Thursday, January 15, 2009

"Countdown to the Crown" Stats - Episode One

I just rewatched the first episode of "Countdown to the Crown" with an analytical eye. Well, maybe not so much analytical; rather, bored and with pen and paper in hand...

After the first episode aired the major criticism among Miss America fans was that many women were not seen at all, while a few others were featured to an annoying degree. Does this matter? Well, Miss America, Kyrsten Haglund, was not one of the darlings of last years reality show. As for this year, I'll keeps score of the reality show and we can draw critical conclusions after the pageant!

The first episode began with a surprise, impromptu question, "Why does the sun make your skin dark, but your hair light?"
The following women were shown:

District of Columbia
North Dakota

And these titleholders answers actually aired:


Miss Kentucky was the only women who shown to answer correctly.

Throughout the show various women got air time during interviews or confessionals, and yes, I kept a tally of how many times each was featured:

Oklahoma - 4
Iowa - 4
South Carolina - 2
Missouri - 8
Florida - 1
North Dakota - 7
Vermont - 2
Washington - 3
Connecticut - 1
Hawaii - 1
West Virginia - 1
Oregon - 1
Georgia - 3
Virgin Islands - 1
Indiana - 2

** So, 41 interview segments went to 15 contestants. **

The "group lesson" to determine the three "wild cards" was a round table debate, during which we heard from the following titleholders:

Washington - She believes in sex education.
Arizona - She thinks global warming is not such a big issue. Yikes!
Colorado - She thinks global warming is currently trendy. True.
Minnesota - She was adopted by heteros and thinks it's fine for homosexuals to do so too.
Iowa - She countered Minnesota, despite having a "tolerance" platform.
Missouri - She is pro same-sex-marriage, siting, "times have changed."
West Virginia - She doesn't think Missouri should be so dismissive.
Virginia - She believes in merit over affirmative action
Oregon - She told her story of coming to the U.S. not knowing English or having money.

The Wildcards winners:

Missouri (from Kim)
Oregon (from Anthony)
Iowa (from guest judge Gretchen Carlson)

Next, the three wildcard winners joined the green and grey teams (who won the group challenge earlier in the show) in a final challenge in which one women would win a golden sash. In the challenge called "Pitch Perfect" they had to once again give an impromptu speech; first, about their platform and why it's important to them. Second, they were presented with an alien head and ask if they believe in life beyond Earth. The following states were given air time speaking or reacting:

Hawaii - Viewers got to see her speak about both her platform and the alien head.
Idaho - Platform only.
Iowa - Alien head only.
Mississippi - Alien head only.
North Dakota - Alien head only.
Vermont - She was featured for giving a brief answer about the alien, then just standing there for 30 seconds.
Indiana - Platform only.
Georgia - Platform only, mentioning her own domestic abuse.
Oregon - Alien head only; she was one of many who spoke about faith instead of extra terrestrials, but the only to have a language barrier excuse.
South Dakota - Alien head only; she shared her family's contact with the issue.
Virgin Islands - Alien head only; like Oregon it doesn't sound like English is her first language, but she understood the question and gave a very comical answer.

** In this case, about half the women who participated in this challenge were shown on TV. **

Next, the judges were shown reviewing some of the contestants and replays were shown of:

Virgin Islands
South Dakota

The Top 3:


And of course, Miss Indiana won the first golden sash.

Again, many fans are left asking, "where is my contestant?" I think it is better not to be a favorite of the TLC editors. Through no fault of their own, I have no interest in seeing anymore of Oklahoma, North Dakota and Missouri! Oklahoma was the first contestant seen in the first impromptu speech, she was then featured in three consecutive interviews. I was over her within the first five minutes of the show! Missouri had the most interviews (8) and was also featured in quite a bit of the round table discussion. While I like that she's pro gay marriage, I don't understand why TLC wanted to inundate the show with her. North Dakota was a close second with seven interview segments and was shown reacting to the alien head. I don't mean to be rude, but it seems to me that producers are using her to fill a ditsy blond stereotype.

I was also disappointed that Miss America Kyrsten Haglund was only at the start of the episode. Yes, she's featured before the commercials vaguely explaining America's vote, but that mess is another blog entry!

Stats from episode two coming soon and don't forget to tune in to episode three Friday night!

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