I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. Here in Arkansas we are snowed in and have no electricity except for our generator (which is running out of gas as I type this.) Yesterday evening was the first white Christmas I can ever remember. It rarely snows here, and when it does, everything shut downs. You people from the South know what I’m talking about.
The good news is, this is a perfect time for my annual Miss America predictions!
Like last year and the year before, I have become acquainted with the 2013 contestants by watching their introduction videos. This year the videos were much longer than in the past. 40-50 seconds has grown to 2-3 minutes. Also, the contestants were given more creative license with their videos than in the past. Before the contestants would all do their videos in the same room, with the same camera, lighting, etc., but this year the pageant apparently just gave them a camera and said “go have fun.” While this certainly added variety and allowed a fuller glimpse into their personalities and tastes, I found that it made comparing them more difficult. I generally tried to disregard the “presentation” factor when evaluating the contestants, but it was hard.
My predictions have had a pretty fair success rate the past two years, so I am feeling some pressure this year to keep it going. And I’ll be honest, there is no one candidate this year that sticks out in my mind as the clear frontrunner like Miss Hawaii 2010 (2nd Runner Up) and last year’s Miss Oklahoma (1st Runner Up). With that said, I am confident the winner will come from my top 20.
Also, I’ve learned from some of my past mistakes.
For example: no more falling hard for candidates from the Big Sky region. Last year, Miss North Dakota was my #3 pick — and to this day I’ll swear up and down that she was probably, all things considered, the best choice for Miss America — and of course, lo and behold, she was not named in the top 15. Heartbreaking. The year before, Miss South Dakota and Miss Wyoming were in my top 12. Did either of them make the top 15? You get the picture. At this point, it’s hard for me to imagine what a girl from the Dakotas would have to do to crack the top 15. (It’s only happened 6 times in the past 60 years).
On the other hand, there are 3 states that will always make my list of 20: California, Texas, and Oklahoma. I never like Miss Texas, and I always get burned. Not gonna happen this year. She’s on my list whether I like it or not. California and Oklahoma always produce girls who compete. Never count them out.
By the way, this is the first year I’ve followed the contestants on Twitter, which has been fun. My Twitter favorite is Miss Massachusetts, for her classic quotes. Unfortunately, she did not make my top 20.
As always, I have made sure that at least ten of the sixteen regions of the United States are represented. Accordingly, my top 20 is divided into eleven regional representatives and eight “wildcard” candidates. (You can assume that I was more impressed by a region’s representative than any wild card contestants from that region. Other than that, they are listed in no particular order.) Finally, the remaining contestants have been grouped into categories, just for fun.
The West – Miss Utah. Majored in biochemistry with a 3.99 GPA. Attending medical school. Skilled pianist. Weight room warrior. And if that’s not intimidating enough, you should see how she makes kids smile.
The Northeast – Miss District of Columbia. Looks good on roller skates and runways, but is she the total package? Finished Top 10 in Miss USA pageant last year. Wonder if the Miss America judges will hold that against her.
Big Sky – Miss South Dakota. Okay, so I might just fall for another Big Sky girl this year . . . but this is the last time, I swear!
Central Florida – Miss Florida. The girl loves baseball and burgers. What’s more than American than that?
Southern California – Miss California. Your stereotypical Southern California girl — blond bikini-clad surfer. Oh, and she plays the harp.
The Psuedo South – Miss Kentucky. Oscar acceptance speech: “And I would like to thank the Miss America Organization, for giving me the opportunity to make such a wonderful video.”
The Upper Midwest – Miss Minnesota. She makes being a “nerd” seem pretty darn cool.
The South – Miss Arkansas. There is a time to say, “you know, I can’t see much difference in these Southern girls, so I’m going with Miss Arkansas.”
The Rust Belt – Miss Indiana. The girl sure knows how to catch a football and twirl a baton. If that ain’t good enough to make the varsity pep squad . . . wait, what is she trying out for again?
The Lower Midwest – Miss Oklahoma. Enough with the questions! Just let her put her shoes on!
Texas – Miss Texas. There you go, Miss Texas. You’re on my list. (Smiles politely.)
WILD CARD CONTESTANTS
Miss Georgia. She’s compassionate. She’s creative. She’s from a state that is due.
Miss Colorado. You heard that right, she played on the boy’s football team. But what she didn’t tell you is she played linebacker.
Miss Virginia. Move over, Richard Simmons. Miss Virginia is America’s new workout queen.
Miss Louisiana. Guys better not cross her, she certainly knows how to kick balls.
Miss Illinois. The sad part is the kid in the minivan heard someone text him and pulled out his phone before he reached the end of the block … then plowed into a fire hydrant. Hey, she tried.
Miss Maryland. There’s nothing top secret about this girl being a contender.
Miss Kansas. Could she be our next president, I mean, Miss America?
Miss Michigan. Charming you with a smile as natural as the Great Lakes.
Miss Vermont. She lost 50 pounds, graduated from my alma mater, and gives a great evening forecast. Vermont has never cracked the top 15, but I say there’s a first time for everything.
Now for the other contestants . . .
Miss Alaska. She shaved her head for her platform. Now if that’s not dedication, I don’t know what is.
Miss Missouri. Her dog Kate returned the compliment a few blocks later.
Miss Massachusetts. She’s all about the straight talk. You can tell this girl knows how to take charge. That’s what having two younger brothers will do for you.
Miss Oregon. She gets her message across, one website address at a time.
Miss Rhode Island. New England Patriots cheerleader, fitness buff, and proud supporter of our troops.
Miss Tennessee. All aboard!
Miss Washington. Founded her own non-profit organization at the age 11, authored a children’s book, and set a local record for most spins in a dress without getting dizzy.
Miss North Carolina. U.S. Senator Kate Hagan: “Vote for Miss North Carolina, she has the most beautiful voice.”
Miss North Dakota. Choosing a talent for the pageant is easy when you’re a professional musician.
Miss West Virginia. If it takes place outdoors, she can do it.
Miss Montana. As the only autistic contestant in the field, Miss Montana is literally living her platform.
Miss Nebraska. An adopted child, she has over 250 rubber duckies. This girl takes a lot of baths.
Miss New Hampshire. Cancer survivor, mountain climber, impromptu dance choreographer.
Miss New Mexico. A survivor of teen dating abuse, this Houston Texans cheerleader put on her first dress at age 11.
Miss Ohio. She was once a victim of cyber bullying but now crusades to stop the abuse. After the pageant, she plans to eat chocolate and go to Disney World.
Miss Puerto Rico. Refused to let chronic eye disease keep her eyes off the prize.
The Virgin Islands. Turned low self-esteem into high aspirations.
THE FAMILY ORIENTED
Miss Connecticut. Most of her 13 cousins live within a mile. I’m surprised her platform isn’t “How To Save Gas For Family Reunions.”
Miss Hawaii. She’s a volleyball jock, and will “forever be” a volleyball jock. Vote for her because she’s just like you. Except for the fact you can’t jump and she can.
Miss New Jersey. Able to imitate a seagull, make a balloon dog, and name all 50 states in alphabetical order, Miss New Jersey has no trouble getting her own booth at the state fair.
Miss New York. Sometimes it pays to have a big family.
Miss Pennsylvania. Every Thanksgiving, her family is thankful she didn’t cook.
Miss South Carolina. What do you mean she can’t choose water skiing as her talent?
Miss Wisconsin. Her nieces and nephews like the back of Kate’s cupboard, where she keeps the goodies.
“JUST A SMALL TOWN GIRL”
Miss Arizona. Who is Miss America? No seriously, she would like to know. No internet access where she lives.
Miss Delaware. Grew up in the heart of “slower lower Delaware . . . home to more chickens than people.”
Miss Iowa. Is that hairspray or insect repellant?
Miss Idaho. How do you eat a giant potato? One delicious bite at a time. Would someone pass the butter & sour cream, please?
Miss Maine. Apparently the love of the potato extends beyond Idaho.
Miss Mississippi. Nothing wrong with being proud of where your from. Even if you’re from Mississippi.
Miss Nevada. Something tells me a large group of horse owners will be seeking her services in the near future.
Miss Wyoming. Can you tell she teaches history & PE at the local high school?