Miss America is a big deal in my family, my immediate family. As kids Maggie and I were hooked. We didn’t just watch Miss America live on TV, we recorded Miss America. We watched certain years in the ‘90s over and over again. I have vivid memories of the one contestant that sang “I Fall to Pieces” and sounded so much like the original singer that the audience burst into applause immediately. Another contestant sang “Think of Me” from Phantom of the Opera and I think she had on this giant dress. I remember how odd it was to watch her mouth twitch on the long notes and the way she moved her head from side to side. There were all the impressive piano players and dancers. There were also the random talents that were weird and we would hit fast forward instead of watching. We loved the dresses too of course, but the talents really stand out to me.
These are the Miss Americas of my childhood (and there’s a link to each if you’re interested in finding out just a small bit more on each lady). We definitely recorded 1993-1995 (the first three) and while I think the last three were in our collection too, I might just remember their faces from TV.
We’ve always tried to guess who the next Miss America would be during the compeition. At some point in high school, Maggie decided we needed ballots to keep track of our picks and better decide the winnner. For anyone unfamiliar, Miss America contestants are gradually removed from the running. The exact process changes from time to time but the idea is the same. Quick introductions at the start of the show followed by the reveal of the top 15 (or so, this is where it tends to change). There’s a compeition of some kind (gowns, talent, or swim suits) and the remaining constestants drop again, and the process continues. Maggie’s ballots have a space for you to write your picks for each round and then a space to record the actual picks.
(Imagine this as a tri-fold.)
We have just one rule: you have to pick the ladies from every state you’ve ever lived in the first round. So I am required each year to put Miss New York, Miss Delaware, Miss Maryland, and Miss Virginia in my first round picks. Sean is required to pick Miss Missouri, Miss District of Columbia, Miss New York, and Miss Virginia. Yes, that’s right. This is not just for the women in my family, this is for everyone. My dad is probably the best at this than all of us. We don’t keep track from year to year, but if we did I think he’d have the most correct guesses.
This is a long introduction to tell you that this past Sunday was the 2013 Miss America pageant!! The pagaent itself is entertaining for a variety of reasons, but the real reason I love Miss America is because this little tradition has survived for so long in my family. We’ve been watching with ballots for more than 10 years and have kept it alive despite the fact that we’re no longer watching in the same living room all together. We are just as excited about Miss America now as we were when Maggie first introduced the ballot! So excited that we started texting about this last Thursday! This year was a little different with my parents living on the West Coast. They weren’t able to watch at the same time as us. So I texted with Maggie and one of my cousins about our top picks during the show and debreifed about it with my parents yesterday morning.
Unfortunately we couldn’t print Maggie’s pretty ballots, so we used regular paper. Everyone has their own method for keeping track of who they like best and who they think will move on to the next round.
Miss New York won! Honestly she wasn’t on our radars. Miss New York won last year and we were kind of hoping someone else would take the crown. But! This year’s winner is a Sigma Kappa, which makes me happy! And there’s always next year to break the Miss New York streak!