Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Above: Miss Ohio Karissa Martin
Below: Miss Ohio International Amanda Stevens
and Miss Ohio Teen USA Kelsey Stevens

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tone-up with Miss Teen USA

She may not have been crowned on TV, but millions of young women are meeting Miss Teen USA, Stevi Perry, in CosmoGirl.

[These images were copied from a message board.]

Saturday, December 20, 2008

* cricket * cricket * cricket *

As far as pageants are concerned, there's not a lot going on right now. So instead, let me once again share a product that I think pageant-types might like...

Last night I saw a two minute infomercial-like commercial for the Miche bag. It's a purse with interchangeable shells. A blessing and annoying curse I picked up from years of pageantry is the need to match, with no detail left unnoticed. Good luck catching me with black shoes and a brown purse, for example...

Anyway, the great thing about these Miche bags is that instead of moving all your stuff from one purse to another (like I do on a daily basis), you can simply change the outside of the purse thanks to thin magnets. For the website, CLICK HERE. If I didn't already have a few designer bags that I love, I'd seriously be considering it. If you order one, let me know, I'm curious of the quality.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Russia Rules the World

Miss Russia, Ksenia Sukhinova won Miss World, held in Johannesburg, South Africa. CLICK HERE for articles.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Friday Tune-in Alert: Don't Forget the Lyrics

The MAO sent out the following reminder; the current and two former Miss America's will be on the show Don't Forget the Lyrics. I think Wayne Brady is ridiculously talented but unappreciated in Hollywood, as this show is conceptually lame! Nonetheless, it's great exposure for the program and it's always great to see the outstanding Heather French Henry.

An Unforgettable Miss America Holiday Special Feature on FOX's Don't Forget the Lyrics,with Wayne Brady

Friday, December 12, 2008

9 P.M. EST* on FOX

Miss America 2008 Kirsten Haglund, Miss America 1981 Susan Powell and Miss America 2000 Heather French Henry will be featured in a special holiday episode of Don't Forget the Lyrics, hosted by Wayne Brady.

As a part of the celebrity charity series, our Miss Americas will be in the national spotlight to try their best at guessing song lyrics to capture prize money to benefit the Miss America Scholarship Fund. Kirsten, Susan and Heather step up to the microphone for some holiday fun
and to hopefully earn winnings in this spirited season of giving!

Be sure to tune in and celebrate the season!

*Check your local listings.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Beauty and Bliss!

Love was in the air this fall... At least three of my fellow, former pageant ladies were wed or engaged.

Leslie (Ondrey) Andrews wed her longtime boyfriend Chris on Halloween weekend, which was very appropriate since they share the hobby of ghost hunting! That's a fun fact Leslie would share about herself while competing at Miss Ohio, where she was a three-time Top Five finalist.

Days after giving up her Miss Ohio crown this summer Roberta Camp said yes to a life-long appearance as Mrs. Albert. Her boyfriend Steve tricked her, with the help of pageant staff, by saying she needed to do one more Miss Ohio appearance that Karissa couldn't make. Instead of a dedication ceremony at the Franklin Park Conservatory, Roberta found her dedicated boyfriend, waiting with a ring!

Finally, you may remember Nikole Danner, a beautiful opera singer who competed at Miss Ohio as Miss Marion Popcorn Festival, in 2004 I believe... She is now a graduate of Kent State University and recently married Matt Holman.

I am friends with these three ladies on Facebook and happened to notice when they uploaded these photos; but my Facebook use fluxuates and there are lots of current and former pageant women I'm not in contact with. So, if don't be offended if I don't blog about your wedding, child birth, etc... And please, don't hesitate to email me your updates and photos!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Miss Ohio USA Pictures

A word about the USA system...

This week on the Miss Ohio (America) message board discussion about the Ohio USA pageant turned nasty for absolutely no reason at all. Of course, that's the nature of anonymity, but still no excuse. I totally agree that Miss America and Miss USA, arguably the two largest pageant systems, have their distinct differences. However, the fanatics who insist upon pitting them against each other are giving all Teen and Miss pageants a bad name. What really bothers me is the stereotyping. Many women, myself included, have competed in both systems. Some Miss America fans want to believe that "their girls" represent the Madonna, while USA girls are all the whore. That's just not true. Miss America contestants drink, have sex and take stupid pictures too, while there are Miss USA contestants as pure as the driven snow.

How ironic, those who claim to be from the more refined system actually make themselves seem more unsophisticated by the way they label an entire group of women because of the actions of a few and based on their shortsighted "ethics."

I guess I'll step off my soapbox now. Here are some great pictures, from what I consider a very worthy pageant:

The new Miss Ohio Teen USA Kelsey Stevens and Miss Ohio USA Natasha Vivoda
The final moment...
Fun in the dressing room, including something you'd never see at Miss Ohio America: CELL PHONES! Oh the horror! :)
Why, oh why, must every pageant begin with a horrible dance number?
The contestants are divided alphebetically by title into groups of fifteen; after each woman models, the whole group comes back onstage.
The photos above were snagged from the Facebook albums of Natasha Vivoda, Brooke Waddles, Tiffany Schramm, Marianna Hewitt, Jen Ciccone and Alexis Semach.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Pageant Press: Mario Lopez to Host Miss America

Today the Miss America organization issued a press release regarding the judges, but this years host, Mario Lopez, was announced via news outlets.

After admiring him as children on Saved by the Bell, this years contestants met Mario while on Ellen. He has previously hosted Miss America and Miss Teen USA.

Click here for articles.

Miss America Press Release: Spotlight on National Judges

2009 Miss America Pageant Puts the Spotlight

On National Judges

Saturday, January 24, 2008
Live from Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas, on TLC

Linwood, N.J., December 1, 2008 – The 2009 Miss America Pageant promises to be an exciting event with the announcement of the strikingly diverse panel of national judges. This year’s panel of seven esteemed judges includes a Broadway star; a renowned denim designer; a Miss America-turned-philanthropist; an Olympic gold medalist; a casting genius; a celebrated entertainment news reporter and anchor; and the hottest hairdresser in Hollywood. They will evaluate the contestants from the preliminaries through the final night of competition, which will be broadcast live from Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 8:00PM ET live/PT tape-delayed, exclusively on TLC.

The judges were announced by Sam Haskell, III, Chairman of the Board for the Miss America Organization (MAO), Art McMaster, President and CEO of MAO, and Anthony Eaton, Producer of the 2009 Miss America Pageant. This year’s panel of judges is comprised of experts in each of the fields in which a young woman must excel in, in order to be named Miss America. Miss America must be beautiful, talented, intelligent and well-spoken, a leader, have a commitment to her community, be contemporary in her style and fashion - a relatable and individual ‘it girl’ who can connect with today’s modern woman, as well as being physically fit. To determine who will be Miss America 2009 the following panel of judges has been selected:

From the Field of Fashion – Paige Adams-Geller
– Adams-Geller is a former fit model-turned-denim designer who was once lauded as “the perfect body for jeans fitting,” and the most-requested fit model by the top denim designers in the industry. She is now the owner of Paige Premium Denim, PPD for men, Paige Petites, Paige Maternity, Paige Kids and Paige Black Label.

From the Field of Entertainment - LAURA BELL BUNDY –
Most notably known for her role as Elle Woods in “Legally Blonde: The Musical,” this triple-threat has received nominations for a Tony and Drama Desk Award and has received a Drama League Honor. Bundy has several film and small screen credits and has released two albums.

From the Field of Community Service – Nicole Johnson
– Johnson is Miss America 1999 and has spent her time since her year of service educating and raising awareness and funds for Type I Diabetes. She has won several awards for her advocacy and has created her own foundation to continue her commitment towards this terrible disease.

From the Field of Fitness – Cullen Jones
Jones is the second African American in history to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming and also helped his team win additional gold medals and set world records in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. Jones is heavily involved with the USA Swimming Foundation’s Make A Splash program, helping minorities learn how to swim.

From the Field of Talent – BETH KLEIN
– A renowned casting genius, Klein is the Senior Vice President of Talent and Casting for Showtime networks. She currently oversees casting on all Showtime series including Weeds, The L Word, Dexter, and The Tudors.

From the Field of Communications/Interview – Jim moret
– Moret has covered entertainment news for over 20 years and is currently the chief correspondent for Inside Edition. He is a regular guest contributor both as a legal analyst and entertainment reporter for CNN’s Headline News, Fox News Channel, Court TV, and MSNBC.

From the Field of Beauty - KEN PAVES –
Dubbed by the media as one of the hottest hairdressers in Hollywood, Paves has remained one of the most sought after hairstylists in the world for the past 12 years. His work has appeared in all of the top industry magazines and his celebrity clientele include Jennifer Lopez, Jessica and Ashlee Simpson, Celine Dion, Kerry Washington, Marcia Cross, Eve and Jessica Alba.


TLC presents the four-part reality series MISS AMERICA: COUNTDOWN TO THE CROWN, capturing the excitement as the 52 Miss America contestants live together and face off in challenges that help them better prepare for the iconic pageant. Each one-hour episode, hosted by Tyler Harcott, will follow the contestants as they navigate through a series of team and individual competitions that will help them prepare for the pageant and prove they have what it takes to be a modern-day Miss America. This year, the stakes are higher than ever – viewers at home will have the power to vote four contestants directly into the pageant’s Top 15. Tune in starting Friday, January 2, 2009 at 10 PM ET as the 52 contestants compete to have their ultimate crowning moment.


Friday, November 28, 2008

Parade Pictures and a Performance

Leather gloves and winter white were the trend among the nations beauties at this years Thanksgiving day parades. Left: Miss America, Kyrsten Haglund; right: Miss USA Crystal Stewart. Below Kyrsten stops to sing!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Be sure to watch for Miss USA, Crystal Stewart, in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Miss America, Kyrsten Haglund, and Miss America's Outstanding Teen, Taylor Fitch, will be in the IKEA Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia, along with Miss Pennsylvania, Miss New Jersey and Miss Delaware, Santa Claus and Rachel Ray.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Congrats to Two New Outstanding Teens

Last weekend in Lima two new Outstanding Teens were crowned:

Miss West Central Ohio's Outstanding Teen: Allison Stiger
Miss Grand Lake Outstanding Teen: Kelsey Barrett

Both Teens are from Wapakoneta; this is Allison's first title but Kelsey has competed at Ohio's Outstanding Teen with Allison's title.

I'm told the talent was outstanding, with emcee/entertainers Marlia Fontaine-Wiess, former Miss Ohio and Kyrsten Chambers, former Miss West Central Ohio.

Complete Miss Ohio USA Results


Holly Thomson Miss Columbus USA
Jacquelyn Huna-Nichols Miss Cortland USA
Amiee Moser Miss Defiance County USA
Alexa McAllister Miss Franklin County USA
Ashley Graham Miss Grove City USA
Marianna Hewitt Miss Kent USA
Angelique Verbarg Miss Madeira USA
Aliea Smith Miss Southwest Ohio USA
Erika Scudero Miss Washington Township USA
Tiffany Schramm Miss Wood County USA


4th Elisabethe Jesse Miss Delhi USA
3rd Megan Wise Miss Gallipolis USA (3rd runner up Miss Ohio Teen USA 07)
2nd Lehanna Craft Miss Ohio River USA
1st Alexis Semach Miss Delaware USA (3rd Runner Up 07, 1st Runner Up 06, Top 15 05, Non-Finalist 04)
Winner Natasha Vivoda Miss Trumbull County USA (4th Runner Up 07)

Congeniality Abbie Camp Miss Washington Court House USA
Photogenic Melonie Long Miss Reynoldsburg USA

Monday, November 24, 2008

Congrats to the New Miss Ohio USA, Natasha Vivoda!

Finally! Over twenty-four hours after the pageant, we now know the finalists of our state USA pageant:

Miss Ohio USA: Natasha Vivoda

1st Runner-up: Alexis Semach, Miss Delaware USA
2nd Runner-up: Lehanna Craft, Miss Ohio River USA
3rd Runner-up: Megan Wise, Miss Gallipolis USA
4th Runner-up: Elizabeth Jesse, Miss Delhi USA

Preliminary Swimsuit and Evening Gown photos, including the ones above, we taken by an anonymous fan and can be seen HERE. Ohio Teen USA pictures are HERE.

I have to say, it is so sad that people who were obviously at the pageant are on message boards bitching about a finalist and bashing a dress, yet no one has taken the time to post the Top 15! What the...?!?!

Here's the Daily Times article:

Miss Ohio USA Crowned Saturday
PDT Staff Writer
Natasha Vivoda already had some good memories of Portsmouth and Scioto County. Vivoda stayed in a cabin last November at Shawnee State Park and competed in the Miss Ohio USA 2008 pageant at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts on the campus of Shawnee State University.

This year her memories of the area will be even better as she came back to enter the pageant once again. And this time, on Saturday night, at the center, competing against 51 other contestants, she won the crown.

"It was beautiful up there in the southern Ohio hills, and even though I didn't win I enjoyed my time in the Portsmouth area," Vivoda said.

The new Miss Ohio USA 2009 is a senior at Youngstown State University majoring in physical therapy. She came to the Portsmouth pageant after being crowned Miss Trumbull County USA, in the Warren-Youngstown area.

She was crowned Saturday night by Monica Day, Miss Ohio USA 2008.

First Runnerup was Alexis Semach, Miss Delaware USA; Second Runnerup was Lehanna Craft, Miss Ohio River USA; Third Runner-up was Megan Wise, Miss Gallipolis USA; and Fourth Runner-up was Elizabeth Jesse, Miss Delhi USA.

Natasha said her mother, Paula Vivoda, gave her the most inspiration and she credited her for instilling in her the motivation to win the prestigious pageant.

She said contestants need to have confidence that they're going to win, to take one step at a time, to have a feeling that the crown is theirs.

"You feel it, it catches on -- and it worked," Natasha said.

She said she plans to use her reign to inspire others into believing in themselves.

In the audience, seated on the second row back, was a young woman who had her own motivational story. That was Stacy Offenberger, of Marietta, who won the Miss Ohio Teen USA 1998 pageant when she was 18 years old.

Her grandmother, Geneva Payne, became ill and died in 1999. Stacy promised her grandmother on her death bed that she would win the Miss Ohio USA title for her.

And she did it, even though it was nearly eight years later. She was crowned Miss Ohio USA 2006 at the center in Portsmouth and went on to finish as third Runner-up in the national Miss USA competition that year.

"My grandmother would have been so proud," Stacy said. "And that was all the inspiration I needed."

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, in a prepared statement issued from the statehouse, commended all of the more than 100 participants in the two contests held Saturday.

"Ohio's young people represent the future leadership of our state and nation," the governor said. "Many have learned the skills necessary for success from events like the one presented in Portsmouth on Saturday."

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The latest pageant must-have?

Spray tans, chicken cutlets... and Bumpits?
I just saw a commercial for this hair gizmo for the volume impaired, creating the popular "bump" by smoothing your hair over the plastic piece seen above. I think it would have been more lucrative had they marketed it along side Sarah Palin Halloween costumes, but pageant contestants are also a likely clientele. Most young women today don't know how to tease their hair and even if you do, it's a horrible practice that breaks your locks. If it works like it claims, I wish I'd have had it during my pageant days. Seriously, if anyone orders it, let me know if it works! Check out their website for a video.

Word on the Web...

...Is that Natasha Vivoda, Miss Trumbull County USA, won Miss Ohio USA! She is very sweet and last year was a runner-up.

Supposedly the following women were the finalists, but I don't know how they placed: Alexis Semach, Miss Delaware USA, Elizabethe Jesse, Miss Delhi USA, Kara Roberts, Miss Ohio Valley USA and Megan Wise, Miss Gallipolis USA.

**Update (4 a.m. EST): I was going to congratulate Kara on Facebook, but her status says she was not competing due to "unforeseen circumstance." So... I don't know if things changed after that status post, or if the finalists listed on the message board are incorrect.

Congrats to the New Miss Ohio Teen USA, Kelsey Stevens!

The photo and following article are from the Portsmouth Daily Times.
Miss Ohio Teen USA Crowned

PDT Staff Writer
A blue-eyed blonde senior at Aurora High School was crowned Miss Ohio Teen USA 2009 in the pageant held Saturday afternoon at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts on the campus of Shawnee State University. Kelsey Stevens, who won Miss Aurora Teen USA to make it to the Portsmouth pageant, kept the crown in the family so to speak. Her sister, Amanda Stevens, was Miss Ohio Teen USA 2003.

"She helped me to train," said Kelsey, who will now move on to compete next year for the title of Miss Teen USA 2010.

The competition for Miss Ohio USA 2009 was held last night at the Center but ran too late for the deadline of this morning's Portsmouth Daily Times. The winner will be featured in a story to run Monday.
Stevens was crowned Miss Ohio Teen USA by last year's winner, Chelsie Folden of Wellston. The pageant drew 55 contestants from across Ohio. About 600 people, including friends and family of the contestants, bought tickets to watch the pageant.

Hollie Mauk, Miss Scioto County Teen USA, finished in the final 15. Also competing from the Portsmouth area were Alli Thompson, Miss River Days Teen USA, and Emilee Lowe, Miss Portsmouth Teen USA.
After the fourth, third, and second runners-up were chosen, only Stevens and Jena Diller, Miss Columbus Grove Teen USA, stood in the center of the stage awaiting the judges' decision.

"At that point I thought, 'Oh, my gosh, it could be me,'" Stevens said. And it was. Diller was first runner-up. Second runner-up was Jessica Byington, Miss Indian Hills Teen USA; third runner-up was Alexis Laurine, Miss St. Clairsville Teen USA; and fourth runner-up was Kendall Fein, Miss Southwest Ohio USA.

Stevens said she rode a bicycle and did some weight-lifting to get in shape for the pageant. The pageants have fallen in love with Portsmouth. The 2000 pageant took place in Cincinnati, and it moved to Portsmouth the following year. It's taken place here now for eight years straight.

"It's with great pride that Scioto County and the city of Portsmouth welcome the contestants of the 2009 Miss Ohio USA and Miss Ohio Teen USA pageants, as well as their families and friends," Kim Bauer, executive director of the Portsmouth-Scioto County Visitors Bureau, said in her message in the front of the official magazine listing the contestants of both pageants.
She invited visitors to stay a while and enjoy the natural beauty around the area, as well as the restaurants and shops.

"I hope you find the time to enjoy the many different activities here in Portsmouth, but most of all, please remember the warm hospitality seen on every street and neighborhood in town," Mayor James Kalb said in his message.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Word on the Web... that Kelsey Stevens, Aurora Teen USA, won Miss Ohio Teen USA this afternoon. If true, that makes the title a family affair; her sister Amanda held the title a few years ago.

Supposedly the finalists were:

1st RU: Jena Diller, Columbus Grove Teen USA
2nd RU: Jessica Byington, Indian Hills Teen USA
3rd RU: Alexis Laurine, St. Clairsville Teen USA
4th RU: Kendall Fien, Southwest Ohio Teen USA

Just an observation, the Top 5 were comprised of four blonds and a red head.

I've not read who the remaining Top 15 were.

Friday, November 21, 2008

This Weekend- Miss Ohio USA and Ohio Teen USA!

Tomorrow night Monica Day (Boggs) will crown a new Miss Ohio USA and Chelsie Folden a new Teen titleholder!

Tonight the presentation shows for Miss Ohio USA and Ohio Teen USA will be held in Portsmouth. "Presentation show" is USA speak for preliminaries. Even though Ohio USA has three times the number of contestants than Miss Ohio in Mansfield, they can hold their prelims in one night instead of three because it's nothing but Swimsuit and Evening Gown. Tomorrow night a Top 15 will be selected and only the Top 5 will answer an onstage question. There is an opening dance number, but it's a very slick program with no cheesy entertainment.

This pageant system is also victim to falling numbers; of the fifty-some contestants, few are returnees. The Miss contestants I recognize are:

Alexandra Johnson, Miss Dayton USA, looks so familiar but I don't know why.

Alexis Semach, Miss Delaware USA, was 3rd RU last year, 1st RU in 2006 and in the Top 15 in 2005.

Megan Wise, Miss Gallipolis USA, was 3rd RU to Ohio Teen USA and competed at Miss SEO last year.

Brook Waddles, Miss Huron County USA, competed in this pageant last year as well as MAO locals in the past.

Marianna Hewitt, Miss Kent USA, was crowned Miss Teen Galaxy 2006 but there are various rumors why she resigned or was dethroned.

Angelique Verbarg, Miss Madeira USA, was Miss Ohio International 2007; she competed at Ohio USA in 2005 and 2006 and was Top 15 in Ohio Teen USA in 2004.

Jennifer Ciccone, Miss Mahoning Valley USA; I believe she has competed in USA before.

Kara Roberts, Miss Ohio Valley USA, used to compete in MAO locals and I believe she did USA a few years ago as well.

Aliea Smith, Miss Southwest Ohio USA, was in the Top 15 in this pageant last year, she was a Top 5 finalist in Ohio Teen USA in 2005 and has also competed for Ohio International.

Natasha Vivoda, Miss Trumbull County USA, was 4th RU last year.

There is a woman named Abbie Camp, Miss Washington Court USA; although she sort of resembles Katie Camp's sister Abby, it's not. The names are spelled different.

Tiffany Schramm, Miss Wood County USA, was in the Top 15 here last year and 1st RU at Miss Ohio International last year; she has teen experience in other systems.

I'm sure other contestants have pageant experience, but again, these are the ladies that I recognized.

As for the Teen contestants:

Kelsey Stevens, Miss Aurora Teen USA, was 2nd RU at this pagant last year and 1st RU at Ohio Teen International (where her sister won the Miss title).

Lauren Hawkings, Miss Butler County Teen USA, has been 1st RU to Miss Ohio's Outstanding Teen for the past two years.

Aunjanna Million, Miss Middletown Teen USA, is a former Miss Butler County's Outstanding Teen.

Lisa lwasaki, Miss Pickerington Teen USA, is the reigning Miss Ohio Teen International.

Emilee Lowe, Miss Portsmouth Teen USA, was recently 1st RU at Portsmouth's Outstanding Teen.

Holli Mauk, Miss Scioto County Teen USA, was in the Top 15 last year.


There's been a bit of talk about this pageant on the MAO message board; if I have time tomorrow I'll write about my experience with it here. For now I'll just share two things - First, I found that this pageant system takes a great deal more confidence than MAO; "beauty pageants" are much more difficult than people hung up on the idea of a "scholarship pageant" give them credit for. Second, despite the steep entry fee, many women enter this pageant just for the experience, with the intention of only doing it once; they go right to the state level, with no local pageants or volunteer guidance, thus the abundance of lackluster headshots.

Best of luck to all!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Miss America Press Release: 2009 Countdown to the Crown Reality Series Announcement

After last years reality show, America picked one women to be in the Top 15; this year they will pick FOUR! Read below for more on this and a breakdown of the reality show guests and challenges.

52 Women. One Miss America. The competition beginS when TLC premieres “Countdown to the Crown” on January 2, 2009

for the first time ever,
america gets to judge and place four girls into the pageant finals

Last year, TLC and Miss America gave the pageant contestants a “Reality Check” and showed what it really takes to win the ultimate dream of becoming Miss America. This year, the stakes are even higher – a chance to win a spot in the pageant’s coveted “top 15” – when the 52 state titleholders live together and face a series of competitions in TLC’s COUNTDOWN TO THE CROWN. The four-part reality series kicks off Friday, January 2, 2009 at 10 PM (ET/PT).

Each one-hour episode, hosted by Tyler Harcott, finds the contestants living on the majestic Queen Mary ocean liner and navigating through a series of team and individual competitions that help them prepare for the pageant and prove they have what it takes to be a modern-day Miss America. Through it all, viewers at home get to know the girls, and ultimately have a hand in voting four contestants into the pageant.

“Miss America continues to evolve to reflect today’s young woman, and remains incredibly forward-thinking as it develops a new generation of intelligent, thoughtful, and passionate contestants,” said Art McMaster, President/CEO of the Miss America Organization.


Joining Tyler are two consultants - Kym Douglas and Antthony Mark Hankins – who guide the women through their experience and decide who is best prepared to become 2009’s Miss America. Through the challenges, the 52 contestants are expected to push their personal limits in an effort to win a gold sash, possibly advancing them into the top 15 at the Miss America pageant, which airs on TLC live from Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas on Saturday, January 24.

Voting, which begins after the 15 gold-sash finalists are selected, will be conducted online at, and via text messaging.

“For the first time ever, America has the chance to be a judge and select four of the contestants they think deserves to make it into the pageant,” explains Brent Zacky, VP of Development at TLC. “By giving viewers the chance to get to know the girls during COUNTDOWN TO THE CROWN, we are confidant four great contestants will take the stage in January to compete for the Miss America title.”


Each week’s episode welcomes a guest consultant who spotlights one of the key pillars that create a successful Miss America contestant. These consultants also have a hand in selecting that week’s gold sash winner.

Episode 1: premieres January 2, 2009 at 10 PM (ET/PT)

Guest consultant: Gretchen Carlson, Miss America 1989 and host on Fox Network’s FOX AND FRIENDS.

· Team Challenge: Quest for the Crown, a scavenger-style race through the ship.

· Individual Challenge: Pitch Perfect. The table’s set to determine the girls’ ability to remain composed, form an argument, and listen as well as she speaks.

Episode 2: premieres January 9, 2009 at 10 PM (ET/PT)

Guest consultant: Shakara Ledard, renowned supermodel

· Team Challenge: Fitness First Obstacle Course – the teams face off in a fun endurance race to the end.

· Individual Challenge: Runway Photo Shoot. Which girl has mastered her poise and confidence on the runway?

Episode 3: premieres January 16, 2009 at 10 PM (ET/PT)

Guest Consultant: Clinton Kelly, from TLC’s What Not To Wear. Clinton will also reprise his role as a special correspondent for the Miss America pageant.

· Team Challenge: Miss American Shopper. Will it be retail rivalry when each team has to share one shopping budget?

· Individual Challenge: Little Black Dress returns with a fashion-forward eye on personal style and resourcefulness.

Episode 4: premieres January 23, 2009 at 10 PM (ET/PT)

Guest Consultant: Susan Powell, Miss America 1981

· Team Challenge: Miss America’s Got Talent. It’s a talent showdown as the teams perfect a routine and compete against each other.

· Individual Challenge: Rock the Runway, where all of the planning pays off in their final chance to secure a sash.

Additional press materials, including series photography, are available at

COUNTDOWN TO THE CROWN is produced for TLC by Tijuana Entertainment. Executive producers are Troy Searer and John Foy.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Miss America Swimsuit Options

According to a poster on the unofficial Miss America message board, these are the STYLES the Miss States get to select from. Note, they can choose the cut and various trims, but all the suits will be black, just as they were last year.

Which do you think Karissa should pick?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More from Miss Northwestern Ohio

Miss Northwestern Ohio, Heather Waterman, was also awarded Interview Award at the after party. The following photos are from Jessica's blog; check it out for more.

Click to enlarge all the photos, especially these last three.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Miss Northwestern Ohio Pictures

First Runner-up Courtney Monk at the after party with Miss Northwestern Ohio Heather Waterman (above) and Miss Ohio Karissa Martin (below).

Rehearsing the finale with Miss Ohio Karissa Martin

Saturday morning's traditional brunch.
[Top row: Miss Northwestern Ohio Heather Waterman, Halie Gonwick and Jessica Nelson.
Middle: 3rd RU Heather Lindsay, Christina Drake, 2nd RU Alyssa Waldman and 4th RU Abigail Savage.
Front: Shannon Bash, Miss Ohio Karissa Martin, outgoing titleholder/current Miss Clayland Erica Gelhaus and 1st RU Courtney Monk]

These photos are from Courtney's Facebook.

The Crescent-News did a nice article HERE; I'm certain the hard copies had a photo of Heather's winning walk, but the website does not.