Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pomp and Pageantry Post-60 Part Two


Four months after cheering our friend and zumba instructor in the Ms Senior New Jersey Pageant, it was time to return to Harrah’s Atlantic City for the second chapter – the Ms Senior America National pageant.

Were we going to end up congratulating our friend or commiserating with her?

Carol won the Ms New Jersey title in the spring. Since then she has made public appearances and prepared for the national pageant, assembling a wardrobe, practicing her talent performance, and getting lots of assistance and advice from previous Ms New Jersey state winners.

The Preliminaries

The contestants assembled at the pageant on Sunday and interviewed by the judges Monday. The interview represents 30% of a candidate’s score. Talent is another 30%, evening gown 20% and philosophy of life 20%.

The competitors were divided into four groups. During a two and a half hour show on Tuesday two groups performed talent acts and the other two appeared in evening gown and stated their philosophy of life. The groups reversed roles on Wednesday. Quite honestly, most of the philosophy of life statements were sappy, sentimental clich├ęs like smile, be caring, pray, be happy, help others…you get the idea.

The Finals

On Thursday afternoon a couple dozen senior citizen groupies made their way to Harrah’s concert venue, ready and eager to enthusiastically support Carol, excited yet apprehensive. If she did not make the finals, everyone would be disappointed.

There were a lot of pageant winners from previous years, state winners as well as Ms Senior America winners. The national pageant winner from 1985 was there - I am sorry I did not get her picture. She was in a glittery white gown accessorized by a walker. There was an awful lot of glittery outfits - gowns, dresses, tops, pants, even boots (on ladies from the Western states). We wondered where the women shop for these clothes.

The pageant began and following introductions, a performance by a senior dance group, emcee banter and numerous thank yous, the moment at long last arrived.

All contestants assembled on stage. Slowly but steadily the emcees announced the finalists. Each one walked to the front of the stage, forming a row of ten nervous, anxious but happy participants. Here they are, and I am happy to report Carol is fourth from the left!

Each finalist performed. There were three opera singers, four other singers, one singer and dancer, one pianist and singer, and one dancer.
Ms Tennessee performing
Ms Oklahoma performing

Our favorite Carol performing
Finally it was time for the announcement of the winners - fourth runner up, third, second, first runner up, and Ms Senior America 2012.
 Ms New Jersey (Carol!), The Winner Ms California, Ms South Carolina, Ms Texas, Ms Utah
                                       Our hometown favorite Carol was fourth runner up. 

Ms Senior America 2012 – Miss California, Elisabeth Howard - 
when she heard her name announced as the winner.

The excitement is over, and we all had a good time. It was fun to see all these talented,  beautiful women of the 'age of elegance' strutting their stuff. 

Most of us agreed we could not, would not, should not consider such an undertaking. We're just happy to make it through zumba class a couple of times a week.