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January 26th, 2009

There She Is

I spent Saturday night at my parents’ house, watching the 2009 Miss America Pageant. It’s a tradition my mom and I try to keep alive each year. It’s not that we’re obsessed with pageants. Tiaras and ballgowns don’t make us all googly-eyed. We don’t particularly enjoy the parade of bronzed bodies in bikinis and heels. No, the reason my mom and I watch is for the talent portion of the evening. If you’ve never seen a shellacked, glistening twenty-two-year-old pound out a Chopin nocturne on a Yamaha, well, you just aren’t whole.

But this year, the assortment of talent was rather disappointing. When the most interesting act is a tap dance to Fever, things are pretty bleak. (No offense, Miss Iowa- I respect your moxie.) Can’t someone pick up a banjo? What about bird calls? Or the lost art of the Geisha? These are all respectable talents, and yet they’ve been pushed aside in favor of robotic ballet and singing that could easily be confused with yelling.

BUT- the talent competition was redeemed by the addition of “pop up” factoids about each of the performers. As we watched each woman writhe or belt, we were treated to interesting tidbits displayed briefly on the screen. Somehow, though, the information we received seemed out of place. Luckily, my dad had his camera. (Yes! Father Cole watched Miss America- and enjoyed himself, dammit.) Each time a piece of out of place data came up, we paused the show and took a photo.

Here is the first. It’s Miss Indiana (Spoiler Alert: She won the crown) singing what I believe was called Via De La Rosa.

Surprise! She shows dairy cattle at her county fair! Which is amusing. But not as amusing as the next contestant, Miss California. And guess what?

She has performed at a Raiders halftime show! In her tutu? Do you think she got hit with any flying beer cans? Discuss.

And finally, nothing is more disconcerting than this:

Uh huh. Miss New York has sung at a PRISON before. A moment of silence for her mental innocence, please.

What were they thinking with these? My mom calls them “Miss America Trading Cards.” I’m glad she came up with something to call them, because I couldn’t.

4 comments to There She Is

  • Jeffrey Lemkin

    This should happen to us all in real life. Walking down the street – “just considered eating a bagel and rejected it”. Biking to work, “Hates meetings but accepts the challenge.”

    The cool thing about your Dad is that he finds ways to enjoy stuff. I totally admire that and strive to emulate. I’m convinced it’s the secret to a full and honorable life.

  • Lynda

    Aw dang it! I haven’t watched a Miss America pageant since I was a young and impressionable child. Look at what I MISSED?? Didn’t any of these people watch ‘Miss Congeniality’?? Gotta have some respect…and awe…for Gracie Hart’s talent in THAT one! Sheesh.

  • Dad

    County fairs, Raiders games and prisons. I’m envisioning a whole lot of members of the positive tattoo-to-tooth ratio set. What ever happened to the Miss America Pageant of the Burt Parks era, when the contestants hob-nobbed with people that looked like Wally Cleaver??

  • Shawnc

    I mean, who hasn’t performed at a prison nowadays.

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