Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pageant Poll: The Truth About Miss America and ABC

Early articles about Miss America's new three year deal with ABC did not include any financial details but sources have now revealed that the network isn't paying; the pageant is!

ABC is welcoming Miss America back, but on its own terms.

The network will not be paying a licensing fee to air the pageant when it airs next Jan. 15 as part of a new three-year deal, as some have reported. Instead, the network will be paid in a time-buy arrangement by the pageant, an individual inside ABC told TheWrap.

No terms of the deal were announced beyond the number of years.

The pageant will air on a Saturday night -- television's lowest viewing night of the week, when ABC, like the other broadcast networks, has been airing repeats -- rather than preempting first-run programming on another night.

Still, it's a win for pageant officials, who saw cable network TLC choose not to renew the pageant after it aired in the final year of its agreement in January.

...ABC entertainment president Steve McPherson said a few months back, "Beauty pageants never evolved. They never reinvented themselves. They just got stale. We're out of that business."

But when Miss America officials came calling after being dropped by TLC, the network had a change of heart, primarily because it is a no-lose situation.

...The Miss America Organization will maintain and oversee the creative direction of the pageant, Art McMaster, president and CEO, said in announcing the deal. It will be produced by Tall Pony Productions, with Anthony Eaton and Lauren Harris as executive producers.

Click here
for the entire column by John Consoli.

What does it all mean? Miss America will be on ABC in the same way an infomercial is on TV. They've paid for the block of time. Normally a network pays a licensing agreement and then has control of the production and gets the all the revenue from advertisers. Instead, Miss America has paid to be on ABC; as stated above, the pageant gets "creative control" and it's my understanding they'll select, sell and get all the money from commercials. I read rumors that MAO Chairman, Sam Haskell paid the fee himself, but that is unsubstantiated.

This news has gotten mixed reviews from pageant fans. What do you think? Vote and leave comments below.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Breaking Pageant News: Miss America Returns to ABC!

Miss America Caressa Cameron and MAO Chairman Sam Haskell will be on Fox & Friends at 8 a.m. this morning for a "special announcement," but I think the cat's already out of the bag...

Miss America will return to network television, thanks to a three year contract with ABC! The 2011 pageant will air next January 15th. Here are a couple breaking news articles:

By Oskar Garcia
Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — Miss America is getting back to network television in time for her 90th birthday.

The beauty pageant has signed a three-year deal with ABC, with plans to air next year's competition live on Jan. 15, pageant officials said.

"It's a wonderful deal," Sam Haskell, chairman of the Miss America Organization, told The Associated Press. "It's much better than any deal that we've had in the last five years."

Haskell declined to discuss specifics of the agreement.

Miss America has not aired on network television since 2004, when ABC dropped the pageant after record-low ratings. Since then, it has aired on cable, twice on CMT and three times on TLC.

This year's pageant — won by Miss Virginia Caressa Cameron — topped cable television excluding movies with 4.5 million viewers the night it aired. That was about 1 million more viewers for the pageant than in 2009.

But Miss America found itself without a TV deal in March after cable network TLC declined to pick up a three-year option, opting instead to seek a two-year deal for less money.

Haskell said the latest ABC deal brings the pageant full circle from 2004.

"We were given a chance to re-brand, to keep what was traditional but make ourselves more today, and I think we've done that," he said. "We're now back with a lot of strength and back to show everyone that Miss America is the American tradition. It's a pop icon."

No final deal has been made yet on the location of the pageant, said Haskell and Art McMaster, chief executive of the Miss America Organization. The national competition was held this year at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

McMaster said plans for next year's pageant include an attempt to bring together as many former Miss America winners together as possible in celebration of the pageant's history. About 60 are still alive.

The pageant was founded in Atlantic City, N.J., in 1921 as a bathing beauty revue.

Haskell said Miss America 2011 would also reflect renewed efforts to distance the competition from Miss USA, the rival, headline-grabbing pageant owned in a joint venture by Donald Trump and NBC.

"No little girl walks around saying, 'I want to be Miss USA when I grow up.' She says, 'I want to be Miss America,'" Haskell said.


Three-year deal for beauty pageant
By Michael Schneider

ABC has rescued the Miss America Pageant.

Under a three-year deal, the event returns to the Alphabet net in January. Pact reps a return to broadcast TV for the pageant, which moved to cable after ABC dropped it in 2005 due to low ratings.

...ABC's decision to bring back the pageant comes as the networks continue to experience ratings growth for big events -- including the Super Bowl, Oscars, Grammys and Emmys. Some of that success has been attributed to the growth of social networking.

...As part of the setup, Tall Pony Prods. ("Radio Music Awards," "Fashion Rocks") is on board to handle the live telecast. Anthony Eaton and Lauren Harris are exec producers.

NBC carried Miss America for 30 years, but dumped the pageant in 1997 as it struck a partnership instead with Donald Trump and rival Miss USA.

ABC then took over the event in 1997, only to see ratings for the pageant drop nearly 50% over the course of nine years -- finally opting not to renew after Miss America 2005 was crowned in late 2004. Miss America found itself on hard times after that, moving to niche-oriented cablers. First stop was country music outlet CMT, where it hit rock bottom in 2007 -- averaging just 2.4 million viewers. TLC ran the pageant over the past three years, bringing the aud up to 4.5 million this past year.

..."For the organization to thrive, we need young girls to continue to grow up to want to be Miss America," said Haskell, whose wife, Mary Donnelly Haskell, was once Miss Mississippi. Haskell works pro bono for the Miss America org.

..."Our girls require community service and must have a talent," he said. "There's also a requirement to be in college. And we make sure that every single one of our women leave with scholarship money."

Click the headline to read the entire Variety article.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Random Pageant Tip #2


With only a month until Miss Ohio, I know right now contestants are going crazy trying to find the perfect earrings and making mad dashes to get alterations! But while you're out there searching the world for the perfect shade and highest heel, keep your eyes open for a little something to show appreciation for the people with whom you spend Miss Ohio week.

I hate to add to the bill for pageant week, but the reality is that a lot of gift giving happens in Mansfield, so I'm just trying to save new contestants that embarrassing empty-handed moment.

The tip is that contestants should have a little something for your hostess, chaperone and roommate; and parents and EDs should give their contestants some material encouragement too!

Hostesses & Chaperons

It is imperative to give both your hostess and chaperon a little something. These ladies are amazing! They open their homes, share their families and are literally your closest supporters all week. I was lucky that my parents helped me with my gifts and they were from all of us. New contestants should ask their roommate if they had the same ladies last year; if so, she might know what they like. Think about a gift that reflects you, your hometown, college, platform or talent. IE: David Carruth is nationally-known for his "Garden Smiles" pottery but his shop is in northwestern Ohio, near me, so that's what we gave one year. Candles are always a really safe bet or a gift card to a restaurant in Mansfield. Hostesses and chaperons, leave a comment and tell us what some of your favorite gifts have been!


This is easy, just grab something you'd want! A candle, new lip gloss, etc... The next time you buy yourself something cute and cheap, get two.

None of these gifts needs to be expensive. $5 a piece and a fun trinket from Pier One would suffice. I know time is a precious commodity but the point is to be as thoughtful as you have time to be right now!

EDs and Parents

These people also deserve a world of appreciation for what they do. But they understand what craziness Miss Ohio week is and the gift giving between ED and titleholder usually happens at the local pageant when you give up your crown.


And for the contestants...

If a contestant is lucky the people around her will do little things all week long to keep her spirits up. Some EDs give little gifts after each prelim. When I was a contestant I counted on the lotions and body washes to get me through fall semester! (Bath and Bodyworks is great because you can exchange scents without a receipt.) I think useful things are the best; to this day I still use the bathtub pillow and hair towel from my Lorain County crew! I was so lucky that my Mom is the queen of little notes and nicknacks! She would pack me a gift bag full of things labeled for each day of Miss Ohio week. No matter what stress or drama the day gave me, I knew there was something waiting to put a smile on my face each night! I can't emphasis enough that it doesn't have to cost much! It was stuff like cute note pads or toiletries or silly trinkets that I know came from Big Lots! :) The words of encouragement were what really mattered.

The families and friends of new contestants should realize that everything you give, must be packed up and taken home! I liked having fresh flowers in my room, but fans need to talk to each other and make sure the contestants bedroom doesn't turn into a funeral home, on top of the fact they're very hard to transport. Think small, but super supportive!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Not-So-Live Blog: Miss USA 2010 Official Results!

Miss USA: Michigan
So, I guess since the on-stage question means nothing, maybe Prejean should have won last year...!

1st Runner-up: Oklahoma
2nd Runner-up: Virginia
And now Loren's saying "WHATTT?!"
3rd Runner-up: Colorado
4th Runner-up: Maine
WWHHATTTT!?!?!?! I'm stunned; that makes no sense.

Not-So-Live Blog: Miss USA 2010: Our Guesses

My prediction

Miss USA: Maine
1st Runner-up: Virginia
2nd Runner-up: Oklahoma
3rd Runner-up: Michigan
4th Runner-up: Colorado

Loren's prediction

Miss USA: Virginia
1st Runner-up: "Tall girl" aka Maine
2nd Runner-up: Colorado
3rd Runner-up: Michigan
4th Runner-up: Oklahoma

Wow! Kristen Dalton looks stunning during her final walk, but I wish she was wearing her crown!

Not-So-Live Blog: Miss USA 2010 Judges On-stage Question

Oscar Nunez asked about Arizona's new immigration policy and if it should be a state or federal law. While Loren thinks she "tap danced down the middle" I think she actually answered the question and was well spoken.

Tara Conner asked if she believes insurance companies should cover birth control pills. Michigan says yes, it's just like any other drug. Loren immediately defended her saying, "it wasn't that bad." I think she'll fit right in at Miss Universe with her "Hi Mom" comment but I'm not so sure what an O.B.Gen is? lol! She's gorgeous but I think she's completely blown it with the way she speaks.

Johnny Weir asked if social networking sites should be regulated by the government. Cha - cha - choppppy! That was horrible!

Paula Deen asked if BP should be solely responsible for cleaning up and paying for the oil spill in the gulf. She sort of talked in circles but she's very charming and so darn cute!

Melania Trump asked how she felt about the sexy Fadil photoshoot the contestants participated in. I think that just sealed it! That question was a gimme as long as the contestant who got it supported the organization. I think she'll be the winner!

The on-stage question really does change your mind! Michigan was a huge disappointment while I take back my mean comments about Virginia and I think Maine has it in the bag!

Not-So-Live Blog: Miss USA 2010 Casual Questions


Me to Loren [insert accent]: "Uh-oh Papi... she sounds ghet - to!" I think the honeymoon is over for my Acura-selling-mate after his pick said "we buy American... bla, bla, Ford..." That's an extremely untrue and uneducated comment!


Well, damn, I didn't like her in anything else, but she is well spoken and full of personality.

I think Loren might have a new love; he's a private pilot and Maine wants to become one!

Not-So-Live Blog: Miss USA 2010 Official Top 5


Not-So-Live Blog: Miss USA 2010 Official Awards

Miss Congeniality: Miss Nebraska USA

Miss Photogenic: Miss Alabama USA

I love that they used Miss Teen USA and Miss Universe to present these awards.

Not-So-Live Blog: Miss USA 2010 Evening Gown Competition

Tennessee: The Rachel Smith clone is also in liquid beading. lol! Classic, but not amazing. 8.650

Maine: She's growing on me! She gives a Miss America vibe in her sophisticated black gown. 8.868

Mississippi: Not loving it. And if that's your gown, learn to pose in a way that doesn't wrinkle your skin! Seriously, that's swimsuit posing 101. 8.475

Alabama: Sorry, that look is DATED! 8.567

Michigan: Loren: "Now that's a gown!" I think he wants to marry her in it! *gasp!* She tripped, but I think the score was probably already in. 8.845

Oklahoma: It's too costumy for me, but so was Miss Universe's red feather duster gown! 9.188

Missouri: Loren: "That's so five years ago" Hahaha! Even he knows! 8.248

California: Loren: "And... she just lost!" It's also very outdated and seriously, there is NO reason for hooker platform heels that high. Ridiculous! 8.317

Virginia: She's pretty, but kind of boring. 8.675

Colorado: Ew! Good grief! Did these women get dressed in Joan Rivers Oscar closet from the 80s?! 9.313

We totally disagreed with the judges highest scores. Joan and Melissa just called California's dress "not pageanty." Um, apparently they don't watch pageants! I do love that Joan said Missouri "looks like she was dipped in Gatoraide." Hahaha! Yes!

Not-So-Live Blog: Miss USA 2010 Official Top 10


I don't get Mississippi, Alabama or Virginia. I'd prefer Arkansas instead of any of them!

Not-So-Live Blog: Miss USA 2010 Swimsuit Competition

The comments are from Loren and I, but the numbers are the official scores given by the judges.

Arkansas: Hot! Love her, but she holds her mouth funny. 7.750
Kansas: Super cute. 8.158
Michigan: Loren is in love with her! She'd do great at Miss Universe. 8.325
Wyoming: Oh, no! She almost fell but look at those abs! 8.273
Pennsylvania: Fake smile. 8.160
California: She works it, but do her eyes look kind of dead? 8.545
Colorado: Loren doesn't dig her at all, but I do; she seems super sweet. I like that her hair is different. 9.183
Tennessee: It looks like they're trying to clone Rachel Smith... 8.965
Oklahoma: Look at they wind in her hair! Loren "booblicious" 9.098
Missouri: She seems feisty! Loren thinks she looks like Julia Louise Dreyfus. 8.440
Alabama: Very teen-ish and a little awkward. 8.457
Nebraska: Such a pretty face but Loren doesn't like them when they have the shape of a little boy! 8.093
Virginia: I'm sorry, but her hair looks trailer-trash to me. :o 8.733
Mississippi: Pretty face, but she looks confused with those doe-eyes. Loren: "Straight out of a college bar." 8.312
Maine: She looks a soap star, is it Allison Sweeney...? Loren: "We want someone to win Miss Universe, not beat her up." 9.242

Not-So-Live Blog: Miss USA 2010 Finale Judges

Paula Deen (Food Network star)
Oscar Nunez (from The Office)
Tara Conner (Miss USA 2006)
Jonhhy Weir (US Champion Figure skater)
Melania Trump (model and Donal Trump's wife)
Phil Ruffin (casino owner)
Suzy Yalof Schwartz (Editor of Glamor)
Carmelo Anthony (NBA player)

Not-So-Live Blog: Miss USA 2010 Official Top 15

"They showed more in seven pages that I did giving birth to you..." Hahaha! I love Jone Rivers! She's such a crazy old bat.

The Official Top 15

Arkansas (Adrielle Churchill, a former MAO contestant)
Michigan (Loren's early favorite)
Pennsylvania (Loren: "She looks bitchy")
Missouri (haha... Curtis' accent sounded like "Misery")
Virginia (She kind of looks like the singer Jewel)
Maine (Loren: "Our starting center")

Not-So-Live Blog: Miss USA 2010

I guess the trade off for this boring LA weather that you all envy is that I no longer get to see pageants live. Most of my readers have known who the new Miss USA is for the past hour, but I'm just now tuning in...

Just based on the intros, I like California, Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Hhmm... is it just me or do they all look the same!?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

There's a YouTube channel with clips from last night's Miss USA preliminary competition!

The poster seems to have slowed all the ladies down and the sound is way off, but it's a good resource nonetheless.

Miss Ohio USA models her evening gown at the end of THIS video.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pageant Pictures, Press and a Poll: Another So-called Scandal!

For several years, celebrity photographer Fadil Berisha has done high fashion photoshoots with the contestants of the Trump family of pageants, Miss Teen USA, Miss USA and Miss Universe. He also shoots the winners throughout their year, turning out some of the most fantastic photos I've ever seen, but his photos have always pushed the envelope for some fans...

In 2007 people thought the wet look in the Miss Universe photos was too sexy. [Left, Brazil; right: USA's Rachel Smith.]

In 2008 I recall cyber gasps over the fish-net hosery.

[Right: former Miss Ohio USA,
Monica Day.]

And often fans do not approve of the sexuality with which the teen winners are portrayed! [Below left: Hilary Cruz, Teen USA 2007; right the reigning Teen USA, Stormi Henley.]

But this year... The Miss USA pageant is making headlines even before the onstage question, thanks to Berisha's pictures! The media is asking if the Victoria Secret / Playboy style photoshoot went too far for a pageant?

[Above: The reigning Miss Ohio USA, Amanda Tempela, as well as Kansas and California.] CLICK HERE to see all the controversial photos on one page, or they're in each contestants profile on the Miss USA website.

CLICK HERE for plenty of news stories on the pictures. I can't seem to get videos to embed at this time, but click the links below to watch them.

Here's a video from the photoshoot with commentary from Berisha and some contestants:

The Today show did a really great piece covering this issue, touching on the past and interviewing MUO President, Paula Shugart:

I don't think Shugart did as well trying to defend the shoot on The Early Show:

I tend to agree with many fans favorite former Miss USA, Shandi Fennessey, who by the way, also held a state title in the MAO system.

But what do YOU think?


Feel free to comment with your opinion of the pictures, or if you know why my blog won't let me embed videos or polls! :(

Monday, May 10, 2010

Pageant Updates!

Local Updates

I think every titleholder needs to form relationships with her hometown and college newspapers. (Don't expect your ED to do it for you.) But Miss Lima Square Fair, Shannon O'Neill, has gone above and beyond! CLICK HERE for last month's Spotlight article in FourPoints Magazine and CLICK HERE for her feature in Pageantry magazine's summer edition. (Click "page" at the top then select the page 114 thumbnail.) Congrats, Shannon!

Former Ohio contestant and Virginia titlehoder, Laura Pennington is participating in the Pepsi Refresh Project, in which the top 5 ideas recieve $5,000 to start a community program! Laura would like to start a dance program for children in underprivilaged communities. Please CLICK HERE to support Laura by voting for her program!

National Updates

Miss USA is underway in Las Vegas! The contestants arrived this weekend and will have a whirlwind of events and preliminary competitions, culminating in the live crowning of Miss USA 2010 on May 16! Log on to the Miss USA website to view, and even rate, the contestants! The site features headshots, swimsuit and gown photos and a super sexy, controversial Victoria's Secret style shot! [Left: Miss Ohio USA, Amanda Tempel]

Last season, former Miss America Erika Dunlap and her husband made the Top 3 on one of my favorite reality tv shows, The Amazing Race. This season, former Miss South Carolina Teen USA, Caite Upton and her boyfrend, Brent ran the race. She had a lot to prove after her embarrassing youtube moment at Miss Teen USA. She did indeed show that she can read, such as, maps, by being the only female in the Top 3. However, they did not go to The Iraq. ;) I'll not share the results out of respect for the DVR-addicted society in which we live.


From our biological moms to female volunteers, mentors and EDs and most certainly the chaperons and hostesses during pageant week, pageant women have many moms to thank!
I hope you all had a wonderful Mothers Day but moreover, know how much you're appreciated all year round!