Thursday, December 24, 2009

Season's Greetings!

The 2009 Holiday Halftime Show - Part 2

The holidays are a slow time in pageantland; the only thing going on is the impending Miss America Pageant at the end of January. To pass the time, I'm bringing back the "Holiday Halftime Show," which I did back in 2006. Here's a rundown of the first 16 local titleholders crowned in the fall, featuring a headshot and whenever possible I prefer a fun or sassy crown picture:

Miss North Central Ohio
Amber Bussa

Age: 22
Crowned: December 5, 2009
Education: Ohio State University / Nutrition
Talent: vocal (Sang "Popular" at her local.)
Platform: Get Into Gear To Volunteer
Local Awards: Interview
MAO Experience: Non-semifinalist Talent award at Miss Ohio '09 as Portsmouth.

Miss Mansfield

Age: 20
Crowned: December 5, 2009
Education: Kent State University / Broadcast Journalist & Mass Communication
Talent: Dance / Lyrical or jazz (Danced to "Baby I'm a Star" at her local.)
Platform: "Groomed 4 Success" raising 4-H awareness among youth
Local Awards: Swimsuit & Evening Gown
MAO Experience: Top 10 at Miss Ohio '09 as Ohio River and competed in '08 as Maple City; former Top 5 at Miss Ohio Teen USA.

Miss Vacationland
Jacquelyn Nichols

Age: 23
November 28, 2009
Education: University of Akron / Marketing & Pre-Nursing
Talent: vocal (Sang "I Could Have Danced All Night" at her local.)
Platform: Myasthenia Gravis Awareness
Local Awards: Swimsuit
MAO Experience: First time competitor; former Top 15 at Miss Ohio USA.

Miss Northwestern Ohio
Alyssa Waldman

Crowned: November 14, 2009
Education: Defiance College
Talent: vocal (Sang "Someone Like You" at her local.)
Platform: Encouraging healthy self-esteem among women of all ages
Local Awards: Interview & Talent
MAO Experience: First time State contestant.

Miss Fallen Timbers
Courtney Monk

Age: 20
Crowned: October 31, 2009
Education: Anderson University/ Music Education
Talent: vocal (Sang "Good Morning Baltimore" at her local.)
Platform: Importance of Music in Education
Local Awards: none
MAO Experience: Competed at Miss Ohio '09 as Buckeye State.

Miss All*American City

Age: 22
Crowned: October 31, 2009
Education: Bowling Green State University / Communications
Talent: vocal (Sang "I Was Born to Love You" at the local.)
Platform: Building self-esteem through Discovering Y.O.U.
Local Awards: Interview & Talent
MAO Experience: 1st RU to Miss Ohio in '06 as Greater Dayton, competed in '07 as Northwestern Ohio, 1st RU in '08 as Maumee Valley, 1st RU & SS winner in '09 as Fallen Timbers. Top 10 at National Sweetheart in '08 and '09.

Miss Maumee Valley
Kristy Moneysmith

Age: 21
Crowned: October 31, 2009
Education: Ball State University / Speech Pathology & Audiology
Talent: Vocal (Sang "When a Man Loves a Woman" at her local.)
Platform: Mentoring Through Leadership and Role Modeling
Local Awards: none
MAO Experience: She has competed at Miss Ohio as Mohican Valley 2009 and Chillicothe 2008.

Miss Clayland
Heather Waterman

Age: 22
Crowned: October 17, 2009
Education: Bowling Green State University / Masters in Business Ed; Marketing undergrad from Wright State
Talent: vocal (Sang "There You'll Be" at her local.)
Platform: Ready, Set, Motivate
Local Awards: Interview & Talent
MAO Experience: Preliminary Swimsuit and Non-semifinalist Interview awards at Miss Ohio 2009 as Miss Northwestern Ohio; held the title Miss Lake Festival 2008.

Continue with the Miss Ohio Class of 2010 below...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The 2009 Holiday Halftime Show - Part 1

Miss Portsmouth
Anna Reis

Age: 19
Crowned: October 3, 2009
Education: University of Cincinnati / Marketing & International Business
Talent: Clogging
Platform: Girl Scouts of America
Local Awards: None given
MAO Experience: First year state contestant.

Miss Miami Valley
Ellen Bryan

Crowned: September 5, 2009
Age: 21
Education: Ball State University / Telecommunications
Talent: vocal
Platform: "When the Thunder Roars, Go Indoors"
Local Awards: Interview & Talent
MAO Experience: 4th RU at Miss Ohio '09 as Miss Lake Festival.

Miss Lima Square Fair
Crowned: August 8, 2009
Age: 21
Education: Fordham University / Communication & Middle East Studies
Talent: vocal
Platform: T.O.N.E. our Children: teaching about obesity, nutrition & exercise
Local Awards: Interview & Talent
MAO Experience: Top 11 at Miss Ohio in '08 as Miss WCO and Top 10 in '09 as Miss Maumee Valley.

Miss West Central Ohio
Katie Bowen

Crowned: August 8, 2009
Age: 21
Education: Ohio Northern University / Clinical Laboratory Science
Talent: flute (played "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" at her local)
Platform: Special Olympics
Local Awards: Interview
MAO Experience: Competed at Miss Ohio in '09 as Miss All*American City.

Miss North Coast
Sarah Hider

Crowned: August 1, 2009
Education: Ohio University / Journalism
Talent: vocal
Platform: HIV / AIDS Awareness
Local Awards: None
MAO Experience: Ohio's Outstanding Teen 2008; first time state Miss contestant.

Miss Greater Cleveland

Age: 21
Crowned: July 25, 2009
Baldwin-Wallace College / PR & Marketing
Talent: Dance
Platform: FCCLA: Family, Career, Community Leaders of America
Local Awards: Interview, Gown & Swimsuit
MAO Experience: Won the CMN award last year as Miss Heart of Ohio.

Miss Cuyahoga County
Meggie Whitman

: July 25, 2009
Age: 20
Education: Kent State University / Musical Theatre
Talent: vocal (sang "Popular" at her local)
Platform: Make-A-Wish Foundation
Local Awards: Talent & Congeniality
MAO Experience: First year state contestant.

Miss Lake Festival
Kayla Hellworth

Crowned: July 20, 2009
Age: 19
Education: Ohio State University / Business Administration
Talent: vocal (sang “Gira con Me” at her local)
Platform: Help Sustain Life, the American Red Cross
Local Awards: Talent & Interview
MAO Experience: First year state contestant.

Leave comments with corrections and email me updated photos. Kudo's to Cayla and the ladies of MMV/AAC/FT for fun crown photos, which I find so much better than the same old pageant pose!

Spring Locals:

Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010: Miss Maple City
Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010: Miss Central Ohio
Friday & Saturday, Mar. 5 & 6, 2010: Miss Muskingum Valley
Friday. Mar. 19, 2010: Miss Greater Butler County
Saturday, Mar. 27, 2010: Miss Ohio Sweeps - Miss Buckeye State, Miss Heart of Ohio & Miss Americana
Sunday, Mar. 28, 2010: Miss Ohio Sweeps - Miss Mohican Valley, Miss Ohio River & Miss Capital City

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Erica's Endeavors: Parkway Elementary

Miss Ohio, Erica Gelhaus, is from my home county and my parents report she has been busy in her hometown and around the area; I imagine this is the case with most Miss Ohios. Recently she visited my alma mater and my mom's place of work to reward two elementary classes that raised money for the Children's Miracle Network.

The principal was incapable of capturing Miss Ohio's crown in the photo below with my mom. So imagine our surprise when these pictures that she let the secretary download ended up not on the bulletin board, but in one of the glass display cases!

I believe the winning class won a pizza party, after which Erica signed autographs and took pictures:
My mom said she's never seen "Grease," a grounds keeper and bus driver, move as fast as he did to take a picture with Miss Ohio!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hold the Phone, Sarah! The MAO finally joined the 21st Century!

The following email just landed in my inbox; my thoughts are below...

The Miss America Organization goes Viral

By popular demand, the Miss America Organization has joined the social networking world. You can now stay up-to-date with news from the Miss America Organization on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter!

Visit the below links to join our social network:

Please note that these pages are the only official social networking pages of the Miss America Organization. Any other pages on these sites, are independently created and not authorized by the Miss America Organization.

While I am very happy that Miss America has finally gotten with the times, the fact remains it took them far too long to get there. They should have created an official Facebook account at least two years ago and joined Twitter the day Oprah did a show about it! And as for that press release title... it's evident the people running the show aren't very plugged in, because simply joining a social networking site is not what most people online would consider "going viral." I shouldn't be such a downer; better late than never!

Pageant Photos: Miss Mansfield

Check out!

*Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone*

Friday, December 11, 2009

What the...?!

Turn on Tyra on the CW RIGHT NOW to see a former 1st RU to Miss Ohio!!!

Ew, now Heidi and Spencer are on offering a role on their new reality show...

*Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone*

Monday, December 7, 2009

Pageant Press: Miss Mansfield

Click here for a Mansfield News Journal article
and HERE for a video from of the three newest titleholders at their first appearance!

Pageant Press Release: Miss America Judges

2010 Miss America Pageant Puts the Spotlight
On National Judges
Saturday, January 30, 2010

Live from Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas, on TLC

Linwood, N.J., December 7, 2009 – The 2010 Miss America Pageant promises to be an exciting event with the announcement of the strikingly diverse panel of national judges. This year's panel of seven esteemed judges includes a Miss America turned opera singer and philanthropist; an accomplished actress; an Olympic gold medalist; a six-time Grammy nominee; the most listened-to radio talk show host in America; a successful comedian, and an American Idol finalist. They will evaluate the contestants from the preliminaries through the final night of competition, which will be premiering live from Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on Saturday, January 30, 2010 at 8:00PM ET live/PT tape-delayed, exclusively on TLC.

The judges were announced by Sam Haskell, III, Chairman of the Board for the Miss America Organization (MAO), Art McMaster, President and CEO of MAO, and Anthony Eaton, Producer of the 2010 Miss America Pageant. This year's panel of judges is comprised of experts in each of the fields that a young woman must excel in, in order to be named Miss America. Miss America must be talented, intelligent and well-spoken, a leader, have a commitment to her community, be contemporary in her style and fashion - a relatable and individual ‘it girl' who can connect with today's modern woman, as well as being physically fit. To determine who will be Miss America 2010 the following panel of judges has been selected:

From the Field of Beauty - Vivica A. Fox – Fox is an accomplished actress and producer that has appeared on both the small and big screens in every type of genre. She is currently the host of the new reality series, "The Cougar,” and returned for the 2009 season of Larry David's HBO hit comedy, Curb Your Enthusiasm as the feisty "Loretta Black.” She is the recipient of numerous awards including the NAACP Spirit Award, the NAACP Image Award and Prism Award, the Trumpet Award for Outstanding Career Achievements in Film, the Lady of Soul Lena Horne Career Achievement Award and an MTV Movie Award. She was also named as one of People Magazine's fifty most beautiful people.

From the Field of Community Service - Miss America 2002 Katie Harman – Since her year, Harman tours nationally and internationally as an acclaimed classical and operatic vocalist with a myriad of opera and musical theater companies, symphony orchestras, and special events. Also a recording artist and television personality, she can next be seen in a principal role as a singer on HBO's Big Love (airing March 2010). An active cancer advocate, she serves on numerous boards of cancer organizations and hospitals and is the National Spokesperson for the Touched by Cancer Organization. Additionally, her philanthropic efforts target women's issues, homelessness, and arts education.

From the Field of Fitness - Shawn Johnson – Johnson is an 2008 Olympic gold medalist for gymnastics. She was named the 79th Amateur Athletic Union Sullivan Award recipient, one of the most prestigious honors in amateur sports and became the youngest ever contestant and season eight champion on ABC's Dancing with the Stars. Johnson is also involved in programs that promote healthy nutrition and exercise and help build good character amongst youth across the country.

From the Field of TalentDave Koz - Koz is a six-time Grammy nominee, multi platinum pop instrumentalist. Recently honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Koz hosts an afternoon radio show that's nationally distributed on the Smooth Jazz Radio Network as well as the syndicated Dave Koz Radio Show, now in its 15th year and airing on weekends in approximately 120 markets. He has served for 17 years as global ambassador for the Starlight Children's Foundation and is an ongoing member of the Board Of Governors for the Grammy® Foundation.

From the Field of Communications/Interview - Rush Limbaugh - Limbaugh is the outspoken, conservative and ultra-popular host of The Rush Limbaugh Show, an AM/FM radio show about American politics with an audience of 20 million. Limbaugh is involved in charities including the Marine Corps – Law Enforcement Foundation and the Leukemia Lymphoma Foundation. He is a best-selling author and was nominated in 2007 for the Nobel Peace Prize.

From the Field of Entertainment - Paul Rodriguez – Rodriguez is an actor and comedian whose career spans more than two decades and includes starring roles and featured appearances in over 40 films and countless television series and specials. Throughout his career Paul has remained involved with various charitable, civic and educational organizations including the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. As Chairman of the California Latino Water Coalition, Rodriguez was recently honored with a Humanitarian of the Year Award for his work on behalf of water conservation.

From the Field of Creating America's Rising Talent - Brooke White – White is a singer and songwriter who is most known for her appearance as a finalist on season seven of American Idol. She recently released her debut album, High Hopes & Heartbreak, in which she shares with the world, her love for the music that has shaped her.

I'm really impressed with the first four judges! I've seen Dave Koz live; he's fantastic and can certainly assess any type of music and performance. Shawn Johnson is a great choice because she is a young woman who had to handle the media, just like Miss America. However, I laughed out loud at the idea that "Creating America's Rising Talent" is a field. What do you think of this years judges?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Tune-in Alert: The Amazing Race

This season Miss America 2004, Ericka Dunlap, and her husband Brian Kleinschmidt have been contestants on The Amazing Race. At first, I was skeptical, but I have watched every episode and now love Brian and Erica. On tonight's finale they're the underdogs, but anything could happen at 8 p.m. on CBS! Good luck team yellow, yellow, yellow!

Pageant Press: Miss Mansfield Pageant: Three crowned Saturday night

CLICK HERE for a Miss competition photos from Daniel Melograna and here for Teen. Timothy Russell will have his shots on the Miss Mansfield website soon.

Mansfield News Journal
By Lou Whitmir

MANSFIELD -- Heather Wells, a vibrant dancer from Howland, and Amber Bussa, a petite singer from Wheelersburg, are both on their way to the Miss Ohio stage this summer at the Renaissance Theatre.

Crestview High School junior Chelsi Howman was also named Miss Mansfield Outstanding Teen after a rousing dance routine to "Let's Get Loud" at Mansfield Senior High School.

Wells was crowned Miss Mansfield, besting 14 contestants by dancing her way across the stage to "Baby I'm A Star" from the "Purple Rain" soundtrack.

Pageant-goers were treated to more than three hours of entertainment and favorite holiday songs performed by featured performers Miss Ohio Roberta Camp Albert and outgoing Miss Mansfield Nanciann Strosnider.

Wells is a junior at Kent State University. Her platform is youth development through 4-H. She wants to obtain a degree in broadcast journalism and become a news anchorwoman.

Bussa, crowned Miss North Central Ohio, attends The Ohio State University and plans to pursue a career as a nutritionist after graduation. She sang the Broadway song "Popular."

Strosnider, in an emotional farewell speech, said her reign was the best year of her life as she held a Miss America coloring book she received at age 4, when it cost 59 cents.

During the evening's awards, Lexington's Drena McCurdy was named Volunteer of the Year. McCurdy is director of the Miss Ohio Outstanding Teen Program and a member of the Miss Ohio Board. She and members of her family assists Laura Russell, director the two preliminary pageants, each year to make the December pageant a success.

Little Miss Snowflake winners were Isabella Willacker, Sofie Swartzmiller and Cady Watkins. 419-521-7223

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Congrats to the New Miss Mansfield, Heather Wells, Miss NCO, Amber Bussa and Teen, Chelsi Howman!

Miss Mansfield: Heather Wells
Miss North Central Ohio: Amber Bussa

1st RU: Alyssa Phillips
2nd RU: Sasha Eby

Interview: Amber Bussa
Talent Marisa Buchheit
Swimsuit: Heather Wells
Gown: Heather Wells
Congeniality: Melissa Stevens

Mansfield's Outstanding Teen: Chelsi Howman
1st RU: Courtney Fraley

Photos are from Timothy Russell and the program's Twitter account. Love it's logo!

Best of Luck to Miss Mansfield, Miss North Central Ohio and Mansfield's Teen Pageant Tonight!

Tonight at the Mansfield Senior High auditorium, the last three crowns of 2009 will be given, Miss Mansfield, Miss North Central Ohio and Mansfield's Outstanding Teen! Miss Mansfield 2009, Nanciann Strosnider, Miss Ohio 2007, Roberta Camp, Miss Ohio's Outstanding Teen 2009, Veronica Wende and Miss Mansfield 2007, Emily Cousino, will all take the stage during the "I Believe" themed program. The preshow begins at 6:30 p.m.; be sure to take extra cash for the silent auction and program books. For more information, check out Miss Mansfield's unbeatable WEBSITE; you can now follow them on Twitter too!

The outgoing Miss Mansfield is the fabulous Nanciann Strosnider. I can tell you from experience, Nanciann is a riot backstage; people who only see her poise and polish onstage don't realize what a fun personality she also has. She's a vocalist who earned her undergrad at Elon University in Journalism and Musical Theatre. Nanciann is now taking graduate classes online in Broadcast Meteorology through Mississippi State University. Miss Mansfield was her fifth trip to Miss Ohio; she placed 2nd Runner-up. In 2008 she made the Top 10 as Miss Northern Ohio, in '07 as Miss Lake Erie she was 4th Runner-up. In 2006 as Miss Portsmouth she was in the Top 10 and was 4th Runner-up her first try, as Miss South Central in 2005! There were some Talent awards in there somewhere, too; suffice it to say, she is a fierce competitor. Her biography says Miss Mansfield was her final attempt at Miss Ohio. If that is indeed true, she will be missed and likely go on many fans "coulda, woulda, shoulda been Miss Ohio" list.

The following women will compete for Nanciann's crown and the new title, Miss North Central Ohio, in this order:

Emily Pheils
is no longer competing.

Alyssa Phillips

Education: Bowling Green State University / Fashion Merchandising
Talent: Sign Language / Vocal?
Platform: A "Sign" of the times
Pageant Past: 2nd RU recently at both Vacationland and Northwestern Ohio.

Lauren Talaga

Education: University Of Utah / Biology & Pre-Med
Talent: Flute
Platform: Promoting Literacy Where We Live
Pageant Past:

Heather Wells

Education: Kent State University / Broadcast Journalist & Mass Communication
Talent: Dance / Lyrical or jazz
Platform: "Groomed 4 Success" raising 4-H awareness among youth
Pageant Past: Swimsuit winner this season at North Coast; Top 10 at Miss Ohio '09 as Ohio River and competed in '08 as Maple City; former Top 5 at Miss Ohio Teen USA.

Amber Bussa

Education: Ohio State University / Nutrition
Talent: Vocal
Platform: Get Into Gear To Volunteer
Pageant Past: Non-semifinalist Talent award at Miss Ohio '09 as Portsmouth.

Jade Davis

Education: Pioneer Career and Technology Center / Nursing
Talent: Dance
Platform Issue: Helping Underprivileged Children
Pageant Past:

Mary Cousino

Education: Mercy College Of Northwest Ohio / Nursing
Talent: Piano
Platform: Heart Start Education
Pageant Past:

Sasha Eby

Education: Muskingum College/ Neuroscience
Talent: Vocal
Platform: "Worth The Wait" Promoting Abstinence To Today's Teens
Pageant Past: Top 10 at Miss Ohio as Miss North Coast; recently competed at Portsmouth.

Marisa Buchheit

Education: Cleveland Institute of Music / Vocal Performance
Talent: Classical Vocal
Platform: Reaching Out With Music
Pageant Past: Non-finalist Talent award at Miss Illinois '09 as West Cook County and finalist at Miss Illinois Teen USA and Illinois Junior Miss.

Christina Muha

Education: University of Toledo / Nursing
Talent: French Horn
Platform: Heart To Heart: Be Smart
Pageant Past: Has competed in a few locals.

Jessica Nelson

Education: University of Toledo / Veterinary & Biology
Talent: Dance
Platform: "P.E.T.S." Promoting Education, Training & Safety
Pageant Past: 3rd RU recently at Miss Northwestern Ohio; second year local contestant.

Brandi Herceg

Education: Franciscan University of Stubenville / Early Childhood Education
Talent: Dance
Platform: "Learn The Truth": Heart Disease Awareness & Education
Pageant Past: Competed at Miss Ohio in '08 as Miss Ohio Valley.

Haripriya 'Priya' Sharma

Education: Cleveland State / Health Sciences
Talent: Dance
Platform: Promoting Cancer Research & Awareness
Pageant Past: Talent winner at Vacationland and competed recently at MV/AAC/FT

Melissa Stevens

Education: Owens Community College / Math, Science & Spanish
Talent: Vocal
Platform: "Food For Thought" - Curing Local Hunger
Pageant Past: competed at MV/AAC/FT.

Katie Camp

Education: Wright State University / Business Marketing
Talent: Tap Dance
Platform: Choose Children: Volunteer!
Pageant Past: Top 10 and Swimsuit winner at Miss Ohio '09 as Miami Valley and Top 11 at Miss Ohio '08 as Portsmouth.


The following five women will compete to be Miss Mansfield's Outstanding Teen, in this order:

Kirsten Fennig

Education: Celina High School / 11th Grade
Talent: Piano
Platform: The Importance Of The Adam Walsh Act
Pageant Past: Second year local MOOT competitor.

Amanda Sabourin

Education: Ontario High School / 11th Grade
Platform: Feeding The Hungry

Chelsi Howman

Education: Crestview High School / 11th Grade
Talent: Dance
Platform: Stop Bullying Now: Take A Stand! Lend A Hand!
Pageant Past: Competed at both MOOT and Ohio Teen USA.

Courtney Fraley

Ontario High School / 11th Grade
Platform: Make Life Your Natural High

Alexandra Bernowski

Education: Canal Winchester Middle School / 8th Grade
Platform: Family Mealtime: Reconnecting
Pageant Past: Competed in National American Miss.


A Little Snowflake competition will take place in the afternoon. Best of luck to everyone! As always, please send me updates and corrections.

On a personal note, I am currently in Ohio and was hoping to attend this pageant. However, my guy broke his ankle Thursday night playing basketball. I'll likely opt to keep him out of more trouble instead! Please send healing thoughts his way.