I’m not a fan of beauty pageants in general. I like that women are offered opportunities for scholarships that they might not otherwise be able to obtain, but I don’t like the “beauty” aspect. After all, one person’s idea of beauty isn’t necessarily the same as anothers.
That isn’t to say, however, that I have anything against the women who opt to enter these types of pageants. I think everyone has the right to pursue whatever type of activity or endeavor that they choose.
For obvious reasons, I wasn’t particularly excited to watch The CW’s reality television show “Crowned.” However, since I was asked to review it, I tuned in for last night’s episode, which determined which of the four mother daughter teams who would compete in the final pageant.
The supposed premise of this show according to The CW is to explore the emotional and volatile relationships that exist between mothers and daughters. It began with 11 teams from different walks of life all vying to win what the network is billing as “The Mother of All Pageants.”
Each week the teams were put through a series of tests and challenges that were related either to their relationships or their role as potential winners of the pageant. The team doing the worst was desashed and sent home while the winning team was awarded a prize.
The judges for each challenge included former beauty pageant winner Miss U.S.A., Shanna Moakler; fashion icon, Carson Kressley from Lifetime’s “How to Look Good Naked;” and television personality, Cynthia Garret from “Later with Cynthia Garrett.”
In episode one, the teams were tasked with picking a name and an overall look that best described who they were. Some names were a hit with the judges like “Dream Gals” and “Tomboy Queens.” Others made little sense at all like “Skin Deep” or “Reigning A’s”. A few names the judges hated altogether like “Silent But Deadly”. The team with the worst name and look was sent packing.
In the second episode, the daughters were put in charge of finding a bathing suit for themselves as well as their mothers. Additionally, each team had to design and deliver a fitness routine. Some succeeded in accenting their positives while finding a comfortable compromise. The worst team was, again, sent home.
During week three, the mothers and daughters received makeovers with the mothers in charge of their overall look. Then they took new pageant photos, which were critiqued by the judges. The worst team had to hit the streets.
In the fourth episode, a trust exercise backfired on one team while leading others to deal with issues they had long ignored; making some teams stronger. They were also challenged to find a talent that highlighted both of their personal talents. Once again, some hit the nail squarely on the head while others were totally off the mark. The worst performing team was sent home.
During week five the contestants had to show their different kinds of smiles; one for modeling, one for interview, one that says “I’ve got a secret,” and the one they use everyday. Each team was put up on a rotating pedestal and told to hold their smile for a full minute while others tried to break their confidence. Some succeeded, while others did not. The losing team was desashed and sent away.
Week six saw the teams working for charity, performing duties on behalf of Habitat for Humanity. Some teams blossomed in the hot sun while others were anything but charitable – – to the agency for which they were working or to one another. Once again, the weakest team was sent home.
In the final episode before the pageant, the five remaining teams helped to plan and execute a cocktail party for some very important VIPs – – their husbands and fathers. Some excelled in cooking while others proved to be good planners. A few were excellent hostesses while one or two proved accomplished across the board. Then an intensive interview process eliminated the last pair before the final episode.
Four teams remain. They are:
The Dream Gals. Forty-nine year-old mother, Gina, readily admits that she entered the pageant primarily to spend time with her 27 year-old daughter, Hollis. So far this team has wowed the judges with their genuineness and close bond, their poise and presence, and their bubbly personalities. They could just be the team to beat.
The Dare Devil Divas. Fifty-one year-old mother, Moya, has no pageant experience although she is every bit as beautiful as her 25 year-old daughter, Jenileigh, who has been doing pageants since the age of nine. While Moya is far more reserved than her daughter, she has slowly come out of her shell to impress the judges. This close pair is also unusually strong.
The Diamond Dolls. Forty year-old mother, Melinda, has struggled with her shyness throughout the pageant. She also has health issues that have made it particularly difficult for her to perform some of the challenges. Still, she has persevered. Daughter, Rachelle, 24, is proud that her mother has managed to overcome so much in her life and considers her a real role model.
The Sincere Sexy Redheads. Mother, Patty, is 50 years of age and was a former pageant girl herself. Daughter, Laura, 23 has no pageant experience at all. Both girls’ strength and honesty has impressed the judges from the start. However, in the final episode it was pointed out that they may have crossed over to the “aggressive” side.
I was less than impressed with the behavior of the Sexy Redheads during last night’s episode. Daughter Laura appeared to have quite a chip on her shoulder toward The Dream Gals. Both she and her mother bashed the popular team for being “fake” then walked off the stage to coyly smile at their competition.
In contrast, The Dream Gals refused to put down any of their competitors; saying the weakest team was whichever one the judges “felt least exemplified the qualities they were looking for.” Although the Dare Diamond Dolls also named another team by name, they admitted their choice was more from “lack of knowledge” than anything that the team themselves had done. The Dare Devil Divas took the high road, also refusing to name any weak team by name.
I have no idea which team might go on to win this pageant and with the exception of the Sincere Sexy Redheads, I really don’t care. I think the show would be doing itself a terrible disservice, however, if it opts for the redheads who seem to have a habit of saying one thing to your face and something completely different behind your back.
But then what do I know? With the exception of being my sorority’s Valentine Queen, I’ve never won another beauty pageant. I think the final decision rests in far better hands than my own.