"In her quest to become Miss New Jersey, Amy Polumbo based her platform on Internet safety, cautioning about the dangers of online predators. Now, the 22-year-old Howell Township college student claims she is the victim of a different kind of Internet predator -- one who is using photographs she posted on her own Web site to blackmail her into relinquishing the crown she won three weeks ago.” (Spoto, Star-Ledger)
As soon as The Sopranos leave the airwaves, somebody tries to blackmail Miss New Jersey? Coincidence? I don’t think so. Did someone at the pageant forget to pay the protection money? Hmmm.
Actually, I think it’s the first salvo in an attempt to get back the Miss America pageant to Atlantic City.
For years, the pageant was New Jersey’s own. Hosted by the likes of Bert Parks, whose statue appears in the plaza between the Sheraton Hotel & Conference Center, and the AC Expo Center. Mr. Parks is holding a crown, and if you place your head in the crown juuuust right, he will sing his version of "There She Is, Miss America" just for you.
The hallways of the Sheraton Hotel are decorated with dresses and crowns of the Miss Americas of old: There is the first Miss America, Margaret Gorman from 1921 [who, quite frankly, looks a little like my grandmother]. There is the 1988 Miss America with too many names, Kay Lani Ray Rafko, [now married with even more names --- Kay Lani Ray Rafko Wilson]. And the completely unbeatable deaf 1995 Miss America, Heather Whitestone McCallum.
As matter of fact, they are only missing two things in AC with regard to the Miss America pageant:
A tribute to my favorite Miss America contestant, former Miss New Jersey 1995, Dena Blizzard. She is now a very funny mother and professional stand-up comedian.
And, of course, the Miss America contest itself.
Once hosted by Parks and filled with sappy and saccharine tradition, ---and predictably held each year in AC over Labor Day Weekend.
Now the contest has been moved to glitzy Las Vegas, and has lowered itself to being hosted by Mario Lopez [formerly of “Saved By The Bell” ----a show itself, riddled with scandal.]
Worse yet, they have no set date or location for this year. Is that sad or what?
So, the extortion of Miss NJ is just the beginning.
Bring back the pageant to New Jersey, or there will be consequences. You don’t want to know which state gets it next.