Tuesday, April 12, 2005

There she is, Miss...no, wait — that's the other one

I know you were waiting with bated breath for this news: Miss North Carolina is your new Miss USA.

Glad that's over. The suspense was murder.

Does anyone still watch beauty pageants, or care who wins them? I'd have thought that a decade of weekly Baywatch would pretty much have obviated the need for these events. Apparently, I was mistaken.

But seriously — do you have any idea who the outgoing Miss USA was? (As it happens, it was Shandi Finnessey, of the Missouri Finnesseys. Now we all know.) In fact, I'd be hard pressed to come up more than a couple of names of people who've been Miss USA.
  • I vaguely recall Miss USA 1975, Summer Bartholomew, perhaps only because one doesn't often encounter a person named after both a season and an apostle.
  • Shawn Weatherly, Miss USA 1980, dated former San Francisco 49ers star receiver Dwight Clark, and pulled a hitch on the aforementioned Baywatch.
  • And of course, Miss USA 1985, Laura Martinez-Herring, became minimally famous as the B-list actress Laura Harring — fondly remembered for her starring turn in the runaway blockbuster (or maybe it was just a film that caused patrons to run away from Blockbuster) The Forbidden Dance, based on that lambada craze that lasted about three weeks in the summer of 1990.
After those three, I've got nothing.

Miss USA has always suffered, I think, from public perception that it's sort of a trailer-park version of the Miss America pageant. No talent necessary — we'll cut right to the skin. Evening gowns with cleavage down to the navel, and honest-to-Phoebe Cates bikinis — none of those boring one-piece jobs favored by that other outfit.

The mental acuity of the Miss USA contestant pool can be assessed in light of the following quote from tonight's winner, Chelsea Cooley. Asked to which celebrity she considers herself most similar in personality, future Nobel laureate Chelsea replied:
“I guess it would be Oprah. She has a passion for life. She loves what she does, and she works so hard to try to achieve everything in her life...I try to emulate myself after that.”
I believe what Miss USA means to say is that she tries to emulate Oprah, not herself. Emulating oneself is...well...redundant.

As winner of the Miss USA crown (which one hopes will not overtax a head unaccustomed to anything heavier than hydrogen), Cooley will go on to compete for the oddly-named Miss Universe title (odd, in that contestants from other celestial bodies rarely if ever enter the pageant) next month in Thailand. We wish her well.

Even though by the time of that event, we will already have forgotten her name.

6 insisted on sticking two cents in:

Blogger Janet offered these pearls of wisdom...

Miss USA always bothers me bc for some reason, all the girls always look 10 to 15 years older than they actually are. Sure they keep themselves in good shape and have talents normal people wouldnt aspire to, but there's just something a little off about a 23 year old coming off as a 35 year old mother of 2.

2:38 PM  
Blogger Joel offered these pearls of wisdom...

There's a Miss USA contest? I think I stopped watching when any such stuff when I hit adolescence.

3:37 PM  
Blogger Lynda offered these pearls of wisdom...

Okay, I admit it, I watched. My sister and I have ALWAYS watched pageants... there's a lot of critiquing going on via the phone between us.

Miss USA is one bizarre pageant and I have to agree with Janet, they DO all look older. And, we didn't see a one who had had plastic surgery (not!).

8:51 PM  
Blogger SwanShadow offered these pearls of wisdom...

Okay, now that I know that you watch pageants, Janet and Lynda, can you explain what the attraction is? I mean, I'm a man, and I appreciate beautiful women as much as anyone, but the whole pageant thing just seems freakish to me.

Help me understand, please.

8:57 PM  
Blogger frinklin offered these pearls of wisdom...

I have no use for pageants, but I do have to wonder why you chose to remember Laura Harring from The Forbidden Dance instead of Laura Harring from Mullholland Drive

5:58 PM  
Blogger SwanShadow offered these pearls of wisdom...

Simple, Frinklin. I wrote DVD Verdict's review of The Forbidden Dance (see the link in the post above). Blatant self-promotion, nothing more. ;^)

6:05 PM  

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