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Jordan Lopez
Jordan Lopez

The Pageant (2008)

They came, they saw and they were conquered - was the overwhelming feeling of all those who watched the beauty pageant to crown Ms Teen India Georgia and Ms India Georgia 2008 held at Gwinnet Performing Art Center.

The Pageant (2008)

One unique thing this year was that the contestants were extraordinarily talented and highly competitive. Although there is no denying that there is always scope for improvements, the high quality of the overall production this year was clearly indicative of all the hard work the pageant director and her team had put in.

Record heat could not keep an anxious crowd of over 1400 people from filling the Alex Theatre on Saturday night to see who would be crowned Miss Asia USA 2008. Celebrating its 20th Anniversary as the premiere pageant for young Asian women in the USA, the Miss Asia USA 2008 Cultural Pageant once again played to another sold out audience. Electricity filled the air as 31 beautiful, intelligent and talented young Asian-American women proudly represented various countries from around the Asian continent. Throughout the show, they dazzled the audience and judges with their eye-popping national costumes, Scala eveningwear, Malibu Girl swimwear and evening gowns as they vied for the coveted title of Miss Asia USA 2008.

Performers/Celebrity Involvement: Shirley Jones, singer and actress, served as pageant hostess. Guest entertainers included the Fort Bend Boys Choir of Texas, singer Audra McDonld, jazz quartet The Manhattan Transfer (Cheryl Bentyne, Tim Hauser, Alan Paul, and Janis Siegel), mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, and country entertainer Travis Tritt. The U.S. Marine Band, "The President's Own," provided music. Doug Hill, chief meteorologist for local WJLA-TV station played Santa Claus.

Miscellaneous: After the events of September 11th, the U.S. Secret Service announced the Ellipse would be restricted to ticket holders only during the event as a security precaution, but later reconsidered. The security perimeter was expanded from the immediate pageant site to the perimeter of the Ellipse. For added security traffic was temporarily closed on 15th Street in both directions, and north bound only on 17th Street. (E Street was again closed after September 11th.)

Performers/Celebrity Involvement: Barbara Eden, singer and actress, served as pageant hostess and Roy Clark, country singer was this year's "Santa Claus". Guest entertainers included the World Children's Choir from McLean, VA, country singer Steve Warner, The Mannheim Streamroller, Three Mo' Tenors, soprano Hei Kyung Hong, and country entertainer Lee Ann Womack. The U.S. Air Force Concert Band provided music under the direction Colonel Dennis Layendecker.

Performers/Celebrity Involvement: Shirley Jones, singer and actress, and Merlin Olsen, actor, retired all-star football player and this year's "Santa Claus", served as pageant hosts. Guest entertainers included the VOENA (Voices of Eve'n Angels) Children's Choir from Benicia, California, soprano Twyla Robinson, the cast of Mamma Mia! (Jeanine Morick, Gary P. Lynch, PJ Griffith, Emy Baysic, Karen Burthwright and James Royce Edwards), and country entertainer Lonestar. The U.S. Coast Guard Band provided music under the direction of Captain Lewis J. Buckley.

Performers/Celebrity Involvement: Performers at the event included the U.S. Navy Band; Broadway singer and pageant hostess Dale Kristien; Broadway singer Brad Oscar; rhythms and blues vocalist CeCe Winans; popular country music band Ricky Skaggs and the Whites; poet Maya Angelou and the VOENA (Voices of Eve 'N Angels) Children's Choir from Benicia, California. Merlin Olsen, actor, retired all-star football player returned for the second year as "Santa Claus".

"These beauty pageants are very valued here in Brazil," she said. "The gay ones. I don't know how it is in the US but gay people here go crazy for them and order expensive outfits. It's very expensive."

Erickson, 57, is comic relief in the annual Christmas pageant at Arvada Covenant Church, a medium-sized evangelical church in a middle-class Denver suburb. His role is Harold, Angel Second Class Cloud Stomper. He tosses fake snow from the pockets of a rented white suit when an alarm goes off.

Incorporating up to 100,000 performers, the Mass Games — a state propaganda exercise that is part pageant, part rhythmic gymnastics and all weird — require more than a million man-hours of preparation. This level of dedication, on an individual scale, was made famous by the 2003 British documentary A State of Mind, which followed two child performers as they trained for up to 10 hours a day in subzero temperatures. When it all comes together, the group dynamics are spectacular. Think of it as state ideology in motion, a hypnotic, surreal simulacrum of the masses striving in unison.

The pageant, which is the brainchild of Father Antonio Rungi of Mondragone near Naples, is intended to challenge the stereotype of the nun as plain at best and grotesque at worst. According to the Times, Father Antonio is expecting 1,000 habit-clad lovelies to line up and display their gorgeousness - although not too much of it. Any unspeakable pervs hoping for details of the blessed bikini round should stop reading now - the best you can hope for from the parade of sisters is loosened hair. Cor. 041b061a72


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