Instead of some long, put-together post about all things Miss America 2017, I thought I’d just sum up my feelings and observations in bullet points. Sound good?
- First, congratulations to Miss Arkansas, Savvy Shields, for winning Miss America 2017! While I wasn’t a big fan of her dance, she was certainly a front-runner coming into the event. It is evidenced by the huge support system she has outside of her home state. In fact, I’ve yet to hear anyone say they aren’t happy Savvy won! That’s a pretty big deal. Savvy winning reminds us that your genuine spirit show through, and the nice girl can win! She has an infectious personality, a million-watt smile, and tons of charisma.
- I don’t think the final ballot would have changed much this year. In fact, if there had been a final ballot, I would have guessed that Savvy benefited from it; but she won on points alone, and I believe that would have been the case with the ballot in place.
- They should have filmed intros indoors. A hurricane is just too much for good video and audio, and does nothing to sell you on taking a trip to Atlantic City!
- Entertainment trumps technical skill in talent. You know my feelings on talent. However, it would be foolish not to acknowledge the trend we have seen at Miss America. Kira and the cup, Nina and her Bollywood dance, Savvy and musical theater dance. Not to mention some of the preliminary wins. Good or bad, we are seeing the trend toward entertainment as the focal point of talent continue. So what does that mean for you? It means that no matter what your talent and skill level, if you can’t hold the attention of a broad audience base, your talent score will probably suffer. So get creative with your music, choreography, and staging!
- The 9/11 tribute was very nice, and I’m so glad we got to see Betty sing. Although, that was not the best place for her to sing in the program – right before talent! I wouldn’t want to follow her as a vocalist!
- Speaking of Betty – she was so done, lol! She announced via Facebook Live that she wanted Savvy to win, she’s engaged, and she can finally wear her ring. Oh, and did you notice her at crowning? Girl dropped the S-bomb when she put the sash on backwards! Miss America…polished and poised, yet really just like the rest of us 🙂
Who’s In, Who’s Out
- Biggest surprises in the mix: Massachusetts, Washington, California, and New York. I do believe New York showed us with her OSQ that she is very bright, and likely an interview favorite. I’m not sure many people had Washington on their radar, but I think she did a great job.
- Who didn’t make the cut? Noticeably absent were Alabama, DC, Florida, GEORGIA, KANSAS, Michigan, Ohio. I don’t think there is a person out there who saw a Georgia-less pageant coming our way. She seemed like a lock for top ten at the least! But, we don’t get to see interview, her gown/presentation did nothing to help her stand out, and perhaps doing her ballet the night after Iowa hurt her. Of the last three years, I have called Georgia as a front-runner to win it; twice they missed completely, and once she won (Betty.) That state is running very hot and cold!
- Gown: loved Maryland, South Carolina, and Arkansas. Hated Oklahoma and New York. Everyone else just sort of faded into the middle for me. As for color? We saw and all-red-and-white finals last year, and this year was the same, with black thrown in there. I’d love for girls to get away from white…there are so many brilliant colors out there, ladies!!
- Talent: Mississippi, South Carolina, Iowa, and even New York were solid. Singing God Bless America on 9/11 was a smart move by Maryland. Tennessee sounded better than I expected, and Arkansas had more technique than I originally thought.
- Swimsuit: There were some ill-fitting tops and lots of cleavage! Yikes! I felt like the spunk and attitude was over the top for many of the contestants as well. But it ain’t easy to parade around on a stage like that, and no one fell, so that’s a WIN!
- OSQ: No one bombed, and even if some were off topic, they all sounded intelligent and well-spoken in a high pressure situation. Nicely done, ladies!
State Trend Observations
- Did anyone else notice Maryland staring Savvy down the WHOLE time at the end?! It was so cute, it’s like she just knew and expected Savvy to win – but I also wonder how left out Texas was feeling?! LOL!!
- Speaking of Texas….don’t mess with Texas! I was pretty vocal in my disbelief that Texas made it so far, but in all reality, I should have relied on what I knew from the beginning: She had a spark when she won Texas, which obviously carried through. And, well, you don’t mess with Texas at Miss America. She’s a pretty safe bet 😉
- As long as we are discussing states: is South Carolina the new Oklahoma? They have had two first-runners-up in five years, a top seven finish last year, and several other note-worthy accomplishments. This state knows how to get it done with fund-raising and scholarships, and they continue to take the national stage by storm.
- Also taking the nation by storm is…IOWA! I am so proud to call this my state, and to have been part of the preparation process of many local and state contestants. I remember when Kelly was at my house and told me when she watched Kira win Miss America, she had goosebumps and that she wants to be Miss America some day. She realized it took mega-work, she put at least 18 months into her preparations, and she came so very close to doing what she set out to do. We are a small state with a mighty work ethic, and the caliber of our contestants is clearly quite high!
- I actually picked South Carolina to win it all – so I guess my streak of picking either the winner or first-runner-up continues! I felt like Rachel lacked energy onstage and kind of faded into the background, but the judges sure loved her, and with good reason.
- I got 10/15 correct for semi-finalists and 5/10 for finalists. California, New York, and Texas all impressed me at state crownings, and I should have stuck with it. Washington was one I put in the mix a few times, but ultimately scrapped – I ended up really loving her, though! BUT, 4 of my top 7 didn’t even make SEMI-FINALS! Yikes! That just shows you what an unpredictable year it truly was.
Well, I think that about sums it up! That’s a wrap on another successful Miss America year, and it’s time to start preparing for next year. Who is going to be there? Will it be you? When will you start getting serious about your journey? I hope it starts now for you, and I would be honored to be a part of that journey!