Saturday, January 24, 2009

Will the pageant judges agree with the reality show judges and TLC editors?

Last year Miss Michigan, Kirsten Haglund, was not one of the top three winners of the reality show; in fact, she was barely featured, but went on to win the pageant. Will the same happen this year? Many fans hope so! One of the biggest complaint about "Countdown to the Crown" was how bias the coverage of certain women seemed to be.

I decided to keep a tally (which took much less time and effort than it might appear). What I discovered is that most contestants were seen. About ten were left out, unfortunately Miss Ohio was in that group. To the annoyance of many fans, there were five to ten titleholders that were over-featured. I think TLC could have more evenly shown a larger quantity of contestants, and for the love... they all deserve an interview slot or two! On the other hand, the over exposure has turned some fans against certain women. From the numbers below, it's not hard to see who I mean...

Episode One
Wildcards: Missouri , Oregon and Iowa
Top 3: Georgia, Indiana and Idaho
Gold Sash: Indiana

Episode Two
Wildcards: South Dakota, Washington and Arkansas
Top 3: Mississippi, Georgia and Kentucky
Gold Sash: Georgia

Episode Three
Wildcards: Oklahoma, Michigan and Maine
Top 3: Rhode Island, South Dakota and Hawaii
Gold Sash: South Dakota

Episode Four
Wildcards: Alabama, Kansas, California and Iowa


The following women were somehow featured in challenges of the first three episodes; the number notes how many different challenges they were seen in, not the degree to which their participation was aired. Bold font denotes those seen the most.

Alabama - 2
Alaska -3
Arizona - 1
Arkansas - 3
Colorado -3
Connecticut - 1
Delaware - 1
District of Columbia -4
Florida – 1
Georgia - 3
Hawaii - 2
Idaho – 1
Indiana -.5
Illinois - 1
Iowa – 2
Kansas - 2
Kentucky - 3
Maryland - 3
Maine - 4
Massachusetts -3
Michigan -3
Minnesota - 1
Missouri - 2
Mississippi - 4
Montana - 1
Nevada - 1
New Hampshire - 1
New York -3
North Dakota – 4
Oklahoma - 4
Oregon -3
Rhode Island -2
South Carolina – 1
South Dakota – 5
Texas - 1
Utah -1
Vermont – 3
Virgin Islands – 1
Virginia - 2
Washington -3
West Virginia - 1

41 of 52 women received some sort of noticeable air time during the challenges of the first three episodes.


TLC’s use of private interviews was most interesting and unbalanced. These numbers reflect all four episodes and again the high numbers are in bold.

Alabama – 6
Alaska – 2
Arkansas - 11
California – 4
Connecticut - 1
Delaware – 1
District of Columbia – 5
Florida – 4
Georgia – 10
Hawaii -7
Idaho – 1
Illinois – 1
Indiana – 9
Iowa – 6
Kansas – 6
Kentucky - 3
Maine – 5
Maryland – 2
Massachusetts – 2
Michigan – 3
Mississippi – 3
Missouri – 18
Montana -3
Nevada - 3
New Jersey – 1
New Mexico - 1
New York – 3
North Dakota – 17
Oklahoma – 25
Oregon – 3
Rhode Island – 2
South Carolina – 6
South Dakota – 13
Texas – 1
Utah – 1
Vermont – 5
Virgin Islands – 3
Washington – 11
West Virginia – 5
Wyoming – 1

40 of the 52 women were seen in 214 interview slots over the course of four episodes. Does that seem fair to you?

Scroll below for the specific stats from each episode.


  1. Here's my complaint- just with reality in general. tara is a great speaker, and the second they showed the clip of her speaking about affirmative action and then sitting their silently- I KNEW they had edited it that way. Tara later told some of us VA girls that that exchange went back and forth numerous times between herself and another contestant. So, instead of at least getting to hear two contestants speak about their views, it made it seem like the girls were stupid! Ahhh!

    Also, we never saw Ohio and New Mexico. Where the heck was Texas until the final episode?

  2. The first thing that comes to mind after reading all this is, IN should definitely be the one to watch tonight. She was featured heavily, so she was well liked by the producers and editors at TLC. She won the first individual gold sash, which tells me she won over the consultants quickly, and now, she's won a preliminary award, so she may have won over that panel of judges already. The only thing that could create some drama, from what I've heard, is her vocal strength in talent. That's where, Miss GA, in my opinion, could end up the spoiler.

  3. Aw, I love waking up to find comments from two of my favorite ladies. :)

    I agree with you both.

    Maria - Indiana is definitely a top contender, but to be very honest, I will vomit if that horrible dress is crowned and goes in the history books forever!!! I know Evening Gown is a small percent of the score, but in the grand scheme of things it's what's remembered. I really like Georgia; her wardrobe is fantastic and she's actually talented. If she wins though, it's going to be a long year of hearing a-holes say she looks like a drag queen. :(

    Laura - I've been meaning write about the editing and haven't fit it in. I fear you're one of the few smart viewers who realize what we saw was crafted by something in an editing bay and not necessarily what really happened.

    All the reaction shots, especially the eye rolling and jaw dropping, are not what they may have seemed. In the summer I was a paid audience member for a new game show; my reactions were featured on national TV in an episode I was NOT there for! It's hilarious!

    In addition to Texas, New Mexico and Ohio, I noticed, or rather didn't notice Louisiana, New Hampshire, Idaho, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Florida and Tennessee.



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