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Archive for December 22nd, 2005

Local 100 will be returning to work, although no timetable has been set at this point.
I never would have jailed Roger Toussaint for this illegal strike. To do so would have granted him martyr status to his brainwashed local. I would render him and his rogue local irrelevant through mammoth fines and/or freezing their assets. I say financially cripple them. The City and State should lean on the parent union to de-certify Local 100 and toss them to the curbside.
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Miss America, recently jettisoned by ABC, is now to be broadcast by Country Music Television. The pageant will also be broadcast from Las Vegas, and producers have unveiled plans to make it quite retro.

To that end, CMT, in partnership with the Miss America Organization, has jettisoned a casual-wear competition that was added in recent years, as well as a multiple-choice civics quiz that had pitted five finalists against one another on a "Jeopardy"-style set pumped with an ominous soundtrack seemingly borrowed from "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."

Also gone in January will be a head-to-head talent contest between the two remaining finalists that had been added last year and was meant to channel "American Idol."

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In place of the stiff blue jeans and halter tops that made some onstage segments last year seem like a debutante’s bad idea of casual Friday, CMT will emphasize evening wear, with sashes bearing state names – little seen in recent years – again draped prominently across the contestants’ long gowns throughout the night so viewers can better chart their progress. Also returning in January – for the first time since 1974 – will be Miss Congeniality, an honor bestowed on one of the 52 contestants (representing the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands) by her peers.

I’ve always kind of dug the Miss America pageant, but even I didn’t realize how stupid some of those recent moves were. Casual wear? Jeopardy! ? American Idol? I guess I wasn’t watching lately either, or maybe I just fast forwarded through that stuff on the TiVo and got right to the swimsuit competition.

CMT is a hell of a step back for what used to be the Superbowl of annual broadcasts, but there is nowhere to go but up. Perhaps this is karma for firing Bert Parks. If the changes work, perhaps they can always promote the pageant to the parent network, CBS. I have a few suggestions. Why not a lingerie segment? Or a cheerleader outfit feature? A round robin Jell-O wrestling competition might jiggle things. But hey, what do I know, I’m a 38 year old white male. Who wants that demographic? Why pretend everything is so wholesome?

When I was a sophomore in high school, a girl from the town next to ours actually won the thing and the whole neighborhood went nuts over all the cases of one or two degrees of separation. The euphoria was short-lived, when the pageant stripped her of her crown forced her resignation over some old pictures published in Penthouse. Bummer. How ironic that Vanessa Williams ended up being arguably more successful than any Miss America before or since. By the way- is it me, or does every Miss America end up marrying a "Beverly Hills-based plastic surgeon"?

I hope the move west, down the dial and back in time helps the program, because I do have a soft spot in my heart for hotties this kind of traditional Americana.

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