Sunday, January 15, 2012

Miss America 2012 is Miss Wisconsin, LAURA KAEPPELER!!!!

Whoooooooooo Hooooooooooooo!!!! Time for a wrap-up summary of Miss America 2012 and a few final thoughts as this year's event closes one chapter for Teresa Scanlan and opens a new chapter for Miss America 2012, Laura Kaeppeler!

Here's what we know! From Kenosha, WI, Laura is a graduate of Carthage University - a Vocal Performance Major. Her platform is "Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents" as her father was convicted of a white collar crime when she was younger. Now, she wants to go to law school and become a family law attorney representing and defending children of incarcerated parents.

During the Press Conference, Laura shared about their family's decision to change her platform issue - knowing that they needed to all be 'on board' with the decision (she finished as the 2nd Runner Up in Wisconsin in 2010 with a platform of promoting the arts in schools). She called her Dad her 'best friend' and that the two of them grew deeper in their faith during the journey.

She's elegant, classy and articulate. Earlier in the week, I posted that she has a 'calm, inner strength' about her and it shows. Her experience will allow her to be such a mentor to the 2 million children in the US who have a parent in prison. I don't yet know if Laura has a connection to one of my favorite prison ministries, Angel Tree/Prison Fellowship
but if so, I'm even more impressed. I've actually been involved in this ministry for years and thoroughly believe in its redemptive, healing message of reconciliation and hope. Sounds like there may be a connection, but no confirmation yet.

Her vocal abilities should open doors for her to sing all across the country (Star Spangled Banner and/or God Bless America at sporting events and other appearances), her age allows her to sign all of her own paperwork (Teresa's parents actually had to approve her contracts prior to her turning 18), and I can see her being a Queen who comes back and is a part of Miss America for years and years to come.

Beyond the Queen herself, here are a few other random thoughts about the show... in random order...

1. I ended up with 11 of the Top 15, 7 out of the Top 10, and 4 out of the Top 5 (see previous post). Not a bad year - even though I didn't originally pick the winner.

2. I wanted to 'go on record' that I would be more than happy to see Wisconsin as the Winner (again, see previous post)... but frankly, I just didn't think the judges would crown her. Not because she didn't deserve it (she most certainly does deserve it) - but because of the 'bold, new direction' everyone kept talking about. Laura is EXACTLY the kind of Queen who we will love to follow... She fits in with the Miss America sisterhood beautifully --- I just kept believing Miss America wanted something different this year (and obviously, they did not).

3. Next year, I'm going out for more preliminaries. I usually catch the Thursday night prelims and then the final show, but that leaves me unable to accurately assess everyone. Had I heard New York and Wisconsin sing, I think I would've recognized Laura's Talent was stronger than New York's and picked accordingly. Gotta see prelims to get a good feel for who really has 'it' vs. who looks like they have 'it' in the pictures!

4. Honestly, I hated the opening number. I appreciate what they were trying to do, but I wasn't impressed. I think it played a role in the audience being a bit more 'laid back' and not as 'excited' to begin the live broadcast. Additionally, natural lighting isn't that great for girls who are used to 'stage makeup' (and I mean that in the nicest way possible). My vote for 2013 is to go back to a regular opening number... glamorous, spunky and fun!

5. Group #3 (Sigma) was the clear winner in the judges books... Group #1 (Mu) only had 2 girls make the Top 15!!! ONLY 2!!! Group #3 had 7 girls advance... That RARELY happens. Usually it's much more balanced.

Otherwise, once again, I'm happy with the judges decision. Laura may not be the 'quirky' girl, or the 'bold' girl, or the 'girl with a colorful personality', but I thoroughly believe she is the right girl. I look forward to becoming more familiar with her as the year goes on...

Speaking of - she'll be on the TV circuit tomorrow morning (Good Morning America, of course) and on Fox and Friends with Gretchen Carlson on Tuesday. My DVR is already set! :)

Special Thanks to those "New Junkies" who joined me this year in my Miss America obsession... it's a pleasure to know I'm not alone! (lol) :) We're already thinking of ways to expand Miss America Junkies - and who knows where we may be by the time we crown Miss America 2013??? One thing I can guarantee... it's bound to be a fun ride!

Until next year... when we all gather around again to play... I'll be humming that famous tune in my head and practicing my pageant wave...

Hugs and Kisses to all my new Junkie Friends!!! Junkies Unite!!! :)

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I'll be back next year! It's not likely I'll have a local queen to report on (This year's Miss Michigan was our first local connection in 20 years ...) but it's hard to argue with the fact that pageantry is a huge part of our community culture. I fully expect Elizabeth Wertenberger's experience will add even more interest to what is already a very strong local.