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Caressa's Conquest: Miss America 2010

Miss America has always been about tradition. Tradition in introducing the nation to some of the most beautiful and intelligent young women from throughout the country. Tradition in operating the largest scholarship program in the world to help our nation’s young women pursue their dreams of a higher education and for many of them, graduate debt free. But also with tradition comes change. In addition to our representative 50 states, change can be for the better when including not only the District of Columbia, but also the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


Planet Hollywood resort and casino

Change can manifest itself in the positive move to Las Vegas and the new world of a cable broadcast. Need proof? Consider the recent energetic television broadcast from the Planet Hollywood, which captured the largest television rating for Miss America while on a cable network, with an increase in viewership of over one million people from the previous year. And do not forget that it was the highest rated telecast of the night on cable. The tradition of Miss America was extremely successful in embracing the changes of today’s discerning public.

A large part of the recent success of the Miss America Organization lies in the uniqueness of the telecast. While embracing the traditional elements of beauty within the competitions of evening gown and swimsuit, a large audience that has grown accustomed to the plethora of shows based in both intrigue and a talent competition was treated to performances that were varied as well as entertaining.

Traditionally, this was the Miss America many have grown accustomed to. The high energy opening number, contestant introductions, and a vocal and loudly supportive audience filled the theater for the live telecast. And with the high octane energy flowing from the delegates and the audience came a fast-paced show hosted once again by the affable Mario Lopez, with color commentary provided by Clinton Kelly of TLC’s What Not to Wear and Miss America 1981 and television personality Susan Powell


Miss America 2010 Top 12

Countdown to the Crown: The evening continued to progress swiftly as the Top 15 contestants were selected as finalists and then, after competing in the swimsuit and evening gown portions, the judges selected the Top 12 and quickly narrowed down to the Top 10 just before the talent competition.


MAO 2010 Host Mario Lopez

Moving quickly, the final delegates were announced as tradition would dictate, but with a change—and a big one at that. With the field winnowed to the Top 14, the delegates were given the task of choosing one of their own to join as the final and 15th contestant to pursue the crown of Miss America. With the enormity of the moment quickly realized by the remaining contestants, a sense of purpose was eagerly embraced in the knowledge that they knew their choice would be representative of themselves. Joining the 14 delegates in change of Tennessee, Colorado, California, Indiana, Hawaii, Louisiana, District of Columbia, New Mexico, Virginia, Texas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Kentucky would be the contestants’ choice of Oregon.


MAO 2010 Top 5 Evening Gowns
MAO 2010 Top 5 Evening Gowns
Dressed to Impress: (L-R) Miss Kentucky Mallory Ervin, Miss Louisiana Katherine Putnam, Miss Tennessee Stefanie Wittler, Miss California Kristy Cavinder and Miss Virginia Caressa Cameron advance to the Top 10 after impressing the judges in the glamorous evening gown competition.

Following the traditional competitive elements of swimsuit and evening gown, the panel of judges narrowed the remaining delegates to a Top 10 which would showcase their well-honed talents in an effort to advance onto the final ballot of the celebrity judges. The traditional Miss America competition of talent showcased Miss California’s Ballet en Pointe to Le Corsaire, Miss Virginia vocal rendition of Listen, Miss DC’s operatic O Mio Babbino Caro, the vocal Miss New Mexico performing Somewhere, the pianist Miss Louisiana interpretation of Hallelujah Chorus, Miss Nebraska’s jazz dance to So Much Better, Miss Tennessee’s vocal rendition of I Will Always Love You, Miss Texas singing the opera Chi Il Bel Sogno di Doretta, the vocal performance of Miss Kentucky singing On My Own, and Miss Hawaii performing a traditional hula to Ka’ena. Other telecasts could only dream they possessed the talent that was on display on the Miss America stage.

As tradition would demand, the final delegates were narrowed to those who would have one final opportunity to impress their qualifications to wear the crown of Miss America upon the judges as they made their final and unchallengeable decision. As newly engaged Miss America 2009 Katie Stam took her final walk as the representative of America’s young women, seven young ladies held their collective breath.


MAO 2010 Talent

Miss America’s Got Talent: (L-R) The traditional Miss America competition of talent was showcased all week long and included stand out performances from Miss Virginia Caressa Cameron with a vocal rendition of Listen, Miss California Kristy Cavinder’s Ballet en Pointe to Le Corsaire, and Miss Michigan Nicole Blaszczyk’s Lyrical Dance.


With host Mario Lopez announcing the final judges’ decision the young ladies of Miss America took their place upon the stage: 4th runner-up Miss Kentucky Mallory Ervin, 3rd runner-up Miss Louisiana Katherine Putnam, 2nd runner-up Miss Tennessee Stefanie Wittler. With three remaining finalists silently awaiting the announcement, the audience erupted as Miss Virginia Caressa Cameron was proclaimed the country’s new Miss America.


MAO 2010 Top 5 Evening Gowns
There She Is: Miss Virginia Caressa Cameron reacts as she hears her name announced as the newest Miss America 2010 and is congratulated by Top 7 finishers Miss New Mexico Nicole Miner in white and Miss Hawaii Raeceen Woolford in red. Caressa is then promptly crowned by her predecessor Katie Stam and makes her historic walk across the iconic pageant’s stage
[next page].

Tradition and change have been good to Miss America. Following her triumphant accomplishment in Las Vegas, Pageantry caught up with the newest Miss America, Caressa Cameron, and relived not only her crowning achievement, but also her goals for her upcoming year of service as Miss America.

Pageantry magazine: There she is, Miss America 2010 Caressa Cameron. How surreal is it to hear your name announced like that?
Caressa Cameron:
It’s one of those things that’s hard to put into words, and even still, it’s hard to put into words after watching it again on video. It’s one of those things that you work for and you hope and you pray—and you hope and you pray—and then when it actually happens you just absolutely cannot believe it. I feel extremely honored and blessed to have been given this position.





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