There is nothing quite like a local pageant. The one I went to tonight was no exception. I brought my own scoring sheet, and my picks were exactly the same as the judges. There were four components to the pageant—swimwear aka fitness and lifestyle, onstage interview, talent, and formal wear. I was surprised to see that there were only seven contestants, but it did make the night go faster.
Was a law passed that all pageants must open with The Black-Eyed Peas? If I never have to hear "Tonight's Going To Be A Good Night" again it will be too soon. The dance wasn't too complicated, which was probably a good thing because only a couple of the girls were dancers. The emcee was not so great. Okay, he was pretty bad. He could sing though, and he did a Beatles medly while the contestants changed outfits. I enjoyed the medly, which was a pleasant surprise after listening to this yahoo all night, although I thought including "Come Together" was an interesting choice for a pageant. I mean, it's a drug song, and the lyrics only make sense when you're high. "Hey Jude, fine. "Can't Buy Me Love", fine. But with all of the choices of Beatles songs, "Come Together?" Why not "Mean Mr. Mustard ," or "Polythene Pam?" I'm just saying. Or "Rocky Raccoon?" That seems like a nice crowd pleasing song. Just throw a dart at the White Album and there you go. But I digress.
First up was fitness and lifestyle competition, which is pretty much the chicks in heels and swimsuits competition. If you can walk across a stage in front of hundreds of people in beach attire, you have to be pretty confident. Or maybe you lost a bet. Either way, better them than me. As it was a small Utah town pageant, it was no surprise that all the girls wore fairly modest one-piece swimsuits, which is refreshing, especially when you realize some of these girls are only 16 or 17. Two of the girls seemed very sure of themselves during this part, and really worked the stage. The other five, however, didn't seem like they were really that comfortable with it. And I don't blame them.
Next up was the onstage question section. This was definitely the worst part of the night. In fact, this may have been the worst onstage question segment I have ever seen. The questions were mundane at best. Questions like "what is the difference between a violin and a fiddle?" Why not just ask things like "what's your favorite color?" "Do you like fruit?" "Is it important to eat breakfast?" Where are the questions about current events or controversial subjects? The girls seemed like they already knew what the questions were going to be, because the answers were pretty canned. And none of the answers were very great either.
The talent competition is what makes or breaks a girls chance to win a pageant. Playing the piano is safe, if you have practiced enough to do it flawlessly. The first piano solo was okay, but there were quite a few mistakes. The last piano solo wasn't much better. But at least no one played "Whitewater Chopsticks." I'm getting tired of that. If you can dance, dancing is okay. The first contestant to perform did a dance/cheer which she did pretty well. Her costume choice was terrible. I think a clown from the 80's called and wants their outfit back. Another contestant played the guitar and sang a song she wrote herself. The song wasn't terrible, but it wasn't that great either. Kind of dull. But she gets points for writing a song, singing the song, and playing the song. It's refreshing to see a guitar onstage, but I would have enjoyed it more if she had played "Smoke on the Water" or something that shows off guitar skill.
Three girls, including the guitarist, sang. The second girl to sing was absolutely terrible. She said she studied something called vocal toning, which is based on the premise that anyone can sing with the right training. Um, no. No they can't. I'm not sure if she was even near the right key, and I cringed with embarrassment for her. Someone, probably not her vocal coach, needs to take her aside and gently explain to her that music is not her calling, and she might be better off taking up another skill. Otherwise she's going to try out for American Idol and got mocked in front of the whole country, not just most of the city.
The third girl to sing did a really great job. She had one or two notes that didn't quite work, but I thought she did the best out of the talent choices. I think the judges did to as she ended up winning the title.
The most disappointing talent was the girl who played the fiddle. I was expecting more from someone who chose "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." If you're going to play Charlie Daniels, you'd better have the chops to do it. Alas, she didn't. Although I think everyone was mesmerized with the fringe on her costume that flipped around when she moved. I know it distracted me. A friend of mine wasn't distracted, and she informed me how bad the performance really was.
My favorite part of a pageant is the formal wear competition, where the girls wear fancy dresses and walk around the stage. Words fail me to describe the hideousness of the first dress. It was strapless with a sweetheart neckline, black and somewhat sparkly, but the bottom of the dress was confusing. I'm not sure if it was the fabric, or if the dress was really just strips of fabric across the thighs, and it was supposed to look like you could see through it. At the very least it was too mature for her age.
I was disappointed with most of the dresses. This is a beauty pageant for crying out loud! This is not an occasion to recycle a prom dress. You need something big and fancy and sparkly and sequined, with ridiculously high heels and big fancy hair and too much makeup. This is not an occasion for ponytails. Out of all the contestants, only one had a dress that I thought was pageanty enough. Yes, I know pageanty is not a word. I just made it up. It was all sequins and sparkles, all one color, which was some sort of teal shade I believe. Thanks to my rose colored glasses I'm not always sure what color things are. I didn't really like her dress, but it was more of what I wanted to see. The last girl to walk across the stage was wearing a dress that was a color I don't think I've ever seen before. Was it marigold or mustard? Was it a brown? It was ugly, whatever it was.
I'm going to another small town (an even smaller town) pageant next week. I think it will be more entertaining than this one. I hope so. As a beauty pageant junkie, I'd hate to have to give up watching pageants because they lost their entertainment value. My favorite part is breaking down the pageant afterwards, regardless of if the comments are positive or snarky.