I liked her. She seems well-spoken and hopefully she won't end up on Myspace, thoroughly intoxicated or something. Also, she picked an evening gown that was kind of a throw-back to earlier pageant days. I haven't seen sleeves on an evening gown in ages. I won't say I was thrilled with the dress, but it worked. Overall, here are my thoughts:
Let me start with the positives:
-I think Miss Florida had a super-cute talent.
-I think this was the first year in a long time where there weren't fill-in performances by "popular artists" (that aren't even popular anyway). I LOVED THIS. I hate time-wasting.
-Mario Lopez wasn't awkward as a host. He kept things moving and was very efficient, and didn't have to make awkward non-funny banter with a co-host.
-Good interview questions. None of them were stupid, and all were on the same difficulty level, I thought. They came from people on the street in Vegas (I know, it sounds terrifying), but they were relevant to what's going on in the culture. I'm tooting my own horn, but I always try to formulate my own responses to the questions, and I think I would definitely do well in interview. Example: "Do you believe that the government should bail out major companies and individuals in times of crisis?" (Actual question from tonight):
My answer: "I definitely don't believe that the government should use bail-out plans. It's using a band-aid when the country needs major surgery. Although it sounds wonderful to give major money to major companies, where do we draw the line? Sometimes experiencing consequences for over-spending is a good thing and keeps us accountable, which leads to maturity for individuals as well as the country." Let's put it this way: if I were in a pageant and the judges had Democratic tendencies, I would be voted off. For the record, Miss Georgia was in favor of bail-outs because "That's the government's job." Nice.
-The pageant didn't feel cheesy, even after a reality show leading up to it. Last year was cheesy and I hated it. The pageant was done pretty well.
However, this leads to my negatives:
-Reality show. Now, I do understand that we are a reality-TV show nation, and I am admittedly a reality show junkie to some extent. I did watch the Countdown to the Crown. However, I have problems with it. They only showcase certain contestants, and others get no face time. Also, the "pageant consultants" or "judges" of the show were just randoms. And I don't think they knew what they were doing. Now, I do think that TLC is a step up from CMT (that was ridiculous), but I miss the days of a major network hosting it.
-Speaking of missing the days...I just wish the pageant had its old glamour and sparkle. This year they didn't try anything stupid, thankfully, but the crown just doesn't have the clout it used to. I love this era:
Or my absolute FAVE, the Heather Whitestone year. All-white gowns, dancing to a Sandi Patti song, and being the first deaf contestant? Amazing. I will NEVER forget that pageant. I think every American was in tears watching that pageant.
So, yes, I'll continue to watch the pageant. But that doesn't mean I'm thrilled with it. Also, I would love to see a gorgeous, fair-skinned, redhead win the thing. I really would. Because I don't relate to a deep-tanned, rockin' body with blonde highlights. I just don't. But whatever.
Maybe in many years the pageant will come full-circle and it will actually be a big deal to be Miss America again? Here's hoping...