Here She Is, Miss America….
I just can’t help myself. Why stay in on a Saturday evening to watch a beauty pageant that for a while was so outdated, it went AWOL on television? And what happened to Atlantic City as the venue — where it all began? And wasn’t it supposed to be an end of summer Labor Day-ish type of event? This is January for heaven’s sake!
But wait, now it is relevant again somehow, and back on a major network. The easier to find and blog about for me!
It all goes back to my history as a child. How many of us little girls watched that pageant and wanted to be there someday like me? Beauty was something pretty elusive for me back then – I was considered precocious and smart, but not pretty. I was geeky, awkward, and gawky. I watched in awe of the pageants and the beautiful women hoping to be as poised as them someday. I practiced the pageant wave and the walk down the Miss America runway. I even had a Miss America doll, who sported a sash and tulle evening gown.
Now that I ended up as the ugly duckling who turned into a beautiful swan (and most importantly who was NOT interested in flaunting the swan in a pageant), and am more analytically inclined, I tend to look for the plasticity and phoniness behind the good looks of the women. I was never much on the “pageants like this objectify women as sex objects” bandwagon because these pageants kick start careers, and give women financial security and college scholarships. They do a lot of good in terms of giving women chances. Yet in most of the results, the most plastic Barbie prototype always seemed to win.
The tide is turning to women with a CAUSE that win. Like last year’s winner, who had an incarcerated parent and used that as her platform.
This year there are two interesting candidates in the news: Miss Montana, who has a mild form of Autism, and Miss Washington D.C. who will undergo an elective double mastectomy due to her maternal cancer history. (That is really stepping it up on an incarcerated parent, I must say) So on that cheery note, let the competition begin!
We begin with some very awkward introductions while dancing – not all the girls liked doing this, or else they didn’t have that natural rhythm! My favorite intro was by Miss Ohio who had the prettiest name of the evening, Elissa. (Ok, maybe I am a bit biased.)
First up – the first semi-finalist is chosen by us! We voted for Miss Montana, who as mentioned above is the first contestant with autism. Now it’s on – let’s see those other pretties try to beat that back story.
Have you noticed the semi-fnalist announcements are with the girls in super casual wear, including faded jeans, and even skinny jeans! How anti-prom queen, how modern!
Two multi-culturals already in the first five semi-finalists! Love it!
The last semi-finalist is Mariah Carey. Isn’t she a bit old, married, and famous to be competing in Miss America? Oh wait, this must be a different one with the same moniker! (Will she sing for talent?)
Oh wow, the former Miss Americas in the audience get recognized, do a wave (that famous one of course) showing that most of them have that same upper arm fat flapping during the wave that I have now that they are no longer on the pageant circuit!
Not surprisingly, I can’t tell a few of them apart – the blondes in particular, except Miss New York seems a bit sassier or even sarcastic, especially in the eyebrows.
Host Chris Harrison asks judge McKayla Maroney, that famous gymnast with attitude, if she is impressed! She does NOT make the face – too bad.
Now after swimsuits, the finalists are announced. Miss Wyoming is wearing a chandelier around her neck. Mariah Carey made it – of course! She is too famous not to make it!But damn, Miss Montana did not make it. I shed a tear for this. Are we not there yet America?
The evening gowns – tacky prize goes to Ms. South Carolina, who had a few too many cut-outs. Runner up of tacky is Miss Illinois who had about 1000 yards too much train. Lots of white and there is a reason for this. Historically, these gowns have been worn by the most beauty pageant contestants who were the actual winners. (I have done the research for you already, trust me on this one.) A few in black and that is tres daring, I must say. Uh oh, Brooke Burke Charvet just let the cat out of the bag that the judges liked the tacky.
Two favorites are emerging for me based on their normality, but talent competition has not happened yet. Miss Maryland seems like an everyday girl next door, and I like her. Miss Texas (okay, I already admitted I am biased!) is intriguing looking and has an infectious smile. She is not your typical beauty queen for a reason I can’t put my finger on.
I just love this feature of having the talent contestants wait there – nervous as hell to perform – and ALSO that they might not be called at all. The ultimate diss, dressed up in your ballerina costume and then not hearing your name called.
Is Dunkin Donuts one of the sponsors? This is the second time these carb-o-phobes get served donuts on this telecast tonight. Thanks Stacy S for the astute donut call!
Miss Oklahoma seemed a bit frenetic on the tap dancing, but maybe I do not appreciate tap dancing as much as I should. Miss Oklahoma, this was not OK.
Oh Miss Maryland, how relevant can you get? An Oscar nominated song, I Dreamed a Dream! I still like her!
I have NEVER seen a tap dance to James Brown, this is the unusual talent I was looking for. Thank you Miss New York of the sarcastic eyebrows! Jackson 5 on the piano is quite weird as well. Who would have thought of that combo? Usually it is jazz or classical.
Mariah Carey is sadly not a singer, but a THIRD tap dancer.
Miss Washington sang a Rascal Flatts song and she was completely FLAT! Or nasal. Or off key. Or all of the above. What a coincidence!
The dads in the audience are giving a lot of standing O’s tonight. I am not. This is just so cherry Jello so far. Generic, standard.
My favorite part is the questions! Who will crack under the pressure? Who will give a bubble-headed answer like we expect pageant contestants to give? Well Mariah Carey did, that’s for sure. She just said marijuana should only be used for medicine AND recreational use! Oh major faux pas – she did NOT mean recreational use. When she realizes, she will be kicking herself! (Side Note: I just found out that Mariah Carey, Miss Iowa has Tourette’s Syndrome – and therefore she probably uncontrollably mentioned recreational use. My apologies as it was not a dumb answer but understandable given her condition.)
The drugs for ADD answer was awful as well as the gun control question was a bit scattered. Gun safety and school shootings? Huh?????
The marijuana and ADD answer just were the first to go. Not surprising. Now it’s down to two – tacky gown and Miss Sassy. It’s up to you New York, New York!
There she is Miss Sassy, Sarcastic Eyebrows – Miss New York wins. She was definitely my favorite after that James Brown tap dance. Not your typical queen. Love it!
Where’s the first plus-size Miss America? Who grew up on a dairy farm and actually looks the part? With a platform of walking in platform shoes without waddling? With a talent of eating a dozen donuts and neither paying a visit to the porcelain throne nor apologizing for it? Who lets it all hang out at the swimsuit competition? Who wouldn’t watch this?