Miss America 2010 – Caressa Cameron

SHE DID IT!!!!  With every category, I became more and more excited as it seemed likely that Miss Virginia, Caressa Cameron would become the next Miss America.  With her fabulous rendition of Listen, from the movie “Dreamgirls” and  her stunning yellow dress, she wowed the judges.  My favorite portion of the pageant was when she answered her on-stage question, basically telling kids and their parents to “turn off the t.v. and get back outside.”  LOVE IT!

CONGRATULATIONS CARESSA, you’ve made us proud, now do your thing for the next 365 days.  Oh, and please tell President Obama and the First lady we said hello!  More about my review of the pageant later.

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Pretty and Talented

Well the prelims are over and in a few hours, the top 10 contestants who will vye for the title of Miss America 2010 will be announced.  My DVR is already set for 8 pm, the TLC channel so I won’t miss a moment and can easily replay my favorite moments.

Competing for the title of Miss America really does take beauty, brains and TALENT.  While many Miss USA contestants and winners go on to have various careers in entertainment and broadcasting, the Miss America pageant is the only system tht requires a talent to compete.  The ladies display so many wonderful talents throughout the pageant, that I am always on the edge of my seat to see what will happen each year.  During the prelim competitons talent accounts for 35% of the overall score, more than any other category.   They also win a $2,000 scholarship.    Here are the prelim talent winners for 2010:

Prelim Night #1 Talent Winner – Miss Virginia, Caressa Cameron (Vocal)
Prelim Night # 2 Talent Winner – Miss California, Kristy Cavender (Ballet en Pointe)
Prelim Night #3 Talent Winner – Miss Michigan, Nicole Blaszczyk (Lyrical Dance)

I remember when Caressa won Miss Teen Ethnic World 2005 so I am so excited to see her doing so well at the pageant.  Although I am a MD girl, my family is from Richmond, so I don’t feel too bad about cheering for Virginia.

Ironically, there have only been two Miss Americas in the past decade who also won preliminary talent competitions,  Miss Oregon Katie Harman (2002) & Miss Oklahoma Jennifer Berry (2006).  Heather Whitestone, was the last Miss America to win prelim talent and swimsuit (now the  lifestyle and fitness category) in 1995.  My favorite Miss America – Vanessa L. Williams, Miss America 1984,  was also a prelim talent winner

Product of the Week

Every pageant girl has something she can’t live without during a competition and/or appearance.  Friday’s are dedicated to highlighting some of my (and I hope your) favorites, so feel free to send me any suggestions.

This week’s “can’t live without” product is DERMABLEND!!!

Dermablend is some of the most fantastic stuff ever invented.  If you’re like me (and most of America born between 1970 – 1990) you have one or two tattoos.  My good friend, Yolanda Makle, Ms. Latina Galaxy,  has no qualms about showing her tattoos during competition – but then again, she’s already flawless to begin with.  I have a pretty large scorpion on my back and a Japanese symbol on the front of my right shoulder so I tend to cover mine

 If covering your tattoos during a pageant is the road you choose, you NEED Dermablend in your life.  It will cover ANYTHING and by anything, I mean anything.  It is a relatively inexpensive product, averaging $31 for the creme and another $21 for the setting power, but it lasts and lasts and lasts.  Best of all, it’s waterproof and will withstand stage lighting.   I usually use the cover creme, which is multi-use, but you can also use the leg & body creme.   Ranging in shades from pale ivory to deep brown, you will have a hard time not finding a shade to match you perfectly.

In case you were wondering – I am #5 Olive Brown Cover Creme over a Bronze Deep Fix Concealer

Those Dreaded Pounds

After talking with some of my Mrs. America Class of 2009 classmates this week, I realized something – pageantry can be hell on your esteem when the issue of weight is involved. This past September, I met some of the most beautiful women in the country and through the course of almost two weeks there was ONE thing we talked about daily – OUR WEIGHT and SIZES!
Now you may ask, why 40-50 women, who wouldn’t be considered thick, heavy, overweight, etc. on their worst day and barely have “body fat” would feel compelled to spend so much time talking about their weights and dropping weight. I’ll tell you why……….THOSE DAMNED EVENING GOWNS. LOL

Mrs. Illinois America 2009, Anji Meidel & Author – Mrs. District of Columbia America 2009, Deanna McCray-James

There is nothing more frustrating for a titleholder or competitor than trying to maintain a certain weight and or size to make sure you can fit into that $700 (give or take) Sherri Hill or other custom gown. Let me make sure you understand, these are not your run of the mill Nordstrom’s evening gowns were talking pageant couture here people! Getting and purchasing the perfect competition gown often requires multiple trips to get measured and fitted, followed by a few try-ons to make sure it’s just right! How would you feel if you’d spent $500+ on a gown only to not be able to fit it, and thus not win Miss/Mrs. XXXXXX, all in a span of 2-3 weeks. Trust me – it can send you over the edge.

So the next time you here a pageant gal whining about those dreaded pounds…. cut her a break, she really might be on the verge of a mental break down 🙂

The Miss America Organization…

According it’s web site, the Miss America organization is “one of the nation’s leading achievement programs and the world’s largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women.” The Miss America crown(MAO), is by far, one of the most coveted crowns in pageantry.
As a former Executive Director of a MAO local pageant, I can attest to the fact that each participant from the local level upward has the opportunity to receive some sort of scholarship dollars through out the year. It is such an exciting way to earn money for school or to repay student loans!!! Many local pageants are as intricate as state pageants and require months of preparation and plenty of time to devote to your particular charity or cause.

This past Thursday, the public pageant event schedule kicked off with an arrival ceremony at Planet Hollywood. Tonight is the first night of Preliminaries. If you happen to be in Vegas and are interested in attending. Below are the details, enjoy!!!
Time: 8 p.m.
Location: Planet Hollywood – Theater for the Performing Arts
Price: $75 plus Ticketmaster fees – Visit Ticketmaster.com

In the days leading up to the pageant, I am always on the edge of my seat waiting to see what talent, follies and tears finals night will bring. Only four days left until the winner is announced. I sure hope Maryland has a good showing, go Brooke!!!!

Any Given Sunday

Well the fat lady has sung, at least for the Jets and the Vikings. Yesterday’s AFC and NFC championship games were AWESOME, for lack of a better or more intellectual term! LOL. In any event, the Saints – Vikings game goes to show that ANYTHING can happen on any given day. All it takes is a slip up, a missed catch, a bad drive or a great block for things to go in the opposite direction for a competitor.

Pageantry is no different, no matter how great you THINK you are or how wonderful you MAY have been in your last pageant. All it takes is a slip up, a misconstrued interview statement, a bad hair day or great newcomer to turn your dream day into a nightmare. Just ask former Miss USA’s Rachel Smith & Crystal Stewart. Two beautiful women who simply had unfortunate, uncontrollable mishaps in the Miss Universe pageant.

Lesson here good people – Bring your “A” game and compete to the best of your ability. Remain confident, but not too cocky (cough *Brett Farvre*) and finally, remember your fate may not always be in your own hands. Anything can happen—–ANYTHING!

Award Season = Pageant Fashions

Every winter, women around the world look forward to “Award Season”. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 10 years or more, you know this is the time when multiple shows air to showcase the past year’s top performances in music, theatre, television & movies. So far, we’ve been graced with the Golden Globes, Screen Actor’s Guild Awards and coming soon the Grammy’s. This is also a great time for pageant enthusiast as we began to collect ideas and denounce fashion tragedies to prepare for our competition evening gowns.

Here are some of the looks that have caught from last night’s SAG Awards.



The entire female cast of “Glee” looked great.

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