What can I say but – – – – – WOWZERS!
Welcome to adventures in jumping out of your comfort zone!
Before we get to actual results and thoughts – Let me offer a few thoughts about the production, the ladies, and my evening in general…
PAGEANTRY and MULTI-TASKING DON’T MIX
I live in the Mountain Time zone – Which means, we don’t get the pageant live. So – for the first 40 minutes, I tried watching the pageant on one of those TVStream sites… But the quality was soooooo bad – I finally gave up and just followed Twitter until the show started 20 minutes later in my time zone.
Then – I tried following Twitter (live) AND watching Miss USA at the same time (an hour later on my TV). For the record, I don’t recommend it – Lol! My brain hurt by the time the pageant was actually over (but still an hour to go in my time zone)!
I was thankful that the Backstreet Boys were performing in the Eastern Time Zone when the Evening Gown competition was taking place in the Mountain Time Zone… That at least allowed me to give the gown completion my full attention, without worrying that I was missing something on Twitter.
I may need to watch the whole darn thing again – Because I totally feel like I missed nearly all of it.
WME/IMG KILLED IT
I was SUPER impressed with the production as a whole – But let me say, there were a few things that were outstanding…
- Contestant Video Packages. Super professional and uber-informative… Plus, they cast each contestant in an extremely positive light, highlighting the best of what they brought to the table. These packages made the contestants real and relevant… They didn’t cheapen the work they’ve done… They allowed these ladies to be significant role models. And I loved every minute of it!
- Ashley Graham looked AMAZING – and did a pretty incredible job backstage. I actually think that’s the harder job (backstage vs emceeing on-stage) – and she was FAB. Julianne and Terrance J did great too – But I believe Ashley made a breakout name for herself tonight 🙂
- So – I didn’t expect to smile when the Backstreet Boys came on air, but I did… A LOT! Part of me felt like I was one of my parents watching the Oak Ridge Boys perform their greatest hits 15 years past their prime – But I don’t care. I smiled… and although I enjoyed the pageant in general, I hadn’t actually smiled much until that point. #HomeRun
AND THEN THERE WERE TWO…
Was it just me – or did anyone else have an “Ali Rogers/Mallory Hagan Moment” at the end of the Miss USA pageant?
Maybe it was because Hawaii’s gown looked a bit like Ali’s white gown… Or maybe it was the way DC bent over in half when she realized she’d won, like Mallory did… Or maybe it was the on-stage dynamic that felt so similar to Ali and Mallory (who are both pretty good friends with each other by the way – so don’t think I’m trying to start something, ok?)…
Here’s what I mean…
For the record, I picked Ali Rogers to win Miss America that year. And much like Ali, in my opinion, Hawaii looked like Miss USA from the moment she stepped on the prelim stage (in fact, I emailed several friends after prelims and told them she was my pick!). And yet, last night, I watched DC fight and fight, and outright earn the USA title through her significant on-stage presence, sheer grit, and determination (much like Mallory).
Call me crazy. But to me, it was like de ja vu all over again…
I’m the first to admit, as a Miss America girl, the whole concept of a “prelim gown” and a “final night gown” is pretty foreign to me (we don’t do that in MAO unless your gown was somehow ruined or mutilated).
Now, I LOVED DC’s final night gown – it was glorious and was a perfect fit for her! Honestly, I wasn’t a huge fan of her prelim gown (which may be why I didn’t pay more attention to her).
Also – Once I heard Deshauna speak, I realized what strength she brought to her performance and likely to her personal interview. As a commander in the Army, I should’ve known such – but it simply didn’t click for me (my bad).
In summary, I think Deshauna has absolutely set a new standard for future Miss USA contestants/winners. She’s the kind of titleholder who will be remembered LONG AFTER her year is over! She won’t just be another pretty face, looking to break into the entertainment industry… She’ll be the one who was in the Army – the one who was respected because of her character, her service to our nation, AND because of her beauty. And frankly, I can’t think of any better way to be remembered.
NOW – LET’S TALK RESULTS!
So, Junkies go 8/15 to open things up… We also had Connecticut as a “bubble” for us – so not entirely awful. However, then we go an ABYSMAL 3/10 when it comes to the Top 10 finalists! Ugh! I don’t think I’ve ever been that bad before in my life! Super disappointing!
However – Considering we were only 3 for 10 – it was pretty amazing that we ended up going 2 for 5 with the Top 5! That’s actually the same results we had for Miss America last year! Considering we literally began paying attention to Miss USA the week of the pageant (and subsequently researched the contestants in all of 3 days), I’m not completely crushed. In fact, after being 3/10 (terrible), but then surging back to finish 2/5, I’d say that’s is pretty solid. #Redemption. I’ll take it.
Other items of interest (at least to me) include…
– Super Proud of South Dakota’s performance last night… Big Shout-Out to Madison McKeown (a fellow Kansas State Wildcat!)… Her Gown was gorgeous on Prelim Night – And I loved it again last night! Talk about a ‘break out’ moment… Really spectacular!
– To be honest, I never even had Alabama on my radar. I know we have a million Alabama Junkies out there – and if you wanna get together with the Iowa Junkies (who still give me a hard time about missing Taylor Wiebers for both Prelim SS and Prelim Talent at Miss America last year), then knock yourselves out! You guys have a lot in common (lol!). If you read much of my predictions, you’ll see I’ve never claimed to be perfect – And Alabama was definitely the one that got away from me in this pageant! Congrats Peyton!
– I do hope Miss America takes a cue from Miss USA regarding many of the production elements that were used last night. I know the Miss America pageant is only 2 hours and needs room for the Talent competition, but I do wish there was a way to “humanize” our contestants, the way Miss USA was able to “humanize” them last night. It was done with class and sincerity -and I respect and applaud that direction. 🙂
– The social media Miss USA employed for this event was UNREAL. All the videos, Facebook live events, Instagram takeovers, graphics, streaming of prelims, etc – It was all extremely impressive! I know Miss USA is a for-profit organization as opposed to Miss America (non-profit), but Miss USA has officially set a new standard for social media within pageantry. I’m not saying it’s a competition between the two systems – but truly, the way Miss USA was able to flood social media in so many different ways, NUMEROUS times per day, is something ANY pageant system should try to emulate.
So, I’m not sure what this little ‘experiment’ has proven to me yet, if anything…
I wanted to “shake myself” out of my comfort zone (which I did)… I wanted to see how well my predictions would stack up in light of the final outcome (which is debatable)… And I wanted to try to look at the Miss USA pageant in a new light. Overall, I think I was successful in my quest… And even though I didn’t originally pick the winner, I know she’s the right choice.
And in the end – THAT’S the best kind of feeling to have at the end of any pageant!
ONE LAST THING…
Starting this week, Miss America is crowning 46 ladies over then next 5 weeks – And all of them will be headed to Miss America 2017 this September! So far, I’m 6/7 in predicting state winners, but there are 10 state contests taking place this weekend – and nobody is counting any proverbial chickens in my household!
If you’re new and you’ve never seen how this is done, just check out last year’s results here…
Thanks Junkies! Talk to you again super soon!
Carrie Lakey is kind of obsessed with Miss America…
So are 16,000 of her closest friends.
As an avid fan of the Miss America Organization, Carrie began
publicly predicting pageant winners over 10 years ago.
Now, she’s galvanizing an online movement of fans
known as “Pageant Junkies”.
Learn more about the Junkie Nation
by clicking here.