fourpoints Magazine

The #1 Resource for Everything Miss America & MAOTeen

Leaving Las Vegas

Saturday, 14 January 2012 13:51

Well, I'm not leaving just yet! But today IS the final day of the 2012 Miss America competition. I'm almost out of hairspray and I've lost my voice, but you know what? I have had SUCH a good time.

I am looking forward to the telecast tonight (or this afternoon, I guess) but also a little anxious! Yesterday, Tony Eaton said there were some surprises in the show. I am excited to see what they are but I hope they go smoothly! Experiencing live television is both bizarre and very cool.

I hope that everyone tuning in at home has enjoyed watching our take on the pageant. The preliminary competition this year has been my favorite in the 6 years that I've been coming to the pageant. I know it's not polite to play favorites, but I cannot get enough of Dena Blizzard! She is so incredibly funny. The judges panel was also very fun and relaxed this year, which I think bodes well for whichever young lady they choose as Miss America 2012.

I have gotten to reconnect with a lot of my pageant friends and family this week, and that is a very cherished part of the Miss America experience for me. I know I am not alone in this - almost everyone views this week as a time to get together with far-flung friends.

And I have also had the chance to do a lot of interviews and research. The next few issues of fourpoints are going to be jam-packed with such great information - I am excited to share all of it with you!

Las Vegas Dispatch #3

Thursday, 12 January 2012 14:50

You guys, I cannot BELIEVE it is Thursday already! Time is just FLYING by and it's not because of the time difference. Well, not entirely because of the time difference.

The show last night was a blast! It was way more high energy than Tuesday night and I really enjoyed it! If you follow my Tweets (and really, you should!), you will know that there are a LOT of dancers this year! I think there are more dancers than I have ever seen before, which is great. I wonder, though, if the contestants get super nervous becase dance fiend Mark Ballas is a judge? That would definitely make me nervous, but I just enjoy watching Mark Ballas judge. He gets really into the music and performances.

This morning I had the pleasure of attening a press conference featuring: the Quality of Life finalists, the winner of our fourpoints scholarship award, and a whole slew of former Miss Americas.

Miss Kentucky Ann-Blair Thornton won the Quality of Life Award and gave a very moving speech about her platform and the experience of losing a loved one to Alzheimer's.

I also got the chance to talk one-on-one with Miss Idaho Genevive Nutting, our fourpoints scholarship winner. She is such a lovely young lady and you can learn more about her in the next issue of fourpoints. Her mother also stopped to talk for a minute and was so nice, so excited. It's moments like that, that really make it all worth it!

What else? The former Miss America were awesome as always.

It looked like Miss America 2008 Kirsten Haglund had a very heavy left hand - I think she's engaged!

The Miss Americas also shared where they keep their crowns. Vonda Kay sleeps in hers and Dorothy Benham keeps hers in a butter cookie tin. I swear, you can't make this stuff up!

Turn For The Judges!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012 16:43

I don't know what you've been up to today, but this morning I hung out with Kris Jenner—no big deal!

Okay, actually, it was a really big deal! The judges press conference was this morning at 10 AM and I would have to say, it was the best judges press conference I have been to in the 6 (can you believe it?) years that I have been coming to Miss America.

What can I say? Apparently, Lara Spencer and Kris Jenner both wanted to be head judge but, of course, there can only be one. Lara seems like she is just fantastic and really takes the judging process seriously, which I appreciate so much. Other highlights of the press conference include:


*Raul De Molina doing high go-go kicks that Chris Powell taught him.

* Mike Fleiss' very progressive view of what Miss America should be.

* Teri Polo cracking jokes left and right!


I could go on and on about the press conference, but this year, we're going to do more than that. Check out the video below for the highlights of the press conference - I think you might be surprised at what the judges had tos say. I know I was!

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I Have Arrived!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012 02:08

It's all happening you guys! I whirled into Las Vegas this evening, in plenty of time for the first night of preliminary competition! It was lovely, to say the least. I hope you are following us on Twitter for all the updates, news, and information I can possibly give you! I had a blast live-Tweeting the pageant tonight and we have a big day planned tomorrow. The judges press conference is first thing in the AM and I am finally going to get close enough to Mark Ballas to challenge him to a hand jive competition. Well...we'll see if it works out! I am excited to listen to the judges talk about their experience so far! 

There is so much energy and hubbub happening here, it's wonderful! I ran into some people from Good Morning America and they start filiming at 2:30 AM - whoa! They offered to let me come along, but we all know a pagaeant girl needs her beauty sleep!

Hey - what should I ask the judges tomorrow? What are your burning questions?

Are You An Expert?

Wednesday, 14 December 2011 12:33

I can’t believe I haven’t weighed in on the 2012 judges panel yet! Where does the time go? 

As you all know, the panel was announced last week. Check it out here.

As always, the panel did spark a bit of controversy. Some people aren’t happy with the panel, and that’s okay! Kris Jenner was certainly a surprise to me and while I don’t necessarily think she’s the greatest person alive, I am more than a little curious to see if her daughters come to the pageant. I want to see them in person, I can’t help it! 

I don’t have a lot to say about the individual panel members – I think that MAO team will train them well in the scoring system and they will pick a lovely girl out of the 53 lovely contestants. But, the panel debate did spark another debate in my head.

Is there such a thing as a pageant expert?

If a pageant was so moved —and I am talking local, state, or the national Miss America pageant—could they find a panel of judges who were confirmed pageant experts? And would that panel be able to pick the “perfect” titleholder?

I’m not entirely sure I think this is possible. I have judged pageants myself, and I would not call myself a pageant expert. I am well versed in the scoring system and I understand what the job of a titleholder is (although each title does have its own requirements), and there are certain subjects I have studied—but I'm not an expert. I feel confident about the titleholders I have helped choose regardless of me being an expert, or not.

Of course, there are people out there who have judged hundreds of pageants, and perhaps they are being closer to an expert than I am. But the judges aren’t the only part of the equation—the contestants and their performance comes into play. How they perform is the focus, obviously, and nerves / mood / etc. affect that.

I don’t think there is such a thing as a pageant expert. I think the best you can do, if you are choosing a panel, is pick people you trust and admire. Then train them on the scoring system and the job you are asking them to fill. From there, it’s really up to the contestants.

What do YOU think?

Pageant Music

Wednesday, 30 November 2011 11:05

Oh man, you guys. January 14 is SO CLOSE. I can barely stand how excited I am to attend the pageant again this year and meet our new Miss America! I love making new Miss America memories each year, and a lot of them revolve around the music in the show. Whenever I hear the Black Eyed Peas, I automatically think of Miss America!

I'm anxious to see what music they are using for the production this year – I would love to hear something contemporary (like the Black Eyed Peas) this year. I'm a Lady Gaga fan, but I don't know that it's music that goes with pageant productions. What are some of YOUR suggestions for the Miss America production numbers?

Giving Thanks!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011 10:19
Thanksgiving is this week, and I can't think of a better time to take a moment and be...well, thankful!

I recently celebrated 5 years with fourpoints magazine, and I am incredibly thankful for continued chance I have to get to know all of you, tell your stories, and hopefully help you in your pageant endeavors.

I am thankful to all the people who help me with stories, send in photos, and keep me going with their accolades, suggestions, and questions.

What are you thankful for?

Taking Advice

Wednesday, 16 November 2011 10:51
Last week, I saw a really compelling question posed on Twitter. Elizabeth Hughs asked: "I'm interested pageant beauties! What's the worst piece of advice a professional gave you when you were competing in pageants?"

The answers were all over the board, from "never wear white" to "you sound too smart."

Reading the responses made me think about the concept of advice. Whether you are a pageant contestant or not, people love to give advice. Statistics alone suggest that most of the advice we receive isn't really sound. Years ago, I had the pleasure of seeing Jennifer Berry speak at a press conference. She spoke very eloquently and openly about her experience as a contestant. She competed 5 times at the Miss Oklahoma crown before walking away with the crown. And she said that it wasn't until she listened to herself that she felt successful and authentic.

Now, that's not to say that everyone giving you advice is wrong. And certainly, if you've paid someone for their opinion, you can (hopefully) trust them. But remember that there is a lot to be said for knowing yourself and what's best for you – in all things, pageant and otherwise.

What is the best (or worst) advice you've been given?

One of My Fave Formers

Tuesday, 08 November 2011 15:43

I stumbled across this video of Miss America 1971 Phyliis George on the Muppet Show. If you haven't yet, you should pick up her book "Never Say Never." Sure, it was published in 2002 but I love how honest and open she is about her life not being perfect - even if she was Miss America. And she was on the Muppet Show - a personal dream of mine.


Who are some of your favorite formers?


Thursday, 27 October 2011 10:55

My inspiration this week is Miss South Carolina Bree Boyce. I know you have all heard of her, and I am far from the first person in the pageant world (or the world at large) to point out what an incredible story she has. Bree managed to lose over 100 pounds and went on, obviously, to win the Miss South Carolina crown. She has been featured on many television programs and has done dozens of speaking engagements about her story.

Bree is inspiring to me not only because of her weight loss—that is an incredible feat that I can't totally wrap my head around— but because she is the embodiment of one of my favorite things about the Miss America Organization. I once said that I believed any young woman could become MIss America, and I was challenged on that point. Doesn't it take years of training, thousands of dollars, coaches, dresses, etc.? No, it doesn't. I firmly believe that anyone can be Miss America, and Bree is proof of that. Well, proof that you can live your dream (of being Miss South Carolina, of losing 100 pounds) if you put your mind to it. Bree didn't get an expensive weight loss surgery or have a fancy trainer come to her house every day, nor did she have a 24 hour pageant coach or a $10,000 gown. She was just determined. And that is pretty darn inspiring!