Miss America 2014: How politics made a beauty pageant ugly

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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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  • Willie Lawson Show

    zzzzzzzz… miss wha zzzzzzzzzz

    • Amanda Scovitz

      Next time, I hope they just pull Ms. New York from the other states and just hand her the crown and roses. That way, time will not be wasted on behalf of TV viewers or the other young ladies that are competing. Forget the talent scene, the swimsuit and the gown competition. Just call Ms. New York from back stage and tell her iz time to come accept her title. Lol~

  • from Illinois

    What is needed is a videotape of the talent competition on Youtube. Let it go viral. Let the people weigh in. Guaranteed, the outcome would be different. Americans aren’t as stupid as the p.c. crowd thinks we are. BTW: I cannot find a full length clip of Miss America and her solo cup anywhere.

  • Tim Kern

    Even though the random chance of a particular state’s candidate’s winning three consecutive times is 125,000:1, the “contest” is not random, and there is no reason to expect the results to be. What are the odds of a World’s Champion repeating, and how would that explain the various Yankees winning strings. Were those World Series rings “unfair?” Should Serena Williams be disqualified if she wins too often? After all, millions of women play tennis — what are the odds of one woman’s winning more than once? Apparently, they’re pretty good, if the contestant is good enough.

    As for Miss America, New York has more women in it than any state but California, and the home state advantage should help tile the scales a bit. Wyoming, North Dakota, and Alaska should wait just about forever…

    If you want a statistically-tracked result, run a lottery.

    Politics in a beauty pageant? Say it isn’t so!

    • Houstonian

      Texas also has more women in it than New York.

      • Reggie1971

        Miss Texas also hasn’t won the pageant since 1975. Yeah I think politics might be a factor.

  • Lively LayD

    Her performance was terrible. I don’t know if it was rigged or not, but it was.much easier for my boyfriend to turn the television back to football after her performance.

  • Lynn Lewis

    That was horrible. Last one I will watch. Too bad she has zero chance for Miss Universe. nothing against her personally, but there were some better choices out there. Sorry Miss New York.

    • Happy retired teacher

      Miss America does not go to the Miss Universe competition!

  • T

    I’m glad I’m not the only one that felt this way. It has been a few years since I have watched one of these pageants, and I just happened to catch the 2014 Miss America the other night, but I don’t think I will watch again. It just SCREAMED politics! I also felt that Miss Ohio’s performance made her stand a head above the rest, only to have her eliminated a few moments later…WHAAAATT?? While Miss New York gave easily one of the most boring “talent” performances in Miss (whatever) history! She was adorable and had a beautiful smile on her face the whole time, but I felt like it was more of a stretch to call what she did an actual talent. Clearly, this isn’t Miss New York’s fault so I don’t place any blame on her, but perhaps it’s time for Trump to hang up the rug and just go play in his piles of money. Let these beautiful, talented, role models have a respectful and enjoyable competition. Hey, maybe Bill Gates could fund one and give him a run for his money…literally. Petition, anyone? 🙂

  • Todd

    Miss America is not owned by Trump and he is not associated with them. Miss America does not go to Miss Universe either. I agree the pageant needs to move around but I guess the pageant likes the feeling of nostalgia in Atlantic City. Too bad New Jersey rarely gets to the semi finals in her own home state.

  • Ron

    This is probably the most inane piece of writing I have seen in a long time! Both Miss USA and Miss America have made it so the judges name or number is drawn from a bowl. The questions are provided to the judges before — not for a specific questions, but for whatever of the finalists choose that judge. Perez Hilton did nothing to sabotage Miss California USA a few years ago. The question was provided to him by the organization and she happened to be “the lucky one” who got it. Them’s the breaks, kid!

  • K

    Did no one bat an eye when Miss Mississippi had back-to-back winners in 1959 and 1960? They were also in the same sorority at Ole Miss. I smell a conspiracy!

  • Terry Hussey- Kilkenny-Kearns

    Personally I found Miss NYs’ talent refreshing, innovative and thinking out of the box, she clearly knows the path of her generation and isn’t afraid to pursue it in public. My son would promote her with no hesitation.

  • Ann

    Pageants are generally won in the interview room. These ladies are taught to win the judges over in the interview room so you remain memorable. The pageant is not based on looks only. It is clear why she won. Miss NY graduated with a triple major-political science, geography and world studies. She speaks 3 languages to include English, Russian and Spanish. Not to mention that she just received admission to law school at Notre Dame. Yeah-so far, her credentials are superb. I would hire her for the job. Yes, Miss America is a job and you hire the most qualified candidate-not the best looking (which is difficult to judge because everyone has different opinions on what beauty looks like). Women between the ages of 17 to 24 may compete and it is difficult for a younger girl to have the interview skills of an older girl that has life experience as well as completion of college. Miss America is different than Miss USA. Two different systems. Miss USA is run by Donald Trump and does not include talent in the competition. Miss USA goes on to Miss Universe. Miss America is a scholarship pageant and the winner tours the U.S. speaking on behalf of the organization.

    • Reggie1971

      The Miss America pageant is not supposed to simply be about academic credentials. Aside from beauty, a contestant’s talent is supposed to count. Miss NY’s was tapping a cup to music.

  • Ann

    Frankly, I don’t even watch the talent portion because it is so boring. They all sing or dance with an occasional piano. When I did my fast forward through this part, I only stopped for NY and Ohio. I prefer talent that also entertains. Just my opinion.