My Pointless Live Blogging of the Totally Irrelevant Miss America Pageant from Las Vegas Nevada!!!!
So I am channel surfing tonight and I stumble cross the once iconic Miss America Pageant on CMT (CMT as in Country Music Television I think). Remember when this was an annual event the entire family gathered around and watched together? Remember how each member of the family would fill out paper ballots and vote for their favorites using the same weighted point scoring system as used by the judges for evening gown, talent, swimsuit and interview competitions? Remember how you got the final 5 correct almost every year except when that poor Carolyn Sapp (Miss Hawaii) won in 1992? Remember when this all still mattered?
Please do not confuse the Miss America SCHOLARSHIP competition with that booze soaked, skank fest Miss USA pageant. The Miss America program exists to "provide personal and professional opportunities for young women to promote their voices in culture, politics and the community." The Miss USA pageant exists to provide future wives for Donald Trump or clients for the Betty Ford Clinic.
This is a scholarship competition dammit. The Miss America pageant is the "largest provider of scholarships to young women in the world and made available $45 million in 2006." So take that Bill and Melinda Gates and your stinkin' multi-billion dollar Foundation--maybe if you made those poor countries dress up in bathing suits and tap dance for their medicines people would give a rat's ass!
8:10 pm As I join the the broadcast the "Parade of States" or whatever they call it now had already started. Dimpled Mario Lopez is the host. In the past each contestant would dress in a costume representing her state which often generated a spate across Dixie of slutty Scarlett O'Haras and the occasional unfortunate naughty Eskimo from Alaska. Now they are dressed as though they are going to a sexy cocktail party or Bill Clinton's funeral. They are already well into the "M" states ("Miss Montana") so I miss most of the perennial Miss America powers from the big haired Southern states and all those earnest girls from "I" states with no chance in hell of winning.
8:16 Mario announces the final 10.
Miss Georgia (Big haired brunette)
Miss Pennsylvania (Big haired brunette from Beaver, PA, get it?)
Miss Mississippi (Big haired brunette and said something about an uncle with Downs syndrome-not sure if this was her platform issue or she was playing to the crowd considering this is "LIVE FROM LAS VEGAS!")
Miss Oklahoma (Big haired blond and said something about the diverse state of Oklahoma although the 100% of the crowd screaming for her appeared 100% white. Maybe by "diverse" she meant blonds versus brunettes)
Miss Texas (Big haired brunette, first "African American Miss Texas" and yes she really did say "I'm going to the Female Super Bowl." Camera pans to her mother, "Starr Jones" who apparently has kicked off her Payless shoes long enough to jump up and down and jiggle with excitement.
Miss Alabama (Uh, oh... all the coastal Southern states are getting in, maybe this is some odd "faith based" initiative of the Bush administration to provide Federal relief to big haired victims of Katrina and other hurricanes of 2005.)
Miss Utah (Big Mormon hair)
Miss Hawaii (Big Hawaiian hair with a flower in it in case we forgot where she is from. Her talent per the website is "Tahitian" which I'm not sure how being from another country is a "talent" and how you could become Miss America if you aren't, well American? )
Miss Washington (Big haired blond)
Miss California (Big haired blond)
In that Miss Louisiana was totally ignored, this proves my Katrina theory that only gulf states receiving hurricane disaster relief aid from the Federal government made the finals.
Chris "I'm Straight" Matthews (High volume host of MSNBCs "Hardball".
Chris was there to make idiotic straight guy comments like "To appear in your bathing suit takes guts. And guys like guts. And guys like girls in bathing suits." )
Michael Feinstein (pianist/singer/cosmetic surgery aficianado and possibly Miss America 1965)
Debbie Allen (the Allen sister who says "GUrrrl" a lot. Not the one who is the permanent Mrs Bill Cosby on TV)
Susan Powell (Infomercial hostess and Miss America 1981)
Cliche Caustic British Guy (Some judge from "America's Next Top Model")
8:37 pm I lean close to the screen to look for evidence of cellulite or signs of recent cosmetic surgery but apparently this is displayed best with HDTV or when the show is on a real network like NBC. I think they are all wearing stripper tights that my friend Bob once tried to explain to me but I failed to comprehend the concept or understand how he was so disturbingly knowledgeable of this topic.
All wore tiny bikinis except Miss Utah. She wore a one piece with scarf tied jauntily around her waist as though she was embarking on a Carnival cruise to Cancun. Maybe this was due to Mormon modesty? Either that or she was having a poorly timed visit from her "monthly friend."
8:50 pm These all looked about the same--kinda sparkly and regal yet sexy; something a drag queen would wear to a State Dinner at the White House during the Reagan administration.
Miss Pennsylvania's gown had a slit cut up so high in her dress that at certain camera angles, you could see both London and France. Both Miss Alabama and Mississippi had donated one sleeve of their gowns to Katrina relief organizations.
Miss Hawaii was greeted by total stunned silence from the audience since she had removed the flower from her hair and was thus unrecognizable and perhaps "Tahitian".
Miss Washington, bless her heart, was a bit confused and wore her talent competition costume for an authentic Flamenco dance number.
The remaining contestants looked nice and might have been wearing the same gown.
8:58 pm The finalists were the Misses Alabama, South Carolina and one of the Dakotas. Somehow the audience at home also voted for this although the mechanics and logic of that escaped me. The winner was Miss Alabama who since she is already in the final 10 probably eliminates any remaining chances of actually winning.
The Final Five
9:01 pm The Katrina Quadruplets (Misses Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Texas) and Miss Oklahoma (a major Katrina evacuee relocation state by the way) all make it. I first learn that Miss Texas's first name is Shilah thus eliminating her chance at winning.
9:16 pm Misses Texas, Oklahoma and Alabama all sing songs I had never heard before or will ever again about not giving up, reaching for your goals, the miracles of modern contraceptives, etc. One sings this in Italian (or maybe Tahitian). Miss Oklahoma is eerily joined by a chorus of unseen back-up singers or perhaps this was the offstage "congenial" Miss Alabama assisting.
Miss Georgia performed the world's slowest tap dance or perhaps she was miming someone tap dancing. Miss Mississippi played the piano while wearing this huge red ball gown that later revealed Chris "I'm Straight" Matthews, the increasingly "congenial" Miss Alabama and a family of Katrina evacuees hiding beneath it.
For the first time ever, excerpts from the all important judging interviews were played throughout the show. Highlights include:
Chris Matthews braying "Why did Faulkner hate to use commas?" to some poor dear caught in the headlights contestant. Either that or he yelled "Why did Faulkner hate to use condoms? In either case America was spared from hearing the answer.
Miss Georgia after being asked who in the world is the most powerful woman, said "Oprah. Despite all the slack they are giving her about that school in Africa and the slack she is getting for disliking rap music she does such good work. "
Now the natural followup question would be, "Honey don't you mean flack instead of slack?"
Instead Chris "I'm Straight" Matthews asked, "Are those real?" No seriously he asked "Well how come she doesn't have a boyfriend."
Miss Georgia "She does have a boyfriend, Steadman."
Chris "Is she still with him?"
Miss Georgia "Duh!"
Okay I made up the "Duh" but the above exchange did take place.
Miss Oklahoma when asked one thing she could change about herself, she said "I would like to grow three inches " thus endearing herself to every gay man who has ever posted a profile on ManHunt.
The Final Three
9:38 pm Miss Georgia, Miss Oklahoma and Miss Texas
When Miss Texas's name was announced, the cameras once again panned the crowd showing "Starr Jones" jumping up and down. Either Miss Texas was the only contestant whose mother was in the audience or the producers took the gamble that the only black woman in the audience was somehow related to her.
The Important Final Question:
Debbie "I'm Not Mrs. Cosby" Allen "If you became president what would be the first thing you would do?"
Miss Georgia "The first thing I would do is invite Miss America to dinner (well rehearsed pause for laughter)... We would discuss eduction and the "No Child Left Behind" program and ... (the rest was said so fast I really couldn't follow it but it had something to do with her controversial platform of providing education for children.)
Susan Powell "Despite all the progress women have made, women still make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. As Miss America, how would you change that?"
Miss Oklahoma "As Miss America I would be the best role model possible, and by being a good role model people would see that Miss America is a good role model for all women in America. "
Susan Powell: "WTF?"
Chris Matthews: "Do you have confidence in America and if so why?"
Miss Texas: "I have confidence in America because education is available to every child and I had to pull myself up my my bootstraps and education is available for all and an entitlement to every American child.
Chris Matthews: "Are those real?"
2nd Runnerup: Miss Georgia
1st Runner up: Miss Texas
Winner: Miss Oklahoma