I’ve always shied away from writing Miss USA Top-Whatever posts over the years because I know what it’s like to be a competitor. One bad “review” can get in your head, despite reading 500 other posts saying how wonderfully you performed. However, now that I’m two years removed from my last pageant, I’m breaking my own rules. But, I’ll add this disclaimer: DEAR MISS USA CLASS OF 2016 STOP READING THIS!
Okay, now it’s fair game. I’ll start with a brief, only moderately-braggy history of why I think I’m qualified to say who won the 2016 Miss USA Preliminary Competition. My marathon of a pageant career began many moons ago:
In or around the year 2000, I competed in some now-defunct “Miss North American Teen Pageant.” A gangly preteen got a flier in the mail and decided the she was destined for stardom! I purchased my gown from a Frederick’s of Hollywood type mail-order catalogue (somehow age appropriate on my wirey, depressingly-curveless frame) and hit the road to a hotel banquet hall that would surely begin my assent to greatness. I arrived at the hotel, ill-fitting Kohl’s skirt suit and Caboodle in hand. I entered the elevator on the way to my room and saw another, much more-prepared-looking teen with a name tag on: “Allyn.”
“Oh, weird,” I said, “they must have given you my name tag by mistake – I’m Allyn.” Confused, she replied, “No. My name is Allyn.”
This was the beginning of the end. Not only did my dream of being the only Allyn in the world crumble, this girl looked like she had read way more Seventeen Magazines than I. She also had a Mary Kay makeup case – she must be a professional. Not to be discouraged, I flipped my hair back, closed my eyes and envisioned the crown being placed on my head.
Well… Boop! I lost. 1st Runner-Up to the “Other Allyn.” My life was over.
After 10 years of mourning, I tried my hand at my first real, big girl pageant and won! Thus, my “pageant career” began.
Miss Sinergy 2010
Miss Maryland USA 2011 (Top 8 – Miss USA 2011)
Miss District of Columbia 2012 (Ruthie/Mimi Pabon Award)
Miss U.S. Supranational 2014 (3rd Runner-Up)
So, I’m going to go ahead and call myself a pageant expert. But, I’m really just a backseat driver at this point – but I don’t care! I’m offering my opinion like it matters or something.
Wednesday, the 2016 Miss USA Preliminary Competition was held at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. I’m poor and couldn’t afford to stay 5 days in Vegas (though I will be attending the final competition LIVE – Sunday, June 5th at 7 p.m. ET on FOX ), so I armchair quarterbacked my way through the lifestream on the Miss USA website.
An hour and a half, two glasses of wine and 12 pages of notes later, here is All-in with Allyn’s Miss USA 2016, Top 13:
First, let me explain why I only have a Top 13 when Miss USA traditionally has a Top 15, 16 or 20. As a former D&D (Producers of the Miss MD, NY, NJ, RI and DE state pageants) titleholder, I always have a soft spot for our girls and thus believe I cannot make an unbiased list including them. So, I decided to leave a few spots open for our girls, yet will not mention which ones. And in a perfect world, they would all be included! I digress, here we go…
This year’s preliminary competition could be summed up in one word: Capes.
…Why? I don’t know. The cape worked for approximately one contestant: South Dakota – but I also thought she managed to pull off tie dye; I may be drunk.
The night was also filled with other disappointments, like this one:
I only have one thing to say to you, Megan:
Okay, two things:
I don’t know who you have to call, or what contestant you have to poison in order to procure another dress – JUST TAKE CARE OF IT.
Other notable events:
- When the Rhyme Guy accidentally said out loud, “apparently half the contestants this year were homeless?”
- When all the children in the promo video said that they were voting for their favorite state, Mexico, to win Miss USA… I would be worried for the future of America, but Caitlin Upton explained:
Now! A warm up for the big show! My Coulda-Woulda-Shouldas (or “Bubbles”) of the 2016 Preliminary Show are as follows:
Mississippi: I found her absolutely angelic and I loved her baby pink, liquid-beaded gown. If she was a teen contestant she’d be my Miss Teen USA. However, her hair was limp and so was her personality on stage. In any case, I could easily see her up there. I will also note that my infinitely picky brother found her beautiful.
Michigan: I loved her coming in to USA, but since her arrival in Vegas, she has lacked in personality. I thought she looked older than she is, but had one of the best walks of the competition. I would gladly see her in the 15. I also think her hair weighs more than her entire body.
Missouri: I’ve liked Missouri since her Road To video. She’s articulate and interesting and beautiful. However, I found her prelim performance flat. I also wish she had chosen a more dynamic gown (I believe she recreated her state gown, but in baby blue instead of white).
Georgia: One of the prettiest faces in the pageant, but she was styled so poorly. She looked like a Real Housewife of Whatever who got talked into a dress that some how managed to be matronly and drag queenish at the same time? I was also disappointed with her slicked back mini ponytail – it looked like an afterthought.
Montana: Okay, I’m biased because I’ve met Siobahn and I find her infinitely charming. Also, her body is enough to make anyone want to throw themselves off of a cliff. I’m fairly certain she was genetically modified in a lab. However, I was disappointed with her styling, but she likely has a killer gown that she will change to for the final competition – I hope we get to see it. At the very least every straight American male will be thanking MUO.
Lastly, the more I look at photos, the more I think that little Arizona also deserves to be in the mix. She had a very consistent prelim performance and has looked the part since arriving in Vegas. I could easily see her in the 15.
*Shoutout to my favorite website Pageant Update for the graphics. Her site is pretty much the pageant Book of Genesis run by USA superfan and all around sweet gal, Carly Oz.
Enough rambling! It’s time for the good stuff! All-in with Allyn’s Top 13, in alphabetical order:
She’s the girl in your sorority who volunteers for the Humane Society and spends her summers in third world countries building wells for orphanages. You can’t really dislike her, but secretly you hope gets bitten by a tick and contracts lyme disease.
D.C.’s gown looked like she got caught in a golden-spun spider web and Boop’d her way through it. Fabulous presentation, fabulous body, all around solid competitor – she’s in. Bonus points for being an American service member.
She’s the girl who knows how to surf, taught her dog to surf, can dance hula, lives at the end of a rainbow, on top of a volcano, looks like a Victoria Secret model and may or may not possess the ability to do this:
I can’t decide if I want to be her friend. But, she gets the call.
6. Miss 52
This girl. For those of you who don’t know, this year, the Miss Universe Organization decided to try something a little different – a social media competition, giving one extra girl the chance to vie for the Miss USA crown. The “52nd contestant” is Alex Miller. She had approximately ONE WEEK to prepare for the opportunity of a lifetime. She left her desk job and turned up at Miss USA looking this “unprepared.” If I was the other contestants, I’d hate her. But, you can’t, she’s a peach. Verdict is in – come on down Miss 52!
7. North Carolina
How this alphabetically worked out for my narrative here is a pageant miracle. Now THIS GIRL is on another level. While Miss 52 had a week to prepare, Miss North Carolina USA had -2 days. How is this possible, you ask? The original Miss NC USA fell ill at the pageant and this young lady (her 1st runner up) was called up. “In the event that the winner cannot fill her duties…” call Miss North Carolina USA, because she also apparently manages to look like this year-round. No pity-vote needed for North Carolina!
Oh Oklahoma, I want to put you in a glass case on my mantel and warn passerbys not to tap on the glass. She looked like Holiday Barbie, and even though it’s June, I let it slide. There’s a place for you, Oklahoma!
I want to be Miss Pennsylvania USA’s best friend. She’s not allowed to read this, but whoever knows her, give her my number, please. Leading up to Miss USA, she was my favorite contestant. Pennsylvania is deaf in both ears (due to meningitis as a child), yet, works as a television host, is a prominent public speaker and is an advocate for the hearing impaired. I fundamentally like her as a human being. Also, she’s adorable – come on down!
10. South Carolina
11. South Dakota
One of the top contenders of the evening. South Dakota was effortlessly cool and trendy, with a timeless beauty. Great body, great hair, stepped in a puddle before she hit the stage and still pulled off a Top 13 spot! She is also nailing “Before – Amanda Bynes”:
Virginia is too short for my liking and over-the-top muscular. However, she has improved by leaps and bounds from her state pageant. Her face is undeniably beautiful and I feel like she’s got a spot. Welcome, Virginia!
My post-arrival favorite. Her body left something to be desired, but Wisconsin may very well be the “face of the pageant.” She’s sweet enough to be on the cover of Knitting Weekly, but easily spotted in Maxim. It’s magical. She could win the whole shebang.
Winner winner chicken dinner……………..
IT’S A TIE!
My 2016 Miss USA Prelim Winner(s): Hawaii and Miss 52!
Hawaii had a runaway performance with the most commanding stage presence. However, Miss 52, with one week to prepare for the competition, swept me away with her effortless poise under pressure. Both girls brought solid packages in intro, swimsuit and evening gown. I see them both getting the call on Sunday.*
*My “Preliminary Winners” are not necessarily my picks for the crown, but the two with the best overall presentation at Wednesday’s preliminary.
I hope you enjoyed my commentary. All comments are meant as satire. I’m not collecting ticks for you, Alabama, calm down.