THOUGHTS OF MISS USA

2010

Just be careful how you say that last name!
Michigan's Rima Fakih is Miss USA 2010


Yeah, I might have said her last name a few times upon learning that Michigan's Rima Fakih is the new Miss USA... I'm kidding! Although, this is one of those cases when I didn't really see it but others did. So it's one of those years, eh?? But I guess I'm okay with this win. Oklahoma was heavily hyped by some others only to end up being placed as 1st runner up.
In terms of my predictions, I picked 8 of the top 15, 2 alternates and 3 honorable mentions. Colorado and Mississippi were the two that escaped my list. In terms of the tallest 3 (Texas, Washington and Maine), instead of Texas and Washington making it, Maine does when I decide to take her out of my list. Gah! And I am really disappointed to see Lacey Wilson shut out again. First at Miss Teen USA 2002 and again at Miss USA 2010.
Michigan now has its 3rd Miss USA crown. Michigan's first two Miss USA winners in 1990 and 1993 were also the first two black Miss USA winners (Carole Gist and Kenya Moore) so Michigan continues its trend in making a first in Miss USA history by crowning Rima as the first Arab Muslim winner of the Miss USA title. Rima is of Lebanese descent.
What did make me very happy was that my top 2 picks: Alabama and Nebraska respectively won the Miss Photogenic and Miss Congeniality awards! I agree one billion percent with those choices! Alabama's facial beauty was what propelled her to the top position of my predictions. It was so touching that Nebraska won Congeniality knowing that her father passed away recently and yet Belinda had the strength to perform with tremendous confidence. I guess they weren't going to crown two blondes in a row since that seems to be extremely rare in recent years. I believe the last time this happened was when Kelli McCarty, Miss USA 1991 crowned Shannon Marketic, Miss USA 1992.

The final commentary will be posted on May 24th.

ACTUAL TOP 15

MY PREDICTIONS

Winner=Michigan-Rima Fakih

Winner=Alabama-Audrey Moore*

1st Runner Up=Oklahoma-Morgan Woolard

1st Runner Up=Nebraska-Belinda Wright*

2nd Runner Up=Virginia-Samantha Casey

2nd Runner Up=Massachusetts-Lacey Wilson

3rd Runner Up=Colorado-Jessica Hartman

3rd Runner Up=Arizona-Brittany Bell

4th Runner Up=Maine-Katie Whittier

4th Runner Up=Wyoming-Claire Schreiner*

FINALISTS

FINALISTS

6. Tennessee-Tucker Perry

Virginia-Samantha Casey*

7. Alabama-Audrey Moore

Connecticut-Ashley Bickford

8. Mississippi-Breanne Ponder

Texas-Kelsey Moore

9. California-Nicole Johnson

Pennsylvania-Gina Cerilli*

10. Missouri-Ashley Strohmeier

Washington-Tracy Turnure

SEMIFINALISTS

SEMIFINALISTS

11. Wyoming-Claire Schreiner

Oklahoma-Morgan Woolard*

12. Pennsylvania-Gina Cerilli

Georgia-Cassady Lance

13. Kansas-Bethany Gerber

Tennessee-Tucker Perry*

14. Nebraska-Belinda Wright

Rhode Island-Kristina Primavera

15. Arkansas-Adrielle Churchill

California-Nicole Johnson*

 

ALTERNATES:Maine*, New Jersey, Kentucky, Michigan*, Ohio

 

HONORABLE MENTIONS:Missouri*, Louisiana, Kansas*, Arkansas*, Florida

 

* = made actual top 15



FINAL PRETHOUGHTS (May 14, 2010)

Alrighty then... Let's just get right to it. After a lot of rewrites and debating, I just had to settle with something like always. So who makes my list this year?


TOM'S FINAL PREDICTIONS FOR MISS USA 2010

Winner = Alabama - Audrey Moore

Sweet Home Alabama indeed! As mentioned in my first round prethoughts, Audrey Moore is the right measure of everything but it was her pure facial beauty and just overall presentation that was the determining factor. I just found her flawless in preliminaries and I think it is time for the first alphabetical state to make a splash. Alabama hasn't won the Miss USA crown since 1967 when Sylvia Hitchcock took it and then went on to win Miss Universe. Could this mean something for Audrey??

1st Runner Up = Nebraska - Belinda Wright

As many people are aware, Belinda's father passed away recently but this girl absolutely glowed during preliminaries with supreme confidence and also possesses tremendous overall beauty of face and figure, almost as if her father is with her in spirit. I think the judges are aware of her father's passing and while I'm hesitant to give her the win just because I think they are getting away from the 'fairytale' win idea, I can either see her going far in the competition or getting taken out entirely to perhaps avoid some bias. The gown could have been a better choice but Belinda is just likeable, plain and simple.

2nd Runner Up = Massachusetts - Lacey Wilson

I'm sure many of you were expecting Lacey to get a high ranking in my list so here she is. Lacey is the woman I predicted to win Miss Teen USA 2002 which is also the class to boast the most Miss USAs (Tara Conner in 2006 and Rachel Smith in 2007) but Lacey was shockingly omitted from the semifinals of Miss Teen USA 2002. Lacey has also competed in California and Massachusetts before finally winning a state crown this year. Could Lacey be the 3rd Miss USA from this prestigious Teen USA class? Lacey is just so sweet and sincere and she has a gorgeous gown and a knockout body. Some people don't seem to be supporting her as much but I still really like her and hope she does well.

3rd Runner Up = Arizona - Brittany Bell

This girl is so gorgeous and I'm in love with her hair of course and she has a lovely face to complete the look. I just want to see her noticed in a big way and Arizona had a 2nd runner up placement last year so why not keep up the trend? I'm maybe a smidge concerned about her height but she definitely stands out regardless.

4th Runner Up = Wyoming - Claire Schreiner

Yes, Wyoming. I mentioned earlier that she is dating Kathie Lee Gifford's son Cody but apart from her connections, Claire is a star in her own right. I was very impressed with her facial beauty, body and overall presentation in preliminaries.

FINALISTS

Virginia - Samantha Casey

Everybody was expecting Samantha to make it to the USA stage after her performance and 3rd runner up finish at Miss Teen USA 2006 and now she's here and still looking strong but perhaps is playing it a little safe and not showing as much boldness so I placed her here.

Connecticut - Ashley Bickford

Ashley is the other former Teen from 2002 who has also competed at Miss America and won a preliminary swimsuit competition there and while she still has beauty and body, something was slightly lacking. I guess I was expecting her to bring it a little more but overall she's still among the stronger contenders.

Texas - Kelsey Moore

Earlier, I was thinking Texas could win its "10"th crown in 20"10" given that Kelsey won her crown on her first try which is rare in recent years at Miss Texas USA but then I watched her in preliminaries and her face wasn't what I was expecting. She is among the tallest delegates this year and that should get her noticed but in terms of overall and the feather duster gown, some people are starting to question her chances.

Pennsylvania - Gina Cerilli

I didn't notice her at all until preliminaries but she's hot! I think she has the right 'current' look and sexiness. She has the sexy curves and a really nice but unique gown. Pennsylvanians in recent years have been bringing it with their gowns so we'll see if this one also gets noticed.

Washington - Tracy Turnure

The taller, blonder sister of last year's Miss Washington USA made an impact but her walk was slightly off to me and I think that may do something to her. I was a bit unsure but still think she's pretty enough to do it.

SEMIFINALISTS

Oklahoma - Morgan Woolard

She's had some pretty sexy pics and this one is also a former Teen USA competitor so she has some experience under her belt and she knows how to carry her body but there's something a little off about her face that prevents me from putting her higher but a lot of other people seem to like her so let's see how she does.

Georgia - Cassady Lance

She's another former Teen USA competitor and I just like her look. I'm loving the face and hair and the gown just works for her so I hope to see her in the competition.

Tennessee - Tucker Perry

A subtle, serene beauty but maybe a bit too subtle. I still like Tucker but she's not making as much of an impact as I was hoping.

Rhode Island - Kristina Primavera

She really impressed me in preliminaries and I totally was not expecting her. Another interesting thing to note about Rhode Island was that the 2001, 2002 and 2003 Rhode Island Teen USA titleholders won in successive years again at the Miss USA level (Amy Diaz - Teen 2001 and USA 2008), (Alysha Castonguay - Teen 2002 and USA 2009) and now Kristina Primavera - Teen 2003 and USA 2010!.

California - Nicole Johnson

I'll admit I was ready to take her out of the running just because of her height but preliminaries changed all that. With Shanna Moakler, Miss USA 1995 back in the mix after last year's craziness at Miss California USA, there were some smart choices made, the main one being this gown which really elongated her and looked sexy yet elegant. I placed her 15th though because I think her height may get her cut at this stage but who knows what will happen?

ALTERNATES

Maine - Katie Whittier

I was ready to give her spot among my 15 because of her height but I just don't really care for her. I can still easily see her up there but that forehead and her overall look just makes her seem somewhat older or matronly and not so much young and sexy so I decided at the last minute to just make her an alternate.

New Jersey - Chenoa Greene

I'm just not sure about her. Sometimes she looks decent but I've seen other pictures of her where I just don't get it. Her gown is good and body is fit so she could be up there.

Kentucky - Kendra Clark

Kendra Clark. Doesn't that sound like a name you would hear in a pageant? This girl looks fairly decent and remember Tara Conner, Miss USA 2006 (from Kentucky) is a finals judge this year so maybe that means something?? I think this girl is pretty but those teeth need fixin'.

Michigan - Rima Fakih

Just be careful how you say that last name! It reminds me of that SNL sketch for the "Sofa King" where the prices are... Sofa King cheap! But seriously, Rima turned heads and got some attention from other people so she could be up there for the exotic factor.

Ohio - Amanda Temple

Yes, that ponytail made me take notice of her. I like it but I'm not so sure how I feel about her so I'm just giving her an alternate spot because I can see her being cut.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Missouri - Ashley Strohmeier

Earlier, I was ready to give this girl a top 10 spot but after preliminaries, I wasn't so sure any more. I think she has facial beauty but her gown just didn't look flattering.

Louisiana - Sarah Brooks

Some earlier headshots caused a lot of people to liken her to Marie Osmond. During preliminaries, she performed okay but hair and gown were somewhat questionable so I placed her here.

Kansas - Bethany Gerber

I'm just not sure of her look. I think her face doesn't quite work as a Miss USA but she was pretty good in swimsuit and gown so we'll see.

Arkansas - Adrielle Churchill

I think her look is maybe a little old style pageant and not so much modern and although she looks quite good, I placed her here.

Florida - Megan Clementi

Just like Arkansas, I think her look is maybe a little old style pageant and not current enough. I can see her being cut but we'll see what happens.

BUT

WHY OREGON??? WHYYYY????

(Sigh.) Kate Paul really is a striking, gorgeous girl with a great face but who styled this poor dear?? I just wanted to cry when I saw her on stage. That hair screams hot mess and I was hoping for a nice sleek look with her but then I realized her height and her walk is off so I took her out of the running... BUT... do we remember Endia Abrante placing for Oregon at Miss USA 2001 look rather unconventional? And what about Idaho last year also making the semifinals after looking like she stuck her finger in an electric socket? Is she going to pull some sort of magic act perhaps? Maybe it's wishful thinking on my behalf but this girl will be remembered...

Other delegates I wonder about include North Dakota (she defeated notable crossover Kim Harlan), Montana (a non pageant state but could she do it? She was actually decent in prelims). Idaho, Illinois and Mississippi have been noticed by others but not so much by me. And I'm not even going to think about who the surprises will be but they're inevitable so we'll see what happens on May 16 on NBC!


That's What You Get for Waking Up in Vegas!
So there's been talk about the racy, sexy Fadil Berisha shots of the delegates but I actually really like them! I agree with the Miss Universe Organization's defense that the pageant has to stay with the times and stay relevant and they know they need to sex it up a bit to draw an audience. Miss America is, yet again, struggling to find a network but Miss USA and Universe have just renewed with NBC for another 3 years. Trump knows that controversy equals publicity and if you get people talking about it, it will generate interest. 'Tis the way of the world.

Tennessee, Arizona, Virginia



FIRST ROUND PRETHOUGHTS (April 18, 2010)



Who will succeed the heavenly Kristen Dalton and be crowned Miss USA 2010 on May 16 in Las Vegas to be broadcast on NBC?
The time is nigh... It is the dawning of a new day... and time to crown a new Miss USA. All the state titleholders have been chosen so I thought I would start posting my prethoughts on some of the delegates who are my early eyecatchers and will likely be a strong indication of how my predictions will look this year. I will also present some other interesting tidbits.


10 in '10?
Will Texas capture its 10th Miss USA crown in 2010??

Miss Texas USA 2010, Kelsey Moore
The 9 Miss USAs from Texas: Kim Tomes (1977), Laura Martinez Harring (1985), Christie Fitchner (1986), Michelle Royer (1987), Courtney Gibbs (1988), Gretchen Polhemus (1989), Chelsi Smith (1995), Kandace Krueger (2001), Crystle Stewart (2008)

Kelsey Moore, Miss Texas USA 2010Of course, everyone knows Texas has more Miss USA titleholders than any other state. They have captured the crown 9 times and in big ways. Texas has the unprecedented five-in-a-row wins from 1985 to 1989 and the 1995 Miss USA winner, Chelsi Smith, is the only one of these Texan ladies to go on to win Miss Universe. Only two years later after Crystle Stewart won the crown for the lonestar state, Texas finds itself with its newest standout, Kelsey Moore. At 6'2", Kelsey is a very tall, striking, athletic, versatile beauty who can look like the girl next door but can majorly glam herself up very well also. But aside from all these factors, what else makes Kelsey a standout? Anyone who follows Miss Texas USA in recent years knows that it is extremely rare for Miss Texas USA to win on her first try at the title. But Kelsey did. The last time a woman won Miss Texas USA on her first attempt at the title was way back when Christine Friedel captured the 1994 Miss Texas USA title representing El Paso (Gasp! Just like Kelsey also represented El Paso!). All other Miss Texas USAs who won the crown after Christine all experienced losses at their first attempt at the title... until Kelsey came along. Many people have also noticed how Kelsey appears to be modelling herself after Miss USA 2004, Shandi 'Perfection' Finnessey. That seems to be a good route to take according to me! Will all these factors working in Kelsey's favor pay off??


Will There Be a Third Miss USA from the Teen USA Class of 2002? AGAIN??

Last year, I hoped to see Rhode Island's Alysha Castonguay in the competition but she was somehow excluded from the top 15 in spite of having several titles under her belt. In fact, all of the delegates last year that had previously competed at Miss Teen USA were left out of the semifinals. The last time that happened was at Miss USA 1994. Lacey Wilson, Miss Massachusetts USA 2010Ashley Bickford, Miss Connecticut USA 2010 Alysha competed in the famous Miss Teen USA class of 2002 which has produced two former Miss USAs which is more than any other class of Miss Teen USA delegates. These winners are Tara Conner in 2006 and Rachel Smith in 2007 both of whom also placed in the top 10 at Miss Teen USA 2002. Georgia's Teen of 2002, Kimberly Harlan also represented the USA at Miss World 2003 further adding to the strength of this class but Kimberly Harlan after several attempts at the Miss Georgia USA title and even relocating to North Dakota was somehow unable to capture a state crown to compete at Miss USA. Two ladies from the Teen USA class of 2002 are competing for Miss USA 2010 and having these lovely ladies compete make this year's Miss USA competition perhaps the fiercest ever! Massachusetts is being represented by Lacey Wilson. She is the woman who many of you will know that I had predicted to be the winner of that famous Miss Teen USA 2002 pageant and I raised a big fuss about how Lacey was inexplicably shut out of the top 10 from Miss Teen USA 2002 but a very less-than girl, Vanessa Semrow managed to pull off a shocking, surprise win which forever tainted the results of what should have been a win for the ages, especially from that competitive class of Teen delegates in 2002. Lacey's win was very emotional as she has experienced previous losses at the Miss level in Massachusetts and also California. Massachusetts has two Miss USA wins with Shawnae Jebbia in 1998 and Susie Castillo in 2003. Lacey Wilson is this genuine, sweet, sincere and magnificently beautiful girl with an amazing body and she is going to show us all what she's made of at Miss USA 2010 and I expect big things from Lacey. But Lacey isn't alone. Connecticut is being represented by Ashley Bickford who also competed at Miss Teen USA 2002 and was actually a top 10 semifinalist that year. Ashley has also represented Rhode Island at Miss America 2008 where she also won the preliminary swimsuit and photogenic awards. Ashley's stunning face surely can't go unnoticed and she is expected to be a very strong presence at Miss USA 2010. Connecticut did have a semifinalist last year but the state of Connecticut doesn't have a great history at Miss USA but that could change. The very experienced Alita Dawson gave this state a 4th runner up placement at Miss USA 2002 but Connecticut hasn't placed since 1969 prior to Alita and Connecticut has never won the crown but could this be the year? This competition is going to be unbelievably intense!!


Ala-bam-bam-bama!
The Right Measure of Everything

Audrey Moore, Miss Alabama USA 2010
Alabama has come back big with a frontrunner in Audrey Moore. Audrey seems to be the right measure of everything with one of the most pleasant faces competing this year. Alabama hasn't won the crown since 1967 when their only winner, Sylvia Hitchcock also went to capture the Miss Universe crown that year for the USA. Sometimes the first delegate up is at a disadvantage unless she is really strong which Audrey appears to be. I am expecting big things from this contestant.


Samantha Casey, Miss Virginia USA 2010Nafeesa Deflorias, Miss Arizona USA 2008, Brittany Bell, Miss Arizona USA 2010 and Alicia-Monique Blanco, Miss Arizona USA 2009Other strong notable contenders include Virginia's Samantha Casey who was also 3rd runner up at Miss Teen USA 2006. Many people know that Samantha is quite the focused competitor and she was expected to return to the Miss USA stage and now that she has, many people have their eyes on her.
Arizona's Brittany Bell is a stunning girl with that gorgeous hair I love. After placing as 2nd runner up last year, Arizona hopes to have another strong showing this year with Brittany.
Two of the tallest delegates this year include Maine's Katie Whittier who is 6'2" and Washington's Tracy Turnure who is 6'3". Maine's Katie Whittier appears to be modelling herself after last year's Miss Texas USA, Brooke Daniels and Washington's Tracy Turnure is the twin sister of last year's Miss Washington USA, Tara Turnure. This is the first time in Miss USA history that twin sisters have been crowned in succession at the Miss USA state level.

I've got my eye on the lovely face of Oregon's Kate Paul as well. After preliminaries, I'll have a better idea of where to place her but she's in my list so far.
Wyoming's representative Claire Schreiner is dating Cody Gifford, son of noted media personality, Kathie Lee Gifford. Could this connection work in her favor?

Oklahoma, Delaware, Alyssa Campanella, Tony Dovolani of Dancing with the Stars, Alabama, California New Jersey's astonishing dynamo Alyssa Campanella (1st runner up at Miss Teen USA 2007 and my prediction to win that year) unfortunately was unable to win Miss New Jersey USA again this year. She finished as a semifinalist but many people were hoping to see her at Miss USA this year after placing as 1st runner up at Miss New Jersey USA last year.


Good news! Miss USA and Miss Universe have renewed with NBC for another 3 years so we're safe on network TV until 2013! I'm very happy this has happened. Miss America has been dropped from TLC last I heard and they are shopping for a new home. Miss Teen USA will remain a webcast for now though. Miss Teen USA was last broadcast on TV in 2007.

Last year's most controversial delegate, California's Carrie Prejean released a book entitled 'Still Standing' after being stripped of her Miss California USA title and she made several media appearances including one uncomfortable appearance on Larry King when she took off her microphone mid-interview after he pressed her for details on the settlement of her lawsuit with the Miss California USA pageant in November 2009 after those infamous sex tapes of Carrie were uncovered. Carrie called Larry's questions inappropriate but he didn't think they were inappropriate. Conservative media personalities Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh have recommended Carrie's book and it contains a foreword by Fox News commentator Sean Hannity.

So those are my first round prethoughts for now. We'll see it all on May 16 on NBC in Las Vegas when the truth unfolds before our eyes. It's going to be exciting!


 

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Some photos courtesy Miss Universe L.P., LLLP