Miss America 2.0? 2.No. A Review.

Ohhhhhh the re-branding, y'all. It was EVERYWHERE. 

Each year, my mom and I hunker down to watch the pageant. This year, with all the buzz surrounding Miss America 2019, it was a particularly juicy and interesting watch - full of mis-steps and moments that made me say, "Huh." As my mother put it, "Every year I hold out hope that it'll be a little better." I'm afraid there were lots of disappointments, with a few great moments still shining through. 

But I'm also 154 years old and hate change. 

We began with an intro that featured all the contestants in casual wear making it crystal clear to viewers that this was not your grandmother's Miss America. They stood in groups and said words like, "Smart." and "Empowered." and "Commanding." It was eye roll-inducing and set the tone for what was a really self-congratulatory evening. During the parade of states, we got treated to one young lady who bragged about having a "certificate in leadership." 

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Instead of the traditional swimsuit competition, the Top 15 were asked questions by their fellow competitors. As is always the case, some questions were harder-hitting than others, but this portion did give the women a chance to really shine. I have to say, it's been a while since I remember seeing a group of super articulate, whip-smart gals up there representing. Almost without exception, they answered their questions thoroughly and within the allotted time. A glaring outlier was the ultimate winner, Miss New York Nia Franklin, whose answer was fumble-y and not great. 

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We then moved on to what USED TO BE EVENING GOWN and is now some wretched excuse for evening gown called "Red Carpet," in which the formerly elegant and gorgeous beauty walk was turned into a weird boppy strut down a fake red carpet and then harangued by an E! News commentator in a thinly veiled "tell us about your platform" moment. This part of the competition didn't need a re-think, but apparently Gretchen Carlson and her minions didn't want to leave a single element of the pag untouched. It was so silly and teenager-y, turning what was once a show-stopper into a glorified pep rally. This part may have been the most disappointing to me. 

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Talent did receive an upgraded feature: instead of putting all the remaining competitors on stage to await their fate in front of the crowd, the new pageant wisely held all the girls backstage and announced them one by one, the way it ought to be. In the old format, there would always be more girls on stage than there were spaces in the talent competition, so a few poor souls would end up left alone, not selected, on stage in their talent costumes, ultimately dismissed and embarrassed. I love that we've gone back to the original talent format. 

And y'all, there were some DOOZIES. Talent is most people's favorite part of competition because it really gives you a glimpse into the girl's personalities in a way no other element of competition does. WOW. Wowowowowowow. Apart from the obviously excellent (Callie Walker and Bridget Oei), and the just-okay-but-passable (Nia Franklin), we were treated to talents that ranged from disastrous to cringe-worthy and back again.

Massachusetts' Gabriela Taveras' vocal "Rise Up" was one of the most difficult things I've listened to in a while, so much so that I initially wondered if the on-stage monitors had failed because she was so wildly under pitch throughout the song. Alas, Nia Franklin's vocal later in the show shattered that theory and we were all left with ringing in our ears. My phone exploded during Taveras' talent with fellow watchers complaining about the performance. She couldn't "Rise Up" to the right note, I'm afraid. (I mean that joke was just right there, y'all, come on. Cut me a break.) Somehow, she advanced to Top 5 anyway.

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Two of the contestants performed original spoken word pieces and I...can't. Listen, slam poetry is one thing. It's tricky, crafty, it rhymes, it's punchy and powerful - these were...not. Ellery Jones' monologue of an original poem was nice, but more suited for a talent show in grade school. And Jessica Shultis' dramatic monologue detailing her experience as a pediatric cancer survivor could have been tasteful and powerful, but was instead angst-ridden, over-wrought, and over-performed. Screaming at the audience about their mortality and fake-crying your way through a talent don't often make for the best result. I think she scared those poor judges. She scared me from thousands of miles away. 

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On-stage question was predictable, as the format here doesn't often change. The answers were, again, pretty solid (with the exception once again of Nia Franklin, the ultimate winner, who used "overcoming pricey rent" as a response to, "How has being the candidate from New York prepared you for the job of being Miss America?"). The worst question had to do with men who father children biologically but aren't around to raise them, and was suspiciously asked to a contestant who was raised by a single mother (even though the questions were supposed to have been "randomly chosen"). 

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And poor Cara Mund, whose name and presence were conspicuously absent throughout the pageant until the very end, was awkwardly trotted out for a final walk that couldn't have been any longer than 90 seconds. The crowd was roaring for her, but it felt like watching a prisoner step out for their mandatory "outdoors time." With the year she's had and how public she's been about her terrible experience, this cap to her year felt disingenuous and super weird. 

When Nia was crowned, there was no "There She Is, Miss America." She walked back and forth to some generic pop song, then was interviewed Superbowl-style on stage. It was weird. And Carrie Ann...well:

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Overall, it was such a disappointment. The pageant is what it is. Women who compete in it know that they're going to be in swimsuits. They expect to have the full glory of a slower, more elegant walk in the gown they've chosen. If we really wanted to empower all women and make the pageant relevant, why wouldn't we keep swimsuit and offer it to all body types and shapes? Wouldn't that be more empowering? And by making evening gown into a chipper little skip down a faux red carpet, aren't we sending the message that you can't be both elegant and also relatable?

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I don't know, you guys. Maybe I'm a curmudgeon. But I want swimsuit back, dammit, and I want Miss America to be what it used to be: beauty (both inner and outer), class, grace, and poise. Because none of those things preclude intelligence, feminism, or cultural relevance.  

Did you watch?? What did you think? 

PS - Callie Walker was a living dream and made me proud to be from Alabama. And also should've easily made it into Top 5 over that ear-bleeding song from MA. Okay I'm really done now. 

You Need To Be Watching Great British Baking Show.

Listen, people, if you have no idea what I'm talking about, allow me to introduce you to your new favorite thing: 

English people, in a beautiful tent on an estate, baking. But not like, "American competition baking." No, no - good, clean, honest, kind, excellent baking. 

"But I hate competition shows!" 

No you don't. Walk with me. 

No one is mean. 

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Ever. Never ever. It's not like mean American television in which producers pit contestants against each other and create characters - the antagonist, the bitch, the underdog, etc. These are just a bunch of really nice folks who want to do a good job. They encourage each other, they help each other, they mourn for each other's disastrous bakes, they celebrate each other's wins. They cry when people. IT'S SO NICE AND PLEASANT. 

It features the jauntiest score of all time. 

You'll become invested in the storyline while watching this clip, but go back and watch it again just to appreciate the music. Whoever is writing the score for this show is a damn genius. It's so twinkly and British while also being suspenseful and hilarious and just the general best. 

Mel and Sue; Mary and Paul.

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Mel and Sue are the hosts, Paul and Mary are the judges. Mel and Sue are basically the best friends you never had but always wanted. They were part of an English comedy troupe and, for four delicious seasons (RIP Mel and Sue and boo to the new hosts who I refuse to watch), hosted GBBS. They're pun-ny, they're witty, they're goofy, they're smart, they're multi-lingual, they're the best. 

Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry are bakers extraordinaire, using their fame across the pond to help the contestants along throughout the show. Mary is about 1,000 years old and a real stickler for the classics, while Paul is more of the Tom Colicchio (Top Chef, anyone?) of the show and uses his piercing blue eyes to distract and intimidate bakers into excellence. 

(I don't normally have a thing for the big, burly type, but Alec Baldwin and Paul Hollywood are exceptions to that rule. Get off me, I can't help it. They're totally hot.) 

The G-rated sexual innuendos.

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I mean, it's just like...you could watch these things with your grandmother. It's not that salacious. It's hilarious. And weird. And so British. 

It's basically eye porn. 

It's just incredible thing after incredible thing. And they're ALL FOR EATING. Quick story - we were watching this show and Jordan decided he could bake. Went into the kitchen and whipped up the best shortbread cookies I've ever had. Ever. Just like, who are you and what have you done with my husband?? He was a man possessed. And he crushed it. 

This show inspires you to greatness, people. You can do it! And you can drool over it in the meantime. 

Four seasons of this show are streaming on Netflix right now. Watch it with your families over Thanksgiving. I'm telling you, it will not disappoint. 

Trivial Things That Annoy Me at 35 Weeks

Listen, there are real problems in the world. Like, A LOT of them. This is not a post about things that actually matter. 

Here at Deep Hunger, Deep Gladness, we strive to bring you content that will put a smile on your face. Maybe even bring a little giggle to your morning. And at 35 weeks pregnant, I am a wealth of commentary about the world around me. Would you like to know my opinion on something? Just ask! I'll be happy to tell you absolutely EVERYTHING I'm thinking.

Because at this stage of the game, all my patience is being used waiting on this sweet little one to arrive. Anything else that I might ordinarily be able to look past or ignore? Well, let's just say Sweet Brown and I share this sentiment: 

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So as I've been walking around for the last week or so, I've had a note in my iPhone dedicated to this subject: things that annoy me more than usual right now. And anytime something happens, rather than have a meltdown in, let's say, the grocery store, I just tap-tap-tap away on my phone, knowing that one day, I'd just dump it on ALL OF YOU. And that day is today.

Ready? 

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White people doing acoustic covers of R&B/rap songs. 

Listen, folks. This has got to stop. It's an epidemic and it's f-cking awful. If you get the impulse to sit down with one of your sorority sisters and do a cover of "No Scrubs," go back to bed and start your day over. This is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. STOP THE MADNESS.

Motorcyclists on the interstate.

WHY?! Why?? Why??? Why are you on the road hurtling through space with little to no protection on? Why are you weaving, zipping through cars at 90 mph? Where are you going that's more important than where I'm going? Do you think you look cooler than everyone else? You don't. I'm calling your mom to have her come pick you up. Why is your engine so loud that is scares the pants off me? I AM TOO OLD AND TOO FEEBLE MINDED TO BE DEALING WITH YOU RIGHT NOW PLEASE STAY OFF THE ROAD. 

Smokers.

Every time I see a smoker in public, my first thought is, "Oh wow, so people are still doing that, huh?" And sure, I get that my processed food/sugar intake could be likened to a similar sort of "ignorance-is-bliss-and-I'm-gonna-do-what-I-want" attitude on my part, but it's not as obvious and it doesn't smell as bad or look as stupid. Smoking on a weekend outside a bar is one thing, smoking in your car with your kids in the backseat is another. Ya gotta stop it. 

People who still defend 50 Shades of Grey as feminist literature.

I just don't even feel the need to go into this, but it isn't. It's TERRIBLE WRITING. Just admit that you're getting your jollies from this book and we'll all respect you a lot more. I think this garbage is coming back out as a movie I think and we're about to have to deal with a whole new onslaught of trailers where Dakota Johnson tries not to be actively repulsed by whoever that guy is. Spare me. 

Having to screen 14 calls a day made by nervous Birmingham-Southern freshmen asking me for money.

I don't know what has changed at my alma mater since I graduated, but back in my day, if you called someone and they didn't answer, you wrote "DIDN'T ANSWER, LEFT A VOICEMAIL" by their name and moved down the list. Darth Vader has apparently stepped up to the plate and has forced these poor 18-year-olds to be unrelenting in their solicitations for fundraising capital, and I have received no fewer than 5 calls a day since last Friday. I finally answered and spoke to my boy Matt, told him I would donate and to send me an e-mail with a link. He called me at 8 PM. That's a little late, Matthew. BSC, I love you, I want to donate to you, and will as I do every year, but stop blowing me up. 

Pyramid schemers on Facebook who force me to tell them, "No, thank you," more than once. 

Look, I am ALL ABOUT some girl hustle. Seriously. If what you want to do making money for your family is sell cosmetics or supplements on the Internet, by all means - it's a free country. Hell, I know some people who are making incredible amounts of money doing that (although this whole "Sell Plexus products and you can make more per year than a physician!" thing seems a little hyperbolic, but I digress). But lately, I've had four or five different folks message me on Facebook asking, for the second or third time, if I'd be interested in trying one of their products. 

It is SO HARD FOR ME TO SAY NO IN THE FIRST PLACE. I feel SO MEAN. I feel REALLY BAD. It causes me to sweat and type like forty drafts of saying no to make sure that I have been as inoffensive and supportive of your hustle as possible. So if you continue to ask me, I am officially mad at you for forcing me back into the anxiety sweats more than once. It's just mean. Quit it. 

Being called a pet name, ever, for any reason.

Self-explanatory, lady at Zaxby's.

People who rattle candy at the movies.

Why do they even PUT Peanut M&M's in an extra plastic bag WITHIN the box?! Wasteful. This so easy, though. Here's what you do: ya get your box. Open the box. Open the plastic bag, Remove the bag from the box. Dump the candy into the box. Discard the plastic bag. Enjoy candy. What not to do? Struggle with opening the plastic bag a millimeter's worth of a tear at a time through the most intense parts of Arrival. I'M TRYING TO WATCH AMY ADAMS COMMUNICATE WITH ALIENS, PLEASE, PLEASE, YOU HAVE TO STOP, I know there's one M&M left at the bottom of the box but just TURN THE BOX UPSIDE DOWN AND OPEN YOUR MOUTH REALLY WIDE that's what I do, works every time. You're killing me. 

 

Look, there's more where this came from, but I'm going to use some self-control and stop here. I REALLY want to know your pet peeves/irrational annoyances, etc. It will please me greatly. And if one of them is "Millennial bloggers who complain about stupid stuff," I mean...I pretty much tee'd you up, so take the shot. I get it. 

Love you guys. Peace and blessings. 

Fetch or Wretch? Emmy's 2017!

WOW. 

As a TV nerd and a diversity nerd, I am pretty blown away by last night. When Best Male Actor in a Comedy is a category that includes, among six nominees, two African American actors, one Indian American actor, and a guy playing a post-transition transgender woman, it makes me proud of where we've come in the entertainment industry. Not to mention the two big winners of the night, The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu) and Big Little Lies (HBO) are stories that focus on the lives of women. 

YES, AMERICA. YES! 

Also, if you haven't watched those two series, you need to GET ON IT. Those are two of the best things I've seen on television in a long time, and well worth the time you'll sink into them. 

But kids, we're not here to discuss how far we've come in creating diverse television. We're here to rip some fashion. 

LINE 'EM UP! 

FETCH. 

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Zoe Kravitz

Can someone be deemed "fetch" just because of their bone structure? Because DAMN. Also, I really like this dress (even if the neckline is just a teeny tiny bit too wide for me). 

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Michelle Pfeiffer

I am so over the "sheer overlay/nude shell" look, but Michelle Pfeiffer is serving some chic pre-Halloween witchiness and I'm here for it. It just works. 

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Kids of Stranger Things

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+ Millie Bobby Brown

The children are slaying. I think that dress is perfection on her and the boys are GIVING ME LIFE. Look at those jackets, people!! 

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Yara Shahidi

I don't watch Blackish, so I wasn't sure what show this chick was on, but OMG. I think she might actually win the night for me. This is so ethereal and gorgeous. 

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Leslie Jones

Now listen. I'm not saying this is my favorite dress of all time, because it's certainly not (slits up to here, sheer/non-sheer, sparkles...there's a LOT going on). But when a woman who is an "untraditional size," whatever that means, looks and feels this good on the red carpet? Fetch. All day. Christian Siriano, you have found your calling. She is absolutely glowing. 

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Julia Louis-Dreyfuss

...will always be on the Fetch list. The End. 

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Kate McKinnon

I'm not even gonna pretend like the lower half of this dress isn't problematic, ill-fitting, and unflattering. 'Cause it is. But Kate McKinnon traditionally doesn't have the greatest track record on the red carpet, and she won some Emmys for being a badass, and from the waist up we're calling this a win. Go, Kate!! Take it and run! (BTW - my husband has an absolutely enormous crush on Kate McKinnon. He saw her in this dress and said she looked, and I quote, "So great." Kate, you're wrecking my marriage.) 

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Uzo Aduba

The boobs are a lot. Let's just get that out of the way. But like, the hair. The lines on the dress. The fit of the bodice. I may be in the minority with this pick, but I think she looks fantastic.

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Rashida Jones

I feel like my theme of the day is "Okay but hear me out...". This is another one that I think could have probably been a bit better from a structure standpoint (her boobs kind of look like they're being held for ransom), but this color on her/those earrings/that head styling = a win. 

Blah blah blah they all looked great let's get to the real reason we're all here today. 

Congregants? Please rise for the 

WRETCH. 

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Jessica Biel

Yeeeeeeeaaaaaaahhhhhh I know. I went back and forth on this a LOT. Here's what I ultimately decided: Jessica Biel is such a striking siren of a human being with an abnormally beautiful face and body that she's tricking us into liking a garment that is...just pretty tacky, if we're all being honest with ourselves. That train is picking up all kinds of lint and cat hair. I don't even know if she has a cat, but you know there's cat hair in there. I don't mind the top half, but the bottom half is bad. I did have to cover up her head to reach that conclusion, though, because Jessica Biel's face is impossible to resist. 

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Samantha Bee

It is actually impressive that a dress in which the lines on the bodice are designed to make the wearer appear shapely could end up looking like a big, blocky-ass Gumby. That is not a slam about Samantha's bod, that is a slam to whoever designed this thing. It is unflattering in the worst way, and the center split only makes it worse. I wanted to like it, Samantha Bee. I did. But I do not. 

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Jane Fonda

What I am about to say is blasphemous because Jane Fonda is a QUEEN AMONG QUEENS and I will do penance for it later, but....JaneyouaretoooldforthatdressandthathairstyleI'msosorryI'llseemyselfout. 

Reese Witherspoon

Another one that I really debated on. I mean, first we just need to acknowledge that homegirl looks like she hasn't aged a day since Elle Woods. Those legs? That skin? Gimme a break, she looks incredible. I just don't care for the oversized-men's-blazer-as-a-dress look. I even have to give props where they're due, because it's perfectly fitted to her, it's just not my favorite.

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Elisabeth Moss

Ballerina gone wrong. I get the irony of wearing a very twee color/style to an awards show at which you're being honored for playing a feminist resistance leader, but this is just too damn close to her skin tone. It looks like she made a dress out of twin. Also, it doesn't really fit. But congrats on the Emmy! (Also you are a Scientologist and it makes me so sad.) 

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Ellie Kemper 

EXPLOSION AT THE TEXTILE MILL! Brave Ellie Kemper ran back into the mess on a rescue mission, but didn't make it out unscathed. Kemper suffered an electric shock while trying to dismantle the Old Lady Lingerie Machine, resulting in permanent Miss Frizzle Head and scores of cheap blue fabric welding to her own skin. Kemper was forced to wear this look to the 2017 Emmy's and her handlers ask that no one say anything about it. She is a hero. 

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Sofia Vergara

WE'VE SEEN IT. WE'RE BORED. 

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Shannon Purser

Not the night for ladies in emerald green. Great color on her, absolutely terrible everything else. It looks like the dress Cinderella is wearing after the stepsisters come and tear it to pieces on their way to the ball. And girl? Ya got bugs. 

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Mandy Moore

It's not fair, but I just HATE IT. 

A couple more categories...

Bitch Stole My Look! 

And finally,

SLAY. ALL. DAY. 

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Tituss Burgess

5 Things Friday: Roundup!

Let's talk about this week! 

1. "IT" 

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So, an important piece of context here is that neither person in my marriage is a scary movie person. In fact, the last time we tried to watch a scary movie together, it was The Babadook. I was covering my eyes, and then looked over to see that Jordan was covering HIS eyes, and then we turned it off because IT WAS SO SCARY and clearly I had no line of defense if Jordan was also scared.  

But we jumped on the bandwagon last weekend and went to see It. And we LOVED IT. 

I think the reason we enjoyed it so much was that it was particularly well-made. I mean don't get me wrong, it was REAL scary and some of the images still give me the willies - but if you're a person who doesn't normally see scary movies and you're curious about this one, you ought to go. You'll survive. 

If you watched Stranger Things, you'll be a particular fan of this movie, which (I'm told, I haven't seen that series) draws on a lot of the same "awesome, scrappy kid actor" motifs. Jordan and I have been exercising our death rattle of pre-baby independence by seeing almost every movie that's debuted this summer, and It was one of our favorites. 

2. Magnetic Lashes

Okay, so you guys loved these as much as I did. I loved hearing from y'all on this subject. If you missed yesterday's post and have been wondering about eyelash extensions/magnetic lashes, you can check it out here! 

3. I'm sorry, The Bachelor is WHO?! 

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Image courtesy of the NYT.

I mean, I know who he is. That was just for dramatic effect. 

I'm a week late in commenting on this, but my eyes needed time to face forward after rolling so far back in my head that I was looking at my brain stem. 

Is The Bachelor officially dead?? I really think it might be. 

The New York Times wrote a scathing, yet accurate, article last week about how this series is grinding to a pitiful halt by casting a lead from not one, not two, but FIVE. FIVE. seasons ago. Even worse are the reports that Peter turned it down, Dean shot himself in the foot (Bachelor in Paradise was not a good move for that little weasel), and Eric? Not even approached. 

We'll wait while you defend yourselves on that one, ABC. 

(We'll be waiting forever.) 

Anyway, now we're stuck with Arie, Emily Maynard's castoff from 2012 who has been doing exactly ZERO interesting/noteworthy things since he was on the show. 

Are we watching? Are we boycotting? I really...kind of wanna bail. 

4. Third trimester YEAH!!! 

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Today marks the beginning of my 27th week of pregnancy and kicks off my third trimester, which is IN.SANE. It's been an achy and headachy week, but I've also gotten to feel that little person thrashing around in there like it's at a Metallica concert. WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN THERE CUT IT OUT (but obviously don't because I love you so much). 

Had my glucose test on Wednesday to determine whether I have gestational diabetes: 

AND PASSED! YEAH! I don't know why I was so worried about it - my mom had huge babies and didn't have it. 

(I was worried about it because I eat like a trucker on the late shift). 

To celebrate not having GD, I bought a giant box of truffles and last night I ate 4!  

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Hold your judgment, okay? They blew my vein out at the doctor taking the blood sample so I'm feeling extra sorry for myself AND THESE CHOCOLATES WERE ON SALE which I realize makes them even grosser...w/e they were delicious and I have no shame. 

--

I hope everyone's weeks have been wonderful and full of good, cool weather. Satan is crawling back into his hole and it's finally feeling like fall in the mountains - life is good! 

 

See ya Monday! 

5 Things to Make Watching Miss America More Fun.

PEOPLE, IT'S HERE. IT'S HEEEEERE!!!! SUPERBOWL WEEKEND!!!! 

Oh man oh man oh man. I'm so excited. 

I was thinking about how to run down the contestants this year, and there really isn't a way to do that (RIP that tradition, first time in like...seven years?...that I haven't done it), so I thought I'd offer a few words of wisdom to those of you who might be tuning in more casually to The Pag on Sunday night. I mean, information makes everything better, right? 

K. 

SO. The first, and probably most important thing:

1. Miss America is NOT Miss USA. 

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*clears throat* 

Listen up. No shade to my girls who've competed in that circuit (the industry term for "a different brand of pageant), but Miss America and Miss USA are very different. 

For starters, Miss America has been around since 1921, and Miss USA started in 1950. The biggest difference for our purposes, though, is that Miss USA doesn't feature a talent portion. That's the easiest way to tell them apart. Although it can certainly be argued that not all Miss America contestants have a talent that needs to be shared with the world, they have to at least try. 

Miss USA girls go on to compete in Miss Universe, while Miss America is the terminal title in that circuit - you don't get better than that. Miss USA tends to be a bit more looks-focused, while Miss America is a bit more "all-around girl." 

And yes. Until recently, Miss USA was owned by Donald Trump. So, you know...do with that what you will. 

2. Preliminaries are important.

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Ever wonder how, minutes after turning on the show, we suddenly have a Top 10 in place? 

It's all based on preliminary scoring. 

So in order for us to actually have something to watch on Saturday night, the girls compete in preliminary competitions the week before the actual "big" pageant on Saturday night. This more or less means that they're having a mini-pageant Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. By Sunday night, the judges will have seen each girl compete in each area of competition (evening wear, swimsuit, on-stage question/interview, and talent). 

It's important to remember that we won't actually see every area of competition. The interview is held behind closed doors between the contestant and the panel of judges. When you see a girl who doesn't have a strong talent and think, "What the ACTUAL HELL is she doing in the Top 10?", chances are, she had a really strong interview and won the judges that way.  

The Top Ten will be derived from the girls who had the highest preliminary scores. You'll definitely see the preliminary winners in the Top 10, but you'll also see girls who scored highly across the board (even if they didn't win a prelim outright). 

3. Get to know the girls. 

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You know you want to! Peruse their head shots here. 

Some names (and boy, do I mean NAMES, you guys - they must have been recruiting for these weirdo first names this year) to look out for: 

- Miss Louisiana, Laryssa Bonacquisti, who won swimsuit last night. 
- Miss Minnesota, Brianna Drevlow, talent winner last night. 
- Miss Texas, Margana Wood, who won swimsuit Friday night. 
- Miss Utah, JessiKate (no I am not kidding) Riley, who won talent Friday night. 

Other winners of note include the Quality of Life award winner, MISS ALABAMA JESSICA PROCTER (yeah she did, get it!!!). That's not a judged category, but it's a community service honor and something the judges will definitely take note of. 

I just have a feeling this year about AL, y'all. I think she might take it home. 

4. There will now be TWO on-stage questions.

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For some God forsaken reason, these people can't just leave well enough alone and feel the need to add some weirdo "new and dramatic" element every year. 

It's probably because that Rat Bastard Chris Harrison is hosting now, tbh. THE MOST DRAMATIC MISS AMERICA COMPETITION IN HISTORY. Bye Chris, we have your number. 

Anyway, so THIS year, they've decided to add an extra on-stage question. Normally, we only get to see one, and it's the last area of competition (usually only the Top 5 answer). This year, there will be a "personality question" asked of seven out of the Top 10, then from those seven, 5 will move on to the final round, answering their more serious interview question before the competition is over. 

The real question is how they're going to do this. Are they gonna just make those three other girls stand up and be like, "Yeah, not you guys. But thanks!" 

They've done it before. 

5. You can and should be judging at home. 

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This scoring sheet from last year is a good jumping off point, although it's going to be different this year with the addition of a second question. 

In case you're a freak like me, the breakdown of scoring goes like this: 

Composite – 25%
Swimsuit – 10%
Evening wear – 15%
Talent – 30%
Question 1 – 5%
Question 2 – 15%

(PS - "Composite" means an average of all the contestant's preliminary scores from the previous three nights of competition. That's why preliminary winners almost always make it into the Top 10 - if they won an overall category, their average score is going to be high.)

Way more fun to do this if you have friends over. My mom and I, for example, will be video chatting throughout the competition. 

What are they looking for? Wholesome, friendly, funny, smart, talented. By and large, you won't see any dumb dumbs or vulgar swimsuits/evening gowns on the Miss A stage. Take it into consideration. 

And if you're wavering, you can always ask my grandmother, who 100% of the time guesses the right Miss America like halfway through the competition. 

 

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. 

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It's The Pag. It does it to me every time. 

HAPPY JUDGING!