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.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Pageant Results

Miss Northwestern Ohio: Heather Waterman

First Runner-up: Courtney Monk
Second Runner-up: Alyssa Waldman
Third Runner-up: Heather Lindsay
Fourth Runner-up: Abigail Savage

Talent: Alyssa Waldman

Interview is usually given at the after party.

Special thanks to my "informant!"

Friday, November 7, 2008


Best of Luck to the Miss Northwestern Ohio Program!

Tomorrow night at the Defiance Auditorium the very successful Erica Gelhaus will crown a new Miss Northwestern Ohio. With this title Erica was Second Runner-up to Miss Ohio; her first year at state as Miss Lake Festival she was First Runner-up and then won the National Sweetheart pageant. A few weeks ago she captured her third MAO local crown, Miss Clayland.

[The photo above is from Erica's NWO crowning last year.]

According to the Defiance Crescent News, the women below will compete:

Courtney Monk is a 2008 graduate of Defiance High School, who now attends Anderson University in Indiana.

Alyssa Waldman is also from Defiance.

Abigail Savage is from Hicksville. I believe she is also Miss Hicksville, a community pageant.

Halie Gonwick is a senior at Hicksville High School. I believe she was First Runner-up to Miss Hicksville.

Christina Drake, of Oakwood.

Heather Waterman (of Celina) won the YaYa Sisterhood award at Miss Ohio this summer as Miss Lake Festival. She's a Marketing major at Wright State University who promotes Mentoring and is a vocalist.

Shannon Bash of Findlay is a student at Youngstown State. She’s the sister of Dani Bash, a harpist who was First Runner-up at this pageant last year.

Camille Purdy, from Parma Heights, studied at the Cleveland School of the Arts.

Heather Lindsey of Beaver Creek attends/ed Sinclair Community College; she is a vocalist who has dabbled in multiple systems. She won a Swimsuit Award two years ago at Miss Ohio as Miss Hamilton; she went on to be a Top 15 finalist at Miss Ohio USA and Second Runner-up at Miss Ohio International. Her platform is Big Brothers / Big Sisters.

Jessica Nelson was not listed in the paper, but she is also competing. Jessica studies Pre-Veterinary/Biology at the University of Toledo. Appropriately, her pageant platform is Promoting Pet Health and Safety. She's a vocalist from Delta, I believe.

Since the lovely Lauren Hogan is no longer competing, that means none of last years contestants will be in this pageant. That also means I don't have an inside contact at this pageant, so if you're attending, please comment or text me results and email me pictures!

The Miss Northwestern crew is very supportive of their winner and always put on a great show! Best of luck to everyone!

Miss MV/AAC/FT Contestant Photos - Part 1 of 3

Below are Gown and Talent photos that Loren took at the pageant. Click each to enlarge, but keep in mind, the black curtain makes it difficult for the camera to focus.

Miss' in contestant order:

Maria Minnick

Alicia Huyghe

Ashleigh Lemon

Starkeisha Coleman

Megan Wolery

Sarah Johnson

First Runner-up Heather Wells

Ashley Warholic

Miss MV/AAC/FT Contestant Photos - Part 2 of 3

Miss contestants, continued in competition order.

Brandi Herceg

Jessica Nelson

Katie Gregory-Taylor

Miss All*American City Katie Bowen

Miss Maumee Valley Shannon O'Neill

Second Runner-up Kristy Moneysmith

Cassidy Brubaker

Heather Waterman

Miss Fallen Timbers Becky Minger

Continue below for Teen contestants.