It’s that time of year again — the Miss America pageant is back. It’s our favorite of all the beauty pageants because it has a talent competition. Fingers crossed for a yodeling ventriloquist like Alyse Eady from two years ago, or someone who plays the water glasses like in “Miss Congeniality.”
The preliminary results are in from the first three days of competition. Miss Oklahoma Alicia Clifton, Miss Maryland Joanna Guy and Miss North Dakota Rosie Sauvageau have topped the first round of talent competitions. Miss South Carolina Ali Rogers, Miss Illinois Megan Ervin and Miss Washington Mandy Schendel have won the first round of swimsuit competitions.
It’ll remain to be seen if any of those early winners will advance to the Top 10. Check back here at 9 p.m. ET/PT for our live blog of all the teeth and tiaras.
9:00 — We kick things off with the National Anthem and an Air Force fly-by. We were unaware they started this like a football game. Can they even hear those jets inside the facility?
- During these intros, some of the dresses are highly suspect. We’re looking at you, Miss Delaware and Miss Hawaii.
- Miss Georgia name drops Honey Boo Boo, which — no. Just no.
- Idaho is known for Bigfoot sightings? That’s the best you could do?
- Miss Iowa is named Mariah Cary?! That’s unfortunate.
- We aren’t sure mentioning the “first runners-up” is the way to go, Miss Michigan.
- Miss Nebraska cites a “Rocky Mountain Oyster” festival. Yes, cow balls are definitely what you want people to think of when they think beauty pageant contestant. Sorry, scholarship program.
- Miss Ohio is here to prove “they’re not all nuts” in Ohio. Good luck with that.
- Miss Oregon mentions “Sasquatch.” That’s two Bigfoot references too many.
- Miss South Carolina brags that they use “sushi as bait” in her state. Way to make it sound like you’re all hicks who won’t eat sushi. Sushi’s good.
- Miss Wisconsin talks about “cutting the cheese,” so at least we got a farting reference included. Wouldn’t be Miss America without one, right?
The America’s choice contestant is Alexis Wineman, who is the first autistic Miss America contestant. Good for her.
Before we get to learn the rest of the semifinalists, we have to meet the judges. Zzzzz. Though it’s fun that McKayla Maroney is there. Hopefully she’ll be unimpressed by something and make her face.
The 14 women who join Miss Montana are: Miss Texas, Miss Utah, Miss Oklahoma, Miss Wyoming, Miss South Carolina, Miss Tennessee, Miss Alabama, Miss Maryland, Miss Illinois, Miss Indiana, Miss New York, Miss Florida, Miss Kentucky and Miss Iowa.
And now the judges get to add one more contestant to the semi-finals. Cue the judges looking “excited.” They have the commercial break to decide. You know, all these twists are kind of getting out of hand. By Miss America 2020, they’ll let the final semi-finals spot go to the mud-wrestling champ. The mud-wrestling competition will be streamed online as a way to raise money for the winner’s platform. Heh.
The contestant the judges choose to join the semi-finals is Miss Washington. Now, quick, RUN! Get changed!
Swimsuit Lifestyle & Fitness Competition
We love how they make the contestants who didn’t make the semi-finals sit on stage and smile throughout the rest of the competition. That’s fun for them, we bet. Too bad they don’t let them drink.
Miss Utah picks a bikini that covers a bit more than some of the others, which we really dig. Very tasteful and still sexy, whereas Miss Oklahoma’s walk is just a smidge too sexy for our taste. It has crossed the line from sexy to a little skanky. And then Miss Wyoming gets on stage with what appears to be a chandelier hanging from her neck. That is horribly ugly and very distracting, who let you on stage with that on?
Miss Alabama makes kind of an unfortunate swimsuit choice, both in cut and color. Miss Maryland needs to not suck it in so much, her ribs aren’t just visible, they’re protruding. Miss Illinois has two tickets to the gun show. Miss Indiana and Miss New York both walk like they’re mad at the ground.
Miss Florida is a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen. Miss Kentucky chose to wear the snakeskin print? Um, yikes.
The Top 12
Miss Washington, Miss Maryland, Miss Texas, Miss Alabama, Miss New York, Miss South Carolina, Miss Indiana, Miss Tennessee, Miss Oklahoma, Miss Wyoming (really? With that obscenely ugly necklace?), Miss Illinois and Miss Iowa. Wow, they’ve called Miss Iowa last both times she was selected. That just seems mean. (Especially since we find out she finished third overall.)
The Evening Gown Competition
One year, we’d really like to see someone model a really fancy pantsuit. Heh. Anyway, Miss Washington kicks things off in an absolutely gorgeous black gown — sexy, simple, elegant. She is followed up by two we aren’t crazy about. Don’t love the sheer part of Miss Maryland’s gown, or the cut-outs on Miss Texas’ gown. Miss Alabama definitely takes a step in the right direction with her evening gown (as opposed to her swimsuit).
Speaking of cutouts, Miss South Carolina’s gown is a little scary. And then speaking of scary, Miss Indiana’s dress appears to have timewarped from 1994. Miss Tennessee looks gorgeous in white, but somebody got a little bedazzler-happy on the neckline of her dress. Love, love, love Miss Oklahoma’s gray gown, very elegant. Miss Wyoming has a weird top going on and walks like she’s got a pole up her butt.
Miss Illinois’s mermaid gown with the huge bottom is a miss. The gown, if the bottom was smaller, would be great. But that’s too much. Miss Iowa looks very elegant in a very simple black gown.
After we learn the Top 5 — wow, Miss New York is killing it. She won both the first two competitions, right?
The Talent Competition
This is our favorite part. Though it’s kind of mean they make two girls sit there and then they don’t end up performing. Heh.
We don’t care if it makes us huge dorks — we love baton twirling. Love it. And Miss Texas is very good at it, though it’s a shame when she drops one. Bummer no flaming batons, though. You’re no Cheryl Frasier, Texas.
Miss Tennessee (wearing another gown that has been WAY too bedazzled) takes on Adele’s “Turning Tables” — and it’s a little rough. Sorry, Tennessee. We love that you’re tall, though!
Miss Illinois picks a great song in “Faithfully” and does some rather mediocre modern dance. It’s OK, but it’s not making our socks roll up and down.
We take a pause so that Brooke Burke can bring donuts to the losers. Ummmm, OK.
Next up is Miss Oklahoma — and guess what? We love tap dancing almost as much as baton twirling. Don’t care who knows it. And guess what else? Miss Oklahoma is crazy good. Crazy good. Did you see those pirouettes? Holy c
ow. And the a capella section was awesome. Also, cutest parents ever.
It’s very cool that Miss Wyoming is playing an original composition, though it certainly doesn’t sound as hard as many classical pieces.
Miss Maryland takes on “I Dreamed a Dream” from “Les Miserables.” And it’s surprising she didn’t choose opera. She has one of those very thick operatic voices. Though it’s probably better to go with a song people know.
If Miss New York had tap danced and there was no Miss Oklahoma to compare her to, she’d look pretty great. However, she’s doing a lot of basic tap moves and infusing it with a lot of personality and sass. Which is great, but it’s not anywhere near Oklahoma’s routine. It’s probably good for New York that she won the first two rounds.
[It is at this point that my husband sits down, sees Chris Harrison is hosting and goes, “Hey …. [long pause] it’s the rose guy!]
Miss South Carolina plays “I Want You Back” on the piano, which — interesting choice. Especially since you are really helped by the backing music. Hmm. So, is this what one does when one does not excel at a “talent”? This is like cheating. I call shenanigans.
So Miss Iowa is the third tap dancer. She’s pretty good — definitely better than New York, but not in league with Oklahoma. Love her choice of song, though. And the gymnastics add a lot to the routine.
Miss Washington sings “My Wish” and — whoa. Yikes. That is NOT in tune. My husband, a non-singer, goes, “Oh my god, if I can hear it. This is like karaoke night.”
The Top 5
Ernst and Young has determined the top 5 questions are equally challenging? What qualifies Ernst and Young to do that?
Miss Oklahoma is up first (woo, she’s great!). Her question is about sensational reality shows and the pageant world. Oklahoma kind of skirts the question, but her answer isn’t a total trainwreck.
Miss South Carolina gets a question about Brent Musburger and Katherine Webb. Huh, how current. South Carolina doesn’t really know what to say, but at least she doesn’t pull another Miss Teen South Carolina.
Miss New York gets a gun control in schools question. She gives actually a very thoughtful answer, so good for her. Also, who the heck thought that question was on par with the stupid Brent Musburger question? That is not the same at all.
Miss Iowa is fourth, she gets a question about marijuana. WOW. Gun control and marijuana versus reality shows and Brent Musburger?! Are you kidding me?! And then Miss Iowa … oof. She misspeaks. She meant to say not recreation use and only for medicinal purposes, but she said marijuana should be used for both. Oops. Sorry Mariah Cary.
The last is Miss Wyoming, who gets a question about ADD and childhood medicating. She gives a great answer about alternative options. But still — Miss New York and Miss Iowa got way harder questions than the other three. So, well done, Ernst and Young.
Nobody cares about last year’s winner. Let’s get on with it.
The fourth runner-up is Miss Iowa, followed by Miss Wyoming and then Oklahoma. Wow, that’s a shame. We were pulling for Oklahoma. At this point, though, New York deserves it over South Carolina.
And Miss New York wins! Congratulations to her and all the ladies. Thanks for joining us here tonight at Zap2it.