Advice

9.8.16 Prelims & Peristence

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Photo Cred: MAO Twitter

Well, things went a bit better than last night, prediction-wise, LOL! But if you thought I was opinionated last night, buckle up kids, cuz I have more where that came from. Talent is turning into quite the anomaly this year!

ICYMI: Swimsuit went to Maryland. Talent went to Arkansas.

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Photo Cred: Ben Fogletto/ The Press of Atlantic City

I really was not surprised one bit at Maryland’s win. She has a gorgeous figure and really stands out. I am sure there were a few others that were also great, but she was my gut pick and I’m glad I stuck with it! I love that the judges are awarding healthy, fit, toned young women: no rail-thin prelims so far! ūüôā

They announced several extra awards tonight, like Quality of Life, Women in Business, STEM, Miracle Maker, etc. It has no bearing on scoring, but is a nice scholarship and validation that you are doing things well. There were several winners for each category, but standouts for me included Maryland, Kansas, and Alabama. Nicely done, ladies!

Talent. Oh talent, how you plague me this year! This panel of judges is making a few things clear: They love the southern charm. And they prefer campy entertainment over classical talents.

Here’s the thing. I was able to watch a video of all but the first two talents tonight. I know I sound like such a whiner these last two nights! But this is the MISS AMERICA stage. I am expecting, especially since it is just an all-points system now, a higher caliber of talents than I am seeing. Do we just have exceptionally talented people here in Iowa?! Because I think anyone in our top ten at Miss Iowa could have outperformed most of these girls tonight. I am not TRYING to be mean, or cocky. It is just plain the truth. #TRUTH. There, I hashtagged it, so it’s legit now.

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Photo Cred: Ben Fogletto/ The Press of Atlantic City

That being said, this is where your contestant spot comes into play. Savvy performed after several very mediocre talents in a row. She was crisp, did a nice job, and was a breath of air. Her contestant placement did her many favors, and probably helped the judges view her in a more favorable light than if she had been stacked around a lot of talent. Had she been plopped right in the middle of the Idaho/ Texas/ Georgia/ South Carolina lineup, her light would have dimmed, for sure. I didn’t see much in the way of technique or skill, other than her kicks were stellar! It wasn’t a total miss, but once again,¬†just not what I expected to win talent at Miss America. Is anyone else feeling that with me?!¬†I’m not one for talents that are “gimmicky”, so perhaps that’s where the disconnect lies for me.

I thought Georgia’s dance was beautiful and entertaining. I didn’t hear Louisiana, but word is she did an awesome job on piano.¬†And then there’s South Carolina. I got goosebumps. She is just a phenomenal lyrical dancer. With lyrical, you have to be sure you have enough skill that it doesn’t just look like you are rolling around on the ground, HAHA! She traveled a bit in her turns, but that’s forgiven when overall you are just incredible.

Also – how is it ok that Nevada had TAPS in her music?! Isn’t that kind of like having background singers that sound just like you?! But I digress.

So let’s turn our attention to what these preliminary awards actually MEAN. Preliminary awards are a wonderful way to highlight the young woman who received the highest score in a particular area of competition on a particular night. If you receive said award, it is terrific validation that not only did you do well, but the judges also are in agreement that you did well. It is a true honor to receive one. But what if you didn’t.

I have been in those shoes at the state level. Having won talent and interview in separate years, I was super disappointed not to receive those wins in a subsequent year. It really is like the wind being taken out of your sails a bit – and if you are not confident and steady, it can totally deflate you. So here’s my pep-talk for those girls who haven’t received that validation:

PERSISTENCE! The judges still like you, I promise! Hang on to the truth you know. and choose to persevere through the doubt that is creeping in and stealing that truth. If you are a talent powerhouse, you STILL are! And the three Miss Americas right before Betty? None won any preliminary awards. Many Miss Americas don’t. So if the ultimate goal is to win Miss America, here’s what I tell my clients: Let those other girls have the “extras.” The awards and such. You go out and win the whole darn thing, because that’s what you came here to do. So keep your heads up, all you awardless states! It ain’t over!

And now, on to our final¬†night of preliminary predictions! I kind of feel like just throwing a dart at the board and seeing where it sticks…

THURSDAY SS: ALPHA

I think Kelly has the shape they are awarding this year – so let’s go with it! Hey, you can be short and fit! Mississippi, Tennessee, and Ohio will be contenders. But the person I expected to run away with it (Oklahoma) may just be too thin for their liking. I’m still gonna call Oklahoma here, but wouldn’t be shocked if a curvier southern belle took it away!

THURSDAY TALENT: MU

Can I just be honest and say, I really don’t know much about this talent group? I have heard that Michigan is good. I would guess from the last two picks that Kentucky could fair well. My eyes will also be on Illinois, Maryland, Washington, Kansas, and Florida. But I’ll probably bomb, so if I DIDN’T say your name, you win! HAHA!

Who knows, maybe I will go two for two tomorrow! I don’t know that yet, but what I DO know is I’m not the only predictor out there struggling right now. The struggle is very, very real!

Pay attention to the interwebs tomorrow night to see how it shakes down, and don’t forget to follow @MYMPageant for LIVE tweets during finals night. See you back here tomorrow with results!

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