Wednesday, September 18, 2013


First of all... let me say how sorry I am that this post was not completed sooner! :(  My apologies to those of you who have been waiting patiently for me to post my over-all thoughts... Let's just say, I'm getting too old to be witty and creative when I've only had 3 hours of sleep!

That being said - Your new Miss America is Miss New York, NINA DAVURULI!!!!

Nina seemed to have everything going for her on finals night... She was polished, yet spunky.  She was approachable, yet beautiful.  Her talent was complex, yet entertaining.  As our first Indian-American to be named Miss America, you may have caught her on one of her TV appearances stating: "The everyday girl-next-door in America doesn't look like she did 10 years ago - and 10 years from now, she won't look the same as she does today either."  Additionally, she is excited about the opportunity to be a role model for little girls who look like she does.

I'll be honest...  I don't care what color she is... Instead, here's what I care about.  Nina is confident, striking to look at, a strong communicator and appears to be extremely genuine.  She could be purple for all I care - as long as she still possessed these qualities which I consider to be necessary for someone to make an impact on others.

So all the best to Nina!  May she become one of our most impacting Miss America's in history!

Now - it's time to let you in on our thought process as Miss America week progressed... Here's several thoughts... in completely random order...

1.  Even though the Junkies went 6 for 6 with prelim winners, we only went 8 for 15 in our Top 15 finalists.  Seems like we have a corner on the "Top Talents" and "Best Swimsuits" but we do not have a good grip on the most consistent ladies on the stage in all areas of competition.  This can be remedied by attending more prelim nights (Junkies only saw 1 prelim this year)... but unfortunately, it's not always conducive to do so (see 'real life' job reference above).

2.  Only seeing one prelim night also kept us from seeing the 'spark' in Nina that the judges obviously saw.  In fact, Nina had her On-Stage Question the night we attended prelims and I'm afraid we weren't able to really pick any of these answers out as "spectacular"... they all sounded about the same in our book.  Had we seen her presence in Swimsuit or her Talent, we might've been able to notice the girl that the judges fell in love with. 

3.  I think the final night panel also threw us for a loop... The fact that all of the Top 5 were brunettes tells us that we weren't in the final night panel's heads at all.  To only have picked 2 of the Top 5 (OK and CA) is a bummer for the Junkies... one of our poorest Top 5 finishes in recent history (boo).

4.  You'd never believe me if I told you how many times I substituted NY, MN and CA into my top 5.  Frankly, I only expected 1 of the 3 to make the Top 5 - never in a million-zillion years did I think all 3 would make it.  I was wrong.

5.  Never in a million-zillion years did I think NY and OK would be looking at Top 5 finishes THREE YEARS IN A ROW!!!  Kaitlin Monte, Mallory Hagan and Nina Davuruli vs. Betty Thompson, Alicia Clifton and Kelsey Griswold (And prior to that, Emoly West from OK was Top 5 and Claire Buffie from NY was Top 10).  To have 2 states performing that well year after year after year has got to be frustrating for 51 other contestants - but dang!  These 2 programs are proving to be the premier programs in the country!

6.  WE'VE FINALLY CROWNED OUR FIRST FORMER STATE OUTSTANDING TEEN!!!!  Nina was Michigan's Outstanding Teen 2006 and 1st runner up at MAOT!  Watch for state pageants across the country to crown more OT state winners this year!

7.  Junkies haven't seen the TV production yet - but to have earned the highest ratings in nine years screams "WE'RE BACK!!!"  WHOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOO for finding the magic formula and producing a show worthy of American viewership.

8.  ATLANTIC CITY!!!!!!  Where do I begin???  As a Junkie who saw her first Miss America crowned in Las Vegas, but who's completely familiar with the amazing amount of history and tradition that exists on the Jersey Shore, let me say... WOW!!!  There are most certainly differences between the 2 cities beyond geographics... but I gotta give the edge to the quaint and charming city on the sea.  Plus, getting out to the Sheraton Hotel was a huge bonus - seeing shoes, evening gowns and trophies up close and personal was great fun!  Being 'crowned' by Bert Parks was another big hit!  And having my photo taken next to those famous "Atlantic City" wooden boats on the beach was icing on the cake!  You just don't get that in Vegas, Baby :)

9.  Even if we went 0 for 6 and 0 for 15, we still would've LOVED meeting fellow Junkies!!!  This year was particularly fantastic as so many of you found us and told us what our page meant to you!  We never expected to have that kind of impact on people - and we're grateful to consider many of you 'friends'.  PLEASE continue to stay in contact with the Junkies - and if there's anything we can do for you - just let us know! :)

And that's a Wrap!  Another Miss America crowning is in the books - another woman gets the job of a lifetime and another little girl is currently wondering if she might become the new Miss America one day.  The Junkies look forward to seeing Nina make her mark on Miss America history and will do everything we can to keep you updated along the way...

UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN - make sure you're practicing your wave... blowing kisses in the wind... standing up tall with your shoulders back and chin up... as we all sing together... "There She Is..."

Thanks Junkies!  What a GREAT year it's been! :)


Sunday, September 15, 2013


As I type this blogpost, I'm looking out at the Atlantic Ocean from the 67th floor of my hotel room in Atlantic City... 

Interestingly enough, 2 things come to mind...

        - This is best my feet have felt in 4 days...
        - I have no idea who is going to win tonight...

Now, I fully realized some of you might think I'm just feigning ignorance... After all, who goes 6 for 6 when picking the prelim winners and doesn't know who's going to win the whole shi'bang???  Ummm... me.  Truthfully... I don't know who's going to walk away with the crown tonight.  Usually we have an 'inkling' or a reason why we can see it coming - even if our favorite contestant isn't in the mix.  But this year?  Not so sure.

So - before we give you our Top 15, I'd like to ask everyone to please take a deep breath and remind yourself of two things...  THESE ARE JUST OUR OPINIONS - and - THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN! :)  Again, if your girl isn't on our list - it doesn't mean she won't make it... It doesn't means we don't like her... It doesn't mean we don't think she has what it takes... Truth is - predicting a Top 15 is a whole lot harder than predicting Prelim Winners.  ESPECIALLY since The Junkies just arrived on Thursday and only saw the girls on stage for 1 night of competition (last year, we went 14 for 16 - but we also saw 2 nights of preliminary competition).

So - here's what we're going to do... We're going to give you our Top 15 - and then break down to the Top 5 and the winner with a bit of commentary.  We haven't done this before - so let's see how it goes.

Top 15 - In Random Order:

New York
New Hampshire

We also chose 1 girl from each prelim night that we consider "on the bubble"... Our official picks are still listed above - but here's 3 more who we think could eek out a Top 15 placement.

South Carolina

In addition - here's who we think goes home with a few specialized awards...

Non-Finalist Interview Award

Non-finalist Talent Awards

And Now - Here's The Junkies' Top 5...

Mississippi - She has the 'classic Miss America look' about her... The one we originally thought MA would crown this year being back in AC.  She's smart, has a killer body, is currently in med school, and won a STEM scholarship earlier this week.  If Miss America wants a "Beautiful, Polished, Smart Girl," she'll win.

Georgia - Junkies hold the theory that Final Night swimsuit goes to the girl the judges liked the best in interview out of everyone else on her night.  Georgia has one of those 'looks' that we think the celebrity panel could really go for... If Miss America wants an "Old-School Hollywood Glam Girl," she'll win.

Oklahoma - With 4 prelim awards in a row (Emoly West, Betty Thompson, Alicia Clifton and Kelsey Griswold) and 3 Top 5 placements for Oklahoma, Kelsey Griswold should keep the current OK streak alive... She looks like your everyday 'girl-next-door' and is uber-talented.  She could be one of the final 2 holding hands at the end of the night.  If Miss America wants a Talented "Girl Next Door," she'll win.
California - She's a Stanford graduate, another STEM scholarship winner and could've won Swimsuit on her prelim night.  With a celebrity panel, we think her California-cool-vibe will ooze out of her and put her in the Top 5.  If Miss America wants an Ivy-League caliber, "Social Media Queen," she'll win.

Kansas - Even though we think Kansas may be the People's Choice winner, we also think she could've made the Top 15 on her own.  She's already the media darling and the general public has been extremely receptive to her.  If Miss America wants  "New Kind of Representative" for Miss America, she'll win.

We believe ANY of these girls would make a fine and fabulous Miss America... But because Junkie Tradition says we need to pick a winner... Junkies say...


There you go!  May the Best Girl Win!!!

Junkie Wrap-Up will be posted tomorrow (eventually...)



Friday, September 13, 2013

Thursday Night Prelim Results


Let's get right to it!  Here are you preliminary winners in Talent and Swimsuit from Thursday Night:

(photos courtesy of the Miss America Organization)

Big Congrats to Miss Georgia, Carly Mathis in Swimsuit and Miss Florida, Myrrhanda Jones in Talent!

Carly has a great story - she was overweight as a child and at one point, weighed over 200 lbs!  To turn that around and now be named a preliminary swimsuit winner at Miss America is simply amazing!  Being there first hand, we can tell you Carly 'owned' the stage last night... We picked her as our swimsuit winner as we sat in the audience :)

In addition - to know that Myrrhanda Jones tore her ACL during rehearsals only to look the the doctor in the eye and tell him she wanted to perform on the Miss America stage tells you she's strong --- but to then come and and win her Talent Prelim is incredible!  Junkies saw the performance - it wasn't a sympathy vote!  She earned it!  Congrats!

And with Georgia and Florida's wins... that means the Junkies went 6 for 6 this year - for the first time ever in Junkie History!!!  We're sooooooooo excited to have done so well - and say thanks to everyone who's helped offer their opinions along the way!  It's even more amazing to have our "Perfect Preliminary Predictions" take place while the pageant is in Atlantic City!  What a fabulous memory for all the Junkies to always treasure! :)

And speaking of memories... The Junkies LOVED our day in Atlantic City... Walking the Boardwalk, eating fabulous food and dipping our toes in the ocean!  If attending Miss America is on your "Bucket List" may I suggest finding a way to do so next year?  Everyone in AC is so appreciative and so grateful!  We couldn't be in better hands being "Back Home" in Atlantic City!

Finally - many of you have been asking about whether or not we're going to post a Top 15 list, etc.  Rest assured - we are and we will!  We'll be posting our Top 15, Top 5 and our pick to win it all on Sunday night... but that post will have to wait... we have a few favorites who are floating around in our heads - but there are A LOT of strong girls this year!  We haven't seen anyone specific 'rise to the top' just yet :)  

In the meantime - enjoy a few photos from our day 'out and about' today!  Happy Friday!


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Junkies Predict Thursday Prelim Winners

Welcome Back Junkies!!!

Soooooo.... Before we get to tonight's picks - can I hijack this post and give you a quick personal update?

First, I didn't sleep well because, let's face it... The night before Miss America typically means... "I'M TOO EXCITED TO SLEEP!"  Then, the area where I lived experienced some significant weather issues in the middle of the night that caused the power to go out... Which means the alarm clock did not go off at 4:00am...

Good news first... We made the flight. :)

Bad news... Have you ever tried to pack a suitcase by candlelight???  Sounds romantic... but not very practical.  LOL!  Frankly, I have no clue what's in my luggage... I hope at least my shoes match!
And now - Here's a wrap up of last night's winners!

(Photos courtesy of the Miss America Organization)

CONGRATS to KELSEY GRISWOLD and REBECCA YEH on last night's preliminary wins!  Kelsey is the 4th Miss OK in a row to win a prelim award (Alicia Clifton - Talent, Betty Thompson - Talent, Emoly West-SS) and the 5th Miss OK to win SS!  Rebecca is the 10th Miss MN to win a Prelim Talent award - and she's in good company!  Notable Miss MN's who won Talent before winning Miss America include Dorothy Benham and Gretchen Carlson.

On to tonight's Prelim Picks!  Junkies are on a roll... As some of you have so kindly noted, we are 4 for 4 this year... Hoping to make this year the best Prelim Picking Prediction year in Junkie History - NO PRESSURE - LOL!!!! :)  Here goes nothing...

Yes - Oklahoma won SS last night, and if she wins tonight, she'll be first Double Prelim winner in a really, really long time (CUE THE JUNKIE RESEARCH KING!).  Also - say a prayer for Miss Florida who injured herself during rehearsals today (baton twirler)... No final details... but just know she may not be 100%.

Junkies have a theory about Final Night Swimsuit winners... In most cases, the final night SS winner goes to the girl who looks darn good in a swimsuit, but was also one of the judge's favorites interview.  Of course, you never know until the Final Show (and whether or not the final night SS winner makes the top 5)... but that's our story and we're sticking to it. :)

Junkies will be there to see it all in person tonight!!!  Promise to give you a full update on the Thursday Winners and what's officially in my suitcase... Wearing one gold shoe and one silver shoe might become a new trend :)

Junkies Unite!


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Junkies Predict WEDNESDAY Prelim Winners

Well Hello Junkies! :)

What a delightful way to start the week!  Let's take a look at last night's preliminary winners!

 (Photos courtesy of the Miss America Organization)

Tuesday Talent Winner = Miss New Hampshire (a correct pick!)
Sam Russo is a gifted vocalist who only recently started vocal training... She is the 2nd Miss NH to ever win a prelim talent award (Miss NH '93 Tricia Ann-Reagan was the first)... Sam sang "Don't Rain on My Parade" - which is the same song she sang at her state pageant (and won the talent award there as well)... Some Junkies might think this song is over-done (and they may be right in most cases)...  But Sam kills this song!  Makes you wanna hear it again and again! :)  Congrats to the Miss New Hampshire team and Miss Russo on the big win last night! :)

Tuesday Swimsuit Winner = Miss Mississippi (a correct pick!)
Chelsea Rick is the 14th Miss Mississippi to win a Preliminary Swimsuit award - 2nd only to California for the most Prelim SS wins per state.  Now, I do need to take a moment to offer a brief history lesson.  In order to be considered a"True Junkie," you need to know about the glorious and magical run the state of Mississippi experienced in the 80's.  From 1979-1988... All 10 girls made the Top 10 during those years (Not Top 15 --- the Top 10!!!).  In addition, from 1978-1988 Mississippi won Prelim Swimsuit EIGHT times and Prelim Talent once!!!  (Big Thanks to our "Junkie Research King" for this reminder!).  With this Swimsuit Win in Atlantic City, I'm guessing lots and lots of "Glory Days" conversations are taking place in the Miss MS ranks right about now!

OK - So - Going 2 for 2 on opening night means we've got our work cut out for us tonight!  Time to buckle down and see what we come up with for Wednesday Night Prelims...

Just for the record, tonight we have Sigma competing in Talent and Mu competing in Swimsuit... Here's the prelim order one more time in case you missed it earlier... Again, you can click on the photo if you'd like to see a larger version...

OK - Here we go!

Interestingly enough, IL, MN and AL are all performing back-to-back-to-back tonight... We're super curious how this one is going to work out tonight. :)

This was a hard one for us... Gonna kick ourselves if we miss it... 'cause I think this list has changed 6 or 7 times already.  Can't wait to see who earns the prelim award in this category tonight!

There you are!  We'll see how close our predictions come tonight - and the Junkies are jumping on a plane bound for Atlantic City tomorrow!!!  As always, you're welcome to post your predictions as well!  Who do you think wins Talent and Swimsuit tonight???



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Junkies Predict TUESDAY Preliminary Results!!!

OK, OK, OK...

Let's be honest... the reason it's taking me so long to make predictions for tonight's prelims is because I KEEP CHANGING MY MIND!!!

Seriously - I think I'm about to move into analysis-paralysis... this is like my 6th or 7th time adjusting the list... time to just put it out there already...

SO!  HERE WE GO!!!  Round #1 of Junkie Prelim Predictions 2014!!!  If you missed our previous blogpost about how we choose who we choose, I HIGHLY encourage you to read our earlier post... It also explains the "ground rules" so to speak...  You can check it out here...

And NOW - with no further adieu (because good-golly there's been plenty of ''adieu' already)... Here's our first stab at Prelim Predictions for Miss America 2014!!!

Talent is STACKED tonight!!!  It's really, really hard for us to choose only 4 states - and we're the first to tell you we might get this one wrong.  It's tough to find a clear winner - and I can't believe we're leaving DE and MO off the list... But I only get to choose 4. That's the rule.  We'll see if I regret it tomorrow.

If you thought Talent was stacked... you should see Swimsuit!  Wowzers!  We could list 8 states all capable of winning the prelim tonight - but alas, these 4 are where we're landing.  I can't believe we're leaving NC and IA off the list... ugh... Here's hoping we get at least one of these right!

Alright!  That's what we've got!  As always, feel free to give us your prelim predictions either in the comments below, via Facebook or via Twitter!

Updates Tomorrow!!!

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




Junkies Prelim Predictions 101

Many moons ago, before this blog or Facebook was even born, I was looking for a way to reconnect with friends and family around Miss America week.  So, just for fun, I started to see if I could pick 4 states that I thought might win Preliminary Talent or Preliminary Swimsuit at Miss America.  Then, I'd send out an email telling them why I thought "so and so state" could win the given prelim.  At first, I think people just opened the email because they hadn't heard from me in a while (lol) - but soon, they began to humor me and play along.  In order to suck them into my pageant vortex, I named the email list "Miss America Junkies".  Ever since then, I've been posting picks - and each year more and more Junkies join me in my pursuit of the perfect preliminary prediction.

In case you've never seen this before, here's how it goes...

1. Two awards are given on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night... one for Swimsuit and one for Talent (no on-stage awards for Evening Gown or On-Stage Question). Three nights of prelims times 2 awards each night means 6 awards total (who says pageant girls can't do math? GO STEM!).

2. I'll select 4 states out of the 17-18 girls who could possibly win.

3. To provide complete disclosure... I've only seen 3 of this year's contestants in person.  I don't attend Miss America rehearsals.  99% of our research on our picks is from online research alone.

4.  Here's the Prelim list... for Tuesday, we're working with Alpha in Talent and Sigma in Swimsuit...

If you need a larger version, feel free to click on the photo itself :)

Now - before we get started with my predictions, there are a couple of things I need to point out...

1. The predictions below are my opinions and my opinions only.  Sometimes I get it right - and sometimes I'm dead wrong.  Of all the years I've been making predictions, the best I've done is 4/6... Which pretty much goes to prove, I'm not perfect. :)

2. If your daughter/grand-daughter/sister/best friend's-baby-sitter's-car-salesman's niece isn't on our short-list as a prelim pick, it doesn't mean she isn't talented.  It doesn't mean she isn't 'pretty enough'.  It doesn't mean she doesn't have what it takes... It means, I'm not perfect. 

3. Just because we accurately predict a prelim winner - it doesn't mean she is the next Miss America.  Remember, Mallory Hagan didn't win a single prelim - and I'm not sure we even had her on any of our prelim predictions from last year... But she walked away with the crown.  Your girl can too. 

4. This is supposed to be... (wait for it... wait for it...) FUN!!! :)  Since predictions are the origin of MAJ, we have a blast seeing if we can accurately predict a winner simply through research and Junkie intuition.  Please don't take it personally if the girl you adore is not listed in our posts...

Here's a photo of your prelim judges with Sam Haskell (from the Miss America Twitter Feed)... Feel free to click on the photo itself to see an enlarged version...

And the press release offering complete bio's for our Prelim Judges can be found here...

As any contestant will tell you - different judges = different results.  If you think you've mastered "Intro to Junkie Predictions 101" and wanna move into the upper echelon of prelim picking, then study the judges.  Or, feel free to read our opinion on the prelim judges found here in this post and consider it the cliff-notes version. :)

Our first round of Prelim Predictions will be posted later today!!!  And of course, we'll update both our Facebook page and our Twitter feed with real-time results... then, we'll offer another round of predictions tomorrow!  As always - if you disagree, you're welcome to 'play along' by listing your own Top 4 in the comments section below or via Facebook/Twitter. :)

GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE!!!  First night of prelims is ELECTRIFYING!!! :)

#MissAmerica #JunkiesUnite


Sunday, September 8, 2013

"There's No Place Like Home..."

When The Junkies first heard rumors about Miss America returning to Atlantic City, our first thought was, "NO WAY"... and that someone must be smoking crack.  So, we went to the best place we knew to get confirmation... Google. :)

After googling "Miss America Atlantic City" for news specifically reported within the last 24 hours, we discovered 3 different outlets breaking the story.  At that point, I'm pretty sure my heart leaped... We couldn't find any news about it on Facebook or Twitter... and even though we saw 3 separate stories from traditional media, I was still extremely nervous about sending a 'tweet' to our Junkie followers.  If we were wrong - it would be bad (like not-funny, lose-all-credibility, the-Junkies-must-be-smoking-crack-bad).  But if we were right, it would be AWESOME to break the news to our followers before anyone else knew about it.  Suddenly, I was reminded why I have my Journalism degree... and at 6:24pm on February 13th, we sent the following tweet:

"#MissAmerica is coming back to Atlantic City!!!"

After a few followers wondering (say it with me) "if we were smoking crack", word began to spread and the excitement began to build as the truth came out.  May I say, being a "Junkie" has been awesome ever since. :)

In fact, we've gained more followers and posted more blogs over the past 7 months than at any other time in Junkie History!  We've interacted with more of you and LOVED your 'tips' and 'inside scoop' about your favorite contestants.  Moreover, we're blown away by the positive encouragement that gets posted day after day after day from those who have joined the Junkies in our Miss America obsession.  Being a positive outlet was the whole reason we started MAJ in the first place.

To be back in Atlantic City also holds special significance for the Junkies... The last time any of the "Original Junkies" were in Atlantic City, it was 1985... traveling cross-country in a van... with big hair and bigger shoulder-pads.  Now, nearly 30 years later, an entirely new generation of Junkies have come into the picture... and after 8 queens crowned in Vegas, Miss America is returning to her roots.  I expect this year will be more than special... it will be spectacular!

After all, our girls are having the time of their lives!  Dancing into the wee hours of the night, receiving over $800 worth of free merchandise from the Pier Shops, watching a major league baseball game and Blondie in concert, all while keeping their mascara in place and a smile on their face.  But tomorrow, we officially begin the competition. 

Interviews start tomorrow (Monday) morning - and the girls will get their first chance to impress the judges (by the way - if you missed our blogpost with our take on the judges, you can check it out here).  The first on-stage competition starts on Tuesday - which means, we will once again be posting our predictions for Prelim Winners each night!!!  You should be making your own lists as well - posting predictions is half the fun of being a Junkie! :)

In the meantime - you can do your homework by reviewing our contestant lineup...


We'll be predicting Talent and Swimsuit winners each night via this blog... and the Junkies will be in Atlantic City to see it all on in person on Thursday night! 

Finally, if you're headed to Atlantic City - we'll be hosting another "Junkie Meet and Greet" - likely on Friday or Saturday.  Last year, everyone who attended listed their Top 5 and we gave away a special prize to the person who accurately chose the most states in the Top 5.  If you joined us last year, we'd love to see you again!  We'd also love to meet as many NEW FRIENDS as possible as well!  Stay tuned to our Facebook page, Twitter feed or this blog for further details about our Junkie Meet and Greet in AC".

Between now and then, I'll be doing all the typical pageant things in preparation for our trip... Make one last stop at Sephora, schedule a spray-tan, re-pack my luggage hoping to fit in one more pair of amazing shoes, and thank my husband for letting me play the Miss America Junkies game twice in one year.  At this point, I'm fairly certain he thinks ALL the Junkies are "smoking crack". :)

Our first prediction post is forthcoming!!!  HANG IN THERE!  Only 8 more days until we crown Miss America 2014!!!!! :)

#JunkiesUnite -