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?
Today at an editorial meeting, the phrase "it factor" came up in conversation. This is not one of my favorite phrases, to tell you the truth. It's one of those things we say that doesn't mean too much. Because, when it comes down to it, can you define "it factor"? I am guessing not.
But, still and yet, it is something we talk about. Many judges have used that phrase to describe our Miss Americas. The French call it "je ne sais quoi" which really just means "I don't know what." And I think that comes as close to a definition as you possibly can - I don't know what it is precisely that makes Miss America sparkle, but she has it.
When Nigel Barker, noted fashion photographer (call me, Nigel), judged the Miss America pageant, he spoke very eloquently about the concept of MIss America and celebrity. As eloquent as he was though (seriously, call me Nigel), he couldn't define the it factor. This is what I think of when someone says it:
•When she enters a room, everyone notices her.
•You feel like you are the only person in the room when she talks to you.
•She makes you want to be a better person.
What are the ways that YOU define the it factor?
Right now, we are looking back on a lot of history. This past weekend, our nation observed the anniversary of a horrific day. We are also celebrating 90 years of Miss America this month. So much has happened in our country (and the world!) and within this organization. After 90 years—after these last 10 years—I am so happy to see that we are still here.
I came across this video and loved it. Katie Harman Ebner is such a truly lovely person. I had the pleasure of attending a mini reunion of the contestants of this class, including Katie, and they were incredible.
The National Sweetheart tradition continued in Hoopeston, Illinois over Labor Day weekend. Here are the results:
National Sweetheart—Simone Mullinax, Arkansas
1st Runner Up—Tippe Emmott, Missouri
2nd Runner Up—Amanda Narciso, Massachusetts
3rd Runner Up—Raeanna Johnson, Wisconsin
4th Runner Up—Kristen Springer, Georgia
Remaining Top 10
Haley Bagwell, Alabama
Hannah Porter, Colorado
Jenna Day, Kentucky
Kalen Dennis, Florida
McKenna Wheeler, Utah
Groups AB Swimsuit: Hannah Porter, Colorado
Groups AB Evening Gown: Hannah Porter, Colorado
Groups AB Talent: Kristen Springer, Georgia and Kalen Dennis, Florida
Groups AB Interview: Hannah Porter, Colorado; Chandler Lawson, Tennessee; Kristen Springer, Georgia; and Carley McCord, Louisiana
Groups CD Swimsuit: Simone Mullinax, Arkansas
Groups CD Evening Gown: Tippe Emmott, Missouri
Groups CD Talent: Amanda Narciso, Massachusetts
Groups CD Interview: Melissa Youssef, District of Columbia; Raeanna Johnson, Wisconsin; and Simone Mullinax, Arkansas
Pat Musk Non-Finalist Talent Award: Leah Cecil, California
Bob Horan Producers’ Award: Samantha Phillippi, Minnesota
John Bitner Memorial Judges’ Award: Katie Berry, New Jersey
Miss Congeniality: Mindy Schreiber, Nebraska
Final Night Overall Talent Award: Simone Mullinax, Arkansas
People’s Choice Award: Samantha Phillippi, Minnesota and Haley Bagwell, Alabama
Photo/Info: Joe Whiteko
Welcome to our new MAOTeen Elizabeth Fechtel! And welcome home to me! Now that I'm back in the office and have my desk cleaned off (that's no small task, trust me) , let's talk about MAOTeen. What a great week! I hope that you guys stayed in touch with the pageant happenings through our Twitter, Facebook, and all the articles/videos on the web. In case you couldn't tell, fourpoints had a total blast during pageant week! Every year, it's so inspiring to see our relationship with MAOTeen grow. And each class of contestants is just as wonderful as the last.
Another of of the best things about MAOTeen is that I get a "sneak peek" at the 2012 Miss America contestants. I had the pleasure of chatting with our Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan while she signed autographs at our booth during pageant week. She was as lovely as ever. It's so impressive to me to see a Miss America about halfway through her year of service, and she is as fresh and cheerful as the day she was crowned. Every reigning Miss America I have ever met has been that way, and - well, let's just say that I don't think I would be so pleasant! It was nice to have a moment to talk with Teresa.
I also got to do one of my favorite things, which is have my makeup done by an Aristrty professional. I am seriously in love with their products - and I'm not just saying that! He even managed to make me look believably tan - a true artist!
Of course, the most exciting part of the week is seeing our new MAOTeen crowned. Elizabeth is going to do a great job and I can't wait for you guys to see her on the cover of the October/November issue.
As a final note, though, I want to extend my congratulations and affection to the entire MAOTeen class. Time and time again, I find myself thinking that every contestant who competes really wins. As Donna Bozarth mentioned during pageant week, MAOTeen has already written half a million dollars in scholarship checks. And those didn't go to just the winners of the national pageant. So many young women are stepping into their future with scholarship money, a great skill set, and an unforgettable experience.
During pageant week, I had the chance to speak to some of the contestants. They all had wonderful things to say, but one thing has stuck with me. Miss New Hampshire's Outstanding Teen Lauren Percy gave MAOTeen the highest accolades it could ever receive. She said, "This organization has give me the confidence to take my make-up off and just be who I am."
I hope that every young lady had the same experience that Lauren did.
One person we like very much is Kasey Staniszewki, Miss Maryland's Outstanding TEen 2007 and stylist for La Casa Hermosa. Kasey was kind enough to give us a style tip!
The second night of preliminary competition is over and we have two more preliminary winners! Click in to learn more!
Oh my gosh, you guys! Am I ever having a good time here in Orlando! There is so much going on. Teens in Training and Princess Camp have both gotten off to a great start. Jennifer and I will be speaking to the Teens in Training this Friday, and I am so excited! Tawni has done a really great job with this program.
This morning, the Princesses rehearsed their production number for the first time and from what I can tell, they did a great job! Speaking of princesses, I finally met OUR National Princess Emily Kinsey. It was great to meet Emily and her mother Stephanie, and we are proud to have Emily as our fourpoints princess. I shot a little video so you can meet Emily, too!
The prelims were great last night, too! There was a tie in evening wear which may be an MAOTeen first. I am looking forward to seeing more of the competition tongiht and catching up with the rest of my pageant family!