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!