It’s the most wonderful time of the year, people. Football season? No. No. MISS AMERICA SEASON.
Oh man oh man oh man. I'm so excited.
For like seven straight years, I did a contestant rundown (RIP to that tradition which ended when they stopped making those delightful introduction videos). This year, there is all KINDS of buzz surrounding the pageant. So, for your perusing pleasure, here are a few things you should be paying attention to or reading about before The Pag this year. Because this year in particular has been full of twists and turns, including (gasp) the elimination of the swimsuit category. I can't. But I'll press on for the sake of the cause.
1. Sam Haskell out...
The first of Miss America's huge culture changes began late last year, when Sam Haskell, CEO, got caught sending a bunch of nasty e-mails about a former Miss America, Mallory Hagan. You can read more about that here. Haskell's ousting was the catalyst for the most radical year of change in the franchise since...well, maybe ever.
2. ...and Gretchen Carlson in.
In an interesting move, the board appointed Carlson, a former Miss America herself, as the new CEO of the organization. But not without major controversy surrounding her in the last few months. We'll get to that in a sec.
3. Swimsuit gets the axe.
This one is a doozie and has people ALL KINDS OF WORKED UP. Including your girl. Miss America eliminated this part of competition, they claim, because they want to "modernize" and stop "perpetuating the objectification of women." Y'all. I just can't with this. Swimsuit was a huge part of the pageant and these girls worked SO HARD to make sure they looked great in a bikini, only to have that part of the contest stripped (no pun intended) away. I also have a bit of an issue with the fact that Gretchen Carlson, fresh off her #metoo moment at Fox News, was responsible for it. Like, what if that's a girl's best category?! I mean, I get it, I don't want people to feel objectified either. But come ahhhnnnnn it's tradition and clearly these girls don't feel objectified or they wouldn't be doing it!
Anyway. They've been replacing swimsuit with an extra on-stage question at preliminaries.
4. Gretchen Carlson and Cara Mund do not get along.
In what might be the most interesting and controversial piece of this whole pretty dang controversial puzzle, current Miss America Cara Mund came out recently with allegations against Carlson claiming that she's been bullied and silenced over the last year of her reign in order to advance the "Gretchen Carlson agenda." Read more about it here. It's quite a doozie. Supporters of Mund have flooded social media and called for Carlson's resignation, including protestors outside the preliminary events with signs that say, "LIAR."
THERE YOU HAVE IT. I just got myself so worked up and excited that I'm practically salivating. I need to go run laps around the house. If you want to watch and follow along on Twitter, I'll be tweetin' it up @mcmcannally. I'm not responsible for what comes out of my mouth on Twitter that night - I have no control over my body or mind.
YAY FOR SUNDAY NIGHT and YAY MISS AMERICA and YAY CALLIE WALKER, MISS ALABAMA!