Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pageant Updates: New and Old * Good and Bad

Vote for Arianna on Idol

Former California Teen Arianna Asfar just performed on American Idol. To be blunt, she's going to need some help; to vote for her, starting at 10 p.m., call 1*866*IDOLS*04 or AT&T users can text VOTE to 5704.

Former Miss North Dakota Detained in Iran

In horrible news, a freelance journalist has been detained in Iran, where she's lived for the past six years. Roxana Saberi was born in the USA to an Iranian father and mother who is Japanese; she was Miss North Dakota 1997 and a Top 10 finalist at Miss America. Click here for articles, one of which includes the following information on how to help her:

Human rights officials believe that generating as much publicity for Saberi will help pressure Iranians to release her — and do it sooner versus later. To register your concerns with the Iranian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, call 212-687-2020 or email them at iran@un.int. Emails to the offices of Conrad, Dorgan and Klobuchar will also help. There’s also a fledgling Facebook group supporting Saberi called "Release and return journalist Roxana Saberi from IR custody." As of Monday afternoon, there were just 25 members. Her situation is serious. A full-throated roar of outrage from the Midwest and around the world is a crucial key to this young woman’s wellbeing and future.

Beauties Gone Bad

Miss Connecticut's Outstanding Teen, Rachael Ramonas was recently busted for hosting a beer bash at her home! Articles say that two dozen teens were arrested for underage drinking but since they're minors, names are not being released. Everyone's first question seems to be "where were the parents?" I don't really understand this question because neither of the two obvious answers really make a difference - either they're the stupid parents who think they're being cool and safer by hosting the party OR the kid is throwing a party because the 'rents are out of town! In this case, it's the later. Mrs. Ramonas told reporters that her daughter had a lapse in judgement and that no one was actually intoxicated. What does that mean? Either the cops stopped the party before it had really begun or these were a bunch of really big kids who could hold their liquor! Sources say it was supposed to be a small gathering, but the guest list got out of hand, ala every after school special ever made.

All joking aside, this is yet another blemish on the face of every beauty queen, past and present. The worst part is that the media is feasting on her hypocrisy as a volunteer with Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Her official pageant platform is eating disorder awareness, but the Miss Connecticut website also says she's working with MADD during her year. What it does not say is whether or not Rachael will be keeping her crown... Click here for articles.


"Former Beauty Queen Arrested" is splashed all over the headlines with regard to the arrest of Ashley Fuhrmeister and her mother. Based on the articles I read, there's no reason this story should be garnering national attention; so why is it? Because lines like this are what sell: "Counterfeiting is not exactly congeniality, but authorities in Cape May County say a former North Wildwood beauty queen had a talent for printing and using fake $50 bills." Pathetic! Her title, Miss North Wildwood 2007 didn't even go on to Miss New Jersey, it was just a community pageant. It is sad, but true that anything negative linked to a pageant title receives ten times more public interest and media coverage than the positives of pageantry.

Miss Ohio's Business Manager

Congrats to Terri who recently became Mrs. Bednarz! These photos are from Roberta's blog; she and Miss Ohio field director Tim O'Guinn sang at the wedding.

Above left to right: former Miss Ohio Roberta Camp, hostess turned contestant mom Lorrie Warholic, Terri and former Miss Ohio Melanie Murphey-Miller.

Below left to right: former Miss Ohios Robyn Hancock-Wenske, Melanie Murphey-Miller and Roberta Camp.
Miss America's Outstanding Teen 2008, Caitlin Brunell

Caitlin Brunell was recently crowned Miss Jacksonville Teen USA. With this title she will go onto compete at Miss Florida Teen USA (I believe all USA system state pageants are "open," but some big pageant states like Florida, California and Texas also have optional "local prelims.") Some fans are calling Caitlin a "crown chaser" since she's now competing in a different state and different pageant system, but I completely disagree! I can not stand people who scream "crown chaser;" I don't get it - if you're a fan of pageants, why must you criticize women who are fans of competing? Caitlin's family legitimately moved to Florida and it's her prerogative to give the USA system a try. I wish people would realize, there's nothing wrong with competing in multiple pageant systems; I wish I had done it sooner!

Miss America 2009, Katie Stam

Of course, she participated in National Pancake Day February 24th. Click here for a segment from LA's KCAL 9.

Kate performed the National Anthem at the International Polo Club; click here for more. While in Florida she was also "a guest of Zerosmoke at the 54th Annual Palm Beach Heart Ball, which supports the efforts of the American Heart Association. Katie was the surprise guest of honor at the event and spoke about her commitment to help people quit smoking."

In early February she attend the Washington Press Club Foundation’s 65th Annual Congressional Dinner in Washington D.C. On the right she poses with Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.

Go to Katie's blog to read about more appearances.

Miss America 2008, Kirsten Haglund

Fact: The most press you can get as Miss State or Miss America is right after you win the title and right before and after you give it up. Kristen Haglund is doing a great job taking advantage of this; it also doesn't hurt that February was dedicated to her platform, Eating Disorder Awareness.


Former Miss America Continues Advocacy Work, Miss America 2008 to Speak at JMU, Lessons from Miss America, Dinner Cruise for Awareness; click here for more.

Miss America 2000, Heather French Henry

Heather now has a website for her evening gown collection; click here.

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