Claire Live-Blogs Miss America 2013!

GUESS WHAT TIME OF YEAR IT IS, EVERYONE!  It’s the time of year where Claire gets distracted and loses track of time during a marathon of In Treatment starring her celebrity husband Gabriel Byrne and forgets she set a DVR recording for the Miss America Pageant so she’s watching it on an hour-and-a-half time delay, West Coast time, which means all of you know things she does not yet know about talent portions and gown drama and terrible speeches, but which she is VERY excited to find out for herself.


Oh sweet Lord.  We open on a beach.  Full of seagulls.  GUYS, SEAGULLS ARE THE LEAST COOL BIRD.  Why is Miss America kicking it with seagulls?  Also, why are they doing this again after they just had a pageant in January?  Is Miss America pissed that every other queen in history gets to be queen for a year and she only gets like nine months?  Okay, but this Sinatra montage is delighting me.  I kind of love old-timey pageant ladies.

HOSTED BY CHRIS HARRISON.  UGH.  Because when I think “Scholarship competition,” I think, “Guy who hosts ‘The Bachelor.'”


Someone’s name is “Chandler Champion.”  Hashtag dying.

Miss Arkansas looks like a local news anchor.

Miss Connecticut just called herself a ginger so obviously I love her.

GUYS.  This is just . . . the worst pier dancing.


AAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Miss DC is amazing.  Everyone’s all like, “From the home of [INSERT NAME OF LANDMARK AND MILDLY AMUSING QUIP ABOUT ITS HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE], I’m Miss [NAME OF STATE]!”   Whereas Bindhu Parmathi opened with, “Listening in on your phone calls from Washington D.C., I’m Miss District of Columbia!”  She has my vote, for both Miss America and Congress.


Miss Illinois, granted I don’t know much about athletics, but I am surprised you went with “Home of the Chicago Blackhawks” as the sports team you chose to name-check.

Miss Iowa, you are legitimately wearing a striped circus tent as a mini-dress.  That color combo is not acceptable.

“From the home of Duck Dynasty” is now a thing, everyone.

OH MY GOD, THIS DANCING.  I just cannot get over how terrible it is.

I love how they’re all at different locations of historical significance, like the pier, and this batch got stuck at a sub shop.  This is hilarious to me.

And Miss Massachusetts just set feminism back about sixty years by saying her favorite sport is talking on the telephone.

Miss Mississippi is wearing what looks like all the shards of a broken six-foot-high mirror as a necklace.  It is A LOT OF LOOK.

Lara Spencer just walked down the auditorium aisle past a woman rocking a FIERCE black-hair-with-two-perfect-streaks-of-white look that I DESPERATELY covet.

“From the state with the lowest unemployment, I’m looking for a job tonight.  I’m Miss North Dakota!”  Funny or sad?  Sad or funny?  I genuinely cannot tell.

Miss Oregon seems kind of meh.  I’m disappointed.

Jesse on Miss Washington: “Yeah, she looks like she’s from Washington.”

Oh good, they let Miss America come in away from the seagulls.  P.S. they were trying to prod her into crying and being super emotional about the end of her reign, and she was literally like, “Dudes, there’s coffee and doughnuts backstage and I’m just going to hang out and tweet, I’M GOOD.”  I like you, Mallory.


Miss Kansas – blonde Army mechanic who I’m pretty sure is gonna win – she was the America’s Top Choice.

OMG THEY ARE USING A MIKA SONG I AM DYING!  Mika is mainstream enough for the Miss America telecast?  Holy shitballs.  We are through the looking glass here, people.

“How does it feel to be adored by America?”  OBJECTION!  COUNSEL IS LEADING THE WITNESS!

Um, I actually DON’T think serving in the military is like serving as Miss America, Kansas.

LANCE BASS!  MARIO CANTONE!  Some random Miss America from the past!  Some lady from a show I don’t know!  CARLA HALL!  JOSHUA BELL!  A STOUDAMIRE!  Holy crap, you guys.

Oh, God, awkward small talk with the nervous accountant.

Yay, first non-Caucasian semifinalist!  Go Miss California!

Yay, second non-Caucasian!  Miss New York!

Miss Oklahoma – beige.

Miss Connecticut delivering a PSA for freckled gingers.

Miss Georgia looks like a Real Housewife in training.

Miss Mississippi – another big-haired blonde talking about dreams.

Miss Texas – yay, another person of color!

Miss Arkansas – another beige blonde

Miss Missouri – meh

Miss Kentucky had me at “stage combat classes,” although her fans could not spell their own state.

Miss Maryland – another generic blonde

Miss “Myrrhanda” Florida says random crap about feminism, but she IS wearing a sparkly leg brace due to a rehearsal injury, so I give her a pass because she’s in pain.

Lara Spencer is in another dress after commercial break.

Paula Mae from Wisconsin should win based on name alone.

Miss Minnesota is the final one.

Lara Spencer’s “selfie cam” showing us the view from stage makes the room look way, way less impressive.

Now some lady is pestering the parents of the semifinalists.  “What do you think her chances are?”  Uh, it’s her MOM, what do you THINK she’s gonna say?

Wait, there are floats shaped like shoes, WHAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW?  Why are they all flashing their craziest shoes from the back of vintage cars in the middle of a parade?  WTF??

Back from break and time for swimwear!  YAYYY LET’S OBJECTIFY SOME LADY BODIES.  “Did you have time for some crunches backstage?”  “Nope, I had time for hairspray and butt glue, and that’s it.”

The jokes the male host makes about the swimsuit competition are just horrendo.

Ooh, Miss Kansas has a whole torso full of visible ink.

Miss New York – zebra print bikini.  NICE.

Ooh, smart.  They put the redhead in a very flattering green.

Some of these girls are just ORANGE.  Their torsos and faces are like from different people.

Miss Florida in the leg brace is kind of our favorite.  P.S. yes, I have absolutely sucked my roommate into this.



And now they cut three women for not looking good enough in their bikinis, thus giving them body image issues for the rest of their lives.  Sassy Ginger, Zebra Bikini and Leg Brace are in it, so I’m happy.

Guys, there is a slightly-less-deplorable-than-usual ratio of white girls to nonwhite girls in this batch of finalists.  Hashtag progress?

“What’s the first thing you’re going to do when you get back to the hotel?” Lara Spencer asks the eliminated Miss Virgin Islands.  “Eat some Kentucky Fried Chicken.”

EVENINGWEAR!  Let’s have some gown trainwrecks!

Miss Maryland is wearing a wedding gown.  A very pretty, chaste, sparkly, fishtailed wedding dress.

Sheer overlay maxi skirt on Sassy Ginger.  ICK.

Myrrhanda is wearing a Whore Mother of the Bride dress, we’ve decided.  Matronly and tacky at the same time.  I can see it on Kris Jenner.

Miss Oklahoma is wearing a cute black-beaded white gown that I loved until I realized just how much innerboob I was seeing.  Also, Miss New York described her dress as a sexy version of Belle’s gown from “Beauty and the Beast,” which I love.

Paula Mae can hardly walk in her skintight/mermaid hem thing.  Poor baby.  It’s the worst style to walk in.  Your legs can hardly move, but also you could trip over your giant train at any moment.

Miss Texas is rocking a gorgeous Art Deco beaded skirt that I am seriously loving.

Miss California is wearing a Business In the Front, Plunging Neckline In the Back mullet gown.



Miss Minnesota is encrusted in torso beading, but is rocking that purple.

Lara Spencer’s #3 dress, navy blue with cap sleeves and a shitload of glitter, is maybe my fave on her.  And way better than 100% of the gowns we just saw.


I love-slash-hate that they make everyone get ready for their talent and then are like “just kidding, two of you don’t get to play.”

Oklahoma in a polka dot ballgown doing a credible show tune.  OOOH, POP UP FACTS!  She rides horses bareback!  And she can actually sing decently.  This is a hard song.  Guys, I kind of love her.

Miss New York hilariously just missed her cue and another girl thought it was her turn and had to be dragged back.  But she’s doing Bollywood dance!  Go girl.  JESSE: “This looks like a terrorist dance to most of America.  She’s not gonna win.”  Oohh, she’s like a pro Bollywood dancer who trained under some big-time Bollywood guy.  We are pretty impressed.

Miss Kansas: “My talent was going to be archery, but I’m singing by default because there’s a clause against projectile objects in here.”  And she has a tattoo of the “Serenity Prayer.”  And she’s singing “Nessun Dorma.”  It’s . . . screechy.  Oh God, she learned it by watching YouTube, according to Pop Up Facts.  And she just WHIFFED her final high note.  Dammit, why couldn’t it have been archery?

OH MY GOD SWAN LAKE IN THE HOUSE!  Miss California!  “Performing a classical ballet on pointe to ‘The Swan'” – guys, is that different from Swan Lake?  Is this like an off-brand Swan Lake?  She’s fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese, got a BA and MA from Stanford in 4 years, and her pointe work looks okay to me, though I always wish I had a ballet dancer with me when I watch these things.

Miss Connecticut is our Irish step dancer of the day!  “Chin up, boobs up, and ROCK IT!”  We love you, Sassy Ginger.  “Secretly wishes to be in the FBI.”  I LOVE HER.

Miss Georgia is singing “On My Own” from Les Miz in an illusion net skirt, REALLY BADLY, and dedicating it to every guy who’s ever broken up with her.  “Her feet are two different sizes.” I don’t think the Pop Up Facts guys like her.  “Her dog has met the President.”  I have so many questions.  What could that possibly mean?


Miss Texas looks like Zoe from Firefly and is singing “Fever.”  “Cannot live without coffee.”  “Loves movies from the 40s-60s.”  Her voice is merely meh, but she’s selling this song.  I kind of love her.

Mario Cantone, I wanted you to be more catty, and instead you’re just gushing over the pretty girls.  NOTHING?  Not one bitchy quip about Les Miz?  Then why does this judging panel even HAVE a theatre queen?

Miss Minnesota is a classically-trained violinist, and I grant you I know very little about the violin, but the SECOND she started Jesse and I both winced.  Sooooo, we’re thinking out-of-tune.  AND ANOTHER FUCKING PEPLUM.  “Always fifteen minutes early” is her fact.  Oh, and she’s still afraid of the “Snow White” witch, but that’s legit.

Miss Maryland – ANOTHER FUCKING SHOW TUNE.  Don’t ruin “For Good,” I actually like this song.  Her pink dress is cute.  “Wants to ride elephants in Thailand.”  She’s out of sync with her backing track but her voice is nice.  I’m not mad at it.

And the final finalist is – LEG BRACE!  YAYYYYYYYYYY!   She did a totally genuine fist-pump.  Her pageant smile is cray, but her baton routine is legitimately impressive.  She is legtimately contact-juggling that baton.  “Performed in the London Olympics.”  HOLY FUCK SHE IS JUGGLE-TWIRLING THREE BATONS.  MIND = BLOWN.

Sassy Ginger, Bollywood and Leg Brace are our top three picks.  Go go gadget Q&A!

Mario Cantone asks Oklahoma about Miley and twerking.  She started with a terrible joke, “not super tasteful, but she’s a performer and I have to respect her creativity.”   FAIL.

Minnesota rocking giant red paillettes.  Lance Bass asks about political wives standing by their cheating men: “doing right by standing by their man no matter what they did.”  FAIL.

Joshua Bell asks Miss California about Syria: we have an ethical obligation to stop chemical weapons but working WITH Congress and the UN.  PASS.

Carla asks Miss New York about Julie Chen’s eye surgery to appear less Asian – “I don’t agree with plastic surgery”, “the girl next door is evolving as America evolves,” “be confident in who you are.”  PASS.

LEG BRACE IS IN!  Random last judge asking her about the 50th anniversary of MLK’s Dream speech – ran out of time, rambled about jobs and being blue-collar but made no real points.  FAIL.  Dammit Florida, I was rooting for you!

CHRIS HARRISON: “It’s a timed answer!  Don’t make ME the bad guy!”  HAHAHA.

GUYS!  It’s Game Time!  I can’t believe I got Jesse to watch this whole thing.

OMG, outgoing Miss America seems RAD.  She works on behalf of sexually abused children and her mom has huge, fabulous, sassy gray hair, and she seems hilarious and awesome.


4th Runner Up – Minnesota!

3rd – LEG BRACE!

2nd – Oklahoma!


New York and California are having a legit BFF moment over there and I really want them to be best friends in real life.  Awww, they’re like “we’re making history here as two Asian-Americans and we’re really proud.”  LOVES.

WINNER – MISS NEW YORK!  Bollywood/Belle dress/”boo plastic surgery.”  I fully support this decision.  Yay!

AHAHAHAHA she is full on pageant crying, mascara and all.  Congratulations, Nina Davaluri!  AWWWW, HER MOMMY IS CRYING!


3 thoughts on “Claire Live-Blogs Miss America 2013!

  1. The music “The Swan” (if it’s what I think they are talking about) is from Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saëns. In the ballet world it’s the music for the variation “The Dying Swan”. Footage has not yet reached youtube.

  2. Claire,
    I am absolutley stunned and saddened after reading your story. Thanks so much for sharing it, and you are a great writer. I am sending it on to Megan to read as well. She is at St. Louis University, a wonderful Jesuit midwest school.

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