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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

87

Unusual Miss America Talents

1949: Water ballet (Patricia Cunningham, IN).

1955: Comic monologue of a novice golfer titled “What Do I Do Now, Mr. McLeod?” (Beth Andre, AZ); speech on how to pack a suitcase (Carol Jennette, MD).

1956: Dramatic sketch titled “A Dream: Faith Over Atheistic Sciences” (Joan Beckett, CA).

1957: Organ medley including “Tea for Two” (Marilyn Van Derbur, CO); rodeo exhibition (June Prichard, TX); trampoline and tumbling to the theme from The Third Man (Amanda Whitman, TN).

1959: Original dramatic interpretation of a beatnik (Beverly Ann Domareki, NJ); vocal impersonation of Maurice Chevalier (Elizabeth Holmes, NY); speech on fashion designing and tractor driving (Diana Klug, CT); character dance to “Tequila” (Jacqueline Winterrose, UT).

1960: Impression of a young hillbilly girl at a major league baseball game (Ann Susan Barber, NJ).

1961: Tap dance to recorded version of her own voice singing “Somebody Loves Me” (Maria Fletcher, NC); dramatic reading of “The Yellow Wallpaper” (LaVerda Garrison, ID); dramatic interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount (Karen Scalise, CT).

1965: Dramatic reading of “The Hazards of Nuclear Fallout” (Mabel Bendiksen, MA).

1966: Original song titled “I’m in a Pageant!” (Vicki Hurd, TN).

1969: Original comedy monologue titled “Interview with Cleopatra, Shirley Temple and Tiny Tim” (Kathleen Ennis, AZ); acrobatic ballet to theme from Exodus (Marilyn Allen, AR).

1973: Ballet roller skating to Swan Lake (Ellen Meade, FL).

1974: Gymnastics dance to the theme from Midnight Cowboy (Cynthia Erb, NH).

1976: Vibes solo of “Bandstand Boogie” (Karen Land, CO); organ medley including “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (Theme From the Coke Commercial)” (RaNae Peterson, ID).

1977: The theme from The Beverly Hillbillies on banjo (Julie Houston, AL).

1981: Ventriloquist interpretation of Laverne & Shirley (Angelina Johnson, TN).

1982: Rifle-twirling routine to a Herzegovinian March (Laura Matthys, OR); baton twirling to theme from Magnum, P.I. (Gale Lee Thomas, HI); gymnastics dance to the theme from CHiPs (Jill Qyckoff, VT).

1987: Marimba interpretation of “Hava Nagila” (Aurelie McCarthy, MA).

1989: Freestyle rollerskating to “Amazing Grace” (Tammy Kettunen, AZ).

1992: Flute Solo of the theme from Star Wars (Shannon Boy, AR).

1993: Flute solo of “Dueling Banjos” (Elizabeth Mosely, OK); character ballet to “Turkey in the Straw” (Lisa Michelle Duncan, CA).

1995: Vocal and puppetry to “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from The Lion King (Amy Ciccolella, CO).

1998: Acro-jazz dance to the “Stampede!” from The Lion King (Stephanie Stanley, ME); “Yankee Doodle” on electric violin (Katie Millar, UT).

2007: Irish step dance to “Dueling Violins” and “Footloose” (Maggie Ireland, CO).

2010: Clogging to “Soul Man” (Adrienne Core, NC); ventriloquism/vocal “I Want to be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart” (Alyse Eady, AR); tap dance to “9 to 5” (Melaina Shipwash, CO).

2011: Jump rope routine to theme from Hawaii Five-O (Lauren Cheape, HI); ballet en pointe to the theme from Superman (Katharyn Nicolle, NJ).

 

Previously: Your 2021 Miss America Baby Name Guide.

Sarah Marshall would probably make a list as her talent if she ever competed at Miss America, or maybe organize a closet a la Corky Sherwood.

Photo by sportgraphic, via Shutterstock



87 Comments / Post A Comment

Anne Helen Petersen

LaVerda from Idaho, you did our homestate proud. I hope there was a lot of dramatic clawing of some womb-like, suffocating background for your dramatic reading of The Yellow Wallpaper.

melis

@Anne Helen Petersen TEXTS FROM THE YELLOW WALLPAPER ALREADY PART OF UPCOMING "TEXTS FROM SCARLETT O'HARA" BOOK, I AM HAPPY TO CONFIRM

sevanetta

@melis I don't understand why there aren't, say, a billion likes on your comment, Melis

SarahP

1959: Original dramatic interpretation of a beatnik (Beverly Ann Domareki, NJ)
I like to think that Beverly Ann just wore pants and a beret, lit a cigarette onstage, and sat back sneering at the judges. With an occasional slap on a bongo drum next to her.

Reginal T. Squirge

Word. This might be my favorite.

JessicaLovejoy

@SarahP "You don't believe in rules, yet you want to control Ned's anger."

"Yeah! You gotta help us, doc! We've tried nothin' and we're all out of ideas!"

meetapossum

@JessicaLovejoy Season 8 is totally the best.

JessicaLovejoy

2012: Can tell you exactly what crime or pastiche of crimes any episode of Law and Order is ripped from without Googling (Jessica Lovejoy, NY)

tmsteele2000

@JessicaLovejoy Oh, I've played this game too.

2012 Mrs. America Pageant (Retro Remix Division): Recites entire screenplay of The Breakfast Club from memory. (tmsteele2000, FL)

I can recite the phoenetic alphabet instead if there is a time limit.

Mira

@JessicaLovejoy 2012: Can list Law and Order ADAs from all three series by number of appearances. Alternative: Dramatic reading of Lennie Briscoe one-liners. (Mira, DC)

mynamebackwards

@JessicaLovejoy can recite all of the presidents in chronological order (mynamebackwards, NY)

BadWolf

@JessicaLovejoy 2012: Allegorical song in Aramaic about a goat (BadWolf, NY)

katiemcgillicuddy

@JessicaLovejoy Recite the entire script from the movie, "Billy Madison", including the song at the end, flawlessly. (katiemcgillicuddy, MD)

Verity

@JessicaLovejoy Can recite all 144 Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode titles in chronological order, and name the episode if given the number (and vice versa). (Verity, not actually from the US)

EpWs

@JessicaLovejoy Dramatic And Schizophrenic Performance Of 10 Things I Hate About You, Performing All The Characters And Their Hand Motions (Everpresent Wordsnatcher, KY)

EpWs

@JessicaLovejoy Demonstration Of Waking Up 20 Minutes Before You Have To Leave, Getting Together An Outfit And Food And Getting To Work Without Looking Like The Undead (Everpresent Wordsnatcher, KY)

susiequsie

@JessicaLovejoy @The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I feel like I knew you were from KY, do you mind sharing rough geographic locale? I'm from Maysville with family in Lex and always love meeting people from KY since I don't live there now. :)

(everyone else, sorry for the off-topic comment)

EpWs

@susiequsie Lexington girl! There's a smattering of Kentucky folks here on the 'Pin, it makes me smile. :)

susiequsie

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher please eat lots of transparent tarts from Magee's bakery for me. I had one for breakfast last time I was in Lexington. It was delicious.

Bittersweet

@JessicaLovejoy Interpretive nostril flaring to the aria from Carmen (Bittersweet, MA)

tmsteele2000

Well, it looks like I'll be spending the rest of the day on YouTube. So thanks for that.

bb
bb

@tmsteele2000 I couldn't find any of the ones I was interested in!!

tmsteele2000

@bb Me neither. WTF? I fully expect every moment that has existed since the invention of film to exist on YouTube. BUT! I did end up watching Jane Pauley interview Vanessa Williams right after she won Miss America and it was all kinds of awesome. Jane was all up in her grill with the You!Black!OMG! and Vanessa handled it with such impressive poise and dignity. It's worth watching just for Vanessa's comment about Ronald Reagan's congratulatory call.

saythatscool

1982: A Ping Pong Ball Trick Where I Don't Use My Hands (Tiffany Podowski, RI)

WhiskeySour

The 1959 pageant must have been amazing. Now that's a pageant I would actually go to!

Also, I can't think "unusual pageant talents" without thinking of the (in)famous Star Wars on trumpet performance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9vngz6pZDY

You just do you, girl!

Lucienne

I really want to see "trampoline and tumbling to the theme from The Third Man." Like, I'm not sure my life will be complete without it.

Anne Helen Petersen

@Lucienne I know, right? I wish Orson Welles was part of the tumbling too. Or maybe she trampolined off his girth?

Lucienne

@Anne Helen Petersen Off his ego?

pterodactgirl

@Lucienne BURN.

I agree those zithers really cry out to be tumbled to though.

wharrgarbl

Ballet roller skating to Swan Lake. I think I'm now in love with Ellen Meade, circa 1973.

Probs

I want to hear "An Interview with Cleopatra, Shirley Temple, and Tiny Tim"

madge

@Probs me too! in my fantasy it is cleopatra telling the other two to pipe down, then showing us how to do her eyeliner.

Megasus

@madge Something tells me it involves getting a nubile young slave girl to do it.

StandardTuber

saythatscool I really wanted to reply to your comment, but for some reason the link to reply sends me back to an anchor on the page.

saythatscool

@Mabissa 2002: An Evening of Bonesaw (Sarah Nussbaum, OR)

StandardTuber

@saythatscool: 2008: Original comedic monologue, "Kardashian Kurse" (Glenease Murphy, CA)

SarahDances

"Rifle-twirling routine to a Herzegovinian March." Sure. Like you do.

Bittersweet

@SarahDances You laugh, but every color guard alumna out there is nodding her head.

bedeah

First thought while reading this: wow, Carol Jennette (1955) is a doctor?!?! That seems unusua...oh wait. MD. Maryland.

Public service announcement, the above is your brain after a day of subsisting on French bread and beef jerky.

katiemcgillicuddy

@bedeah I read your comment and was like "a doctor from Maryland was in the pageant?! I'm from Maryland!" So.

Stavromula Beta

@bedeah It's not just you! I, too, had a moment where I thought she was a doctor.

StandardTuber

Kathleen Ennis, bringing the crazy, back in 1969. You go girl!

Shirley Temple: Gosh, Tiny Tim, I really want to share this lollipop with you, but it's the only one I've got.

Cleopatra: Quiet, girl! You will give the jeweled fruit to me! I am Queen of the Nile!

Tiny Tim: [hobbling away] Well, t'is better to give than to receive. I'll be off to my hovel in the snow. Ta.

Shirley: [sobbing] [sobs get louder...louder]

Cleopatra: SILENCE! [snatches lollipop away (from self?)] Here, you peasant [shoves lollipop to self (this is weird)]. Now, eat it and know that I am the Queen!

Tiny Tim: Much obliged, your Majesty. [whispers to audience] Works every time! [reveals pocket full of lollipops to audience, looks behind shoulder, hobbly-runs away to STAGE LEFT].

saythatscool

@Mabissa I think our snarkery broke this page...

StandardTuber

@saythatscool We need to keep it going.
1957: Hula hoop performance, accompanied by own kazoo-playing of "Round and Round" (Pam Derbyshire, OK)

SarahDances

@Mabissa Or did she mean Tiny Tim the musician? And would that make it more or less crazy?

StandardTuber

@SarahDances: I bet her daughter asked her that just to piss her off.

frigwiggin

@SarahDances I immediately assumed it was Tiny Tim of the "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" variety, and I don't want it any other way.

StandardTuber

@frigwiggin Ah, see I thought Miss Ennis was going for historical figures, to go with Shirley Temple and Cleopatra. The "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" guy, though, he is sooo creepy. Yes, that would be bringing extra crazy to the recipe.

frigwiggin

Never mind the vocal, I want to know about the puppetry to "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" Hand puppets? Marionettes? Human or lion? Reenactment of the Lion King scene, or original skit? So many questions left forever unanswered.

WhiskeySour

@frigwiggin I can't believe I'm spending my day like this, but here you go: http://articles.philly.com/1995-09-14/news/25716923_1_attendant-programs-disabled-community-puppet

From the article: "At the end of the routine, the puppet says, 'I wuv you, Amy,' and she touches the tip of her finger to the end of his nose and says, 'I love you, too, Mark.'"

frigwiggin

@WhiskeySour Allow me to amend my final sentence to "so many questions that would be better left forever unanswered."

A progression of my expressions while reading that article:

:)

:o

:|

>:|

>:/

>:(

meetapossum

Marimba interpretation of “Hava Nagila” (Aurelie McCarthy, MA)

So multicultural!

redonion

I was reading through these fairly amused and impressed by these talented women, and then 1993 just slayed me: "Flute solo of “Dueling Banjos” (Elizabeth Mosely, OK); character ballet to “Turkey in the Straw” (Lisa Michelle Duncan, CA)."

Also, if I had been in a pageant in my teens/early twenties, I would have been Mabel Bendriksen

bb
bb

@redonion not the same person but I had to hear it... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcOwEyw2HH0

redonion

@bb Oh Kristina Austin Scarcelli, you may have only been in the top 5 in Ohio, but you are #1 in sassy, flute-playing shoulder shakes.

WhiskeySour

@bb That was actually quite awesome. It is kind of squicky though, that her performance is introduced as being "from the motion picture Deliverance." The song predates the movie, and do they really want to be evoking that movie at a beauty pageant?

okaycrochet

@redonion I read that and excitedly thought "character ballet" meant she was IN character as a TURKEY. But, alack, not.

redonion

@okaycrochet That is how I first read it, and though I reconsidered, the image was too good to let go. I envision a lot of strutting and arm flapping. And then maybe a gloriously dramatic "taken to the executioner for Thanksgiving" scene.

EKPinc

Loved this one! I like how straight-forward the song is. It's true to life :)

1966: Original song titled “I’m in a Pageant!” (Vicki Hurd, TN)

BadWolf

@EKPinc In my head, it goes pretty much exactly like "I'm on a boat!" including the line about the flippy-floppies.

EpWs

@BadWolf
I GOT MY SWIMSUIT
AND MY EVENINGWEAR
GOT A LOTTA PANTYHOSE
AND SOME FAKE HAIR

okaycrochet

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher
I'M ON THE STAGE NOW
DOIN' FLIPS AND SHIT
MY SMILE IS DAZZLIN'
DISTRACTS FROM ARMPIT SWEAT

katiemcgillicuddy

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher
ROCKIN' MY EVENING GOWN
NOT A SINGLE CREASE
CHECK MY BATHING SUIT
I JUST WANT WORLD PEACE

TheDragon

@all
YOU GUYS. I can't thumbs up these enough. You all get all THE THUMBS. (If I had my dad's talent for making up songs, I would continue this, but I've got nothing.)

BadWolf

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Oh, my god, you guys win One Everything.

EKPinc

Loved this one! I like how straight-forward the song is. It's true to life :)

1966: Original song titled “I’m in a Pageant!” (Vicki Hurd, TN)

Ophelia

None of the other girls would hang out with Mabel "No Nukes" Bendiksen.

(ETA: when I was a kid, my family pet was a husky/malamute cross named "Nukies"...my parents adopted her from a shelter who named her "Nanook of the North" and changed her name to "No Nukes of the North"...)

DianaPrince

While looking for videos of some of these on YouTube, I discovered Patricia Brant, Ms. Louisiana 1988: Singing and Yodeling via Ventriloquist Dummies!

Better to Eat You With

This year's Miss Indiana is a baton twirler from my alma mater. Her talent is twirling and gymnastics to "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend." Sigh.

Also, my friend used to date Lynda Mead's (Miss America 1960) son. We visited her home once. It is a replica of a Japanese palace.

Slutface

And all along I thought all rollerskating was freestyle.

tmsteele2000

@Slutface And that made me laugh out loud. Ha!

Verity

1960: Impression of a young hillbilly girl at a major league baseball game (Ann Susan Barber, NJ).

Um. This sounds worrying.

Ophelia

@Verity I hope she at least got to catch a foul ball.

fondue with cheddar

@Ophelia The judges and audience caught nothing but a foul impression.

kjh45

I went to high school with Katie Nicolle of Superman enpointe fame this year. She's actually really nice and nerdy and not pageanty so the pageant thing came as kind of a surprise.

Mirpropaganda

I want Melaina Shipwash to be my best friend.

okaycrochet

MY MOTHER NEVER LIKED YOU SARAH MARSHALL

Stavromula Beta

There's a disturbing lack of singing/dancing with a life-sized Jesus puppet in this list.

TheDragon

My talent would be an original monologue on parasites. AND I would win. Cause all the other gals would be too grossed out to focus.

fondue with cheddar

1955: speech on how to pack a suitcase (Carol Jennette, MD). Sounds like one of my assignments in Public Speaking 101.

Steve Dew@twitter

I don't know for certain whether this was Miss America or Miss USA, but back in the late '90's, my boyfriend and I watched rapt as a contestant performed a "liturgical ballet."

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