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April 19 2014

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Miss USA, A Sin City Spectacle

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I completely missed the Miss America pageant in January, but thanks to my boyfriend’s channel surfing, Miss USA wound up on our TV last night. I’ve always thought of the show as a poor man’s Miss America—as the Golden Globes are to the Oscars, if you will. This year, though, the two beauty contests really carved out their points of difference, and in my opinion the crown goes to Miss USA, which has benefited from a recent Donald Trump makeover—hey, at least he’s good for something. While Miss America increasingly tries to re-create itself as more than just a beauty pageant (it’s now referred to as a scholarship contest), Miss USA just sort of owns the fact that it is what it is—an annual event in which 51 women are judged on their Jessica Simpson swimwear-clad bikini bodies and an ability to walk in heels while smiling. There was no talent competition, only marginal information was revealed about the contestants (a screen shot during the evening gown portion listed each girl’s interests, some of which included “playing with her Chihuahua” and “online shopping”), and the Q&A session was all over the place. At one point judge Perez Hilton asked Miss California to elaborate on her view about gay marriage, and elaborate she did. There was simply no pretense that this was anything but a parade of physical beauty (and a large-scale advertising scheme for Las Vegas tourism), but these girls still really wanted it—and I in turn wanted it for them. (Hold your head up high, Miss Utah; you and your Bulgarian-folk-dancing, impending-law-degree self are too smart for them). Did anyone else watch last night? If so, thoughts on Miss North Carolina’s victory? Miss California’s ideas on marriage mores? Nadine Velazquez’ unbearable hosting quips?

Photo: Denise Truscello / WireImage

USER COMMENTS Comments

Comments

  1. bpbear36 says:

    Have any of these contestants picked up a copy of Vogue in the last decade? Some of the gowns were frightful and the accessories… oh my word… earrings the size of a slice of pizza!

  2. bpbear36 says:

    Oops… I wanted to add… what happened to the crown? They used to have this over $200,000 Mikimoto pearl crown (finally adding a touch of elegance and a known company name to these tacky fests). Did they toss it? If so, can I have it for Halloween?

  3. jA_1 says:

    Congratulations to Miss North Carolina! Miss California lost the contest because she had an archaic answer to a modern question-I’m sure her Father is proud. The crown is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.
    Miss Tennessee had the prettiest dress, but, Miss Arizona was all around the most attractive lady.

  4. bpbear36 says:

    I’m sorry, but Miss California didn’t lose the contest because she had an archaic answer to a modern question… she was in third in swimsuit and second in gown (by a considerable margin) to NC who was first in every round of competition (the points were shown on the screen). Plus California couldn’t seem to spit out what she was trying to say, using weird phrases like “opposite marriage,” and she opened up the door for ridicule when she could easily have answered that she couldn’t predict what other states, if any, would choose to follow those four, but she would be following the news to see what might happen if anything else should develop. Her position of first runner-up was a gift considering her performance in swimsuit and her odd phrasing of an answer (totally disregarding the content of it). Typical Miss USA pageant with goofy outfits, goofy answers, and people placing higher than their goofy outfits and answers should dictate.

  5. keturahjoy says:

    Unfortunately the Miss. USA competition was a bit
    boot-leg!! I did appreciate California honesty! It seemed as though the other finalist had questions on the economy and California gets a question you cant really beat around the bush with.

  6. jA_1 says:

    re:bpbear36
    “she lost the crown because she wasn’t able to convey compassion for ALL the people that as MISS USA she would be representing”Shanna Moakler, a former Miss USA herself and one of the heads of the California pageant

    having watched the whole pageant I know that she didn’t score well in the swimsuit competition, but I don’t appreciate being clawed at… SO* take that! her answer WAS ARCHAIC–enough said.

  7. Viola11 says:

    These pageants are idiotic. The gowns are so unoriginal.

  8. tonyso84 says:

    This was the most mind numbing television I have seen in a while. During the question portion of the show, some of these girls answers made Paris Hilton look like a scholar. The dresses gave new meaning to the term pageant dress. With the world and fashion being as diverse as it is, its amazing these girls look all the same..I would love to see a Givenchy or Rodarte gown…maybe then I’ll start watching