Wednesday, April 30, 2008

2007 -2008 Miss Ohio Local Stats

I apologize for my lack of blogging; luckily there hasn’t been much going on in pageantland for the past few weeks while I’ve settled into LA life.

It may seem as though I spend an exorbitant amount of time on this blog, and that’s true in many ways, but one of my time saving secrets is that I keep documents of the pageant results. It only takes a few minutes after each pageant to record the results both by contestant and by pageant.

So per a message board request, here are the “stats” on the local titleholders, followed by all of this season’s competitors. Scroll to the bottom for my disclaimer/justification of posting this information.

* Note, Locals vary in the awards they give and please leave corrections as comments, I am only one mistake-prone woman!

Local Titleholders:

Amy Allen- Spirit award at GC/OC; competed at LE/NO; Interview award at Clayland; competed at MV/AAC/FT; competed at Maple City; competed at Mansfield; 4th RU at Central; won Southern Ohio

Andrea Andryscik- won Greater Cleveland and SS award

Jessica Barrett- won All American City

Katie Camp- 1st RU Miami Valley and SS award; won Portsmouth

Emily Cousino- 3rd RU Monroe Co. (MI), 1st RU at LE/NO and Interview award; 1st RU at Portsmouth/ SV; won Fallen Timbers and Interview

Jillian Dansko- 2nd RU Miami Valley; 1st RU at MV/AAC/FT; 2nd RU at NWO; 2nd RU Maple City; competed Mansfield; won Central and Interview and People’s Choice

Sophia Davis- competed at LE/NO; competed at Mansfield; won Hamilton and Interview and Evening Gown.

Samantha Eggers- 1st RU GC/OC and Talent award; assumed title of Open City

Krystle Formosa- competed at North Coast; competed at MV/AAC/FT; competed at Mansfield; competed in Ohio International; won South Central Ohio

Erica Gelhaus- 1st RU and Talent award at Clayland; won Talent, Interview and NWO

Kristen Haas- competed at GC/OC; won North Coast

Alyssa Hanson- competed at LE/NO; won Miami Valley

Brandi Herceg- won Ohio Valley and Interview and Community Service Essay awards

Courtney Kania- 3rd RU at Central; won Heart of Ohio

Karissa Martin- competed at LE/NO; 2nd RU at NEO; won Clayland

Victoria Miller- 1st RU WCO and SS award; won Delphos Canal Days Queen; won Buckeye State

Becky Minger- 2nd RU LE/NO and SS award; won Maumee Valley

Kristy Moneysmith- 3rd RU WCO and Spirit and Service Essay award; Talent award at Miami Valley; competed at MV/AAC/FT; 3rd RU and Talent at Hamilton; won Chillicothe

Shannon O’Neill
- won West Central Ohio and Talent and Interview

Amanda Pitcock - won Miss BGSU; qualified for Miss Ohio through community pageant, Miss Brookville

Nanciann Strosnider- won Northern Ohio

Heather Waterman
- won Lake Festival and Private Interview award

Heather Wells- 2nd RU GC/OC; competed at LE/NO; 1st RU at NEO; 2nd RU and Talent at MV/AAC/FT; won Maple City

Jenna Wilson
- 1st RU North Coast and SS award; 3rd RU- LE/NO; won NEO and Talent and SS awards

Kasey Wilson- won Lake Erie and Talent Award

Katie Wolford- 1st RU and Interview Maple City; won Cuyahoga Valley

Megan Wombacker
- competed at GC/OC; competed at LE/NO; competed at NEO; Community Service award at Clayland; won Scioto Valley

Christie Youssef- Won Mansfield and Talent, Interview and Congeniality

All contestants:

*Note, other than those who won or placed, I don't know who competed at Sweeps.

Brittany Adams- competed at GC/OC
Jackie Adams- competed at North Coast
Amy Allen- Spirit award at GC/OC; competed at LE/NO; Interview award at Clayland; competed at MV/AAC/FT; competed at Maple City; competed at Mansfield; 4th RU at Central; won Southern Ohio
Amy Andres – competed at Central
Andrea Andryscik- won Miss Greater Cleveland and SS award

Dani Bash- 1st RU at NWO
Jessica Barrett- won Miss All American City
Chelsey Beer- competed at WCO
Kara Best – competed at Hamilton
Andrea Borkowski- competed at WCO
Katie Bowen- 2nd RU North Coast; competed at LE/NO; competed at Central
Ashley Bowman- competed at Clayland; competed at Hamilton
Maria Broering- competed at Lake Festival
Marisa Buchneit- Talent Award at Maple CityAmber Bussa- competed at Portsmouth/ SV

Katie Camp- 1st RU Miami Valley and SS award; won Miss Portsmouth
Lisa Canary- competed at Lake Festival Grace Caudill- competed at Clayland
Kyrsten Chambers- competed at MV/AAC/FT
Carissa Cook- competed at Central
Emily Cousino- 3rd RU Monroe Co. (MI), 1st RU at LE/NO and Interview award; 1st RU at Portsmouth/ SV; won Miss Fallen Timbers and Interview
Amanda Culp- SS and Spirit Awards at Maple City; competed at Mansfield

Jillian Dansko- 2nd RU Miami Valley; 1st RU at MV/AAC/FT; 2nd RU at NWO; 2nd RU Maple City; competed Mansfield; won Miss Central and Interview and People’s Choice
Sophia Davis- competed at LE/NO; competed at Mansfield; won Miss Hamilton and Interview and Evening Gown.
Susan Downing- competed at NWO
Randy Drain- competed at NWO

Adriane Eastman- competed at Portsmouth/ SV
Sasha Eby- competed at Maple City; 2nd RU and Talent at Central
Samantha Eggers- 1st RU GC/OC and Talent award; assumed title of Open City

Krystle Formosa- competed at North Coast; competed at MV/AAC/FT; competed at Mansfield; competed in Ohio International; won South Central Ohio
Nicole Fortunato- People’s Choice at Ohio Valley
Whitney Fricke- 4th RU at NWO

Shelby Gates-Reichard- competed at Lake Festival
Erica Gelhaus- 1st RU and Talent award at Clayland; won Talent, Interview and Miss Northwestern Ohio

Kristen Haas- competed at GC/OC; won Miss North Coast
Alyssa Hanson- competed at LE/NO; won Miss Miami Valley
Jessica Harr- Spirit award at Ohio Valley
Ashley Hartman- 2nd RU at Portsmouth/ SV; competed at MV/AAC/FT; 3rd RU Maple City; 1st RU and SS at Mansfield; competed at Central; 1st RU at Sweeps II
Brandi Herceg- won Miss Ohio Valley and Interview and Community Service Essay awards
Lauren Hogan- 3rd RU at NWO; 2nd RU and EG at Mansfield; competed at Central; 2nd RU at Sweeps I
Bethany Hosback- Committed to Excellence award at Lake Festival
Alicia Huyghe- 4th RU at Mansfield; competed at Central

Jackie Jerlecki – 1st RU at Central; 1st RU at Sweeps I
Monica Johnson- competed at Mansfield

Courtney Kania- 3rd RU at Central; won Heart of Ohio
Zephylia Khooblall- won Miss Open City and Interview and EG awards – relinquished title

Carrie Lewis- competed at Portsmout/ SV
Kristen Ligouri – competed at Miami Valley; competed at Hamilton
Heather Lindsay- Spirit award at LE/NO; competed at Miami Valley
Brittany Lipinsky- competed at GC/OC

Sylvia Macias – competed at NWO
Sarah Mayher- Talent and Americanism Essay awards at Ohio Valley
Karissa Martin- competed at LE/NO; 2nd RU at NEO; won Miss Clayland
Elizabeth McGhee- competed at Lake Festival
Brittany McGinnis- People’s Choice at Hamilton
Amanda McKee- competed at Lake Festival
Elizabeth Miller- competed at Central
Sandy Miller- competed at Lake Festival
Victoria Miller- 1st RU WCO and SS award; won Delphos Canal Days Queen; won Buckeye State
Becky Minger- 2nd RU LE/NO and SS award; won Miss Maumee Valley
Maria Minnick- competed at MV/AAC/FT
Kristy Moneysmith- 3rd RU WCO and Spirit and Service Essay award; Talent award at Miami Valley; competed at MV/AAC/FT; 3rd RU and Talent at Hamilton; won Chillicothe

Jessica Nelson- competed at MV/AAC/FT

April O’Brien- competed at NEO; competed at Clayland; competed at MV/AAC/FT; competed at Maple City; competed at Central
Shannon O’Neill- won Miss West Central Ohio and Talent and Interview awards

Laura Pennington- 3rd RU GC/OC; competed at North Coast; competed and placed in several Virginia locals; won Virginia Sweeps
Ashley Pesta- SS award at Ohio Valley; competed at NEO
Megan Perkeybile- 2nd Lake Festival and Onstage Interview award
Emily Pheils- competed at MV/AAC/FT; competed at Maple City; competed at Mansfield; Congeniality at Central
Sarah Pierstoff- 1st RU Lake Festival and Talent award
Megan Presley- 1st RU Ohio Valley and SS awardCeci Purtee- competed at Portsmouth/ SV

Brittney Riodan- competed at Maple City

Jessica Shetler- competed at NEO
Kelly Sirk – 2nd RU and Congeniality at Hamilton
Melissa Nicole Stevens- competed at Portsmouth/ SV
Nanciann Strosnider- won Miss Northern Ohio

Brittany Taylor – competed at NWO
Kari Thomas- competed at Miami Valley

Brooke Waddles- competed at GC/OC Ashley Warholic- 3rd RU at Mansfield; competed at Central
Heather Waterman- won Miss Lake Festival and Private Interview award
Heather Wells- 2nd RU GC/OC; competed at LE/NO; 1st RU at NEO; 2nd RU and Talent at MV/AAC/FT; won Miss Maple City
Allison West- competed at NEO
Tiffany Westfall- competed at NWO
Katie Westgerdes- competed at Lake Festival
Linsey Williams – competed at Central
Jenna Wilson- 1st RU North Coast and SS award; 3rd RU- LE/NO; won Miss North East Ohio and Talent and SS awards
Kasey Wilson- won Miss Lake Erie and Talent Award
Katie Wolford- 1st RU and Interview Maple City; won Cuyahoga Valley
Megan Wombacker- competed at GC/OC; competed at LE/NO; competed at NEO; Community Service award at Clayland; won Scioto Valley

Christie Youssef- Won Miss Mansfield and Talent, Interview and Congeniality Awards

Kelly Jo Zink- 2nd RU WCO; Interview award at Miami Valley; competed at NEO; 2nd RU at Sweeps II
Rebekah Zoz – 1st RU and SS at Hamilton


The message boards have been nice so far and I’m sharing this in good faith that it will stay that way.

I did not post the entire season to embarrass the women who did not capture a crown; I think every woman who competed should be extremely proud of herself and hopefully she grew from her experiences.

Pageants are public events and therefore, just like sports they have records or stats, so to speak. Unlike sports, these stats highlight the subjectivity of pageants. Some women win on their first try, others work their stilettos off and most interestingly, some women place one weekend then not the next…

You just never know…

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Journey to LA

Since not much is going on in pageantland, here’s a recap of my trip to LA and some photos:

As you may recall, I was really sick with an exhausting cold that I just could not shake for about three weeks prior to leaving; the week right before I was much better, but it left me feeling really behind and overwhelmed. I had the compulsion to clean and organize everything I own before I could even think about packing. All of my toiletries were sorted, I sent my mom home with two and a half garbage bags full of clothes, shoes and accessories for my niece and younger cousins and I completed organizational tasked that have been haunting me for literally two or three years!

I had wanted to have my car packed the night before we left, but of course that didn’t happen. Rather, I piled things in the kitchen, next to the garage door. I made a point to pack in things that could double as storage/furniture since I couldn’t take a dresser with me.

My materialistic life was consolidated to a 3x1x1 foot decorative trunk of about 15 pairs of footwear, a matching briefcase of documents, headshots, office stuff and stationary and a third matching horn-sized case with framed photos, small decorations and other sentimental things. Necessary toiletries and hair appliances were condensed to a super handy three drawer plastic storage thing (also about 3x1x1) that I had purchased for my last year of Miss Ohio (Am.). A couple Space Bags full of clothes went in my large trendy suitcase and a couple others were thrown in the car individually. A spare TV took up half the back seat and a wide cardboard box was filled with kitchen supplies. Four of my favorite tote bags carried things like books, my laptop and other small electronics.

Several things I had purchased for pageantry proved useful, like the plastic unit mentioned above; it’s currently my nightstand! My mom had gotten me a fishing tackle set in which four clear organizers slip into a sturdy plastic carrier with a handle. It’s been incredibly handy and all my jewelry, belts and other accessories are contained in a one foot square. Of course there were other miscellaneous odds and ends including small decorative boxes full of stuff and two small/medium rugs.

I don’t know if that all sounds like a lot to you, but sitting in my kitchen it really didn’t look like much. In fact, Loren and I joked that it was equivalent to what I’d take to Miss Ohio each year! However, once he started loading the car, that was pretty much all there was room for! I brought two house plants, but had to leave many items. To look in the bathroom cabinet or closet, you may not even notice someone had left. We didn’t have room for my electronic keyboard or time to appropriately pack several fragile things like my antique lamps, glass-framed diploma or Sandicast statue resembling my cat.

We left the house at noon on a Thursday, about three hours later than we had really wanted to, which I think is good considering families are often that tardy to just go on a vacation, and I was relocating across the country! Not to mention, we weren’t exactly on a tight schedule or check-in deadline.

Saying goodbye to our dog Niki and my cat Fuzzy was so awful, my eyes are welling up just thinking about it. I felt physically ill as I stood paralyzed in my kitchen, not wanting to get in the car. I’ve never outright said it, but I’m sure most of you inferred a long time ago that Loren and I live together. (Many of you probably think that’s wrong, but we never intend to legally wed and I’m not a pageant contestant anymore, so I no longer beat myself up about unrealistic standards and old fashion values.) I just stood there looking at the home we’d created together – the bistro set we picked out, the slate floors we chose together and are so proud of, the suede paint treatment in the living room which we cursed through all three steps of applying!… I’m not just a college student/pageant girl anymore; I had created a home with a man I will spend the rest of my life with and the act of leaving it was a nauseating out of body experience.

I don’t think my tears stopped until we were nearly to Illinois. I just kept thinking “What are you doing?!” I asked Loren, “Have you ever felt like you were doing something so stupid, yet you knew you had no choice but to do it?” I’m the luckiest woman in the world because his answer was “yes;” he understands and supports me.

Anyway, enough with the sad stuff…

We were fortunate enough not to hit rush hour traffic in neither Indianapolis or St. Louis. However, Missouri was rainy. It’s a good thing we hadn’t planned to stop at the Gateway Arch, because as you can see from the picture below, I don’t think there was much of a view from the top.

In fact, the main sites we saw were gas stations. I had packed a cooler with fruit, yogurt, sandwich “fixins’” and Gatoraid; our only sitdown meal the first day was a Steak ‘n Shake, which Loren never usually wants to go to. He drove for the first ten hours or so… I finally took the wheel as night fell on Oklahoma. Even if I had seen Oklahoma, I highly doubt its windy plains could make up for the jarringly negative impression its horrible roads left on me and my tires! I drove for a few hours while Loren tried to sleep, rather unsuccessfully. At a gas station he insisted on taking over again, but we ended up pulling off at the first rest stop we came to in Texas.

Like everyone we told, I was also a bit skeptical that we would really drive straight through to Tucson, Arizona, but at 3 a.m. it doesn’t make much economic sense to get a hotel. I had thought I’d be too scared and untrusting to sleep in the car at a rest stop, but when you’re that road-weary you don’t care, and that’s exactly was we did for a few hours.

As daylight broke over Texas, it pretty much looked like Ohio…! Although something that you don’t see in Ohio is the Lauren Nelson milk billboard. I would have expected it in Oklahoma, but I saw it with my own eyes, on the side of the road in Texas!

When I say Starbucks I’m sure a certain demographic of people come to mind, right? In a Starbucks somewhere in northern Texas I noticed two gentlemen in jeans, cowboy boots and casual button down shirts speaking about where they were headed for that day’s livestock auction… After they get their no fat, half caf, five splenda, carmel macchiato with whip, I’m sure! Cowboys aren’t in my Starbucks demographic, but I guess I overlooked the urban cowboy!

A few miles from the New Mexico boarder the scenery finally changed, we went over a hill and suddenly there were cactus and mesas. We had lunch at an Olive Garden in Albuquerque, New Mexico, paid for by a gift card I received from judging a community pageant, which I found during my pre-packing cleaning spree!

There certainly is a mystique to New Mexico – the skies were a gorgeous blue with perfect billowing clouds; the red rock, cactus, mesas and distant mountains are beautiful, but I have to honestly say the charm wears off real quick! We thought Oklahoma would be the big state to get through, but New Mexico would not end!

With things like Elephant Butte Lake State Park and a town called Truth and Consequences, the road signs did provide some comedic relief.

But then, our Garmin [navigation device] failed us miserably! We had been on endless double lane highways, seen above; then it told us to turn on a regular two lane road. “This isn’t right,” I immediately said. Against our better judgment, we decided it was an adventure, a fun journey and we’d see where the scenic route led us!

Yes, well, it ended up being much more scenic than we had bargained for!

After being on the road for about thirty minutes we found ourselves ascending a mountain on a curvy road. Not just a little curvy, but it turned into 25 mph S curves, followed by a 20 mph U curve, then another S curve; the speed limit slowed to 10 mph around the tightest corner and did not exceed 30 mph! We climbed and descended three times before making a final descent down the other side. We realized, there was not twenty feet of straight road, and though I couldn’t really get a picture to do it justice, most of the time there was a sheer drop to our left. The curves we so awful, at one point I realized it had taken us fifteen minutes to go three miles!

Loren is a car guy who likes a driving challenge, but after ten minutes this was not fun, even for him. Our doors were locked, but I was sure we were going to round a corner and my TV would go rolling out of my back seat and down the mountain. We both flinched around every blind corner, hoping an oncoming car was not in our lane. It took at least an hour to get through and poor Loren was totally fatigued by the time we reached the small at the foot of the mountain and I took the wheel again.

After that, I was dying to see Arizona! We had been in the car well over 24 hours and we were disenchanted with the scenery. At that point, even stumbling upon Area 51 probably wouldn’t have impressed me! I have to say, the ability to travel with someone is very telling about the relationship. While I am in no hurry to drive across the country again, being with Loren the whole time made it meaningful.

Thirty-two hours after leaving Toledo, Ohio we arrived in Tuscon, Arizona, having made a little over five hours worth of stops. We spent the night with a friend/former employee of Loren’s and his wife and two young sons. While it was cost effective, being in a house with a hyperactive four year old was not exactly restful! It didn’t matter though, Loren and I both slept like rocks. After lunch with the family Saturday afternoon we drove another eight hours to LA. (Yes, we literally pulled to the side of a busy highway to take the photo below!)

On the way we went through two border patrol checkpoints. They shook their heads as I took their picture, but both times we were waved right through. I suppose two white people in a Lexus with a packed backseat is not suspicious, but isn’t that racist? I mean, if illegal immigration is such an issue in this country, shouldn’t they check every trunk? The road we were on was not busy in the least, so it’s not like it would dramatically affect traffic…

Anyway, Sunday was Loren’s birthday; my new roommate, her boyfriend, a friend of his and Loren and I had lunch at an Italian restaurant on a dock in Marina Del Rae. The boyfriend and his friend are both here on work visas from Italy and my roommate also speaks the language and studied there, so it was a very fun experience. Loren and I both enjoy learning about other cultures.

We also went out for the night here in West Hollywood, which is “boys town” and had a great time. One of the trendiest gay bars is called The Abbey; I would love to get a job there as a bartender, but I don’t exactly fit the demographic!

For Loren’s birthday, I got a hotel Monday night on the beach in Santa Monica (much love to Priceline!). Although the water was freezing, we enjoyed the pier; we ate at Bubba Gumps Shrimp Company and were very romantically the only people on the pathetic little roller coaster!

The week went far too quickly and that Wednesday Loren had to fly home. I decided that LA traffic is really no big deal; by that I mean, if I could get myself from the airport back to the apartment, crying the whole way, I'll be fine on the roads out here!

Our last trip to LA together was a long weekend about a year and a half ago, during which it rained the whole time. We both hated it! Fortunately, the few days Loren spent here with me were really wonderful. He loved it and did not want to return to Ohio (for multiple reasons, obviously). My point is, the great few days we had made the reality of our future here much more exciting.

So you read all that? Really? Cool, thanks! I haven’t watched much TV at all since being here and my roommate’s not around a lot, so I usually spend my evenings writing. This will probably be the last personal entry I write on this blog; I’ve started another one to chronicle my experiences in LA. I only linked it in a post here for a week, because I need it to be anonymous. I want to remember all of this – it’s been crazy and exciting and overwhelming – and it’s only been three weeks!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Miss Ohio Tickets and Events!

Now that the flights have been determined, it’s time to order your tickets!

Miss Ohio’s Outstanding Teen – Tuesday June 17 - $20

Prelim Night One – Wednesday June 18 - $20

Flight One: Talent; Flight Two: Gown and Question; Flight Three: Swimsuit

Prelim Night Two – Thursday June 19 - $20
Flight One: Swimsuit; Flight Two: Talent; Flight Three: Gown and Question

Prelim Night Three – Friday June 20 - $20
Flight One: Gown and Question; Flight Two: Swimsuit; Flight Three: Talent

Miss Ohio Finals – Saturday June 21 - $40

Four night Miss package - $85
Five night total package - $100

To download a ticket order form go to and click on "2008 Show Tickets" in the right sidebar. I don't think you can simply call a box office and give a credit card, but I'm not sure, I've always either been in the pageant or purchased tickets at the door!

Scroll below to see who is in which flight.

Also during Miss Ohio week there are various other ticketed activities.

The annual Mansfield Noon Optimist Lunch will be Wednesday June 18th at 11:45 a.m. at the Holiday Inn.

Contestants attend free, but everyone else must pay a $20 donation. RSVP to Ron Denman at 419-610-4131 by June 6th.

This is always a nice event; Miss Ohio always speaks and each contestant usually introduces herself and her platform.

Parents, you may find that after all the preparation expense, hotel cost and show tickets that these events are nickel and diming you. I completely understand! I felt so guilty about it my first few years, I did not want my parents to spend the extra money on this type of thing. But they did attend the last couple years and I found the support invaluable! Granted, I was lucky to have “normal” non-nagging, non-stage parents!

Each year extra events come and go; I’m sure you heard about them at Spring Forum. I don’t know what else is being offered this year, but I highly recommend the Optimist Lunch. Yes, it’s basic hotel food, but you actually get 45 minutes to an hour to sit and eat with your daughter!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Breaking Pageant News: The Miss Ohio Line-up!

Today must be Miss Ohio's Spring Forum, as I just got a text with the following information:

Flight One:

1. Samantha Eggars - Broadway vocal - Open City
2. Krystle Formosa - Broadway vocal - South Central Ohio
3. Sophia Davis - dance - Hamilton
4. Courtney Kania - harp - Heart of Ohio
5. Katie Wolford - Broadway vocal - Cuyahoga Valley
6. Heather Wells - jazz dance - Maple City
7. Katie Camp - tap dance - Portsmouth
8. Jessica Barrett - Broadway vocal - All American City
9. Karissa Martin - Broadway vocal - Clayland

Flight Two:

10. Erica Gelhaus - opera - Northwestern Ohio
11. Kristen Haas - dance - North Coast
12. Christie Youssef - harp - Mansfield
13. Victoria Miller - dance - Buckeye State
14. Heather Waterman - vocal - Lake Festival
15. Amy Allen - vocal - Southern Ohio
16. Becky Minger - vocal - Maumee Valley
17. Megan Wombacker - tap dance - Scioto Valley
18. Shannon O'Neil - vocal - West Central Ohio
19. Kasey Wilson - opera- Lake Erie

Flight Three:

20. Kristie Moneysmith - country vocal - Chillicothe
21. Brandi Herceg - dance - Ohio Valley
22. Alyssa Hanson - Broadway vocal - Miami Valley
23. Andrea Andryscik - vocal - Greater Cleveland
24. Jillian Dansko - tap dance - Central Ohio
25. Nanciann Strosnider -Broadway vocal - Northern Ohio
26. Amanda Pitcock - monologue - Brookville
27. Jenna Wilson - vocal - North East Ohio
28. Emily Cousino - vocal - Fallen Timbers

I always felt Spring Forum was a necessary evil; certain information must be distributed and the contestant order must be selected, but despite attempts to make it fun, it was always pretty long and painful.

To understand how a contestant lottery/ placement selection works and the various factors the contestants hopefully considered, click here.

Note, specific talent types like Broadway, tap, etc... are based on past performances and subject to change for the state pageant. Although the Miss Ohio website has some song titles listed, it is very obvious that a few of them are mistakes - they appear to be the selection from last years titleholder. IE: Miss Lake Erie still lists "Happy Day's are Here Again," the song last years Miss Lake Erie Nanciann Strosnider sang; she is now Miss Northern Ohio and the women who she crowned, Kasey Wilson, will likely sing opera. So until it appears to be completely updated, don't trust the official website.

As fans review the contestant order and the contestants, parents and EDs return home, the message board will no doubt become flooded with everyone’s “picks.” People will talk about which is the strong swimsuit flight, strong talent flight and which women will win a preliminary award. I realize it’s a lot of fun, but I implore everyone to be kind.

*** CONTESTANTS- now is the time to use your willpower and STAY OFF THE MESSAGE BOARD unil after Miss Ohio! ***

I personally think it’s annoying to believe you know exactly which contestant will win a prelim – there’s no way of knowing how a woman has changed from her local to state or what the judges will want. I do understand discussing strong flights and picking a couple women as your favorites, all of which can be done without putting other women down.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Pageant Poll: Should debt-free women of wealth compete in MAO?

On the unofficial Miss America message board a young lady posted the following:

“I have a question, I am currently 19, however, I was homeschooled K-12 and will graduate from college in May. I have always wanted to participate in pageants, however, I have always put them on the back burner for my studies. I have no college debt, and I come from a wealthy family. I really have no need for scholarships. Am I still welcome to participate in MAO pageants, or would I be snubbed?”

How would you answer her?

Direct link

More from the Message Boards

Keep Miss Teen USA Hilary Cruz in your thoughts; rumor has it that her appendix burst and she had to have surgery!

A memo supposedly from Art McMaster, Miss America's CEO:

Dear State Executive Directors,

I wanted to take a moment to provide you with some information and updates from the National Office.

Currently, we are still in negotiations with Planet Hollywood for Miss America 2009 to return to Las Vegas. We will continue to keep you well informed of our progress and once finalized, will announce the partnership and the date for our 2009 Pageant!

As you may have read from some of the national news stories, the ratings are out on The Miss USA Pageant that was televised on NBC last Friday night. And, although we are so sorry to see that Miss USA’s ratings declined by over 2 million viewers, it is important to recognize that our telecast of The Miss America 2008 Pageant set a new record and we continue to be moving on an upward trend!

While The Miss USA Pageant lost 2 million viewers and their ratings were at an all time low – Miss America gained one million new viewers with our Pageant and the introduction of our new Reality Show on TLC!

We are excited about the positive direction we are creating with the help and support of each one of you. Miss America continues to be the premiere Pageant and the Organization that offers contestants the opportunity to aspire to be a part of an amazing American tradition. While Miss USA continues to lose viewers, Miss America is growing and gaining viewers.

On a closing note, we are continuing to finalize plans for our National Workshop in August, so please remember to sign up if you haven’t already; our space is limited and we have had a wonderful response so far.

Thank you for your continued support. We are so proud of the work you are doing that makes us #1!

Art McMaster

An interview with Miss America:

Five questions with Farmington Hills native and reigning Miss America Kirsten Haglund


Warm, chatty, down-to-earth and inspiring, Kirsten Haglund has the right personality for her new job. The 19-year-old from Farmington Hills is traveling the country in her role as Miss America. Since winning the title in January, she has met President George W. Bush and thrown out the first pitch for the Detroit Tigers' Opening Day, among other tasks. On Friday and Saturday, Haglund will cohost and perform at National City Stars of Ballet and Broadway at the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts. Local performers will share the spotlight with stars from top national dance troupes (the New York City Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey) and Broadway shows ("The Color Purple" "The Light in the Piazza," "Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk" and "Sweet Charity"). Haglund is excited about being part of the two-night event, which benefits Music Hall's dance education program and the Miss America Scholarship Fund. In fact, she's pretty much positive about everything, even the struggling Tigers.

QUESTION: You're an aspiring Broadway star. If you could have your choice of any lead role in any show, what would it be?

ANSWER: I really love the role of Kim in "Miss Saigon." It's one of my absolute favorite musicals. ... It's an incredible show. ... I had a video of it, but I didn't actually see it live until a national tour of it came to Detroit. I think I was a junior in high school. ... But I knew the score before then. I had the entire score memorized.

Q: You sang "Over the Rainbow" for your Miss America win. What songs are playing in your iPod right now?

A: Oh my goodness, I listen to lots of movie soundtracks and classical music, which is funny, and alternative. I really have eclectic tastes in music. I listen to a lot of Josh Groban. I listen to a lot of Michael Buble. I actually have this CD of French music that I've been listening to, French café music.

Q: On a serious note, now that you've talked about your experience overcoming anorexia, what's been the reaction from other women?

A: For the most part, it's been one of solidarity and positivity and just "Thank you so much." ... It makes me so happy and so fulfilled that I'm able to be a little bit of a voice for so many people, the nine million Americans that are struggling with eating disorders. But it's so much more than that. It's women and body image issues in general. ... The message that I have, I'm not trying to say, "Well, I overcame an eating disorder just like that and it was easy." No, the message is that it is hard; it is a struggle; it's a mental illness. But the fact is, people can recover from eating disorders and go on to live healthy, productive lives.

Q: What's the first thing people ask you about being Miss America?

A: Many people ask me how has your life changed and when do you get to go home. Basically, it's the fact that I'm homeless and I don't get to go home to stay at my house, except for Easter and Christmas. I do live out of two 50-pound suitcases and travel all the time, but I love it. ... I get to devote an entire year to service, to things I'm so passionate about, and have opportunities I will never probably have again in my life to use my voice in a positive way, so I am just so, so grateful.

Q: You threw out the ceremonial first pitch for the Detroit Tigers' Opening Day this year. Considering their record so far, would you be willing to come back and pitch again?

A: Oh my gosh, yes, of course. I'm not a fair-weather friend of my Detroit sports teams. I'm a Michigan native, a Detroit native, and I'm proud of them, whatever their record.

"How to Walk like a Beauty Queen"

Mind you, this features the Miss California USA pageant, in which the woman crowned was later removed due to a miscount.

The new Miss USA on the Today Show:

Post Miss USA Gossip:

From this site:
London, April 16 : Heather Mills apparently got on the wrong side of the Miss USA pageant organizers with her unreasonable demands and her 'enormous ego.'

A source claimed that producers even threatened to drop her as a judge when she 'flat-out refused' to sign a deal allowing it to be shown worldwide.

"She wants to get paid if they resell the footage. Her ego is enormous," the Mirror quoted the source, as saying.

People who booked the 40-year-old former model for the show vowed never to work with her again, the source said.

"She treated this like she was starring in a big-budget movie," the source added.

The source further said that Mills even met with pageant owner Donald Trump to 'butter him up'.

Supposedly from Tuesday's NY Daily News:
"Donald Trump didn't seem in the best of moods at the Mar-a-Lago wedding of his ex-wife Ivana over the weekend.

When I asked if he had a message of support for his ex, he said gruffly, "Of course I do. Why wouldn't I?" But he didn't share what it was!

Possibly he was still annoyed because his Miss USA pageant didn't go the way he wanted in Las Vegas on Friday.

"Donald was angry because the girl he wanted didn't win," says a snitch. "He wanted the title to go to Miss Oklahoma [Lindsey Jo Harrington], a very pretty blond." But judges awarded the tiara to Miss Texas, Crystle Stewart, instead."

Supposedly from Page Six of the New York Post:

UGLY MOMENT AT BEAUTY FETE April 16, 2008 -- CRISS Angel, the overrated Las Vegas illusionist who once "dated" Britney Spears for publicity, showed off a nasty temper by throwing a tantrum over the weekend when his girlfriend didn't win the Miss USA contest.

Shortly after Angel's honey, Miss Nevada USA Veronica Grabowski, didn't make the finals of the Miss USA pageant at the Planet Hollywood Resort, Angel - who flipped the NBC cameras the bird - wigged out when he saw Las Vegas Review Journal columnist Norm Clarke.

Angel was ticked off that Clarke ran an interview with preliminary judge Sandy Mecca, in which Mecca claimed Angel exhorted her to give Grabowski "high marks." Mecca said the comments made her uncomfortable and disturbed pageant owner Donald Trump.

When Angel ran into Clarke after the show, he screamed, "You're a [bleeping] idiot!" Angel then screeched at Clarke, who wears a patch over his right eye, "Don't ever write another word about me or you'll need an eye patch over your other eye."

"Good one," Clarke shot back "Never heard that one before." Angel's rep told Clarke, "It was an emotional night for everyone."

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Looks like another season of "Crowned" to me, or a copy cat... How sad, once was enough!



Reply to:
Date: 2008-04-17, 5:05PM PDT

A major, cable-network reality show, is seeking mother-daughter teams for a beauty pageant competition in an episode for an exciting new series. Teams will compete in all aspects of a traditional beauty pageant and be judged on a number of criteria.

Daughters must be at least 18 years old, and all mother-daughter teams must live in the Los Angeles area. Interested teams must include in their submission, a current photo of each competitor and brief bio. Previous pageant experience is not required.

$200 compensation will be paid to all mother-daughter teams competing. The competition will tape on Wednesday, April 23 and you must be available all day. Bring your creativity and talent to the table and prove to yourself that your mother-daughter duo has what it takes! Please send all submissions to the email address provided below. Thank you and good luck!!!

Location: Los Angeles/Hollywood
Compensation: $200 per mother-daughter team

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Former Miss Central Ohio an AI Top 20 Songwriter

This morning I got an exciting email from local E.D.s Larry and Kathy Wise via Terri, Miss Ohio’s business manager.

Mendy Byrd Shaw, Miss Central Ohio 1994 and 2nd Runner-up to Miss Ohio is a Top 20 Finalist for an American Idol songwriting contest. You can vote for Mendy's song by visiting the AI website; details below:

Press Release

April 9, 2008

American Idol selects Ohio songwriters for the Top 20 songwriting contest.


“Stronger”, a song written by Ohio artists Mendy Shaw and Jason Phelps, is selected as a Top 20 finalist from thousands of songs submitted nationally to the American Idol website. The 20 songs and artists will be showcased online at and America will vote to determine the winner.


Mendy Shaw and Jason Phelps, were both born and raised in greater Cincinnati. Individually, they have been writing, recording and performing music for more than 10 years. Of the many songs they have written, “Stronger” seemed like the perfect fit for American Idol. Recently, they were notified the song had been selected and are now trying to spread the word and are asking for the support of our Ohio community.


The many state wide fans of American Idol can help make “Stronger” the song that will be performed live on the American Idol finale! Voting starts tomorrow, April 10th at To support the homegrown writers, vote for “Stronger”, by Mendy Shaw and Jason Phelps.

Stephanie Sparks, Crowned Miss Southern Ohio Outstanding Teen

For Immediate Release

Stephanie Sparks, Crowned Miss Southern Ohio Outstanding Teen

The Miss Portsmouth and Miss Scioto Valley Scholarship Program is pleased to announce the Crowning of our newest addition Miss Southern Ohio Outstanding Teen, Stephanie Sparks. Stephanie is a 16 yr old junior at Green High School. Her talent is vocal and her platform deals with positive body image for teens.

Also crowned at the program were Wee Miss Southern Ohio, Kennedy Shamblin, Tiny Miss Southern Ohio, Emma Shamblin, Little Miss Southern Ohio, Birdie Gill, Junior Miss Southern Ohio, and Juliana Logan.

The Miss Southern Ohio Outstanding Teen Program held April 12, 2008 at South Gallia High School. Miss Portsmouth, Katie Camp, Miss Scioto Valley, Megan Wombacker, and Miss Portsmouth Outstanding Teen, Kara Beth Wagner emceed the Program. Also performing and crowning the new Miss Southern Ohio Outstanding Teen, was our current Miss Ohio Outstanding Teen, Ashley Miller. Stephanie as Miss Southern Ohio Outstanding Teen will go on to compete in June for the title of Miss Ohio Outstanding Teen 2008. For more information about the Miss Portsmouth and Miss Scioto Valley Program, you can go to or by contacting Executive Director, Greg Davis at or (740) 981-2948. For more information about the Miss Ohio Outstanding Teen Program, you can go to .

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Miss USA on YouTube

The brand new Miss USA, Crystal Stewart, was absolutely fabulous on Regis and Kelly! To watch the video, CLICK HERE,

Also, if you frequent YouTube you may know of What the Buck? Michale usually uses tons of curse words, so I've never linked it here before, but this pageant review is actually not as crude. It's HISTERICAL and pretty spot-on so I just had to share it!
Be advised, it does include some strong language.

*Note, when talking about the breast-elboying, he got the state wrong. It happened it Mississippi, not Missouri.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Texas Wins Miss USA, but Ohio is Deemed the Nicest!

Congratulations to the new Miss USA, Crystal Stewart!
After being First Runner-up for the past two years, she finally clinched the Texas title on her fifth try!
Tonight all the hard work certainly paid off.

Full Results:

Miss USA – Texas
1st RU – Mississippi
2nd RU – New Jersey
3rd RU – Oklahoma
4th RU – Pennsylvania

Remaining Top 10:

Massachusetts * Missouri * Tennessee * Indiana * Florida

Remaining Top 15:

Minnesota * Rhode Island * South Carolina * California * Utah

So here were my thoughts...

I loved the whole vibe and production of the opening. However, it looks as though “pageant hair,” heavier make-up and ugly 80s earring have creped back into this pageant, which has been more about natural stunning beauty the last few years.

Wow! In 30 years I want to find a doctor as good as Marie’s! She looked fabulous, but Donny is just annoying.

Rachel Smith is great; who doesn’t love her!? But, I was so disappointed in her gowns tonight- she must have been hanging out at Mardi Gras and Toga parties while she was off stage!

As for the contestants, I thought it looked like an amazing group of women in the intro, but then the Top 15 was a little disappointing. Did anyone else notice that at first every-other semifinalist called was a blond Barbi doll? I don’t mean to anger or offend my blond readers, but I found the blond contestants tonight to all be very similar and stereotypical with little going on behind the eyes. I hate to say that because I’m sure most of them are intelligent and accomplished, but that’s not the image they projected.

After Swimsuit, I really like Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Utah.

I would have cut Minnesota, Missouri and Tennessee all of whom were really boring to me, as well as Mississippi whose look I didn't dig, and found bitchy.

Oklahoma is one of the few blonds that grew on me as the night progressed, but when she was called into the Top 15 I thought, "do all women from that state look the same?!" I thought onstage tonight she looked like former Oklahoma Miss America Lauren Nelson.

Other look alikes, in my opinion, were Pennsylvania USA and Ohio's Megan Womabacker and Indiana USA looked like Lauren Hogan!

Anyway… I found the Evening Gown competition utterly disappointing! None of the gowns wowed me. My roommate's boyfriend came home and sort of watch the gowns with me, and was not impressed either. Despite dismal dresses, I was still rooting for Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and Indiana, and I still did not like Missouri, Mississippi or Tennessee.

At this point we learned that Miss Ohio USA Monica Day won Miss Congeniality! Great job Monica. This is not at all surprising; she is always a blast to be around.
The Photogenic award went to Alaska.

I really think Pennsylvania was leading the pageant until the onstage question…

Judge Heather Mills asked her about beauty products marketed toward little girls; I think she hurt herself by not delivering the expected “I think they’re bad, little girls shouldn’t wear makeup” answer.

I wasn’t “into” Crystal Stewart throughout the competition, but there’s no deny she’s an excellent competitor. Her onstage question was perhaps the best; she solidly argued against a military draft, while still giving a shout-out to the troops.

I thought perhaps the organization would ping-pong back to a blond, as they seem to do, with Oklahoma. Her question was okay, but it was a bit of a curveball. She was asked which celebrity she would choose to help better themselves; of course she said Brittany Spears.

Like Texas, I wasn’t really into New Jersey, but her onstage question was undeniable good. She asserted that children should have television and internet because they are good resources, but they need to be monitored and used wisely.

Finally, I was just not a fan of Mississippi at all! She was asked something about being helped in life by being beautiful and she spoke about the opportunity of being in the pageant.

My final results would have been Mississippi 4th Runner-up, Pennsylvania 3rd because of her question, New Jersey 2nd Runner-up and a coin toss between Texas and Oklahoma, depending on which way Donald’s hair is flapping… But that shows how little I know, since I only had Jersey in the right spot!

Check this out... In terms of wardrobe, Miss USA and Miss America seem to be "sisters from another mother," as the saying goes!

Friday, April 11, 2008

I can't believe this- Miss USA is not airing live here in LA! I'm actually closer to the where the pageant is taking place, but I'll have to wait and watching it at 9 p.m. pacific time. I want to develope my own opinions and guesses as I watch, so do not call or email me with the results.

Best of Luck to Monica Day at Miss USA TONIGHT!

Many of you remeber her as Monica Day Boggs, a Top 10 Semifinalist at Miss Ohio MAO back in 2002... On her fourth attempt she captured the Miss Ohio USA title and is competing tonight to become The Donald's new leading lady!

Sources tell me that the evening gown she ordered (from a company I'll not disclose) was made incorrectly and the green one below was a last minute replacement. It's stunning nontheless. This is the woman who wore an afro wig for a "70s" production number in Mansfield and made the Top 10 as contestant #1, so I look for her to do well tonight!

Other MAO to USA "crossovers" this year include:

* Miss Georgia USA Amanda Kozak was 2nd Runner-up at Miss America as Miss Georgia MAO.

* Miss Utah USA Julia Bachison was a Swimsuit winner at Miss America as Miss Utah MAO.

* Miss Idaho USA Tracy Brown was a Quality of Life Award winner at Miss America as Miss Idaho MAO.

*Miss Wisconsin USA Michelyn Cynthia Butler was 1st RU at Miss Wisconsin MAO.

*Miss North Carolina USA, Andrea Duke was 1st Runner-up to Miss North Carolina MAO.

*Miss DC USA Chelsey Sophia Rodgers was 1st Runner-up to Miss DC MAO.

*Miss Tennessee USA Hailey Laine Brown was a runner-up to Miss Tennessee MAO.

*Miss Delaware USA Vincenaz Carrieri-Russo was a Top 10 finalist at Miss Delaware MAO.

*Miss Massachusetts USA Jackie Bruno was a former MAO local titleholder.

*Miss North Dakota USA Stephanie Tollefson competed at Miss North Dakota MAO.

*Miss Pennsylvania, LauRen Merola competed in Miss Pennsylvania and Miss Florida MAO.

The pageant is at 9 p.m. ET on NBC... which means the ladies will compete at 7 p.m. Vegas time and I'll be watching at 6 p.m. LA time... I think!? :)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Pageant Press Release: New Teen Title for Southern Ohio

For Immediate Release

New Teen Title for Southern Ohio

The Miss Portsmouth and Miss Scioto Valley Scholarship Program is pleased to announce an addition to our current program. Miss Southern Ohio Outstanding Teen and Wee Miss Southern Ohio, Tiny Miss Southern Ohio, Little Miss Southern Ohio and Junior Miss Southern Ohio. The Miss Southern Ohio Outstanding Teen Program is the little sister program to Miss Portsmouth and Miss Scioto Valley and an addition to Miss Portsmouth Outstanding Teen and Miss Scioto Valley Outstanding Teen.

The Miss Southern Ohio Outstanding Teen Program will be Saturday April 12, 2008 at South Gallia High School. The Program will start at 7:00PM with tickets $7.00 at the door. South Gallia High School was chosen to allow more young women in Southern Ohio to compete and it is the home school of our current Miss Ohio Outstanding Teen, Ashley Miller. This program is open to young women in Ohio ages 13 thru 17. The winner of the Miss Southern Ohio Outstanding Teen title will go on to compete in June for the title of Miss Ohio Outstanding Teen 2008. For more information go to or by contacting Executive Director, Greg Davis at or (740) 981-2948.


Huge Thanks All Around!

And the mystery blogger was...

The incomparable Maria Jones! [Above on the right with former Miss Ohio’s Amanda Beagle and Melanie Murphy.] She did a great job posting the Sweeps results for me, didn’t she?

In Ohio pageantry the word “coach” is taboo and Maria’s name sometimes sparks undue, high school-esq drama, which I have just never understood. She was a valuable supporter my last two years at Miss Ohio (America) and continues to be a great friend. Thanks Maria!

Also, special thanks to Miss Southern Ohio Amy Allen and Miss Central Ohio Jillian Dansko for the kind words they wrote about me on their blogs. To those of you who left comments and send emails and Facebook messages, know they meant a great deal to me. This is a very big, very difficult step and I am so grateful for all your encouragement.

Much appreciation goes out to my friend Jeff whose friendship and support are immeasurable. He house and pet sat while Loren was with me for a week, and the beautiful Lauren Hogan was on stand-by, should Jeff not be able to fulfill his animal feeding, mail collecting duties!

Finally, I can’t begin to say enough about my beau, Loren. He drove all but a few hours across this country to drop me at the doorstep of my dreams. Honestly though, having his support and the love we share is already a dream come true. No matter what we will have a sweet life together; should my career aspirations be realized, it would merely be a materialistic cherry on top! Thank you so much Loren. I love you.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Greetings from West Hollywood!

Hello Ohio! Loren and I made it to LA Saturday evening, as planned. The past few days have been more like a vacation, celebrating Loren’s birthday and seeing some sites. Sadly, he’s flying back home tomorrow and I’ll start working my tail off!

Congratulations to the six winners of Ohio’s Sweeps pageant. That being said, it’s a good thing I haven’t had much time to be online the last few days because a couple aspects of these pageants have me miffed!

More later… For now, I’m treasuring every last second that I have with Loren…

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The three final Miss Ohio titleholders crowned in Medina!

Congratulations goes out to the newly crowned Sweeps queens!

Miss Cuyahoga Valley: Katherine Wolford
Miss Buckeye State: Victoria Miller
Miss Heart of Ohio: Courtney Kania
1st Runner Up: Ashley Hartman
2nd Runner Up: Kelly Jo Zink

See you all in sunny Mansfield, June 18-21 for another exciting Miss Ohio competition. Who will she be?
(Thanks to Jillian for the photo)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Congratulations to the newest titleholders!

Tonight in Chillicothe three new titleholders were crowned:

Miss Southern Ohio: Amy Allen
Miss South Central Ohio: Krystle Formosa
Miss Chillicothe: Kristy Moneysmith
1st Runner up: Jackie Jerlecki
2nd Runner up: Lauren Hogan

Good job ladies! Now on to Medina for Sunday Sweeps...

(Thanks to Katie Camp for the picture)

Greetings from Tucson!

Loren and I left Toledo at noon Thursday and got into Tucson to spend the night with friends around 8:30 p.m. (Ohio time) Friday! This afternoon we're headed on to LA.

Huge congrats to Laura Pennington, I got a text last night that she won Virginia's Sweeps pageants; way to go Laura! You deserve it!

Best of luck to Ohio's Sweeps ladies tonight and tomorrow; a friend will be posting the results for me.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Onward and Upward... at the very least, Westward!

I’ve mentioned that I’m moving to California and the time is NOW! Let me answer the questions I keep getting:

#1. What about Loren? It makes me smile that this is almost everyone’s first question. Loren and I realize how difficult this is going to be. We have a wonderful life together and a beautiful home. However, due to the ugly economy we may have to be apart for well over a year, until it becomes profitable to sell our house here in the Toledo area.

#2. Will you keep writing your blog? Yes, I will try. 99% of the content on this blog can be found elsewhere on the internet, I simple do you all a favor by putting it in one place, which means I can write it from anywhere. The variables will be time, accessibility and desire. I’m honestly not worried about time because even when I’m busy, I blog to decompress, or when I’m procrastinating! Hopefully I’ll have internet in my apartment; having to use public internet will cramp my style, but is a financial sacrifice I may have to make. Finally, as formers age our connection to the program seems to fade. Sometimes as I cruise pageant sites I ask myself, “aren’t there other sites I should be on that would be more relevant to my life and career?” As I immerse myself in achieving my career goals it is possible that my devotion to the pageant world may wane, but I promise this blog will never suddenly disappear. If for some reason I couldn’t continue writing, I’d give you ample warning.

#3. What will you be doing? Um… I have a degree in Theatre and I’ve been unwavering on my desire to be successful in the entertainment industry. I can’t help but be confused and annoyed by people are shocked that I’m moving, but for the most part I’ve received wonderful support, for which I am grateful.

#4. Do you have an agent? When I went to IMTA back in January I was under the false impression that perhaps contracts with a manager and agent could be faxed back and forth before I moved. That notion is so wrong. Everyone who was interested in me at IMTA said “Call us when you’re here.” Talent and beauty is a dime a dozen. You not only have to prove your abilities, but also your commitment. Industry professionals see amazing talent walk away all the time because they’re home sick, they decide it’s just not for them, they run out of money, their significant other isn’t supportive, they don’t like LA, etc… So no, I don’t have a manager or agent yet, but I have several good contacts thanks to IMTA who I will be meeting with as soon as I’m settled.

#5. Do you have a job/ apartment/ how do you go about this transition? The logistics are by no means easy! After a few ups and downs on the roommate/apartment front, situations changed for a friend currently living there, and Sunday I got the wonderful, relieving news that she’d get a place with me! She’s currently looking, which is a great help since it is extremely difficult to narrow down the hundred different neighborhoods in greater LA and impossible to trust photos you see online. She already knows which areas are good and we have the same price range and priorities.

In terms of moving, another friend who lives there said he sold whatever he could, like his bed, dresser, speakers, etc., loaded essentials in his car and purchased new things when he got there. My immediate thought was, but Loren and I have a nice spare bedroom set and couch which are all going to end up out there at some point anyway. But then I did some research… Renting and fueling a moving truck would cost over two grand and we’d have the headache of towing my car behind it. Even shipping furniture is much less cost effective than just buying a cheap mattress when I get there. So, like most people, I’m loading my car to the brim and hitting the highway!

As for a job, the company I’m with now is national, but the school year is winding down and the LA area has several experienced speakers, so I am not guaranteed many, or any presentations. The professional leads I’m finding on are all 9 to 5 type jobs, which wouldn’t give me the flexibility to go on auditions. I have experience and I realize it’s my best option, but I am going to try not to wait tables… That’s what I’ll probably end up doing anyway; it makes perfect sense why so many actors supplement their incomes as a server- the tips can be great, you can make great connections and the hours are often second shift and flexible.

#6. When are you leaving? TOMORROW! Thursday, April 3rd.

I know, it’s horrible pageant timing with all the current drama, Miss USA and the Ohio's Sweeps pageant this weekend.

Special thanks to a wonderful friend has agreed to post the Sweeps results for me. Also thanks to my great friend Jeff who wrote THIS touching blog entry to me.

Time to get back to packing and crying, packing and crying, packing and crying...

Back to Health Issues: Substance Abuse and a little more on Facebook drama

I didn’t conclude my emphasis on health issues and with the recent Facebook photo drama, it seems like good timing to touch on substance abuse.

My good friend, and former Miss All*American City, Lauren Hogan’s pageant platform is “Risky Business” so I asked her for some help...

As part of her platform she advocates that abstinence-only sexual education is not good enough and here’s why:

*47% of Ohio teens ages 15-19 have had sexual intercourse. (Reference)

This site offers statistics about college alcohol consumption; here are a few:

* 1,700 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes.

* More than 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.

* 1 million students between the ages of 18 and 24 drove under the influence of alcohol last year.

* 31 percent of college students met criteria for a diagnosis of alcohol abuse and 6 percent for a diagnosis of alcohol dependence.

Lauren quoted this site stating that “76% of Ohio teens ages 15-19 have had at least one drink of alcohol on one or more days during their life.”

So what constitutes a drink?

* One 12-ounce bottle of beer* or wine cooler
* One 5-ounce glass of wine
* 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits

(*Different beers have different alcohol content. Malt liquor has a higher alcohol content than most other brewed beverage.)

There are factors that put some students at greater risk.

A number of environmental influences working in concert with other factors may affect students' alcohol consumption. Schools where excessive alcohol use is more likely to occur include:

* Schools where Greek systems dominate
* Schools where athletic teams are prominent
* Schools located in the Northeast
* First-Year Students

This next statistic is where Lauren’s platform intersects with mine…

The first 6 weeks of enrollment are critical to first-year student success. Because many students initiate heavy drinking during these early days of college, the potential exists for excessive alcohol consumption to interfere with successful adaptation to campus life. The transition to college is often so difficult to negotiate that about one-third of first-year students fail to enroll for their second year.

Although I hate FOX News, I do see value in this article Lauren sent me:

Facebook Photos Make Light of Heavy Drinking, but Doctors Aren't Laughing

In the past, one of the worst things about getting drunk and acting like a fool was the hangover that followed the next morning. But, with social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace, the humiliation has been taken to a whole new level.

A user group called, "30 Reasons Girls Should Call It a Night" has posted nearly 5,000 photos of completely wasted young women making total fools of themselves.

…The CDC defines binge drinking as a pattern of alcohol consumption that brings a person's blood alcohol level (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above. When you break that down, it translates to men consuming five drinks in one sitting and women having about four drinks in the same time period, said Levounis.

…According to Levounis, these are the top 5 signs you might be in trouble:

1. Drinking five or more drinks in one sitting if you're a man, four or more if you're a woman.
2. If there's a big change in your performance at work, or at school.
3. If you're trying to cut down on drinking and you're not able to.
4. If you've ever felt guilty about your drinking.
5. If you've ever felt annoyed by people telling you that you're drinking too much.

The Miss Ohio Contract states:
Good Character. I am of good moral character and I have not been involved at any time in any act of moral turpitude.

Criminal Record. Other than minor or petty offenses, I have never been convicted of any criminal offense and there are no criminal charges presently pending against me.

Prior Conduct. I have never performed any act or engaged in any activity or employment that is or could reasonably be characterized as dishonest, immoral, or indecent.

Short of criminal offensives, I maintain that “good moral character” is a grey area in our society, especially for a college student. I wish I could impress upon non-contestants how truly difficult it is for a young woman to juggle the ideals of the crown with the day to day world around her.

Honestly, the moment I aged out of the system, it was as if the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders, yet I had struggled and persevered for six years because I deeply wanted the crown, the title and the job. Although I felt unrealistic judgment, I also knew with every fiber of my being that I could do the job. I am jealous of women who truly embody and live the “goody-goody” image that is desired and often awarded in the Miss America system. I admire women who juggle being a titleholder with being a relatable, realistic college woman with class. It is more difficult than ever with networking sites and I feel badly for them. I can not stand or respect the women who don’t seem to care or struggle with the idea that they should act a certain way.

It is up to each contestant to find the right balance in their life. To Lauren Hogan, it means this:

Current titleholders or contestants of Miss Ohio are representatives of the Miss America Organization. They are held to a higher standard in the eyes of the society. What they do in their private life can affect their overall image. Their behavior should reflect the ideals of the organization at all times.

Other issues that have come about are pictures posted on Facebook, MySpace, or other online forums. Prospective employers and recruiters look at an applicant’s online pages for background information. Because of Miss Ohio being a job, these posting are fair game for judging candidate’s credibility, professionalism, and morality.

Overall, contestants need to have a self-reflection of their actions and behavior. If they are engaging themselves in questionable activity and cannot handle being a good role model, maybe the Miss Ohio job is not for them.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Congrats to the New Miss Open City, Samantha Eggers and New Miss Brookville, Amanda Pitcock!

*This post has been edited; scroll below for more info on Amanda Pitcock. **

It’s okay to proudly, publicly display illegal activity and still be a pageant titleholder.

April Fools!

Maybe that's why it took so long to do something about this situation, so it could be an April Fools joke... But we all know it's not a laughing matter and I'm happy to report that it's over!

It's official- Zephylia Khooblall is no longer Miss Open City. While I don't know if she stepped down on her own, or was forced to, her First Runner-up has taken over.

The new Miss Open City is Samantha Eggers; she was the Outstanding Talent Award winner at the local pageant. This is not surprising considering she debuted on Broadway as Lisa (and understudy for Sophie) in MAMMA MIA!

This website, where I got the picture, says she's the youth spokeswoman for migraine research with the National Headache Foundation. I assume that's her platform, but I'm not sure; nor do I know her schooling or if she's still performing in MAMMA MIA. Anyone know?

Samantha’s not the only new titleholder… You may recall two years ago Miss America released rules by which a fair, festival or homecoming queen could apply to compete at the state pageant. CLICK HERE for the guidelines.

Well, it's finally happened here in Ohio... Amanda Pitcock will compete at Miss Ohio as Miss Brookville. She is a Political Science student at Bowling Green State University. She will perform a monologue and she’s selected the timely platform, Rock the Vote.

On a networking site she lists herself as Miss BGSU, but she will compete as Miss Brookville since she also won a pageant there. I was originally confused by this and didn't think BGSU had any such pageant; forgive me, I and scattered and emotional from packing and don't have time to do my usual research. Indeed there was a Mr. and Miss BGSU held this year for the first time. Miss Maumee Valley Becky Minger was a judge; check out HER BLOG for an entry about it.

It had seemed Miss Ohio was not implementing this new rule; thus, it is understandable that contestants who have worked very hard to compete in locals will be frustrated. Had they known this was a possibility I'm sure some would have found college or community pageants to sponsor their way to Miss Ohio.

Miss Brookville is simply taking advantage of a legitimate opportunity, but I think she is at a distinct disadvantage entering Miss Ohio and this situation is going to create some justifiable unrest.