Thursday July 24, 2014


  • Will the number of forest fires keep you from travelling far this summer?
  • Yes
  • 19%
  • No
  • 81%
  • Total Votes: 74

Spending time in the shallow end of the pool - Part Deux

The Green-Eyed Event Planner

There are two events – yes, two events – that I look forward to watching every year. They are the: Miss America Pageant followed the next day by the Golden Globes.

I wrote about this last year, hence the “part deux”. The weekend of live television does not disappoint. Snuggled in my oversized housecoat, wearing the obligatory pajama pants (so old that the material is thin enough to see shadows through it) and, feasting on all things Twizzler and Fuzzy Peach, I settle in, waiting anxiously for something to happen. It never disappoints.

Speaking of Fuzzy Peaches, they are one of my favourite candies. I love them because they are so complex. They are sweet, they are sour, they are licorice – oh my goodness, they are sooooo delicious. I eat them one at a time, placing each candy ever so gently on my tongue which gives me the first jolt of sour, then as the mysterious white powder dissolves (I tell myself it is all natural), you get a burst of sugar leaving you with licorice delight. A trifecta of goodness. Kind of amazing, try it for yourself.

But let’s get back to the telecast. I watch it for various reasons. From an event planning perspective, nothing is more challenging than a live telecast. From a completely shallow perspective, I watch it for the bloopers.

I have to admit, I almost forgot that the MAP (Miss America Pageant) was on television Saturday night. I realized what I was missing when I stumbled across a Pageant prequel program called, “Pageant Confidential – the Road to Miss America”.

Oh Sweet Mother of Pearl! It was like opening a big, beautifully wrapped, box of ridiculousness. During the hour-long pre-show we got up close and personal with some of the contestants as they revealed what it takes to become crowned Miss America.

We discovered that the road to Miss America is different for each young lady, determined by the State they represent. One lucky gal was loaned an apartment, provided a living allowance and a vehicle after winning her state competition; another had to hold an auction in her hometown to raise enough funds. Only one thing leveled the playing field for all of the contestants: weeks of preparation for the dreaded interview question.

To their credit, the Contestants have no clue what question the panel might ask them. They need to be fully prepped on politics, pop culture and the cause du jour. Many hours are spent reviewing and reading up on current events. Nerves are their enemy and many a contestant has been burned by the Dragon, known as the “interview question”.

Miss Iowa had some difficulty with the Dragon. When asked her feelings about euthanasia, she paused (good first step), smiled (good second step) and then responded with something like, “that’s a vaccine, right?”

How does someone not know that?

There was plenty of anecdotal information to share. We heard a contestant bark like a dog and one mimic a seagull, proving that everyone has a talent. We heard back-stories about weight loss struggles, medical issues and tales of personal tragedy, all of which was designed to ensure we watch the following Pageant telecast. I did.

The live program did not disappoint. There was tap dancing, baton twirling and interpretive dance. There was singing and piano playing. Thankfully no one fell and only one baton was dropped (hardly noticeable…..but perhaps the reason why they don’t allow contestants to light them on fire). The ladies walked the catwalk in itsy bitsy bikinis to a pop song, looping and playing relentlessly in the background. The contestants returned moments later clad predominantly in white evening gowns and sporting bouffant hair.

And throughout all of these finger-nail biting, on the edge of our seat exciting challenges, the contestants were judged by a panel of their “peers”. A panel, led by head judge Mary Hart (an entertainment correspondent with very nice legs which are reportedly insured for an insane amount of money) who said at one point, “This week sure has been pressuresum”. Oh Mary……please tell me what pressuresum means? Is that a word that only Mensa members use? I am going to put that word in my pocket and use it sometime – watch for it.

I would be remiss if I didn’t remind everyone that the MAP is a scholarship competition that has $50,000 worth of scholarships up for grabs. The MAP is looking for an attractive, intelligent, well-rounded personality to wear the Miss America Crown. I simply struggle with the need to include a swimsuit and talent competition in the selection process. For these reasons, I mock it relentlessly. In case you are interested, the blonde haired, blue-eyed Miss New York won.

I also tuned into the Golden Globes, which was four hours of my life that I will never get back. Jodie Foster rambling, Taylor Swift stink eye, Tommy Lee Jones confusion, Ben Affleck forgetting, and of course Tina Fey and Amy Poehler making lots of funnies.

Today I begin Twizzler detox.


Judy Kucharuk is owner of Footprint Management Systems Inc. and specializes in Green Meetings and Event Innovation. Currently President of GMIC Canada Chapter in Formation. For more info log onto her blog or follow her on twitter @judylaine



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