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Comments & Curiosities: The beauty of pageants

August 14, 2010|By Peter Buffa

"There she is, Miss America." Well, sort of.

It's actually Miss Newport Beach, who will be anointed and appointed in the third annual Newport Beach Pageant, which takes place Aug. 29 on the good ship Endeavor in Newport Harbor, which is nowhere near Atlantic City and needless to say, Bert Parks will not be there.

The Newport Beach Pageant is young but has grown like Topsy in just 36 months. What started as Miss Newport Beach now includes Miss Newport Beach Teen, Junior Miss Newport Beach, Little Miss Newport Beach and Mrs. Newport Beach. Mrs. Newport Beaches can be 25 to 45, which I think is a little early on the age cutoff but that's just me.

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That may be a lot of categories, but the Newport Beach Pageant follows the trend of the national pageants, which, in addition to Miss America, now include Miss Teen America, Miss Toddler America, and Mrs. America, to say nothing of all the World and Universe titles.

Was it better when there was just Miss America? Don't know, but it was definitely simpler. Women watched to see the gowns, men watched to see the bathing suits, and everyone watched the interviews to see if there was anyone who didn't want to be a pediatrician or a veterinarian or both.

This year's Newport Beach Pageant will be a reality TV feeding frenzy, starting with emcee Alexis Bellino, one of the stars of "The Real Housewives of Orange County," which will be there to film the whole enchilada and possibly use it in a future episode. What does "Real Housewives" mean exactly? Are there "Faux Housewives?" I don't get it.

And is there anywhere that doesn't have a "Real Housewives" show of its own? Seriously. If you live in a city or a state that doesn't have a "Real Housewives" show attached to it you need to churn out some e-mails and phone calls and see what the problem is. I'm sure someone is working on "The Real Housewives of Bell."

Assuming there is any room left at the Newport Beach Pageant to set up one more camera, Shari Belafonte will also be on hand, filming for a documentary she is producing called "What Is Beauty?" I'm almost tempted to go, just to watch the dueling film crews, at least one "Real Housewife", a gaggle of Miss, Junior Miss, Little Miss and Mrs. Newport Beach contestants, plus pageant wranglers, plus families, plus friends, all on one boat, all tense, some within seconds of imploding. Personally, I say we are way beyond an episode here. I'm thinking series.

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