Miss America and Her Red Cup Win


A new Miss America was crowned and her win was helped by her talent and the use of a red cup

Miss America red cup

So a new Miss America was crowned last night. Her talent of using a red cup during a singing performance has become the most talked about moment from the evening. The instant she squatted on the floor and began singing ‘Happy’ while hitting her red cup it became a bonafide tweet-fest that got everyone talking.

And that’s probably what most people will take away from this years Miss America. The solo red cup thing has opened up plenty of debate. Folks have had strong thoughts over whether this qualified as a ‘talent’, how it was ‘inspired’ by a scene in Pitch Perfect and how exactly could this performance beat other worthy contenders of talent.

Had she lost and not have been crowned the new Miss America this cup thing would have disappeared pretty fast. But she won. Yep, that cup routine was worth 30% of her overall score.

They should thank their lucky stars that something out of the show actually got people talking. Perhaps next year all the gals should bring their own cups. I hope this new Miss America is ready to see red cups at every appearance she makes. Every school she visits and parade she’s in there’s sure to be people waving red cups at her. It will be the yearly reign of the Red Cup Miss America.

Miss Ohio ventriloquist talent Miss AmericaI personally was rooting for Miss Ohio to win. Once I heard she brought a dummy and would be doing ventriloquism as her talent I was sold!

But this isn’t a rundown of last nights show. This is an observation about how the Miss America pageant gets regularly criticized.

People love to tear at. They love to say how it’s dumb it. That it’s an outdated and sexist contest. The red cup controversy is the latest criticism that has people actually taking the time to debate the merits of the whole Miss America thing and how its become a cheesier punchline than it was before.

Let me clue everyone in on something – Miss America has always been cheesy! It always has been and it always will be.

I find it funny how they’ve tried to update the Miss America pageant to make it look less archaic and ridiculous. They’ve tried to counter the criticisms that get lobbed at it by toning down that bathing suit portion. Now it’s a quick brisk walk the contestants take and the camera doesn’t linger on the gals as much anymore. They try to reinforce the idea that Miss America isn’t a beauty pageant, that it’s actually a scholarship program.

Uh huh.

Miss America Swimsuit category competitionWell, if it’s a scholarship program then why do the girls have to show off their bods and hobble around in high heels while wearing swimwear? Why don’t they all just write a term paper and you can select the winner based on that?

Oh, Miss America should be ‘fit’ and shows she lives a healthy lifestyle. So is it the organizations perspective that ‘fit’ means to not have one ounce of fat and possess incredibly toned legs that go up to your shoulders? Is this the proper impression they want to give to young girls? Well, you see we feel Miss America embodies multiple qualities that…. 

Yeah, yeah yeah. Just put a cork in it and don’t bother trying to justify it!

The Miss America pageant hasn’t changed a bit – we have. Miss America is cornered. They can’t make any radical changes to it or else it won’t be the Miss America pageant anymore. I don’t understand what everyone is complaining about. We know it’s cheesy, the organization knows it’s cheesy (at least I hope they do, if not open your eyes folks), so let’s just sit back, enjoy the show and revel in all its antiquated design and have some laughs.

The Miss America Organization should really just embrace the old fashioned nature of it all. Forget the criticism that it’s sexist. Have that camera linger on those bathing suits as long as you can.

And what’s this only the semi-finalists put on their bikinis??? You have all the girls there, instead of just having them sit around make them all change into their two pieces and fill up the screen with eye-candy!

Miss America Solo Red Cup performance winnerA little tidbit about your television viewers – there are a lot of people who like to watch the swimsuit competition and don’t feel the least bit guilty for it. For some it’s actually the highpoint of the show. You want better ratings, look into featuring that competition more and just be prepared to shrug off the critics.

One of my personal favorite bits is the opening intro of the girls. They actually improved on this from the old days. It used to be that the girls would simply be on stage in a long line and introduce themselves.

Now they’ve recorded this portion of the show ahead of time. The gals are outside enjoying their surroundings, they step up to the camera, say a snappy little thing then introduce themselves and the state they’re repping.

It’s the bad choreography of the rest of the girls in the background that makes this brilliant. It’s always the most unnatural looking moves and looks completely awkward. I suppose this is to generate more excitement for television viewers and keep the screen filled with more going on than just a talking head. It always seems like the dance is three moves and a twirl. We can’t forget the twirl ladies!

Everyone just relax. Forget the idea that the Miss America pageant should reflect the real world. So let’s enjoy the forced banter and jokes of our cardboard hosts. Relish those awkward pauses by the contestants during the Q and A. The correct answer to any question by the way is ‘world peace’.

Let viewers keep track of all those scores the girls are getting by flashing them up during every competition. Allow us to wonder when and where on earth would a twenty-three year old wear a gown like that. And perhaps, just perhaps one of the gals will lose their balancing battle with her high heels and take a stumble. Gee, I hope she handles it well.

Miss America 1950 Bert Parks
Host Bert Parks hosting Miss America in the 1950s

Let’s all just pretend for two hours that throughout the country every little girl’s big dream is to grow up to wear that glittery tiara, be bestowed that elegant sash and be crowned Miss America . Then when we get our bearings and realize it’s not 1953 we’ll have a good laugh.

Oh one last thing. What happened to having someone sing ‘There She Is Miss America’ when the winner is crowned? I read at some point there was some kind of legal thing that held them up from using the song for awhile. Iron all that out and get it back! It’s the perfect cherry on top of a big, glossy, badly produced evening of television.

Now onto Miss Universe!



The legendary Bert Parks singing a number at the 1976 Miss America broadcast

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