Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Miss America 2011: Online Opinions!

Pageant Coordinator Chris Saltalamacchio, otherwise known as Mr. Delaware 2008, does a GREAT job telling it like it is from Las Vegas! Follow him on twitter, check out his blog and definitely watch his PH Diaries on YouTube. He'll let you know the best and worst of preliminary competition! [Above : Chris and Miss Ohio's Outstanding Teen, Cecili Weber]

Ohio's own Shannon O'Neill has to be a bit more diplomatic, but she's also vlogging from Las Vegas and has become the belle of the internet by posting videos of her favorite talents from rehearsal as well as gown photos. Be sure you're checking Shannon's blog regularly!

Speaking of opinions, I just watched Preliminary Night One and I have a few of my own:

Catchy Introductions

"Leading the nation in ethanol production, my state gives your state gas, I'm Pauley Mayfield Miss Iowa!" Hilarious!

"38 inches may seem like a lot of snow, but in my state that's what we like to call a mild winter. I'm Beth Denison your Miss North Dakota!" Haha! Take that east coast!

"Ladies and gentleman, welcome aboard Flight 90 with nonstop service to Las Vegas, coming to you from the birth place of aviation, I'm Becky Minger Miss Ohio!" Cute!

"From the wildlife friendly state where it's now permitted to harass sasquatch, I am Miss Oregon, Stephanie Sears." WHAT?!?! Now I have to go google Oregon+sasquatch...

"With the most Dunkin Donuts shops per capita in the nation, I'm wired up and fired up tonight, I'm Miss Rhode Island!" Jealous!

"Tonight 53 women share a dream, not a husband! I'm Christina Lowe, Miss Utah!" Witty!

"Home of 8 United States Presidents and 3 Miss Americas, no pressure there! I'm Kaitlyn Ute, Miss Virginia." Cute delivery!

"Coming from the state where nothing bites, except our vampires, I'm Jacky Brown Miss Washington!" Um, do I have to be a teenage girl to understand this one?

"From the state that touches more than any other, but never inappropriately, hoping to touch your heart America, I'm Miss Wyoming!" bo-chicka-bo-wo! ;)

Sorry ladies, I'm sure I spelled most of your names wrong.

Talent - Alpha group

Arkansas (ventriloquist)- The YouTube video isn't close enough to see how her ventriloquism skills are, but the selection is annoying! I'm not one for twangy southern yodeling. Sorry. Her voice is strong though, she should put on a gown and just sing something more pleasant to listen to.

New Mexico (dance) - Great energy!

Minnesota (piano)- Lovely, but I find myself not paying attention. I agree with the host, working the peddles in those heels was impressive! lol!

Pennsylvania (fiddle) - She worked the crowd really well! Not a fan of the outfit though.

Michigan (interpretive dance) - Wow, she's a captivating dancer, but the voice over in her song was such a downer, does that have to do with her platform or something? Very anticlimactic ending.

New York (jazz dance) - Damn! Sexy costume and unusual version of a common pageant song, Bye Bye Blackbird. She tried to sell it, but it did seem very technical.

Mississippi (piano)- Beautiful gown, very much what you expect from a pageant piano player. She kept my attention better than the previous piano player but her accompaniment track seemed too loud. Oh no, she stood up and the outfit actually looks very 90s.

Georgia (opera) - Oh my, what to say...! She tried to make a well known aria (The Queen of the Night) contemporary with a rock 'n roll accompaniment and presentation paired with sexy black leather hot pants! I understand what she was trying to do, but it did NOT work! Her vocals are skreetchy even though it sounds like it's lower than the original key!

North Dakota (lyrical dance) - Gorgeous costume! Very fluid but a tad boring.

California (vocal) - WOW!!! As an American Idol semifinalist, I'm not surprised she owned the big ballad (I Who have Nothing); she sang with power and control! Definitional the best, to this point of the group.

West Virginia (dance) - Very cutsy! Not quite as much energy as other dancers and I don't like the swimsuit-style costume

Oklahoma (ballet en pointe) - Beautiful ethereal white costume, very Jennifer Berry and Heather Whitestone-esq. Lovely!

Puerto Rico (vocal) - Oh dear! Don't they get American Idol down in the islands? She's obviously never heard the golden rule of singing - Don't. Try. Whitney!!! No one can ever pull it off and especially not this girl; the song was far too big for her! Shame on her prep team.

Louisiana (ballet en point) - Fabulous upbeat music for a ballet performance! Great job, but I'm distracted by the red and orange background lighting.

Texas (vocal) - Golden rule of singing number 2 - Don't. Try. Celine!!! Especially in Las Vegas, honestly! Okay, so she did pull it off and is obviously a talented vocalist but a bit nasal.

Tennessee (vocal) - This was a very pageant-itized arrangement, which I found contrived. Gee, does the title have something to do with being by myself?! I can't tell... ;) Beautiful girl, but the song was too big for her voice.

North Carolina (clogging) - Wow! What a work-out! Fabulous energy; very entertaining!

New Hampshire (vocal) - She looked like she was having fun, but is obviously not a seasoned performer.

I know I'm harsh and maybe too snarky, overall it was pretty good. The Preliminary Talent winner from this group, North Carolina, was very deserving and puts on quite a show, but California had to have been just fractions of a point behind her!

Swimsuit - Sigma group

The YouTube video isn't very clear and never zooms in, so all I can really go on is their walks; fitness and facial expressions aren't visible. So, it's not really fair to comment on everyone...

The standouts to me were Ohio, Florida, Delaware and Missouri. Hawaii seemed a little fast, but I can see why she won the Preliminary Swimsuit award based on her sassyness and confidence. I know I'm partial to Becky, but Ohio and Missouri were wonderfully smooth, controlled and confident! Florida may have milked it a bit much for some tastes and Delaware was simply a strong competitor.

The ladies that were a little awkward were Maine, Illinois, Vermont and Utah. Maine was a bit wobbly in those awful DSW shoes, the turn killed Illinois, Vermont never took her hands of her hips, which looks odd and Utah literally pranced!

Onstage Question - Mu group

The ladies were asked easy questions about their platforms and I was surprised that this group got off to a pretty rocky start! The ladies seemed extremely nervous and many... um... stuttered; luckily the last half of the group were much more confident. I thought the best were Kentucky, Wisconsin and Nebraska; Virginia has an undeniably big personality. They all wore cocktail dresses, I liked Oregon, Virgin Islands, Colorado, but again, it was difficult to see the details and I'm sure the color is skewed. Alabama was hands down the most striking! I don't know what she said because I was so distracted by her beauty; I can't wait to see her in gown and swimsuit!

How fabulous is former Miss America, Heather French Henry! She asked the audience "How great were the ladies in Onstage Question?! ... Ya know, I was once asked by a radio station, 'how small was your swimsuit?' I had to turn that right back around and say 'Lets talk about how small the budget is for veterans affairs.' That's what our girls have to be able to do!"

Evening Gown

I love Lea Merriweather's voice; she's such a great host! "The competition is named after the dress, but it's about... the women... inside... the dress! Not only does she have to... wear it well, she has to walk well in it. Confident. Relaxed. Natural. Just the right pacing. And it all comes together with... Presence. Poise. But it also comes together with... a smile..."

Dear local EDs, please require all future hosts to memorize this introduction and Lea's delivery. Love, Abby

Much like Swimsuit, this is tricky to judge from this video... I absolutely love this Bruno Mars song for Evening Gown, however I wish they'd let them stop and pose and I hate that they wait onstage after they're done. Someone ask Becky what she was standing there thinking about for ten minutes and how she kept from tipping over. lol!

I was most impressed by Ohio, Montana, Florida, Massachusetts and Indiana.

Ohio and Florida are both ridiculously confident! Massachusetts' gown is a tad on the side of bridal, but I love the shape.

Not surprising, the ladies who struggled in Swimsuit struggled here too. Really Miss South Dakota, you're wearing a Kirsten Haglund gown? Ugh!

The end!


[Insert announcer voice here!]

The preceding was unpaid. The claims and opinions expressed are those of MISScellanea and its one and only writer/editor/chief of staff, formulated after viewing a low quality YouTube video. If you are offended by the views expressed here longer than two-and-a-half seconds, please consult a therapist immediately and stop being a fan of the SUBJECTIVE sport of pageantry.
Thank you!

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