First of all… let me say how sorry I am that this post was not completed sooner! 🙁 My apologies to those of you who have been waiting patiently for me to post my over-all thoughts… Let’s just say, I’m getting too old to be witty and creative when I’ve only had 3 hours of sleep!
That being said – Your new Miss America is Miss New York, NINA DAVURULI!!!!
Nina seemed to have everything going for her on finals night… She was polished, yet spunky. She was approachable, yet beautiful. Her talent was complex, yet entertaining. As our first Indian-American to be named Miss America, you may have caught her on one of her TV appearances stating: “The everyday girl-next-door in America doesn’t look like she did 10 years ago – and 10 years from now, she won’t look the same as she does today either.” Additionally, she is excited about the opportunity to be a role model for little girls who look like she does.
I’ll be honest… I don’t care what color she is… Instead, here’s what I care about. Nina is confident, striking to look at, a strong communicator and appears to be extremely genuine. She could be purple for all I care – as long as she still possessed these qualities which I consider to be necessary for someone to make an impact on others.
So all the best to Nina! May she become one of our most impacting Miss America’s in history!
Now – it’s time to let you in on our thought process as Miss America week progressed… Here’s several thoughts… in completely random order…
1. Even though the Junkies went 6 for 6 with prelim winners, we only went 8 for 15 in our Top 15 finalists. Seems like we have a corner on the “Top Talents” and “Best Swimsuits” but we do not have a good grip on the most consistent ladies on the stage in all areas of competition. This can be remedied by attending more prelim nights (Junkies only saw 1 prelim this year)… but unfortunately, it’s not always conducive to do so (see ‘real life’ job reference above).
2. Only seeing one prelim night also kept us from seeing the ‘spark’ in Nina that the judges obviously saw. In fact, Nina had her On-Stage Question the night we attended prelims and I’m afraid we weren’t able to really pick any of these answers out as “spectacular”… they all sounded about the same in our book. Had we seen her presence in Swimsuit or her Talent, we might’ve been able to notice the girl that the judges fell in love with.
3. I think the final night panel also threw us for a loop… The fact that all of the Top 5 were brunettes tells us that we weren’t in the final night panel’s heads at all. To only have picked 2 of the Top 5 (OK and CA) is a bummer for the Junkies… one of our poorest Top 5 finishes in recent history (boo).
4. You’d never believe me if I told you how many times I substituted NY, MN and CA into my top 5. Frankly, I only expected 1 of the 3 to make the Top 5 – never in a million-zillion years did I think all 3 would make it. I was wrong.
5. Never in a million-zillion years did I think NY and OK would be looking at Top 5 finishes THREE YEARS IN A ROW!!! Kaitlin Monte, Mallory Hagan and Nina Davuruli vs. Betty Thompson, Alicia Clifton and Kelsey Griswold (And prior to that, Emoly West from OK was Top 5 and Claire Buffie from NY was Top 10). To have 2 states performing that well year after year after year has got to be frustrating for 51 other contestants – but dang! These 2 programs are proving to be the premier programs in the country!
6. WE’VE FINALLY CROWNED OUR FIRST FORMER STATE OUTSTANDING TEEN!!!! Nina was Michigan’s Outstanding Teen 2006 and 1st runner up at MAOT! Watch for state pageants across the country to crown more OT state winners this year!
7. Junkies haven’t seen the TV production yet – but to have earned the highest ratings in nine years screams “WE’RE BACK!!!” WHOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOO for finding the magic formula and producing a show worthy of American viewership.
8. ATLANTIC CITY!!!!!! Where do I begin??? As a Junkie who saw her first Miss America crowned in Las Vegas, but who’s completely familiar with the amazing amount of history and tradition that exists on the Jersey Shore, let me say… WOW!!! There are most certainly differences between the 2 cities beyond geographics… but I gotta give the edge to the quaint and charming city on the sea. Plus, getting out to the Sheraton Hotel was a huge bonus – seeing shoes, evening gowns and trophies up close and personal was great fun! Being ‘crowned’ by Bert Parks was another big hit! And having my photo taken next to those famous “Atlantic City” wooden boats on the beach was icing on the cake! You just don’t get that in Vegas, Baby 🙂
9. Even if we went 0 for 6 and 0 for 15, we still would’ve LOVED meeting fellow Junkies!!! This year was particularly fantastic as so many of you found us and told us what our page meant to you! We never expected to have that kind of impact on people – and we’re grateful to consider many of you ‘friends’. PLEASE continue to stay in contact with the Junkies – and if there’s anything we can do for you – just let us know! 🙂
And that’s a Wrap! Another Miss America crowning is in the books – another woman gets the job of a lifetime and another little girl is currently wondering if she might become the new Miss America one day. The Junkies look forward to seeing Nina make her mark on Miss America history and will do everything we can to keep you updated along the way…
UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN – make sure you’re practicing your wave… blowing kisses in the wind… standing up tall with your shoulders back and chin up… as we all sing together… “There She Is…”
Thanks Junkies! What a GREAT year it’s been! 🙂