Monday, September 24, 2007

The Donald To The Rescue?

The Tiara Was Nice, Now Where's The Scholarship? - The Miss America Organization, based in, where else, New Jersey, responds to charges that local and state beauty contest winners, the feeder contests for Miss America, are not receiving promised scholarships with the following statement: “While it is unimaginable that scholarships, which are the heart and soul of Miss America, could or would be wrongly withheld from pageant participants, we are looking into these allegations. We have definitive procedures in place to vet disputes and guarantee state organizations stand behind their scholarship agreements with the Miss America Organization and those to whom scholarships are promised.” The statement added, “The Miss America Organization is absolutely unaware of any young lady that has ever been denied payment of scholarships after properly following the application process.” Some of these local contests are volunteerish, chamber of commerce affairs, but the failure to deliver on promised scholarships, especially the larger scholarships offered at the state level, reads more like a manipulative con than the good faith bumbling of contest organizers. That statement we just quoted is so deep in solid waste it sounds like something Tony Soprano should be managing.
-The contest winners, young ladies, who endure the indignities of evening gown competitions, inane interviews and and mandatory tiara wear to earn their scholarships, deserve a better fate. Remember, these are scholarship competitions, not beauty contests. Today's photos are a case in point. Consider Ashley Wood, Miss South Carolina 2004, photographed in her tiara and at Wharton where she now attends school - looking like a manicured Elle Woods at Harvard Law as other students dressed like, well - students - appear in the background. Ms Wood is getting a runaround instead of the $25,000 scholarship she was promised.
-Donald Trump, Miss America needs you. You have the experience as the owner of the Miss Universe pageant - OK that's a beauty contest, not a scholarship contest, but you know the business. Step in and volunteer to reorganize this mess, at least down to the state level. People would trust you to get the job done right. Sure you seem a little smarmy at times, but there is no way you are going to take the publicity hit you would suffer from stiffing a deserving winner who does not get the scholarship she's promised. Best of all - yet another cross promotion opportunity for The Apprentice. Sign Ashley Wood for an appearance as an Apprentice competitor at your first Miss America press conference and make it a standing annual offer for one Miss America contestant each year. Miss American Apprentice won't necessarily be the Miss America winner but the contestant you pick based on her academic and entrepreneurial track record. You can even bring the revitalized Miss America back to Atlantic City, the Trump Taj could use a breath of fresh air.

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