December 22, 2005

Miss America, nostalgia-style.

Good idea.
[Country Music Television], in partnership with the Miss America Organization, has jettisoned a casual-wear competition that was added in recent years, as well as a multiple-choice civics quiz that had pitted five finalists against one another on a "Jeopardy"-style set pumped with an ominous soundtrack seemingly borrowed from "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."...

[V]iewers will see what CMT intends as a more genteel, glamorous competition...

In place of the stiff blue jeans and halter tops that made some onstage segments last year seem like a debutante's bad idea of casual Friday, CMT will emphasize evening wear, with sashes bearing state names - little seen in recent years - again draped prominently across the contestants' long gowns throughout the night so viewers can better chart their progress. Also returning in January - for the first time since 1974 - will be Miss Congeniality, an honor bestowed on one of the 52 contestants (representing the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands) by her peers.

And instead of reducing the talent competition to a montage of edited highlights of the final 10 contestants engaged in baton-twirling, jazz-dancing and furious classical piano playing - as ABC did in recent years - CMT will present full-length performances of the final five contestants. ...

Though the decline in interest in such pageants parallels the dramatic changes in women's lives and careers in recent decades, [Paul Villadolid, vice president of programming and development at CMT] nonetheless saw relevance. The women in their 20's who compete to become Miss America - nearly all of them college-bound and most from small towns - are not unlike those who form the foundation of the CMT audience.
This is a nice demonstration of the value of cable TV over the big networks.

5 comments:

Michael Farris said...

I don't live in the states so I have many many years, but all the innovations described here sound awful and alienating.

The only way that it can make any sense or, more importantly, be any fun, is to not pretend it's anything else but a beauty pageant with a premium on accesible charm (as opposed to glamour or accomplished intelligence) and to focus on the state rivalry aspect.

I'm certain that Miss America will never have the cultural influence she once had (halleluja!) but a little goofy glamour and escapism once a year should be able to find a respectable audience and a Country Music Channel sounds like a good fit.

F15C said...

Miss America, like most everything else, became political, and due to its nature, overly so.

Like many, I'm sick and frickin' tired of politics enveloping darn near everything these days.

So, if CMT can de-politicize Miss America for two hours or whatever of good, clean, entertainment then I wish them success - and world peace.

XWL said...

If you want an old fashioned unreconstructed male chauvinistic fantasy competition of leggy women strutting in architecturally impressive gowns and revealing bathing suits then you can't beat spanish language television stations.

They show many of the national competitions from Mexico and points south (Venezuela despite their current Marxist leadership still take their pageant very seriously)

John A said...

Miss Congeniality

Sandra Bullock is going to be there?

Maria said...

tuxedo tails is one of the good quality product from America that's why I'm proud being American.