I introduce to you, your 2011 MISS AMERICA, Teresa Scanlan of Nebraska!
At the tender age of seventeen, Teresa is the youngest contestant to win since the very first pageant in 1921, when sixteen year old Margaret Gorman became the first Miss America. Teresa delivered an astounding rendition of Whitewater Chopsticks on the piano, proving that her Thursday night victory in the preliminary talent competition was no fluke. And, despite her young age, throughout the night she carried herself with the grace and poise of an American princess. She is a very deserving winner.
As for my predictions, I actually did unusually well this year. I correctly picked two of the Top Five. I had a feeling Miss Nebraska and Miss Oklahoma would do well, too, after they won preliminary competitions, but unfortunately I did not include them in my original Top 20 so I could not choose them for my list.
My number one pick, Miss Hawaii (far left), came up just short of victory in third place. And my number three pick, Miss Washington (left of center), finished a very respectable fourth. My number two pick, Miss Virginia, also made the Top Ten.
I am very proud of my top three contestants. Especially Miss Hawaii. She did so well! I feel like she might have won it if her talent wasn’t singing. Singers have won the pageant the past two years, and I think the judges did not want to extend that streak. I am also proud of Miss Virginia. She was fighting an uphill battle because last year’s winner was from Virginia. Lastly, Miss Washington finished almost exactly as I predicted.
But the contestant I am most proud of tonight is Miss Arkansas, Alyse Eady. My homestate lady brought her “A” game, and came within inches of winning it! She was the runner-up in the competition! Her riveting ventriloquist act was a crowd favorite.
When the host announced her name as the last finalist to make the Top Five, I was shocked beyond words. I think tonight was the first time I’ve ever seen my mom text “OMG.” Then, when Miss Arkansas stood at the center of the stage holding hands with Miss Nebraska, knees trembling, hearts racing, one of them just seconds away from being crowned Miss America — it was almost like a surreal dream. The State of Arkansas beams with pride tonight!
But my pride is tempered somewhat by my embarrassment. Despite choosing Alyse for my original Top 20, I somehow did not advance her into my Top 15! I always root for Miss Arkansas, and I certainly planned to root for her tonight. But for some reason, I flinched. What was I thinking??
So Miss Arkansas, if you are reading this tonight, please forgive me. I never should have doubted you. You are a wonderful ventriloquist. And tonight, I am the dummy.
Overall, the pageant was spectacular. All the contestants did a fantastic job. I’m really glad I decided to prepare rigorously for the competition this year. It definitely made for an enjoyable experience. And, perhaps most importantly, it allowed me to share a special American tradition with my with my mom, my sister, and my (mostly female) readers on Xanga. (All of whom I was texting / pulsing throughout the competition.)
The guys who spent the night watching football don’t know what they missed.