Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Erica's First Few Appearances

"Keeping up with Karissa" had such a nice ring to it; I can't think of a line for Erica. Suggestions? Anyway, here's what our new Miss Ohio is up to:

Monday, June 29th - Primrose, Mansfield - 2 pm
Saturday, July 4 - Coshocton Fairgrounds - 4 - 8 pm
Sunday, July 5 - St. Henry Picnic - 3 - 7 pm
Tuesday, July 7 - WCMH-TV, Columbus - 4 pm
Thursday, July 9 - Miss Lake Festival Fundraiser,
Bella's Italian Grill, Celina - evening

Friday, July 10 - WCSM Radio (Mercer County) - 12:35 pm
Saturday, July 11 - Mechanicsburg Parade & Festival
Monday, July 20 - Miss Lake Festival Pageant, Celina - 8 pm
Saturday, July 25 - Lake Festival Parade, Celina - 2 pm??

Call 419-557-2724 to book Erica!

Also, 4th Runner-up, Ellen Bryan, might appear on Good Morning America on Thursday, July 2, to speak about her platform; however, live TV shows are always subject to change.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Saturday Night's Miss State Winners - Part 2

The following women were crowned on June 27th; they are in no particular order. Be sure to click on names and talents in blue for videos and links.

Miss North Carolina
Katherine Southard

Elon College & University of North Carolina / Business & Dance
Talent: Ballet
Scoliosis: Ahead of the Curve
Pageant Past: 3rd RU '08, Prelim SS '05
Preliminary Talent (tie)

Miss Nevada
Christina Keegan

Education: Pennsylvania's Rosemont College / University of Utah School of Medicine
Ballet en Point
Platform: Strength Over Silence: Rape Education and Prevention
Pageant Past: competed in PA in '07 and NV in '08

Miss Georgia
Emily Cook

Education: University of Miami/University of Georgia School of Law
Talent: Oboe “Carmen Fantasy”
Platform: Breast Cancer Research and Awareness
Pageant Past: competed in FL in '08
Preliminary Evening Gown, Interview, S. Davis Laney Legal Studies Scholarship, original 1st RU*

*NOTE: Cook was the 1st RU on Saturday night; the woman crowned, Kristina Higgins, relinquished the title on Sunday stating, “Due to my current job responsibilities as a middle school teacher and the responsibilities and time commitment as Miss Georgia, I have decided to not fulfill the duties of Miss Georgia 2009. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been chosen as Miss Georgia and fully support the system and wish Emily Cook the best of luck,” Higgins was a Preliminary Talent, Swimsuit and CMN winner. This was her third time competing, having been 2nd Runner-up in '08; she knew what she was getting into, so I find her change of heart extremely selfish, irresponsible and annoying!

Miss Colorado
Katie Layman


Contemporary lyrical dance
Lunch with Sienna
Pageant Past:
Preliminary Evening Gown

Miss Connecticut
Sharalynn Kuziak

Education: Quinnipiac University
Talent: Vocal & Tap
Walkin' on Sunshine Program: The Healing Power of Music
Pageant Past: 4th RU in '08
Preliminary Swimsuit

Miss Hawaii
Raeceen Anuenue Woolford

Education: University of Hawaii / Heath Studies
Hula dance
Keiki Ohana – Giving Every Child and Family a Chance
Pageant Past: 3rd RU in '08

Miss Rhode Island
Julianna Strout

Education: University of Massachusetts
Talent: Vocal "I got rhythm"
Recovery from Sexual Abuse
Pageant Past:

As always, I got these photos and information from a wide variety of online sources; please leave additions and corrections as comments. Thank you.

Saturday Night's Miss State Winners - Part 1

The following women were crowned on June 27th; they are in no particular order. Click on names and talents in blue for videos and links.

Miss Indiana
Nicole Pollard

Education: Indiana University / Music Education
Vocal "And This Is My Beloved"
Platform: Me, Myself and E.D. — The Awareness and Prevention of Eating Disorders
Pageant Past: Top 10 in '05, 1st RU in '07 & '08
Preliminary Talent

Miss Virginia
aressa Cameron

Education: Virginia Commonwealth University / Broadcast Journalism
Vocal "Listen"
Platform: Real Talk: AIDS in America
Pageant Past: 2nd RU in '06 and 4th RU to National Sweetheart in '06, 2nd RU in '07, 1st RU in '08
Preliminary Talent
* This picture does not do her justice; she's super cute with her hair down.

Miss Vermont
Laura Hall

Assumption College / Organizational Communication
Talent: Jazz dance "Almost like being in love"
Platform: Youth Empowerment
Pageant Past:
Community Service

Miss Maryland
Brooke Poklemba

Education: Rhodes College
Talent: Vocal "Broken Wing"
Platform: Autism Awareness
Pageant Past: competed in TN in '08
Preliminary and Overall Talent

Miss New York
Alyse Zwick

SUNY School of Professional Studies
Talent: Ballet en Point
Platform: Honoring Our War Heros: Keeping Their History Alive For Youth
Pageant Past: 1st RU in '08
Preliminary Swimsuit

Miss Pennsylvania
Shannon Doyle

Education: Villanova University / Jefferson Medical College
Talent: Tap dance "Happy Feet"
Platform: Home Away from Home: Enriching the Lives of Hospitalized Children
Pageant Past: Top 10 in '05, 3rd RU in '06, 1st RU in '07 & '08
Awards: none

Miss California
Kristen Cavinder

Education: University of Southern California / Neuroscience & Pre-Med
Talent: Ballet en Point
Growing Exceptional Ladies
Pageant Past: 3rd RU in '08
Awards: Preliminary Evening Wear

As always, I got these photos and information from a wide variety of online sources; please leave additions and corrections as comments. Thank you.

Congrats to Kately Koval, 4th RU in Pennsylvania

Saturday night Katelyn, a former Miss Ohio contestant, finished 4th Runner-up to Miss Pennsylvania. In the photo above she's on the far right in a black velvet gown very similar to the one Miss Ohio, Roberta Camp, competed in at Miss America; how funny that all the finalists wore white or black/brown and placed in such a way to perfectly stagar the colors in this photo!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Now available on the Miss Mansfield website:
Tim's pictures of Prelim Night Three.

Pageant Press: Erica Galhaus is lucky No. 7; Miss Clayland winner is continuing tradition in the Miss America Pageant

Today's Times-Reporter celebrates the areas rich Miss America history:

Erica Galhaus is lucky No. 7
Miss Clayland winner is continuing tradition in the Miss America Pageant
By Rex Huffman
Photos by Christine Walsh-Newton

With her selection as Miss Ohio, Erica Gelhaus becomes the seventh young woman to represent the area in the Miss America Pageant.

The area’s first association with the national Miss America Pageant came with the establishment of the Miss Dennison Pageant in 1952. The first winner of the Miss Dennison title was Carol Koontz of Bolivar, who was crowned Miss Ohio when the state pageant was held at Mentor-on-the-Lake.

The next two winners, Martha Zimmerman of Salem in 1953 and Barbara Quinlin of Alliance in 1954, also claimed Miss Ohio titles. In Atlantic City, Quinlin was a preliminary talent winner and a top 10 finalist.

In 1957, due to a change in franchise ownership, the Miss Dennison Pageant ceased to exist and Miss Clayland was born.

Twenty years later, the area was back in the spotlight when Susan Perkins, Miss Clayland 1977, was crowned Miss Ohio 1978. Three months later, Perkins was crowned Miss America 1978.

The Clayland pageant’s next win on the state level came seven years later, in 1984, when Melissa Bradley was crowned Miss Ohio. Bradley finished as first runner-up in that year’s Miss America pageant, making the Clayland pageant the only pageant in the U.S. to have produced both a Miss America and a first runner-up to Miss America.

It was another 24 years before Karissa Martin moved from Miss Clayland to Miss Ohio in 2008.

On Facebook Christine noted that while the article's title refers to the number of local women, Erica was ironically contestant #7 at Miss Ohio.

Platform Promotion

More from 4th Runner-up, Ellen Bryan, Miss Lake Festival, on her platform:

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Katelyn made the Top 10 in Pennsylvania, but Jackie did not in Indiana. Miss Virginia starts at 9 p.m. EST; CLICK HERE to watch the webcast and root for Laura!

Best of Luck to Laura, Jackie and Katleyn


Laura Pennington for Miss Virginia

Laura is a Masters student at Virginia Tech, but she is a native Buckeye. She used to compete in Ohio locals, but this is now her second title in Virginia. She is a tap
dancer who made the Top 11 last year.

- Thursday winners: SS: Elizabeth Crot; Talent: Caitlin Uze
- Friday winners: SS: Brittany Young; Talent: Caressa Cameron

Jackie Jerlecki in Miss Indiana

Jackie is an Indiana native, but is a student at Bowling Green State University. She is a vocalist and seemed to be a perpetual 1st Runner-up at Ohio locals before winning her first MAO title, in her home state.

- Wednesday winners: SS: Brittany Hagan; Talent: Gabrielle Reed

- Thursday winners: SS: Paige Brandt; Talent: Nicole Pollard

Katelyn Koval at Miss Pennsylvania

Katelyn is an Ohio native who competed at Miss Ohio back when I was still a contestants, I believe she was Miss Open City '06...? This is her third title in Pennsylvania where she studies dance at Point Park; if TFTJ is right, she made the Top 10 in '07.

- Wednesday winners: SS: Andrea Helfrich; Talent: Sarah Timm
- Thursday winners: SS: Shauna Rice; Talent: Kelsey Pitini

Two-time Miss Ohio semifinalist, Christie Youssef, would have been competing tonight in her home state of California, but relinquished the local California title that she won the night she should have been crowning her successor in Ohio.

Also, Sophia Davis will compete in Miss DC on July 12; she looks fantastic in her new
contestant photo!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

And it all starts over...

I've already received information about one of the first local pageants of the season:

Miss West Central Ohio (closed) and Miss Square Fair (open)

* The deadline has been extended to to JULY 24th, so hopefully women who compete in Miss Lake Festival will continue on the path to Miss Ohio, as Mercer County is become a source of many successes!

* Miss WCO/SF will take place Friday, August 7th and air on both WLIO and FOX Lima and will be hosted by former Miss America Kay Lani Raye Rafko.

* Miss WCO and SF will each earn $1500 and an electric guitar and amp, a Sears game table, a Seiko watch and an overnight package with dinner and bowling.

* In-kind scholarships will be available to the following schools: Ohio Northern ($60,000 total), Northwestern in Lima ($20,000 total), Wright State Lake Campus ($500 to any contestant) and Rhodes College ($1,500 total). Note, stipulations apply to these in-kind prizes.

* To apply, consult the Miss Ohio and Miss WCO websites.

Other early pageants:

* Miss Lake Festival and Teen - Monday July 20th
(applications closed)
* Miss Greater Cleveland / Cuyahoga County - July 25th
(application deadline - July 1st)
* Miss North Coast - August 1st (application deadline - July 15th)

*I'm very impressed that the Miss Ohio website has been updated with info for several locals, but EDs, please do not hesitate to email me and I will publish your promotions!

On the other hand...

It's very exciting that a new season is beginning, but I have to say, one of my biggest pageant pet peeves is when people obsessively ask "Is she coming back? Is she coming back?!" The 23 women who didn't win Miss Ohio last weekend should take some time to debrief, unwind, shake the glitter off, ice the blisters from the stilettos and their jaw muscles from all the fake smiling! Those women have every right to feel everything from relief to disappointment to extreme anger! Months of preparation and hundreds, even thousands, of dollars went into a week that passed in the blink of an eye; there are a lot of emotions that need to be processed and that takes time.

I want to remind people that the emotions that may have been inferred, overheard or rumored after the pageant may not be accurate and should not be a reflection of any contestants future competition goals. (No, I didn't hear anything, that's not about anyone in particular, but just a reality of the moments after any pageant.) I should have written this before Saturday, but parents, EDs, and contestants, if anyone asks about next year just say "we'll see." Even if you know you're not competing, say "maybe" or "it'll depend on school..." etc. Negative reputations are created for women who swear they're done, then come back.

Competing and performing is an indefinable high. It can be so unbelievably frustrating and devastating, but a few weeks or months later, you find yourself wanting to be subjected to it all over again. From the high heels to the angst, pageant contestants are total masochists!

Anyway, the message boards have been down the past day or two and I'm glad, because I'm sick of the conversations about who will or will not return. For an issue that does need to continue to be talked about and addressed, make sure you check out Jillian's blog.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Miss Ohio 2009: Links to EVERYTHING!

For all things Miss Ohio 2009, you can scroll through
the month of June, or if you're looking for something specific,
use the following links:


then the "on demand" button (after the commercial) and pick the Prelims, Finale or even the fun blooper video.
Click here for Teen

Results & Awards * Crowning Photos
Press * Press *
More press
MNJ Gallery 1 * MNJ Gallery 2
Erica's First Appearance

* Preliminary Night Three:
Results * Press * Winners Pics
Production Pics

* Preliminary Night Two:
Results * Press * Winners Pics
Production Pics

Preliminary Night One:

Results * Press * Winners Pics
Production Pics



Fav gown from Night One?
Fav gown from Night Two?
Fav gown from Night Three?
Miss Ohio Predictions!
Updated 6.30.09:
Fav gown overall?

Miss Contestants By...
Hometown * School * Major * Talent * Platform * Seniority

Competition Photos * Production Photos
Results * Contestant Info * Website


Abby's "Live Blogs"
Preliminary Night One
Preliminary Night Two
Preliminary Night Three

Thoughts from other bloggers:
Jillian * Roberta * Megan * Allie * Heather *

Feeling nostalgic? Scroll down through this link for all things Miss Ohio 2008 and this link for Miss Ohio 2007.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pageant Press: Miss Universe Hosts Announced

'Access Hollywood' Co-Anchor Billy Bush and 'Celebrity Apprentice' Star Claudia Jordan to Host the 2009 Miss Universe Pageant Live From Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas on August 23rd

NEW YORK, June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Paula M. Shugart, President of the Miss Universe Organization, announced today that Billy Bush, co-anchor of "Access Hollywood" and Claudia Jordan of "Celebrity Apprentice" and "Deal or No Deal," will host the 2009 Miss Universe Pageant live on NBC on Sunday, August 23rd at 9:00 p.m. ET from Atlantis, Paradise Island in the Bahamas...

Fans reactions are mixed; many are sick of Billy Bush, who has hosted several pageants. Most recently, he emceed Miss America, although he was sick and looked terrible! Claudia is not a surprise, as she's a former Miss Rhode Island USA and contestant on Trump's Celebrity Apprentice. And didn't she recently judge? Miss USA perhaps? Some folks are happy about her, while others question her abilities as a host and her attitude.

Miss Ohio 2009: Photo Links

Miss Ohio Week Proofs from Picture Perfect -Angie Rayburn

Erica's Homecoming Parade - Jason Snyder / Daily Standard
Erica's First Appearance - MNJ/D

Miss Ohio Finale - Gallery 4 - MMW /Timothy Russell
Miss Ohio Finale - Gallery 3 - MMW /Timothy Russell
Miss Ohio Finale - Gallery 2 - MMW /Timothy Russell
Miss Ohio Finale - Gallery 1 - MMW /Timothy Russell
Miss Ohio Finale - Gallery 2 - MNJ/Rob Hardin
Miss Ohio Fiale - Gallery 1 - MNJ/Rob Hardin

Prelim Night Three - Miss Mansfield Website/Timothy Russell
Prelim Night Three - MNJ/D
Prelim Night Two - Miss Mansfield Website/Timothy Russell
Prelim Night Two - MNJ/D
Miss Mansfield Website/Timothy Russell
Miss Ohio's Outstanding Teen - Gallery 1 - MNJ/Rob Hardin
Teen Crowning and Court - MOOT Website/Timothy Russell

Applebee's - Miss Mansfield Website/Timothy Russell
Miss Ohio Parade - Miss Mansfield Website/Timothy Russell
Miss Ohio Parade - MNJ/
/Fashion Show - Miss Mansfield Website/Timothy Russell
/Fashion Show - MNJ/
Miss Ohio Festival - Miss Mansfield Website/Timothy Russell
Miss Ohio Festival - MNJ/
Contestant Arrival at the Carousel - MNJ/Walt Butler

More Miss Ohio Press

For the second year in a row, Miss Clayland crowned Miss Ohio
By Rex Huffman /The Times-Reporter

Over the years, St. Henry, a town of slightly more than 2,200 residents and located north of Dayton in Mercer County, has produced a professional baseball player and four professional football players. Teams from St. Henry High have won six state football championships, four basketball state titles and three baseball titles.

Now, the town can lay claim to another winner.

Saturday night, Erica Gelhaus, competing as Miss Clayland, won the Miss Ohio crown for 2009 and the right to move on to the Miss America Pageant in January.

“My homecoming was amazing,” said Gelhaus. “They had two fire trucks waiting for me, and they took me around town, just they like do when the basketball team wins the state championship...”

By Betty Lawrence / The Daily Standard

Nearly 200 residents lined the Main Street of St. Henry on Sunday evening to welcome home the newly crowned 2009 Miss Ohio, Erica Gelhaus.

Gelhaus, Celina's Miss Lake Festival 2006, won the state crown Saturday in Mansfield following several days of competition.

"I'm floating, I have been floating since I was named Miss Ohio," a beaming Gelhaus said after the hometown parade.

She doesn't remember her name actually being announced as the winner, she said, since the crowd in Mansfield's Renaissance Theatre became very loud as the crowning moment neared.

"I could just hear people screaming. It was so overwhelming," said Gelhaus, 21, the daughter of Ron and Judy Gelhaus. "It has been absolutely incredulous. I feel so blessed by my community."

A welcome home sign in the crowd read "one Reds player, four NFL players and one Miss Ohio."

Mercer County was well represented at the state contest as Miss Lake Festival 2008 Ellen Bryan competed and placed as fourth runner-up. Heather Waterman, Miss Lake Festival 2007, won the swimsuit competition in the event's preliminary competition...

..."We already have her booked to be at our Miss Lake Festival fundraiser at Bella's in July and at this year's Miss Lake Festival pageant," Celina Lake Festival Chairperson Michelle Emerine said, pointing out the local contestants in the state pageant took home at least a third of the scholarship monies offered this year....

See, I wasn't kidding in my previous post when I said it was all about the football down there! CLICK HERE for video footage of her homecoming and HERE for photos.

Erica Gelhaus wins Miss Ohio title
By Wil Vickery Jr. / Special to the Reflector

MANSFIELD - Twenty-three contestants from across the state spent the last week in Mansfield striving to claim the title of Miss Ohio 2009, but only one would finally walk away with the crown. When the fog cleared the stage, Erica Gelhaus, Miss Clayland, was the choice of the six-member judges panel.

Miss Maple City 2009, Ashleigh Lemon, was recognized with a $400 scholarship as a non-semifinalist talent winner and a $500 Paul Herlihy Spirit Award, which was selected by the hostesses and chaperones of the contestants.

Click the titles for the full stories.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Pageant Press: Miss Ohio '09 makes her debut

Click here for more photos by

MANSFIELD -- After just one hour of sleep, Erica Gelhaus still looked radiant Sunday afternoon at the Richland Mall.

Wearing a simple navy dress, a glowing smile and a sparkling crown, the new Miss Ohio signed autographs and greeted eager guests warmly.

Gelhaus earned her title Saturday night at the Renaissance Theatre.

"I'm so excited," the 21-year-old squealed. "I had no indication at all this week that I was going to win."

Perhaps her parents knew better.

"Erica has always given everything she does 110 percent," mom Judy Gelhaus said. "She's very organized, and I know she's gonna do really well at Miss America. She's just a beautiful person inside and out, and I think people recognize that."

Erica will compete at the national pageant Jan. 30 at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.

"She has just really grown as an individual since she started competing," dad Ron Gelhaus said. "Her speaking skills are terrific. Erica's won the academic award all three years she's been at Miss Ohio. She volunteers a lot. I don't know how she does it all."

Judy said Erica began competing in pageants her senior year of high school.

"Her guidance counselor actually recommended she try it to try to earn scholarship money," Judy said.

In three years, Erica has won more than $37,000.

That year, 2007, Erica became first runner-up to Miss Ohio Roberta Camp.

In 2008, Erica was second runner-up to Miss Ohio Karissa Martin.

When she finally captured the title Saturday, Erica said "a million thoughts" raced through her head.

"I was just so excited and thankful," she said. "I couldn't believe it."

Erica said she spent the rest of her evening at the coronation ball and in her hotel room with her family.

"We had so much to talk about because we really weren't allowed to talk much during the week," she said. "Being on our cell phones was discouraged because they wanted us to concentrate."

Erica said her favorite portion of competition is talent.

Wednesday night, she captured the talent preliminary, singing "So anchio la virtue magical."

"I sing something different every year," she said.

After her two-hour appearance in the center of the Ontario mall, Erica said she would be making the 2 1/2-hour trip back to her hometown. A large welcome ceremony, including a fire truck escort, was expected to greet her.

"Our town is known for its athletes -- not queens," Judy said. "So this will be really special."

Erica said she hopes to be a positive inspiration for others.

"I'm hoping other young women will see how pageants can open doors to achieve their goals," she said.

Erica's next appearance will be this weekend at the Special Olympics in Columbus.

"She'll be a great Miss Ohio," Ron said proudly. "And we'll follow her wherever and whenever we can."

Judy's quotation about the athletes made me chuckle because southern Mercer county is seriously all about the football! St. Henry lays claim to pro footballer players Bobby Hoying, Jeff Hartings, Jim Lachey, Todd Boeckman and Steve Sutter. Athletes, catholic churches, corn fields and now a Miss Ohio...!

Saturday Night's Miss State Winners - Part 2

The following women were crowned on June 20th; they are ordered here simply by when I found their crowning photo online. Click on names in blue for videos or links!

Miss Virgin Islands
Shayla Solomon

Education: Indiana University / Media Communications
nt: piano "Ribbon in the Sky"
Platform: Youth Empowerment through Extra-Curricular Activities
Pageant Past:
Interview, Evening Gown, Community Service & Scholar

Miss Illinois
Erin O'Connor

Education: Western Illinois University / Theatre & Dance
Talent: ballet en pointe
Platform: Take Care! Skin Cancer Education and Prevention
Pageant Past: first time at state
Awards: Preliminary Swimsuit

Miss Maine
Susanna Stauble

Talent: vocal“Stand Up for Love”
Platform: S. H. I. N. E. - Shared Hope International Nursing Effort
Pageant Past: first time at state
Awards: unknown

Miss Montana
Brittany Wiser

Education: University of Denver
Talent: vocal "Night and Day"
Platform: Mental Health & Substance Abuse Education
Pageant Past: first time at state
Awards: Congeniality, CMN & Academic

Miss Wisconsin
Kristina Smaby

Education: Viterbo University / Business Administration
Talent: dance en point "River Deep, Mountain High"
Platform: Connecting Generations
Pageant Past: Top 10 in '06, '07 & '08
Awards: Preliminary Swimsuit

Miss Arizona
Savanna Troupe

Education: Arizona State / Elementary Education
Talent: Baton
Platform: Quest 4 Success: Enriching Lives Through Higher Education
Pageant Past: competed in '05 and '07; possible Top 10 in '08, info is conflicting
Awards: Quality of Life RU and MAO Academic

Miss West Virginia
Talia Markham

Education: University of Charleston
Talent: vocal
Platform: Child Abuse and Neglect - Breaking the Cycle
Pageant Past: Top 10 in '05, competed in '06, 2nd RU in '08 and Top 10 at Miss West Virginia USA '09
Awards: Preliminary Evening Gown

As always, I got these photos and information from a wide variety of online sources; please leave additions and corrections as comments. Thank you.