I grew up watching beauty pageants. My mother loved them, and I just fell into line. I am not nearly as attached to them nowadays as I was then, but from time to time I watch one. Recently, I viewed the Miss America Pageant 2012. It certainly is a lot different these days than it used to be, and on the whole, I believe that is a good thing.
As an example, one of the most surprising parts of the evening was right before the talent competition when a contestant was supposed to be eliminated, only instead of getting rid of one of the last three standing, the Miss America contestants who had not made the cut were told to stand behind the woman they wanted to remain in the pageant. Wow! Now that was gutsy and I am sure it was very hard for the women to have to pick one of the three to support in front of the nation. They had no time to think about it, either. I believe it was 30 seconds. This was surprising and refreshing.
The pageant also has America’s favorite, a contestant voted on prior to the pageant by the public to be one of the finalists. This year, America voted for Miss Oklahoma. She made it to the top five, too. I enjoyed her talent, which was Irish clogging.
There were several dancers in the talent phase. I am not that big on the dancers, to be honest. A lot of times it just feels like they are moving around on the stage without any real talent. During the performances, little factoids were put on the screen as the contestants performed. This gave us more information on things they enjoyed doing.
I love the singers as a rule. This year they had an overachiever or two, gals who feel a need for that big huge belt of a song and just don’t have that range or get nervous. Miss Iowa was one of them, and that was a shame. Had she chose something just a bit more in her range, she really could have been spectacular and made an impression
The last five all had to answer questions from one of the judges, as is the norm these days. There was Miss Wisconsin talking about Miss America preaching her political beliefs which was not actually the question asked of her, Miss Oklahoma on parents making sure their kids are eating right, Miss Arizona regarding celebrities using fame to spread their faith, Miss New York on the Occupy Wallstreet protesters needing to offer a solution) and Miss California on turning teen moms into celebrities.
I wanted Miss Oklahoma to win. I ranked them after that as New York, Arizona, Wisconsin and California. I was close, but not quite there. Miss Wisconsin and her strange response actually won, followed by Oklahoma (she was robbed), New York, Arizona, and California.
So, it was an interesting night, but I think the judges got it wrong.