The news doesn't get any worse than this.
The Miss America Pageant is dumping the best part of the whole freak-filled show: The Talent. Honestly, I don't think the bean-counters have thought this one through.
Mid-September viewing of The Miss America Pageant has always been a requirement in the Tuna household. And it's not because I've always dreamed of being Miss America since I was three years old, blah blah blah. It's because it's prime time, Grade-A mockery, served up on my television screen.
For the contestants it's an evening of dance routines, bathing suits, evening gowns and tires. For me, it's an evening of bathrobes, score cards, chocolate chip ice cream and Orville Redenbacher. The Miss America Pageant is the perfect date. But ONLY with the talent.
I don't really care about the evening gowns. I don't care at all about the bathing suits. I could do without the cheezy choreographed numbers performed amidst faux water falls. I like the parade of losers made to perform after they've been cut, and I love, LOVE, LOVE the talent. In fact, I'd love to see talent become a mandatory live presentation for all 50 contestants.
I remember a pageant when my co-viewer said, "You'll never guess her talent." I laughed and joked, "Why, Baton-Twirling. What Else?" Out she came with batons a-blazing. Thank you, Psychic Friends Network.
I remember a pageant when Miss Mitten was in the top 10, which meant we got to see her talent! This particular Miss Mitten happened to be from TinyTuna's father's hometown. He didn't know her, but somehow he knew her talent and told me to guess. Baton Twirling? No. Singing? No. Dancing? No. Packing a Suitcase? No.
Her talent was stomping barefoot on broken glass. Ahh, Grasshopper. This is not the path to World Peace and Miss Congeniality. Be that as it may, out she came and after several Kung-Fu Wax-On Wax-Off type poses, she HUAH! HUAH! EYAHHH!-ed her way across the stage and showed that broken glass who was boss.
Sad to say, she didn't make top five.
I've heard singers that can't sing, pianists that massacre the minute waltz and violinists sporting 3-inch fingernails playing something as Hungarian as Middle School Goulash. Glass stompers, Baton Twirlers, Hula Dancers and Ventriloquists that leave me wondering which one is the dummy? I've seen Carmen slaughtered over and over again with a Crest White-Strip smile that would make the Cheshire cat green. It's awful and it's awe-full, and that's just the way I like it.
But it's not all bad. I remember Vanessa Williams knocking the ball out of the park with "Happy Days are Here Again." I remember a Miss New York contestant who honestly wasn't particularly pretty, but who sang Tosca so well, she should have been signed with the Met that very night. Once in awhile, you get a jewel. Mostly though, it's cubic zirconium, baby.
And now they want to take it all away. So I'm begging ABC-TV, don't do it. It's one of the only reasons I even watch you anymore. Bring back the talent. I don't mind if it stinks. I like it. Just look at American Idol. The badder the better. I'll watch, I promise.
And if you don't put it back on, then I'll wear sack-cloth and ashes.
With rhinestones, of course.