Miss America 2014: How politics made a beauty pageant ugly

Miss America 2014: How politics made a beauty pageant ugly

ATLANTIC CITY, September 15, 2014 — Politics seems to sully everything it touches, and the 2014 Miss America pageant was no exception. Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall, sitting next to the Trump Hotel and Casino, was where judges decided who would wear the title and crown of Miss America for 2015. Unfortunately, the results left a lot to be desired.

Those wanting a competition based on merit should have skipped the Miss America pageant on ABC entirely and watched Sunday Night Football. The Chicago Bears overcame a 20-7 third quarter deficit to shock the San Francisco 49ers 28-20. Football games are settled on the field for everyone to see. The Miss America pageant, like our government officials, could use a healthy dose of this transparency.

The women are all physically beautiful. Deciding which one is the most aesthetically pleasing is like trying to differentiate between various shades of lip gloss. The swimsuit competition is a wash because most attractive women who show off their midsection impress most men. The evening gown competition leaves slightly more room for separation. Many of the women wore white. This is apparently not supposed to be done after Labor Day except that now this is acceptable because nobody knows what that means or why it ever became a rule. Miss Arkansas wore a stunning black evening gown that distinguished her. She looked radiant.

The part of the competition that truly does allow for some objectivity is the talent competition and the final questions. This is where the judges went off the rails, perhaps due to internal ethical challenges.

The crowds were like delegates at a political convention, all cheering on their hometown favorite daughters. Many in the crowd were just there to see a great show. The audience clearly favored different candidates from the judges.

In the talent competition, Miss Mississippi belted out a soulful number that had the crowd roaring in approval. Miss Virginia did an excellent job singing her opera piece. Any woman that can make opera even remotely tolerable for the masses deserves praise. Miss Ohio was the jewel of the bunch in this segment, performing a ventriloquist act to the tune of “super-cali-frag-ilistic-expia-ladocious.” The crowd loved it. Miss Arkansas also did well with her song.

Of the 15 women who reached the talent round, the least impressive talent was Miss New York. First she chose the song “Happy,” one of the most annoying songs ever written. While that is subjective, her performance was not. Rather than sing, she did something on the floor with a cup that made no sense to many in the audience. Apparently this was an inside joke that was very funny for those who got it. For the rest, it was a woman doing something with a cup that was received with shrugs of indifference.

The ladies from Mississippi and Ohio were denied entrance into the top five while Miss New York glided through. This is what happens when a bunch of ABC executives from New York control a program and the judges from New York are part of the entertainment industry clique and not Middle America.

The questions were even worse. A few years ago, celebrity judge Perez Hilton sabotaged one religious Christian candidate by asking her about gay marriage. This year it was Miss Arkansas who got the slanted question about gun control. Should we keep guns out of the hands of nine-year-olds to prevent gun deaths? Miss Arkansas lamented such tragedies but affirmed Second Amendment rights. At that moment she was doomed. Entertainment industry television judges are to the left of Michael Bloomberg on guns and the left of Perez Hilton on gays. It is no coincidence that the Southern woman was the victim of a “redneck” setup, but try proving this.

For the third year in a row, Miss New York was named Miss America. Those who have ever taken a statistics course can point out that the chances of this happening randomly are one in 125,000. Those believing the fix was in have reasonable grounds for suspicion.

This is not about deliberate political hatchet jobs. The problem is the same one the liberal elite media faces. The judges were guilty of groupthink. Coastal elites are simply incapable of putting aside snobbery and treating people in other regions of the country with dignity and respect. This is how a bizarre routine about a cup can seem sophisticated while a charming ventriloquist act can be dismissed as blue collar comedy.

Miss New York may be a lovely human being, but there were at least five women more deserving of the title Miss America. In terms of physical beauty, talent and ability to answer questions, Miss New York was just not the best. Her softball question was virtually impossible to flub, letting her coast to victory.

Fans of Miss new York can scream about sour grapes, but many in the audience were not rooting for or against anyone. They just wanted a good, clean competition. This did not happen.

Canceling these competitions altogether would be unfair to the young ladies who put in countless hours of effort. They receive scholarship money to further their educations, and Miss America is a positive role model. A better solution may be to do what the National Football League does with the Super Bowl. Get the Miss America pageant away from the East Coast and move it away from cities known for being major entertainment capitals. Cities can bid on the pageant like they do sporting events and political conventions.

Those arguing that there is not enough interest in the Miss America pageant to take it on the road are the very reason it has to move. The 2014 Miss America pageant was boring and corrupted. It needs to be fixed. Otherwise, interest in it will wane further. Outside of New York, it is hard to see how anyone could consider these judges fair and impartial. The judges should be vetted every bit as seriously as the contestants, if not more so.

As a proud New Yorker born and raised, my view of New Yorkers tells me they would rather win honestly than rely on a rigged game.

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