Thursday, April 29, 2010

Miss Ohio 2010 Talent Selections

The Miss Ohio website has been updated with headshots and talent selections! Please leave a comment if you can confirm the origin of each song.

Flight One

Elizabeth Wong - Huron County
Lyrical dance - Gravity (by Sarah Bareillis )

Sarah Hider - North Coast
Vocal - You Took Advantage of Me (jazz standard)

Heather Waterman - Clayland
Vocal - I Believe (?)

Alyssa Waldman - Northwestern Ohio
Vocal - Someone Like You (from Jekyll and Hyde)

Amber Bussa - North Central Ohio
Vocal - Roxie (from Chicago?)

Meggie Wittman - Cuyahoga County
Vocal - Faraway (by Goldrich & Heisler)

Kristy Moneysmith - Maumee Valley
Vocal - It's Your Song (popularized by Garth Brooks?)

Nanciann Strosnider - Greater Butler County
Vocal - Being Alive (from Company; popularized by Streisand)

Flight Two

Anna Reis - Portsmouth
Jazz dance - Hey Big Spender (from Sweet Charity)

Rebekah Zoz - Ohio River
Vocal - Revelation Song (a praise song)

Stephanie Beltz - Willard
Piano - Bumble Boogie (swing version of "Flight of the Bumble Bee")

Shannon O'Neill - Lima Square Fair
Vocal - As if we Never Said Goodbye
(from Sunset Boulevard; popularized by Streisand)

Courtney Monk - Fallen Timbers
Vocal - Good Morning Baltimore (from Hairspray)

Cayla Hellwarth - Lake Festival
Vocal - Gira Con Me (by Josh Groban?)

Marisa Buchheit - Maple City
Vocal - O mio babbino caro (from Gianni Schicchi)

Katie Bowen - West Central Ohio
Flute - Flight of the Bumblebee (from The Tale of Tsar Saltan)

Jacquelyn Nichols - Vacationland
Vocal - Imagine (John Lennon?)

Flight Three

Becky Minger - All American City
Vocal - Kiss Me in the Rain (popularized by Streisand)

Katie Camp - Central Ohio
Tap dance - Big Time (popularized by Linda Eder)

Heather Wells - Mansfield
Jazz dance - We're Gonna Party (by The Weather Girls)

Heidi Hegron - Muskingum Valley
Vocal - Footprints in the Sands (popularized by Leona Lewis?)

Ellen Bryan - Miami Valley
Vocal - Journey to the Past (from Anastasia soundtrack)

Tera Coleman - Heart of Ohio
Vocal - Hallelujah (?)

Ashley Warholic - Greater Cleveland
Ballet en Pointe - Waltz from Coppelia (by Leo Delibes)

Whitney Fricke - Buckeye State
Vocal - Suddenly Seymour (from Little Shop of Horrors)

Devon Stansbury - Mohican Valley
Lyrical Dance - Free Fallen (Tom Petty or John Mayer?)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Candid Caressa!

Miss America, Caressa Cameron, was in Washington DC recently giving reporters a lot to write about, from unexpected candid tidbits about her job to her opinion on some hot button issues!

From The Reliable Source, The Washington Post's gossip blog

Hey, so this is interesting: Did you know that the entire year you’re Miss America, you’re not allowed to drive — at all?

“I guess it’s a liability thing,” said the reigning Miss.A, Caressa Cameron. “They don’t want to have Miss America crash her car.”

The Spotsylvania native spent her months as Miss Virginia driving herself all over the commonwealth, 200 miles a week. Now she’s forever shotgun in her travels around the nation: “If I want to go to Burger King, I have to ask someone to take me. … If we go past a Popeye’s, I’ll ask my driver to stop, because I don’t know the next time I’ll get to go to one.”

Don’t you love when beauty queens profess to having crazy-indulgent eating habits? But Cameron, 22, might be telling the truth here: At a luncheon in her honor Monday at Cafe Milano hosted by Miss America board member Tammy Haddad and restaurateur Franco Nuchese, she politely ordered the salmon, the chicken and the cappellini pomodoro. (No, probably didn’t finish them all, but good for her.) In a black pantsuit and pink top, she was shorter than you expect — tiny, really — and younger than she appeared on TV.

The other thing you can’t do when you’re Miss America: Say anything controversial or impolite. The VCU journalism major laughed warmly throughout the sometimes raucous luncheon with media types, but she did not take the bait when one lunch guest took potshots at the camouflage-accented evening gown that Miss A 2009, Katie Stam, wore at this year’s pageant. Cameron leapt to her defense: Stam had a story that explained the dress but wasn’t given enough airtime to tell it. “For a camo dress, it was nice,” the current Miss.A said.

Cameron added mischievously: “I should warn you: When I conduct the Richmond Symphony” — for “The Star-Spangled Banner,” of course — “I’m wearing a dress that is entirely a flag.”

Not driving for a year? I'll add that to my list of reasons why I never would have survived a year as Miss America, right behind "hates parades!"

And now, on to the political, followed by the poignant!

By Nikki Schwab & Tara Palmeri
Washington Examiner

You betcha Caressa Cameron's not picking political sides, but Miss America 2010 is willing to say she's a fan of the Palins.

"She's someone who cares about the world around her, and she comes from a pageantry background," Cameron said of Sarah Palin at a lunch hosted by Tammy Haddad at Cafe Milano on Monday. "It shows good light on the program in my opinion."

Like a young Palin, Cameron wants to be a TV reporter and saw opportunity in pageantry. As for whether she plays for the same team politically, Cameron's not saying.

"I guess I could say I'm a fan," Cameron said of Palin. "I'm a fan of anyone who is trying to work for the greater good of the people, period."

Cameron was definitive about one thing -- she has issues with partisan politics.

"I think the problem sometimes with people is that they are so concerned with their allegiance to their party that they forget what's right for the American people," Cameron told Yeas & Nays.

As for Bristol, they both advocate a similar line -- preventing unwanted teen pregnancies. And Cameron praised Bristol for her work to deglamorize the idea of being a teen mom.

"I'm sure she's getting flak in regards to probably being a hypocrite and saying, 'Oh, go be abstinent now,' "

Cameron said. " ... But I think some of the best lessons are taught by people who have walked the road that you would rather not walk."

How does our reigning Miss America answer the questions every Miss should be ready for? I've put it in bold... Not that you must share her opinion, but do take not of her eloquence.

Miss America Caressa Cameron: No Reason a Lesbian Shouldn't Wear the Crown
By Annie Groer

It took Caressa Cameron four tries to become Miss Virginia, but once she nailed the state title last year, it's easy to see how she went on to capture the glittery Miss America crown in Las Vegas on Jan. 30.

This was one poised, smart, candid and effervescent young woman who sat down to lunch in Washington Monday with a bunch of strangers, including several reporters and TV producers. Sure, she'd been in DC before, to sing the National Anthem at the Washington Nationals' season opener where she shook hands with President Obama, and to serve as grand marshal of the Cherry Blossom Parade earlier this month.

But Monday's lunch was meant to showcase her in a far more intimate setting -- Cafe Milano's private dining room in Georgetown, and to once again remind those new to the world of Miss America and all its state and local pageants that it is not, not, not a beauty contest because it provides $50 million a year in scholarships for women.

During the meet and greet, where surprisingly no handler hovered about monitoring her every word, Cameron, 22, answered all my questions except one: How much money she thinks she'll earn at paid appearances all over the world during her reign. "I'm not allowed to discuss it," she confided. But it is a sizable chunk of change, especially since the crown comes with an automatic $50,000 scholarship.

Cameron didn't blink, however, when I asked if she thought some day there might be a lesbian Miss America, given that so many other barriers have fallen since the first pageant was held in 1921 as an unapologetic beauty contest to lure tourists to Atlantic City in September.

Call it her reign of candor.

"I don't think someone's ethnicity, someone's religious background, even their sexual orientation has anything to do with their ability to do the job, so I would say yes. It has no bearing on whether they can go to a children's hospital and visit kids."

Cameron was also confident that the judges -- who this year included conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh -- would be willing to make such an equal-opportunity choice. "A lot of time we don't give people enough credit for being open-minded. If you are a judge doing your job, you will choose someone regardless of her political views or sexual orientation. You would hope people's prejudice would not play a role in picking someone for a job as wonderful as Miss America."

No surprise, then, that her platform issue during her Virginia pageant years -- which began at age 14 in the Junior Miss Fredericksburg contest and will continue as Miss A -- remains HIV/AIDS education and prevention for students in middle and high school. Having lost an uncle to AIDS when she was just 8, Cameron wanted a teenager's bully pulpit from which to reach kids who might not listen to adults.

No surprise either that during a public interview before her state victory last June, she declared that the separation of church and state trumped her personal religious belief that marriage should be between a man and woman. "But I don't believe we should legislate against gay marriage. One doesn't de-solidify the other."

That is what a modern Miss America, and a would-be TV anchor, sounds like.

I got my first glimpse into the parallel universe of pageantry back in 1986, when Miss A was still based on the Jersey shore (It moved to Vegas in 2006). It was from the contestants I first heard of a profession known as "personal trainer," learned that the "girls" routinely used Preparation H hemorrhoid cream to deflate puffy eye bags, slathered Vaseline on their teeth for a shinier smile and kept their swimsuits from riding up by spraying their butts with the same stuff football players used to keep a grip on the pigskin. One contestant who failed to place in the top 10 that year revealed she'd blithely enthused to judges that "'the women of America are going to take the country by storm. There are 49 women running for office and by the year 2000 half of the people in medical, law and other professional schools will be women.' I don't think that went over to big," she said. I kept a close eye on the 1993 winner, Leanza Cornett, who broke new ground as an advocate for children with AIDS; she also broke the physical stereotype by being a petite brunette, not a statuesque blond.

Cameron, too, is a tiny and dark-haired, just 5-foot-4 and maybe a size 0. But she was also the only one at lunch who ordered two entrees, one of them a bowl of pasta. Although her family is still in Virginia, her only visit home since winning 10 weeks ago was at Easter, and she won't have another day off until Thanksgiving. She jokes that her base is "two suitcases and a carry-on bag."

Occasionally, however, her boyfriend, who coaches football and basketball at their old high school, and who gave her the dazzling crown pendant she wears -- it's made of crystals, not diamonds, she says -- will meet her for dinner if she is appearing locally. And might those evenings turn into conjugal visits?

"No, no, no, no."

Silly me. What ever was I thinking? Sex is so not part of the job.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Random Pageant Tip #1

Make your personal promotional materials reusable!

If you haven't already done so, Miss Ohio contestants should order some headshots to autograph at a few different public events during pageant week. You should have some sort of folder or clipboard container in which to carry them. Most contestants have 8x10 prints, but I've also seen smaller shots that were all conveniently attached at the top like a notepad, then the Miss just tore each page off after signing it. I believe it was Miss Ohio, Amanda Beagle, who returned from Miss America with the awesome idea of printing a write-up or resume on the back of your picture. It turns it into a great promotional tool , letting people know what type of appearances you're available to do and providing a (secure) way to contact you. I don't think this is something contestants need to do for Miss Ohio week (unless you're from or representing the Mansfield area), but an idea for titleholders who do a lot of local appearances.

Getting some headshots to autograph is nothing compared to what EDs, parents and fans do to support "their girl!" They wear buttons with their favorite contestants pictures, wave signs during the show and decorate their hotel room doors! One year my mom used wrapping paper that everyone signed, which was nice. I'm sure I still have it in a scrapbook somewhere.

Some fans put their contestants picture facing our their hotel room windows and in their cars! It all sounds a little crazy, but in the microcosm of Miss Ohio, it makes sense. Well, kind of... I never really got use to looking out from the stage and seeing my face on a paint stick! ;)

Anyway, the tip is to make all these promotional pictures REUSABLE! On your headshots, be sure to print your name above your title. I once had a ton of 8x10s generously donated and didn't come close to using them all by the end of my reign. Because my title was printed first, then my name, I really couldn't do anything else with them. Had I been able to cut off the title, I could have used those pictures for auditions and while representing myself in other capacities. To that end, pick your most versatile photo to make a bunch of copies! I'm sure you've put your perfectly pageanty picture in the judges book and program book and whatever else, but trust me, if you're paying for these duplications, you'll want to be able to use those left-over headshots for other things!

And parents, it's hard enough squeezing your daughters name on a button! The added bonus of not putting the title on it is that you can then use the button again and again. Don't be mad at me EDs! I think I've seen some of you get creative by attaching ribbons to the buttons with your title. You can buy button-making tools at craft stores or have printing places do them for you. Square plastic name-tag holders are another option.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Pageant Pictures: Spring Forum 2010

Thank you Bryce Bishop and Ohio's Outstanding Teen, Veronica Wende, for photos from Miss Ohio's Spring Forum!
It was held at a 4-H camp, which allowed plenty of room for the meeting with EDs and parents, as well as ourdoor space for team building exercises.

Are the ladies getting a head-start on a production number?

Obviously, the contestants were broken into teams, told to dress casual and comfy and it looks like pageant officials must have confiscated make-up along with their cell phones! ;)

Outstanding Teens!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Miss Ohio 2010: The Inside Scoop!

The theme this year is "mosaic." Fans often wish formers were more involved; this year the wish was granted. Roberta Camp Albert will emcee Wednesday nights preliminary, Melanie Murphy Miller on Thursday and Amanda Beagle Friday. For the finale on Saturday all three former Miss Ohios will be joined by the reigning Miss, Erica Gelhaus.

That information is confirmed, which lends some validity to the anonymous online statement that Mark Schnitkey will not be performing this year. Also, according to the web, ONN will not broadcast the pageant this year; there's no word about a webcast. They'd have to find cameras somewhere...

Miss Ohio 2010 Competition Order


GROUP ONE - The Buckeye Flight
Talent * Swimsuit * Gown & Question

1. Elizabeth Wong
2. Sarah Hider
3. Heather Waterman
4. Alyssa Waldman
5. Amber Bussa
6. Meggie Wittman
7. Kristy Moneysmith
8. Nanciann Strosnider

GROUP TWO - The Cardinal Flight
Gown & Question * Talent * Swimsuit

9. Anna Reis
10. Rebecca Zoz
11. Stephanie Beltz
12. Shannon O'Neill
13. Courtney Monk
14. Cayla Hellwarth
15. Marisa Buchheit
16. Katie Bowen
17. Jacquelyn Nichols

GROUP THREE - The Carnation Flight
Swimsuit * Gown & Question * Talent

18. Becky Minger
19. Katie Camp
20. Heather Wells
21. Heidi Negron
22. Ellen Bryan
23. Tera Coleman
24. Ashley Warholic
25. Whitney Fricke
26. Devon Stansbury

Friday, April 16, 2010

So, who's competing again this year?

I’ve been keeping track all year, and even I have forgotten who was crowned in the summer and fall. It seems like such a long time ago! But Miss Ohio is right around the corner, so it’s time to reacquaint ourselves with the competitors. This weekend the ladies will attend Spring Forum and most excitingly, pick their flights and placement!

So who’s competing?

There are 26 contestants; 12 of whom are competing in Mansfield for the first time!

First time contestants (in reverse order of crowning): Tera Colemna, Elizabeth Wong, Devon Stansbury, Stephanie Beltz, Heidi Negron, Marisa Buchheit, Jacquelyn Nichols, Alyssa Waldman, Anna Reis, Sarah Hider, Meggie Wittman and Cayla Hellwarth. (Note, Sarah Hider and Marisa Buchheit have previously competed on the state level of an MAO pageant but not Miss Ohio.)

18 of the contestants won their local by singing:

Tera Colemen, Whitney Fricke, Rebekah Zoz, Nanciann Strosnider, Heidi Negron, Marisa Buchheit, Amber Bussa, Jacquelyn Nichols, Alyssa Waldman, Becky Minger, Courtney Monk, Kristy Moneysmith, Heather Waterman, Ellen Bryan, Shannon O’Neill, Sarah Hider, Meggie Wittman and Cayla Hellwarth

6 ladies danced:

Elizabeth Wong, Devon Stansbury, Katie Camp, Heather Wells, Anna Reis and Ashley Warholic

And this year there are even two instrumentalist!

Stephanie Beltz (piano) and Katie Bowen (flute)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hollywood and Pageantland Mourn the loss of Dixie Carter

I can't think of a television show that brought pageants to the mainstream more than the 80s/90s sitcom, Designing Women. Delta Burke played southern beauty queen, Suzanne Sugarbaker and her protector was older sister, Julia.

Actress Dixie Carter played the outspoken Julia Sugarbaker on Designing Women and she was nominated for an Emmy in 2007 for seven episodes as Gloria Hodge on Desperate Housewives. She passed away at the age of 70 after battling endometrial cancer.

Entertainment Weekly called Carter's Designing Women performance "strong, sassy and deliciously Southern." EW listed their top five favorite moments; their number one is also a favorite for pageant fans that was posted all over pageant message boards this week:

And this is the kind of passion and speaking ability pageant ladies need to have for their opinions!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ohio Titleholder featured in Miss America's National Magazine!

Congrats to Miss Lima Square Fair, Shannon O'Neill, who is in the April/May issue of Fourpoints Magazine! She is the featured contestant in the "Spotlight" article, which highlights platform work each month. If you subscribe, you should have it by now and Fourpoints confirmed via Twitter that the article will appear on the website soon.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Buckeye Beauties Competing Elsewhere

** Updated April 12, 2010 **

Sophia Davis is an Ohio native who made the Top 10 as Miss Miami Valley and competed as Miss Hamilton and Miss Mansfield. She now lives and works in Washington DC. Last year she was 3rd Runner-up to Miss DC! Recently she represented Ohio among the Cherry Blossom Princesses and will compete again on June 20th for the Miss DC title. Follow Sophia on Twitter, her blog and website.

Jackie Jerlecki is a BGSU student who placed consistently in Ohio locals but ultimately won her first local title last year in the Hoosier state, where she's from. Now she's headed back to Miss Indiana a second time as Miss Elkhart County 2010. The competition will culminate June 26th.

April O'Brien has competed in Miss Ohio locals for a few years, but she attends Bethany College in West Virginia, where she won her first local title, Miss Jackson County! She'll compete for the title Miss West Virginia the last week of June.

Elyse Healey publicly said farewell to the Miss Ohio program in 2007 after placing 3rd Runner-up as Miss Stark County and in the Top 10 as Miss Greater Cleveland. Now she's a Graduate student at Robert Morris University in Pennsylvania, where she won the title Miss Mercer County 2010; thus will compete for Miss Pennsylvania the same week as Miss Ohio.

Jenna Wilson was the 3rd Runner-up last year at Miss Ohio as Miss Lake Erie and 4th Runner-up in 2008 as Miss North East Ohio; she was my wonderful roommate as Miss Southeastern Ohio in 2006. Now she is a Graduate student at Emerson in Massachusetts. Earlier this spring she placed 4th Runner-up at the very competitive Massachusetts local, Miss Boston. Three sweeps crowns will be given away on April 25; if Jenna competes, I'm confident she'll earn a spot at Miss Massachusetts!

Did I forget anyone? Leave a comment and best of luck to these ladies!

Some fans speculated former Miss Ohio contestants Victoria Miller and Jessica Barrett would compete in New York, where they both attend college. There's only one double-crown local left there; it's closed to "western New York & Finger Lakes region." I have no idea if Victoria and Jessica are eligiable or interested.