It's been a crazy few days and I'll be away from my computer until Sunday.
Wish me luck at Miss Ohio USA!
Zanesville new home for state pageant
Executive director excited about moving headquarters
By Holly Richards
ZANESVILLE - With the definite prospect of an economic boost, Vicki LeVeck is excited to bring the state pageant headquarters to the Y City.
LeVeck, who serves as the executive director of the Muskingum County Convention Facilities Authority and Miss Southeastern Ohio Scholarship Program, will also wear the hat of executive director and owner of the Ohio International Pageant System.
Earlier this month, she officially acquired the Miss Ohio, Mrs. Ohio and Teen Ohio International franchises, which could lead to a major boost in tourism and business.
"This will create an incredible spike in the local economy," LeVeck said. "In addition to the three divisions of the state competition, the competitors' friends, families and fans will be staying in our hotels, buying gas at our gas stations, shopping at our retailers and attending events like this that we've been looking to bring to Zanesville."
She said she will bring these three competitions to Zanesville as early as March, and will be marketing throughout the state.
While experimenting with these responsibilities, LeVeck said she still plans to head up the annual Miss SEO competition.
"...this year, we will offer the new Miss SEO an opportunity to go on to Miss Ohio International, and we will waive the entry fees."
LeVeck said Zanesville seemed to be the perfect fit for the headquarters, which has been located in Toledo since 1991.
Click here for the entire article.
The reigning titleholders are Mrs. Ohio International, Kecia Pringle of Cincinnati, Miss Ohio International, Britany Jordan of Columbus and Miss Teen Ohio International, Alexandra Desantis of Cincinnati. I'm sure they're all excited about a shorter drive to give up their crowns! :)
[Above, Miss USA Rachel Smith in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade; photo from a Facebook friend who was in attendance. Below, a still shot of the TV production of the Boscov's Thanksgiving Day Parade, in which Miss America Lauren Nelson sang.]
The guidelines said and I quote, “The titleholder must be looking forward and the whole head must be shown. Don’t crop the hair or some elements of the face out of the picture.” Looking forward to me says that the eyes are looking at the camera. Apparently, it means something different to other people? If it said facing forward, then I would take it to mean straight-on.
To be blunt about the contestants, there was a stark contrast between the experience of Erica, Lauren and Jillian and the others. However, there is great potential among the group. Brittany Taylor managed to make a non-traditional talent (drawing) intriguing and entertaining and I have to commend Sylvia Macias’ continuity; her platform is Teen Pregnancy Prevention among Hispanics and she performed a classic Hispanic dance in traditional dress.
Photos [click each to enlarge]
My "Official" Write-up
Saturday night in Defiance ten contestants were “Cruisin’ to the Crown,” but only one could be named the new Miss Northwestern Ohio. She is St. Henry native Erica Gelhaus.
Erica is a Music Performance major at Otterbein College; she won the Outstanding Talent Award for her performance of Verdi’s aria “Sapor Vorreste.” She swept the pageant, also winning the Outstanding Interview Award. Erica stresses the importance of making time to read with children through her platform, “Turning the Page for Youth Literacy.”
This is Erica’s second local title having been the First Runner-up to Miss Ohio as Miss Lake Festival this past summer. As the First Runner-up she went on to represent the Buckeye state in Hoopeston Illinois where she competed against about thirty other runners-up and was awarded the title National Sweetheart. (The National Sweetheart pageant is run like Miss America, but is not officially affiliated. It is designed to provide a national pageant experience, and does not restrict its winner from holding other titles.)
This marks the second year in a row that Miss Northwestern Ohio is a former state First Runner-up. Erica was crowned by former First Runner-up Becky Minger. Becky, a vocalist attending Bowling Green State University; she won her third local title, Miss Maumee Valley, barely a week prior to crowning Erica. Also, Erica is the third former Miss Lake Festival in four years to also be named Miss Northwestern Ohio.
The First Runner-up was Dani Bash. Dani is a harpist from Findlay who advocates Arts Education. This was her first pageant of the season.
Second Runner-up, Jillian Dansko, is a tap dancer and graduate of John Carroll University. Her platform is Arts for the Disabled. Jillian is looking for her fourth local title; she has placed at two previous pageants this season.
Lauren Hogan was awarded Third Runner-up. Her platform is “Risky Business;” she is a vocalist and graduate of Bowling Green State University. Lauren recently gave up her first local title and this was her first pageant of the season.
Fourth Runner-up Whitney Fricke is a vocalist from Archbold. She educates women on self esteem issues through her platform “True Beauty.” This was Whitney’s first pageant of the season.
The remaining contestants included: Susan Downing, Sylvia Macias, Tiffany Westfall, Brittany Taylor and Brandy Drain. The pageant awarded over $3,000 and the prestigious Perkins Award for volunteerism went to production assistant Janice Johansen.
To: State Executive Directors:
We just completed the taping of four one-hour episodes of a new reality series which is scheduled to be broadcast in the month of January, 2008. We will make sure you are notified the exact air dates as soon as we receive confirmation.
The contestants are all on their way home and have had a truly remarkable experience. They have all bonded so well together and we strongly believe our class of 2008 promises to be a memorable one.
Part of the making of this new show offered the ladies the chance to have a complete makeover. Many of them embraced it and in our opinion this is going to be one of the highlights of the show. Many of you need to be aware that those girls who did choose to change their look are thrilled with it and we hope that you will be too. These contestants loved being together and loved sharing all that the reality show presented in terms of critique, bonding, athletic events, etc.
We will be very hands on with the editing as we do not yet know what the contestants might have said on camera during private moments. One of the messages of the reality show is that these girls must ALL BE REAL and true to themselves… comfortable in their own skin. We do not want a teased or heavily made up appearance. We want the contestants to be as natural and beautiful as they are on a day to day basis. The girls are thrilled with this new direction. You should also know that some of the girls chose not to change, and that is great as well!
Our judge’s panel for Las Vegas will not be permitted to view the reality series as we do not want to prejudice them in any way. The seven judges of the finals will be comprised of health, beauty, fitness, talent and interview experts from all walks of life. We are attempting to find a younger group of judges this year that represent experts in the fields mentioned above.
While the production company was taping the reality series, our TV partner TLC took the opportunity to tape some funny promotional spots to spoof the way we “used to be.” Everyone here, including the contestants, enjoyed the experience.
We reminded each of the contestants that it is their responsibility not to talk about the making of this reality show since they have all signed confidentiality agreements. We are asking each of our State Executive Directors to respect that agreement since some of the contestants have expressed nervousness that their Executive Directors will insist on knowing.
In addition, we will have final wardrobe information to you sometime during the Thanksgiving period.
As always, we thank our State Executive leaders for their hard work leading into the "2008 Miss America Live" event.
Sam Haskell Art McMaster
Chairman of the Board
President / CEO
Socialite PARIS HILTON can add pageant judge to her resume - after presiding over a beauty contest in Japan. The 26-year-old joined her fashion designer sister Nicky for the competition at a Tokyo clothing boutique on Tuesday (06Nov07), where they each selected a finalist for the Miss Universe Japan contest. And Paris is overjoyed to be working in the south-east Asian country. She gushes, "I love Tokyo. The shopping is great." The reigning Miss Universe, Riyo Mori, was the first Japanese woman to win the pageant since 1959.
Congratulations to former contestant Leslie Ondrey; she and her beau of five years, Chris, got engaged over the weekend! Also, Miss Ohio 2005 Marlia Fontaine will be wed in a small private affair in early December and Miss Ohio 2006 Melanie Murphy recently had her bridal shower!
This was a nightmare to format, so please enjoy!
Also, many thought my boyfriend Loren would be there taking pictures, but he's taking shots of a very different kind right now. He's on a ten day elk hunt in Colorado!