Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Few Words from the Contestant Bloggers...

I hadn't really been checking the contestants blogs because I know that after a pageant it takes some time to make sense of your emotions, let alone feel like writing on a blog...Not to mention that some women have to get right back to other obligations.

I'm impressed though that several of this years contestant bloggers have already written; click on their names to read their entire entries.

Becky Minger
writes, "...It was an honor to be in the final two with her! [Karissa Martin] Thank you to all of you who have supported me thus-far and I will keep you all posted on my next endeavors! I plan on competing in the National Sweetheart Pageant... I also plan on continuing my journey to Miss Ohio and Miss America and have already begun planning and preparing for next year...there is no use in wasting a week resting! Keep Karissa in your thoughts as she has a full and exciting year ahead of her as she continues on to Miss America 2009!!!"

Jillian Dansko
writes, "It was a bittersweet moment for me as I was thrilled to compete in the finals live on ONN. However, I had to hold back the emotion as I realized it would be my last time competing for the title of Miss America. "Aging out" is a bigger milestone for me since I started competing when I was 17 and it became a cornerstone in my life..."

Heather Wells
writes, "I thought that once I got home from Miss Ohio I would have time to relax and unpack....that was not the case whatsoever!... I couldn't believe that we had two double prelim winners, how neat!! On the third prelim night my roommate Jenna Wilson won preliminary talent..."

I feel strongly that everyone should read Megan Wombacker's entire post-pageant post; she eloquently articulates the very difficult whirl-wind of emotions that finals night dumps on contestants, as well as squashing some of the message board rumors: "...All I can say is that it was everything I ever imagined that it would be...only more memorable and amazing than I thought was possible. It was such a pleasure to get to know all of the contestants...and contrary to popular belief...everyone was extremely kind... On Saturday when we stood on stage...before they ever announced the top ten...the audience brought me to tears. It was such an overwhelming experience and I had yet to let my emotions get to me.

...As they started to announce the semi-finalist I knew I hadn't made the cut...I'm not sure why...but I just had that feeling. I could not be happier for those who had made it (even if it didn't appear that way on my face-it's hard to smile when you are pushing back the tears of self-disappointment).

...I would be lying if I said I wasn't sad about the results and not placing....I wasn't mad...just sad, and once again overwhelmed. It had been a long journey of preparation and it all came to an end very fast. I started to realize all the people who loved me the most paid a lot of money to come and watch me perform...and they weren't going to have that opportunity. It's amazing how many thoughts can cross your mind in such a short period of time. You start to think about what you did wrong...what you should have changed...was it worth it. I was content with not making the top ten...but then they announced eleven and twelve...and that just brought a lot of confusion onto the only those who have stood on the stage and have walked in a contestants stilettos would understand. I think we all would have liked to think that we were that "#11" girl. Yes, it sucks not making the top ten (or twelve) but that's not what this is about. Maybe it took a couple of days for me to think about things...but I learned a lot about myself in those few days. And yes, it was worth it.

...My ROOMMATE earned the title of Miss Ohio 2008...and I could not be more happy and thrilled for her. She will be a wonderful representative of the state. It's so funny how many rumors get started after Miss can only laugh. I refuse to write on the voy board...never have and never will...but I can't help but notice confusion that is never cleared up. No one was ever threatened to be kicked out of competing for CMN dues, we were never told locals were dropping out-but only that there would be 4-6 new locals this year, Karissa had always intended and will be moving into Primrose, and the whole "aging out" and "never competing again" thing cracks me up-because the only source is the source itself.

FYI to Pageant World on being Engaged- First, being engaged does NOT mean that a contestant does not want to be Miss Ohio. I can only speak for myself, but, I have the most loving and supportive fiance in the world. When Craig proposed, he 100% supported (and still does) my dream to become Miss Ohio.

...I still haven't made up my mind on whether or not I am competing again next year...many girls say many things in a time of emotional distress...but after the cloud roles over, you see the sunshine once again.

...I will never forget this experience and my journey to Miss Ohio 2008...the inside jokes...friends I have tears...they will all remain in my memory forever..."

I have to reiterate so many of Megan's sentiments.

I know all too well that feeling - when you're standing on the Miss Ohio stage hearing the semifinalists names being called and somehow just knowing you won't hear yours. Even though you have that gut feeling, what follows is a flash flood of emotions that you have been holding in! The stress and expense of months of preparation suddenly feels like it was all for nothing and you begin to question everything! I too would feel tremendous guilt about the $35 ticket, plus other travel and lodging, my family and friends had paid on Saturday night to watch me do a lousy production number that I hated, with mascara running down my cheeks! While part of being a pageant woman is keeping that smile plastered on your face, fans need to realize that sometimes it's just not possible, but that does not mean you are not happy for the women who did advance.

Every year after the state pageant we hear "so and so said she's not coming back, bla, bla, bla..." That is one of my biggest pageant pet peeves! Contestants, their parents, E.D.s and fans should not say it and the rumor mill should not perpetuate it! The moments and even days and weeks after a pageant are filled with high emotions - sadness, confusion and anger... A few months down the road when either the tuition bill comes due or the hope comes back, your tune may change. Nothing loses you respect and makes you sound more uncommitted and like a diva than having said "I'm not coming back!"

Similarly, I am annoyed when people assume a contestant is no longer competing or would not be a committed titleholder because she got engaged. I don't know how else to say it, other than that's just ignorant! Engaged is not married, therefore it's not against the rules. It often times means a contestant is in a more mature phase of life and as long as the fiance is supportive, I'd argue she might do better because she no longer has dating drama in her life. Like anything, you could spin it different ways - what if the fiance changes his tune? What if she's busy planning the wedding? But, every contestant has other obligations and relationships in her life and the bottom line is - it's no ones business! I always hesitate to post engagement pictures, but I usually do it anyway for the supportive fans who I know will be happy for the couple. Those of you who make an issue out of it are obviously threatened by whoever the given contestant is and would likely make an issue out of any little thing she did!

As for the rumors - I try not to touch on them here on my blog until I hear something from someone I trust. Supposedly Board President Steven Oliveri announced to the E.D.s that some contestants were banned from competing next season because they had not paid their CMN donations for this year. I emailed a local E.D. to ask if it was true and haven't heard back, but according to Megan, it is not.


  1. Abby:

    I feel that I can definitely comment on the engagement and competition thing as I was a competitor who did it.

    I was always told that you should never compete and wear your engagement ring so for the first few prelims after I got engaged I took it off. Then I realized how stupid I was for doing so. I was proud to be engaged to my future husband so why should I hide it? After that I competed with my ring on and figured that if I was asked questions I would answer them head on.

    I did have several judges comment on the ring and if it caused me to lose as a result then so be it. I walked away with better results in the end. More interview skills to put under my belt, another chance on the stage and still have a fiance that was very proud of me even though I never made it to Miss Ohio.

    I think that if you are engaged and competing, BE PROUD!!! Someone else loves you and is not afraid to show it to you. And you never know what that ring can bring to you later in life.


  2. Abby thank you for your continuous support and are such an asset to this program and I appreciate ALL that you do.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! Your contribution will be moderated before it appears on the blog.