Sharing One Apt..
Pageatn Place Premieres On MTV

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

About my absence last week...

It is with disbelief and a very heavy heart that I write our 11 month old Great Dane puppy, Hanz, passed away inexplicably Wednesday night. [Left: 4 months]

I was so excited to have gotten Loren and I reservations at the first P.F. Changs in our area; we were gone for only two and a half hours and came home to find him dead in his cage. Hanz was a completely healthy and “normal” puppy; he had bounded up the stairs and into his cage when we left. There were no signs anything was wrong. [Right: 10 months]

We had a vet perform a necropsy, but frustratingly, he could give us no medical closure. His airways and exits were not blocked, his heart and lungs looked normal, he had consumed no traceable toxin, nor had he hit his head with the force to cause a fatality. Heart problems are common in such large breeds, but the examination was not performed in time to determine if he had a heart attack. Other possibilities could be an aneurism or fatal spider bite… The only solace the vet could give us was that it wasn’t anything we did, or didn’t do. Also, it wouldn’t have mattered if we were home or not, because it seemed to happen suddenly and we probably couldn’t have gotten him to a vet in time, nor could they have likely done anything. [Left: 2 months]

Since getting Hanz last December I have participated in an online community of Dane owners from around the world; a few of them have shared their unfortunate stories that sudden death in young Danes in not uncommon. These are such lean and active dogs that I have likened it to high school and college athletes who fall to heart conditions unexpectedly. One woman shared that she was playing with her dog and it died suddenly right in front of her; I suppose that would be even harder to deal with. [Right: 10 months]

Loren had two dogs when I met him nearly four years ago, but Hanz was my first puppy. In terms of animals, I had only ever lost barn cats and beta fish, and my last immediate family member passed when I was in fifth grade… So I suppose it makes some sense that I am taking this incredibly hard, yet it is so much worse than I could have ever imagined. A few years ago I would have rolled my eyes at the person who had an autopsy on their deceased pet, but now I get it. Our world has revolved around Hanz since December; when I was at home, he was by my side and when I was gone I had to count the hours to ensure I let him out again in time. I feel completely incapacitated with grief, yet I can not believe he is really gone. He was absolutely fine and not even a year old! [Left: 3 months]

Hanz was such a good puppy; the only troubles were a long potty training process and separation anxiety which lead to bent bars on his cage. He was so obedient and sweet, with the most lovable personality you could imagine. Nevermind that he would have gotten to 130+ pounds, he thought he was a lap dog! I credit Loren and I for training and disciplining him well. He attended puppy kindergarten and I took him with me to everywhere that would allow him. It is so maddening that the people next door have an old diseased mutt living in an outdoor kennel year round, but we lose our healthy, loved, young dog for no apparent reason. Then there's the mayor of Toledo who had to do a p.s.a. about not leaving your dog in a hot car, after being busted for doing just that... I suppose those last comments are because there’s nowhere to place blame and anger. There’s only heartache. [Right: 10 months]

Of course the breeder maintains that their dogs have no genetic problems, nor have they gotten reports of similar situations. Loren spoke with her and said she was genuinely saddened and surprised. She offered us a new puppy, but I have mixed feeligns about that. The people on the Dane message boards say a new puppy does help heal the heart and would once again liven the spirits of our nine year old Dane, Niki. I feel like there has to be a certain amount of time, I guess out of respect, for lack of a better word, for Hanz. What that certain time is though, I don’t know. I’m sure Loren and I will just know. The breeder’s next litter would be “ready” in six or seven weeks… even if Loren and I are ready then, I don’t know that I want to go through the hassle of the holidays with a puppy again this year, or if I even want to get a dog from the same people. [Left: 2 months]

I just can’t believe he’s gone, it just doesn’t seem possible. It’s not even that I miss him yet… it’s that I can’t fathom this reality. Over the past few days when I have had to be out, I have concentrated so hard on not crying in public that the situation becomes surreal to me, but then I come home to only Niki, who still seems to think we’re going to bring Hanz back though the door with us. [Right: 4 months]

Honestly, I have thought the last year has been a little too good to be true. I finally graduated, and then got a really great job, and things are wonderful with Loren. Between getting in a car accident and breaking my collar bone in July and now this, it feels like life has evened itself out. Not to mention this has just been a bad week. Two of Loren's coworkers lost loved ones, a stylist at our salon passed away, and you may have heard Jane Seymour lost her mother, but still danced with the stars. So anyway, that why I missed several days of blogging last week… Nothing seemed too important, least of all pageants. I know some of my readers won’t get it, especially in comparison to human loss and human strife. A few years ago I wouldn’t have gotten it either, but now I do all too well... [Left: 10 months]