When Texas comes back, they come back BIG!!!

After 6 long years of not placing in the semifinals, Texas comes back big with a win thanks to Danielle Doty who has ended the Texas curse! Earlier, I drew attention to the fact that Texas missed the semifinals from 1992 to 1995 only to come back big with a win in 1996 from Christie Lee Woods. Now, after missing the semifinals from 2005 to 2010, Texas has its second Miss Teen USA, Danielle Doty. Some have referred to this comeback as the proverbial 'reign' after a drought.

This is the 4th year that Miss Teen USA has been off the air but I wonder if there will be a renewed interest in the pageant one of these years and hopefully it will be back on television. The webcast began with a clip featuring Kamie Crawford, the reigning Miss Teen USA relaxing on the beach at Atlantis. Following with the popularity of teen horror flicks, Kamie has a nightmare of the 2011 Teen delegates all made up to look like zombies complete with upside down or backwards sashes, chasing Kamie around in her nightmare all after her crown! After coming across a Starbucks that was closed forever, seeing a telecast of Justin Bieber cutting his hair and getting a phone call about Beyonce losing her voice, Kamie's nightmare continues as the zombies find her and surround her to which she yells, "Please stop!" Then she is awakened and we are introduced to the 51 delegates not looking anything like zombies anymore!

From one New Jersey Teen to another.  Savannah Schechter receives her Congeniality award trophy from Alyssa Campanella Then we met the hosts: Miss Teen USA 2005, Allie Laforce looking really gorgeous and Chet Buchanan who has been hosting several preliminaries for Miss USA and Universe when in Las Vegas as he hosts a radio show there and immediately we met the 15 semifinalists. In regards to my predictions, I was very happy that 10 of my 15 picks made the actual top 15, plus 2 of my alternates (Maryland and West Virginia) as well as two of my honorable mentions (Indiana and Minnesota). The only one who made it that missed my list entirely was Colorado. The 5 of my choices that didn't make the cut were Hawaii, New Hampshire, Kentucky, Florida and Virginia. But Hawaii won the Photogenic award and will be going to the People's Choice Awards! New Jersey won the Congeniality award which was awarded to her interestingly enough by the reigning Miss USA, Alyssa Campanella who was also Miss New Jersey Teen USA only four years previously! I posted my predictions before the preliminaries which were held the day before the pageant but after watching the preliminaries, I knew West Virginia would place and that Kentucky wouldn't and I was also sensing Indiana but then I also was thinking Michigan would place but she didn't. The 5 girls that didn't place where actually quite popular amongst other pageant fans. I have no idea what happened with Hawaii. Maybe her gown looked more Miss than Teen? New Hampshire was fizzling on me, I must admit because she had one really stunning head shot but afterwards, she didn't quite look the same. Kentucky had a decent look for Teen but she just didn't stand out enough I suppose. Florida was a big surprise to many people too. Her gown was maybe a bit fluffy and had a bit of a Miss Poland 1989 feel to it so perhaps that's what kept her out but I am quite sure her interview was strong and she reminded me of Jennifer Smith, Miss Maryland Teen USA 1996. Finally, I think Virginia did everything right and looked right so I don't know what happened there either. But at least the choices this year made sense because there were some years in the past at Miss Teen USA were the choices were downright nonsensical. It's also interesting to note that California has placed as the 2nd runner up for 3 years in a row!



Winner=Texas-Danielle Doty

Winner=South Carolina-Keyla Childs*

1st Runner Up=North Dakota-Audra Mari

1st Runner Up=Hawaii-Courtney Coleman

2nd Runner Up=California-Alexis Swanstrom

2nd Runner Up=Georgia-Kristen Robinson*

3rd Runner Up=Kansas-Taylor Clark

3rd Runner Up=North Dakota-Audra Mari*

4th Runner Up=Missouri-Sydnee Stottlemyre

4th Runner Up=Maine-Alexis McIlwain*



Colorado-Caley Rae Pavillard

New Hampshire-Annie Read

Georgia-Kristen Robinson

Texas-Danielle Doty*

Indiana-Jessica Buch

Kansas-Taylor Clark*

Maine-Alexis McIlwain

New Jersey-Savannah Schechter*

Maryland-Kirsten Nicholson

Kentucky-Stephanie Jones

Minnesota-Hannah Corbett

Florida-Mikyle Crockett

New Jersey-Savannah Schechter

Virginia-Susie Evans

Pennsylvania-Madison Longstreth

Missouri-Sydnee Stottlemyre*

South Carolina-Keyla Childs

California-Alexis Swanstrom*

West Virginia-Susan Hines King

Pennsylvania-Madison Longstreth*


ALTERNATES:North Carolina, Maryland*, Arizona, Washington, West Virginia*


HONORABLE MENTIONS:Ohio, Delaware, Michigan, Minnesota*, Indiana*


* = made actual top 15

After the top 15 were announced, each one did her introductory walk. Then Kamie Crawford came on stage after a montage of highlights from her year including Kamie's secret confession that she kept a Starbucks card that she bought for Miss Universe, Ximena Navarrete to which Ximena funnily demanded, "Where is it?? Where's my card??" Kamie described that when she won that she was very careful not to put her hands on her face since her mom told her that most of the pictures taken of her when she won Miss Maryland Teen USA featured kamie with her hands on her face!
Texas, North Dakota, Indiana, Minnesota, Colorado, West Virginia, South Carolina, Kansas, Georgia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, California, Missouri, Maine, New Jersey
Then it was on to swimsuits. First up was Texas who looked very fresh and teen. It's rare that the first delegate called into the semifinals goes on to win Miss Teen USA. I believe the only other woman to do this was Janel Bishop, Miss Teen USA 1991. North Dakota was quite the find. It's amazing how this state seems to do quite well at Miss Teen USA but not so much at Miss USA. Audra Mari was tall and stunning and with a little polishing could be a very promising delegate for her state at Miss USA. Indiana was quite young but still seems like a fun-loving girl. You could tell that she totally wanted to be in this competition and is an experienced model working for the likes of Sherri Hill. The big hair really made her stand out but I did see some ribbage (ribs poking out which is normally not a good thing). Minnesota was a surprise to most people but I did have her as an honorable mention. She had a decent look about her. Colorado followed and this one was the one that I didn't get that others saw as having potential. I guess she was okay. West Virginia followed looking quite busty but still very teen. I think she and Pennsylvania could pass as sisters. Next up was the absolutely striking beauty, Keyla Childs from South Carolina. I think some people in the audience were jealous of her because I didn't hear as many cheers for her but I absolutely still would have put her as a top 5 finalist. She had a gorgeous face, great abs and I think had the right look to be a teen queen. I'm surprised the judges chose to pass on her. Kansas followed looking really built and in great shape. I was quite pleased with her. Then we had the sensational Kristen Robinson from Georgia. Please do allow me a few sentences to sing Kristen's praises because I adored her. She was FIERCE and FABULOUS! You can tell she has stage experience with her theatre background because she worked that stage like nobody's business and much like Lara Dutta, Miss Universe 2000, she just captures everything around her and makes sure that she is all you see and that you focus entirely on her. This is the kind of delegate that I love to see. After having watched some YouTube clips of her, I'm convinced that if she was given the opportunity to talk on stage, she would have taken this competition because she was just dynamic. She was very fit, had the right walk and attitude and I loved her earrings and the high ponytail like Celina Jaitley, Miss India 2001 and also sported by Eva Ekvall, Miss Venezuela 2001 when she competed for her national title. She had that Latin fire to her and I really hope to see her continue in pageantry and hopefully at Miss USA one year. Maryland was next and she was runner-up to Kamie Crawford last year at the state level so I guess it was only natural that she place. Her hair was nice and she looked fit. Pennsylvania followed looking totally teen but her frame was a bit smaller. California was another one who knew how to get noticed on stage. Missouri had a niceness to her. Maine's Alexis McIlwain was just a stunning beauty and of course I loved her gorgeous hair and I also really hope to see her on the Miss USA stage one day because she was incredible and I couldn't believe that she is only 15! She was so poised as well and probably would have been my winner in my predictions list if she was at least 17 years old because there likely will never be a Miss Teen USA winner who is 15 years old which is the minimum age for the pageant. I definitely want to see Alexis on the Miss USA stage in a few years. Finally, New Jersey showed us her spunky unique style while still looking hot but I liked how in some pictures she would look like her nose was scrunched a bit like she was laughing and that look just brings a smile to your face.

Following swimsuit, there was an onstage chat with the heavenly reigning Miss USA, Alyssa Campanella and she talked with Chet Buchanan about their love for the Vancouver Canucks! That's my city's hockey team!! And they don't even live here! They talked about how the Miss USA preliminaries were on the same night as the Stanley Cup finals and I remember that night on June 15 well because it was the same night that many of you would have seen in the news that there was an insane riot in my city with people setting cars on fire and several downtown businesses had their windows smashed and were looted. Vancouver lost the Stanley Cup game to the Boston Bruins during the very last game of the series which was held in Vancouver which was heartbreaking for my city especially since they scored the most points during this hockey season and we were hoping to capture our first Stanley Cup since 1915 and there was even a Canadian historical trend in our favor. Montreal hosted the 1976 Olympics and won the Stanley Cup the next year (1977). Then Calgary hosted the Olympics in 1988 and won the Stanley Cup the next year (1989). Vancouver hosted the Olympics in 2010 but in 2011, the Stanley Cup narrowly escaped us! It must have been jinxed because somebody mentioned it! As you can tell, this was pretty all-encompassing for my city. Of course, I was comfortably at home focusing entirely on the Miss USA preliminaries but once Boston had scored 3 goals in 2 periods, we knew the Canucks were done. While I was watching the preliminaries, I had no idea that the rioting was going on until I turned on the TV and almost every channel was covering it. But enough about hockey. Chet also pointed out that Alyssa was 1st runner up at Miss Teen USA 2007 and she said she most wanted to meet Buddy Velastro of 'Cake Boss' and he showed up at one of her appearances and gave her a cake he made just for her. She also advised the delegates backstage to watch their choreography and confessed that she tripped on her gown during preliminaries at Miss USA but she recovered nicely and of course we all know what happened eventually. This was followed by a performance by the reigning Miss Kentucky USA, Kia Hampton singing her song "Better Be Ready". She was all over that stage singing her heart out giving an unforgettable performance. As I was watching the webcast, there were quite a few unkind comments in the chatroom on the side about this performance. Perhaps some were impatient and wanted to get with the competition as the delegates were changing into their gowns. Then reigning Miss Universe, Ximena Navarrete Rosete made sure we knew how to say her full name. She talked about her year travelling and meeting new people. Of course, the reigning Miss USA lives with Miss Universe but Chet wondered if Miss Mexico would be jealous that they get to share trade secrets but Ximena said that Karin Ontiveros is also wonderful and concluded by saying that this year's competition for Miss Universe would be tough as always.
Texas, North Dakota, Indiana, Minnesota, Colorado, West Virginia, South Carolina, Kansas, Georgia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, California, Missouri, Maine, New Jersey
And now the gownage. I found myself really hooked to the background music actually. It had this nice bouncy bass hook to it. Texas was up first in a nice white gown as we are so used to seeing in Teen. This gown was slightly unique in that it had silvery floral designs on it. It fit her well like a gown designed by Venezuelan designer Gionni Straccia should. Next, North Dakota gave us a double look at her flowy blue gown, with a high-slit and perhaps looked more Miss than Teen particularly due to her height but she was still stunning. There were times when she was just standing during the night that I noticed she had her shoulders forward which kind of made her look a bit hunched over so I just think she needed to watch her posture at times. Indiana followed in a one-sleeved gown that had a silver beaded bodice and white from the hips down. She had her hair to one side and I think she adhered to the 'go big or go home' philosophy and some may have deemed her a bit too much but still she was making the most of her appearance in this competition. Minnesota followed in a gown that like many of the gowns this year had a lot going on towards the bottom. It had a Carrie Prejean feel to it with flowers instead of feathery fringe at the bottom. Colorado on the other hand did have the feathery fringe in an elegant white gown with a high slit. West Virginia's gown had a very teen gown with fish scale designs on it so perhaps she was going for a mermaid effect. South Carolina followed looking just heavenly in her white gown. Her hair was sensational and her face is excellent. Her performance may have been deemed a bit timid but she was definitely an outstanding beauty and I was disappointed that she didn't advance. Kansas had an open lower-back in her gown and some might have deemed that too Miss but she totally made it work. Georgia followed giving us yet another sensational on-stage appearance. Her gown was bright pink and she had a pink scarf attached from her shoulder to her bracelet and she worked it. It was a fun teen look and she was entertaining and a feast for the eyes. Maryland's gown was nice but I think she needed to give a little more to standout at this stage. Pennsylvania's gown reminded me a bit of West Virginia's gown but the bottom was more ruffly or scaly but again it was a teen appropriate look and she looked very sweet. California had one of the more unique gowns of the bunch and she was one who dared to go with a darker color but she worked that gown and I think watching Alyssa Campanella compete really helped Alexis with how to walk and project on stage. Missouri had a nice pink sweetheart gown that had an interesting design. Maine followed looking so incredibly poised and very assured that she was indeed stunningly gorgeous. Her gown had a pink train and she worked it well and had her poses down. Finally, New Jersey had a blue princess gown with a slit and a jeweled midsection that was also unique as is true to Savannah's style.

During intermission, we saw some of the Miss Universe organization's special videos that were made throughout the year including that famous Christmas video featuring Kamie and Ximena singing and Rima rapping! Chet talked with each of the delegates backstage and then it was time to announce the top 5 which was a decent top 5 but with the exclusions of Georgia, Maine and South Carolina, what could have been a stellar top 5 was just a good top 5.

After the top 5 were announced, we had a casual chat with those who made it. Kansas was up first and was asked where she would like to go if she could travel anywhere in the world. She said Italy since her grandfather was from there and he was her best friend and she would like to take her whole family there to see what his culture was like. California was asked what she would splurge on if she was given a million dollars. She said she wouldn't splurge on anything but she would buy something special for her grandmother and went on to tell the story of how her grandmother won a $250,000 jackpot while they were in Las Vegas and with that money she was able to fly 20 family members from California to the Bahamas for the pageant to support her. Missouri was asked which celebrity she would most like to meet and why. She said Jimmy Fallon because she has an obnoxious crush on him because she finds him hilarious and adorable. North Dakota was asked to describe her dream job. She innocently enough said she would like to be a Victoria's Secret model because the girls' bodies look fit and healthy and they all look great on stage and have a lot of confidence. That was a job aspiration I never expected to hear from a TEEN delegate but hey, she was honest! Texas was asked who she admires and why. She said her big sister Ana (by which she was referring to the reigning Miss Texas USA, Ana Rodriguez) She says she would not be there without her help and guidance and she always tells her to 'Let go and let God.'

Danielle Doty reacts to winning Miss Teen USA 2011Danielle Doty is crowned Miss Teen USA 2011 And then it came down to the final questions. Kansas picked Katherine Schwarzenegger's question asking why 78 percent of 17 year old girls are not happy with their bodies. This statistic was found when Katherine was researching for her book. Kansas replied she thinks there are so many media influences telling them that they're not good enough or not skinny enough and also family and friends put pressure to always look their best and be their best so she thinks the influences around teens make them feel that way. California picked Fred Nelson's question and who would have seen this coming?? He asked the notorious question posed to Miss South Carolina Teen USA 2007, Lauren Caitlin Upton which became a media sensation due to her answer that some would deem rather incoherent. The question was, "Studies have shown that many Americans can't find the U.S. on a map. Why do you think that is?" I think California seemed a little surprised or caught off guard by the question but she pulled through responding that she believes that in schools, in geography, we focus so much on other countries and that we really need to focus on our own country. She feels like she knows more about other countries and that we need to focus more on the United States. Missouri picked Michele Wiltshire's question, "Sexting or texting inappropriate photographs is becoming a very big problem in society today particularly amongst teens. Why do you think people are doing this?" Missouri responded with, "I think when the technology craze hit America we weren't exactly sure how to approach it and I don't think that we necessarily educated enough so I think that now we need to take a step back, educate our youth on what is appropriate and what is not appropriate and then we can move forward from there and hopefully the sexting craze will come to a close." In my opinion, that was the best final answer of the top 5, yet she placed 4th runner up so again we need to remember that the final vote is based on the judge's overall impression. They might have thought the answer sounded a bit rehearsed but she was very prepared and executed her delivery brilliantly so kudos to Sydnee on a job well done. North Dakota followed and selected B.J. Coleman's question, "Suicide is the third leading cause of death amongst teens today and as you know, bullying affects thousands of teens daily and prevents them from going to school and it has affected the rate of suicide among teens. What do you think that we can do to stop this?" North Dakota delivered her answer sounding like she was on the verge of tears possibly recalling a bullying incident she had in the past. She said she was a victim of bullying during her sophomore year of high school and that people need to tell their parents, trusted adults and just let people know because it is a big problem. With making committees with schools like her mom did who is an elementary school teacher so she helped with that and just educate girls that it's not okay to call someone a name this day or that day because some people can't handle the pressure. Now, some may deem the on-the-verge-of-tears delivery a tactic to garner sympathy votes from the judges and I'm wondering if this will become a trend because as I mentioned during my commentary on Miss USA 2011 earlier this year, Tennessee's Ashley Durham also sounded a bit choked up or emotional when delivering her answer regarding the burning of the Koran. But it could all be legitimate too which most of us would like to believe so who knows? Finally, Texas picked Dr. Cheryl Karcher. "Do you think it's appropriate for teenagers to get plastic surgery? Why or why not?" I should point out that a similar question was also posed to Katie Blair (Miss Teen USA 2006) while Katie was competing for Miss California USA 2011. Danielle responded saying that she thinks it depends on the situation. You don't know what your body is going to look like in 15 or 20 years so right off the bat she doesn't think you should. If it's a personal choice and your mom and dad agree and you come to the conclusion that you want it then sure, it just depends on the situation. Danielle really handled that question well and obviously the judges agreed.

They showed another crowning moments montage from 1983 to 2010! LOVE! LOVE!! LOVE!!! And it was in order this time unlike the one that was shown during 2007. After Kamie Crawford said her farewell, the results were revealed. The 4th runner up was Missouri, 3rd runner up was Kansas, 2nd runner up was California and unlike previous years, the winner Texas was announced first and then they mentioned that North Dakota was the 1st runner up. So now the Lonestar state of Texas has its second Miss Teen USA crown but it has captured the Miss USA title 9 times so they have a lot of catching up to do at Teen! Texas comes back big and the chosen one, Danielle Doty will be a fine Miss Teen USA.

The Prethoughts - Miss Teen USA 2011




Some photos courtesy Miss Universe L.P., LLLP