Monday, February 1, 2010

Miss America 2010!!!

Weeeee!!! Miss America time!! 3 am wake up call? Whyyyyy???? (ok enough punctuation.) Thursday morning, bright and early, The Trio (Megan, Ashley and I – the Trio that cheered Katie Stam all the way to Miss America together last year) headed out to Vegas for the Miss America pageant. I spent Thursday catching up with friends whom I haven’t seen forever, shopping around at the trade show, visiting my friends at Regalia and Red Carpet Pageant & Prom, and making our predictions for the competition. Thursday night brought an interesting night because I only got to see the girls in 1 phase of competition each, so I really didn’t have a good prediction for the pageant. I was very excited to watch this year though because I knew many contestants – from DC, NM, IA, MA, UT from National Sweetheart, IN, VA through LT, and of course SS prelim winner NY! (2 years in a row, baby!)

There are some things I learned about going to Miss America last year:
Tip 1: Stay at Planet Hollywood
Tip 2: Buy your tickets the day of – we saw in the front center section row Q and had better seats than those who preordered!

Friday was an exciting day! A bit more shopping, perhaps a purchase of an evening gown (!!!) and we were ready for Evening of Dreams. This was a great night – a bit long, to be honest, with a lot of talking with not so much audience attention…but the food was great! The contestants all looked amazing and it was fun to see them up close and personal. It was incredible when Katie began talking about her experiences this year with the US Military. She address the wives and children who were named honorary Miss Americas at EoD and thanked them for their sacrifice. Through her tears, she captivated an entire room of 800 people to the silence that you could hear a pin drop. The room had not been that quiet all night – that’s why she was Miss America. Ok so you’ve probably heard, but then came the best part of the night. Something we knew was going to happen, but just not at what point during the night. The engagement. Brian Irk deserves so much admiration and respect for the commitment he has made to Katie this past year. And vice versa. Their relationship is inspiring and beautiful. The proposal was perfectly planned and executed, and I feel so special to have been a witness to it! I know Katie was ready to pass on the crown, job and lifestyle, but now it is even that more exciting!! Infinite congratulations, Katie and Brian!

Tip 3: If you know someone is going to propose to Miss America in front of 800 people, buy the ticket for Evening of Dreams ☺

And it’s the big day!! Miss America 2010. First of all, we lucked into something this year, which leads me to another tip.

Tip 4: If you want to support your friend in Miss America, but can’t necessarily afford the $150 and have a few extra hours to wait, be a seat filler!

Ashley and her boyfriend Mike, Miss Lisa Smith and myself stood in line just an extra hour before the pageant before being escorted into a secret hallway backstage and into the theatre where we were directed to our front and center FREE seats to Miss America LIVE! We were just behind the screaming Outstanding Teen contestants who were full of energy and love for their state contestants. After an awesome introduction by Katie Stam from the rooftop of the Planet Hollywood, the 53 contestants performed a great opening number and introductions – New Jersey took the cake for best intro... “And no, I don’t know ‘the Situation!’ ” Alyse, Miss NY definitely stood out with her fantastic stage presence (and hair tosses!) in the opening number! Top 3 People’s Choice based on America’s votes, Top 11 from the judges and then SURPRISE! The remaining contestants had to vote 1 girl into the Top 15 of Miss America. This was a tough Top 15 because I felt that there were a few (5-6) girls in particular whom I thought would be definite Top 15ers…but there wasn’t really anyone whom I would have taken out of the Top 15! With so many prelim winners not making Top 15, I think this shows the wonderful quality of objectivity that the judges showed. They truly chose the best girl in each category, each night rather than succumbing to the pageant politics of throwing points to girls in all categories.

The cut to Top 12 lost Miss IN, Nicole Pollard, of whom I am soooo proud! She really lit up on stage and was a good example of truly living in the present and making the most of every moment on stage. Great swimsuits, beautiful evening gowns, but wow --- TALENT! You know how one big difference emphasized between Miss America and Miss USA is talent? Well this year they really proved it! Top 10 talent was just spectacular. Woman after woman graced the stage with flawless performances. A special shout out to Nicole Miner, Miss New Mexico, who has grown immensely in the past year. At Sweetheart so small and timid, and at Miss America soooo huge and expansive with her talent presentation, captivating all 7,000 people in the PH theatre. And Miss DC, Jen Corey – that was your moment, girl! You sang on national television and shared your beautiful voice and emotion with everyone. “Who makes Top 10 at Miss America? Who does that?” “YOU DO!”

Top 7 On Stage Questions were amazing, but in my opinion, this is where Caressa Cameron, Miss Virginia, won it all. Woooowwww. (Granted if you check my phone, I do have a log of text messages from the minute she introduced herself in the opening number to Lisa and Leigh-Taylor Smith saying “Hey VA, I think ya’ll may have a Miss America this year” Yet another extremely successful Miss Arlington…can I be Miss Arlington?) 4th RU Kentucky, Mallory Ervin (vocal), 3rd RU Louisianna, Katherine Putnam (piano), 2nd RU Tennessee, Stephanie Whittler (vocal), 1st RU California, Kristy Cavinder (ballet en pointe), Miss America 2010 Caressa Cameron (Virginia, vocal)!! Caressa is talented beyond belief, an incredible activist for her platform about AIDS in America, and from the couple hours we spent together at Miss DC this year, quite a spitfire and a real girl. Good choice, judges! Watch Caressa's first press conference HERE.

Congratulations to all on an amazing pageant. Thank you to all of the people who made this trip a blast! And I’d be crazy not to thank Katie Stam for her dedication to this year of service, one that has been incredible, selfless, inspiring and admirable with immeasurable success. To the future and your return to normalcy (non-existent), your wedding, and our friendship – cheers! You'll never be a “has-been” to me!

View all my photos here!

Miss America 2010!

For all Miss America Photos become a fan of Miss America on Facebook
and view the entire album HERE


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