On Saturday, January 26, 2008, 52 delegates took the stage at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, NV to vie for the coveted 2008 Miss America Title. This years live broadcast was televised on TLC in high-definition and was hosted by the award winning journalist and Entertainment Tonight’s Mark Steines. Not only has Steines won 3 Emmy’s for his journalism, he has also won the heart of 1993 Miss America Leanza Cornett, his wife.
There has been a lot of hype about the 2008 Miss America. Televised beauty pageants have lost a lot of viewers over the last decade or so. For those that follow pageants, you can tell that in the last 5 years they have been trying new things to try to get ratings back and rebuild the popularity of the televised events.
The Miss America Organization has done a major pageant overhaul this year. Starting with the Miss America Reality Check where all 52 girls live together where they are re-trained and prepped on what is expected of the 2008 Miss America. The new Miss America should be, according to a recent Miss America press release, a relatable “it girl” who can connect with today’s modern woman.
The last installment of the Miss America Reality Check series aired right before the live pageant competition. The live pageant was entertaining but I missed some of the glitz and glamour of pageantry. The opening introduction was different, I’ll give them that but I wasn’t too impressed by it. It felt more like a competition of the state’s rather than a competition of the individuals. Then there was a 2 second dance step, if you blinked you missed it. Call me old school, but give me a fancy opening number any day.
I know time is precious when it comes to putting on a pageant of this magnitude in less than 2 hours but cut the fun fact info in the intro’s and give us a spectacular opening. I really enjoyed that we got to see the talent competition of the finalists on stage but I wasn’t crazy about how they eliminated two of the girls during this segment. Sure it lead to a little suspense but it left you feeling so bad for these ladies more so because they were dressed for the competition. It seemed kind of mean.
I was pretty much happy with the finalists and the runners-up. It appeared the judging to be pretty fair. The one surprise was that Mrs. Indiana placed so high…1st runner-up. I didn’t see that one coming. Kirsten Haglund, who had done very well in talent and interview, was crowned Miss America 2008. Raising awareness of eating disorders is her platform which she will promote during her reign as well as the Children’s Miracle Network’s Goodwill Ambassador. She attends the University of Cincinnati where she is studying musical theater. Someday she hopes to perform on Broadway. Best wishes to Kirsten as she embarks on the dream of many little girls, To Be Miss America For a Year!