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Friday, April 11, 2008

and the 2008 Miss USA title goes to.... Miss Texas, Crystle Stewart!!!

My voice is still sore from screaming the moment Donny and Marie Osmand announced that Crystle Stewart, the stunning african-american beauty from Texas, was our next Miss USA!!! It took her five attempts to win her state title, but I knew, after she won the state crown that she was our next national queen. She is also the second Black woman to capture the crown. Susie Castillo, who ironically also went on to be Miss USA, was the first. Crystle may not have been the most statuesque woman on the stage tonight, but her poise, southern charm, eloquence, and radiant smile were unmatched. She was an early crowd favorite which sometimes can be the kiss of death (sorry Miss Massachussettss) so I am absolutely thrilled that she took the crown. Her accomplishment is a testament to will power, commitment, and shear determination. Crystle, you go girl!!! This fly funky diva is your biggest fan!!!

Crystal is 26 year old business owner and part time model. She will travel the nation promoting her platform of ovarian and breast cancer awareness and will vie for the title of Miss Universe in Vietnam on July 13, 2008.

On to my review of the 2008 Miss USA pageant. The show opened, live from Las Vegas and I was a bit dissapointed. The delegates looked amazing in their SCALA by Sherri Hill designs (she is the Donna Karen of the pageant world) and they were impeccably styled and made up, but where was the showmanship? 4 eight counts does not equal a production number and the stage looked like it was inspired by the gaudy set of Deal or No Deal. I am so sick of pageant producers trying to reduce pageantry to a shell of its former self in their attempt to reel mass viewing audiences back to the time honored tradition. Pageants are about feminity, poise, grace, glamour, and eloquence. All the pomp, pizazz, fluff and cheesiness.... well that's apart of the pageant tradition. You can't take that away! At the end of the day we want a woman who is an dynamic spokesmodel, not just a model. Instead, producers want to make it about sex appeal and incorporate elements of reality tv because they think that's what the American public wants. Well, perhaps viewing the Miss USA and Miss America pageants are no longer as significant a tradition in this country as they were two decades or go, or as pageants are in say Venezuela. But hey, I say change the people, not the pageant. If our media was not so obsessed with the sexy, explicit, and scandalous, the pageant wouldnt have to feel as if they were too "clean cut" to survive in the new millenium. I think there's a reason why Trump allowed Tara to stay on as Miss USA even though she was addicted to cocaine and an underage alcoholic but was ready to fire Miss Universe 1996 Alicia Machado when she gained a bit of weight. :rolling my eyes: Ahh well, what can you do?

Next, 51 became 15 and I had a good idea already from the contestants preliminary performance and their photo shoots (yes..... some of the contestants are put in the top 15 purely because the organization likes their look). To no suprise was Massachussets, Arkansas, Rhode Island, Missouri, South Carolina, Tenessee, Indiana and my early favorite Texas. I had marked Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Minnesota down as strong maybes. Now, my mouth hit the floor when they called the last three, three choices from the gutter! Florida, California, and Utah had no place in the top 15. California was a political choice because of the scandal surrounding her crowning. The Miss Florida USA organization is a pageant powerhouse and I think that Miss Florida got in to the Top 15 on the strength of that, defintely not because of her looks or presentation. And as for Utah... your guess is as good as mine. It's a shame because I think there were woman who were much more deserving of those spots such as Miss Alabama, Miss Arizona, and Miss Maryland.

The swim suit competition was to the back drop of Finger 11, a band that despite apparent succedss, I had never heard of at all. The contestants came out in black bikini's, wrapped in faux fur. This was nice for dramatic affect, but fur is difficult to model with as it is heavy and awkward. Bring back the chiffon! I was impressed by Massachussets presentation. She had a great walk and a model's dimensions, however honestly I was not feeling her. There was something about her energy that rubbed me the wrong way. I also noticed Oklahoma and New Jersey in this portion and realized that they'd be strong contenders for the crown. It was probably more difficult for Miss Texas to shine in this portion as was shorter than most of the ladies, but she really did. She had wonderful expression, a great walk, and just a 'spunk' that really translated well on stage.

Miss Massachussetts 2008

Next, Massachussets, Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Missisippi, Tenessee, Texas, Indiana and Florida were announced as the Top Ten. Again, still shocked that Florida creeped into that spot. Evening gown is my favorite part of competition and the look of the evening was certainly diaphanous. Several delegates, including the winner, modeled gowns that were enticingly shear. One of my favorites was Miss Missouri's. She modeled a beatiful gown made of dramatically beaded, shear fabric. It was radiant under the stage lights and I loved how she was mostly covered but still very alluring. Oklahoma also had a great gown, reminiscent of the red Sherri Hill creation that Rachel won in last year, but her walk was a tad stiff. In fact, she was a tad stiff. Nevertheless, the judges scored her generously (9.3). Tenesssee took herself out of the competition with a poor dress choice. It just did not stand out amidst the other dresses and didn't do much for her. And of course my favorite was Texas' outstanding gown. It was champagne colored, heavily beaded at the top of the snug bodice, and it flowed into a shear bottom. It was perfect against her complexion and very flattering to her petite frame. She also walked with incredible elegance. This was her stand out portion.

Miss Oklahoma USA 2008

Out of the Top Five, I guessed four correctly; Texas, Oklahoma, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. I was a bit shocked that Missisippi made it into the Top Five. I thought it would be Massachussets instead. I figured that the competition was betweeen Texas and Oklahoma at that point and it probably was until Q&A. Oklahoma's response was lack luster but unfortunately for her, so was Christian Siriano's question. "If you had the power to help a celebrity, who would you help and how?" Her answer, of course, was Britney Spears. I won't even go there. Crystle's response was rather concise, but her confidence in answering it was incredible. She's a natural. Tiffany Andrade of New Jersey also answered very well but despite her hailing from my home state, I simply did not want to see her win.

Before the crowning, there were a few dissapointments. First of all, can we get over Miss Teen South Carolina USA. She has become a star because she basically had the perfect "dumb blonde" moment on national tv. I mean, the camera did not cut to the current Miss Universe or Miss Teen USA, but it spot lighted her. Ladies and gentlemen, what is wrong with this picture??? I'm so sick of Donald. What also caused me roll my eyes and sigh in disenchantment is the gown that Rachel chose for her final walk. While the brilliant mango color was gorgeous, it did absolutely nothing for her. If I was Miss USA and this was my final walk and I had her body, my dress was have been to die for!!! Her first dress of the night also looked a hot patchwork mess. But to her defense, she usually dresses very well.

Cut to the crowning of Miss Texas, Crystle Stewart, and all was well. She is beautiful, charming, elegant, and seems to have a great spirit about her. She will be a legendary Miss USA and I think that she has a spectacular shot at the Miss Universe crown. At the end of the day we must acknowledge that pageants are more than looks (though in the Miss Universe organization looks are ALOT). Pageants are won with charisma and tedious preparation. The crown is often gained by the woman with that unmistakable je ne sais quois and often times this is an inner beauty that is so sensational, it shines outwardly.

Congratulations Crystle!!! You go girl!!!!

Flyness and Funk(-y $200,000 Mikimoto pearl and diamond crowns),


1 comment:

Ananda said...

this is great news.