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Miss South Carolina, Pageant Coaches, Geography And Me

Updated on March 1, 2013

Don't Worry Miss South Carolina, I Never Got The Blue Piece Of Pie In Trivial Pursuit For Geography Either! - Don't Get Me Started!

Yes, I waited until most of the hoopla regarding Miss Teen South Carolina's answer about why Americans can't find America on a map had died down a bit before I admitted my own shame. I'll admit it, when it comes to geography or directions; I'm strictly a left and right kind of guy. The only thing I know about directions are, the North (Glinda, Good Witch of the North), South (Glinda's sister, also good), East (According to the musical Wicked - Nessa Rose, Bad Witch), West (According to the musical Wicked - Elphaba, Wicked Witch of the West). Okay, go ahead and get the tee heeing out of your system but I'm telling you this is the absolute truth about the extent of my knowledge when it comes to directions. So while I laughed like the rest of the country, I just want to say don't worry Miss South Carolina, I never got the blue piece of pie in Trivial Pursuit for geography either! - Don't Get Me Started!

Now first let me say just how stupid I think the Miss Teen USA pageant is, "it's stupid." Having worked with more than one Miss America contestant and being around that pageant, I can say that all the rest are just poor imitators. I say this because I know for a fact all that goes into being a competitor with the Miss America pageant (from the state level to the national pageant) and there's a hell of a lot more involved than just looking sexy in a bathing suit and walking on a stage. People make fun but it truly is a scholarship pageant, albeit having quirks and more than a little silliness (especially all the gays that are hangers on and that make that pageant really work...are you listening you closeted gay man who runs the pageant?).

But what got me most about Miss South Carolina's rambling of an answer to her question on the stage is that anyone who has been around any of these pageants at all knows that the pageant coach is the real star. The pageant coaches make a fortune advising the ladies how to stand, sit, and sneeze and most importantly, teaching them how to get through the interview portion of the pageant. So as I watched the clip (and laughed with everyone else in the world) what really made me laugh was that much like that woman from decades ago who wears a slip with her dress and it shows, Miss South Carolina's coach was showing.

Most good coaches (and there are very few) really get the girls up on current events and teach them how to show poise when answering a question but if you look again at Miss South Carolina, she was doing exactly what a bad coach will tell you to do...avoid the question with specific phrases or topics and try to get to your own agenda, never answering the question at all. A) Stall for time by saying America when needed, B) Americans are great so make sure to say you support America and the troops whenever possible, C) Mention South Africa with compassion as it's a hot button for everyone and D) The Iraq situation is about the human element, never mention the war but mention Iraq. Unfortunately for her coach, Miss South Carolina got things more than a bit confused but as she went down like the Hindenburg in an evening dress, she tried to employ some of the badly coached tactics that were drilled into her head instead of just answering the damn question. (As we know now, unsuccessfully) So Miss South Carolina got publicity and her coach's fees just went down a bit and you can be sure he won't have a picture of her anywhere in his collage frame that holds the pictures of him on pageant night with all his "girls" who won.

So when I laughed about Miss South Carolina, it wasn't about her lack of knowledge because although I can find America on a map, that's about all I can find. I remember the first time I had to go to Detroit on business. I was driving there and was on the phone with my guy when I suddenly saw an exit for Canada. Full of wonderment, I screamed into the phone, "Honey, oh my God, did you know that they have an exit for Canada on the freeway here? When did they put Canada there? I mean, you could take a wrong exit and end up in Canada! Can you believe that?" My guy (who went to college at sixteen years old) slowly and calmly said, "Honey, Canada has always been there and for your sake as well as mine please don't ever tell that story to anyone." So of course, I tell the story to everyone and wear it like some pageant crown of glory or something. I just think it's important to embrace your stupidity, no?

So, take heart Miss South Carolina, no one knows who won your pageant and everyone knows you. You've got one of the hottest clips on YouTube! If you can parlay this into a children's book for American kids that teaches them how to read maps then you'll have a fortune on your hands no matter how much smelling salts were required to revive your no doubt seven hundred pound effeminate male coach after he passed out like Aunt Pitty Pat from Gone With The Wind listening to your answer on pageant night. So enjoy your publicity ride and don't worry Miss South Carolina, I never got the blue piece of pie in Trivial Pursuit for geography either! - Don't Get Me Started!



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    • Isabella Snow profile image

      Isabella Snow 10 years ago

      Well damn it, what a stupid question to ask her, anyway. What's she supposed to say? 1/5 of the US is undereducated and ignorant? That wouldn't have gotten her many points, either!

    • livelonger profile image

      Jason Menayan 10 years ago from San Francisco

      great insight - poor thing has been through the wringer over the past week, when it was clearly a case of nervousness and "bad programming" by her coach, like you said.