A Letter to My Dog, Half Pint

This last year may have been the worst one of my life, but at least I've got the world's two greatest dogs by my side to help me stagger into 2018. Today's post features a letter to Half Pint. Benjamin will be getting a letter later this week--he'd never let me hear the end of it, otherwise. Also, this posts features a lot of short video clips of Half Pint being silly. Since I apparently can't do anything right these days, they are exclusively shot in vertical mode. Please accept my apologies (and cut me some friggin' slack).

Top 10 Moments in Beauty Pageant Failure

(photo @ break.com)

Bring up the subject of beauty pageants to a large group of people, and you're bound to get at least two harshly contrasting opinions. Many folks see them as great opportunities for young women to earn scholarship money, make connections, and develop confidence.  Others see them as exercises in hollow vanity that can cause a great deal of emotional and psychological damage.

Or maybe you just don't care...but whatever your opinion of beauty pageants is, there is no denying that a key component to winning one is poise. A girl can be the most beautiful woman to be placed on this earth since Helen of Troy, but if she can't put one front in front of the other and form complete sentences, there is no way that she is going home with the crown (she'll be the third runner up, tops).

That's why women that enter a contest circuit that prides itself on image and promptly crap all over it are so entertaining to watch...and why we have created this list for you enjoy.

We tried to stay away from the usual "OH LOOK, SHE FELL DOWN!! HURR DURR DURR!" bloopers (although one was too good not to leave in) because even the most poised and confident among us can fall down while wearing 6 inch heels. Instead, this list will tend to focus on talent portions that never should have been tried and questions that should have easily been answered.

So without further ado, let's hop across the pond for our first entry...

10. Irish Hip Hop Dancing

During a 2011 beauty pageant in Ireland, contestant Siobheal Nic Eochaidh decided to show off her white girl dance moves to beats of LMFAO's Party Rock Anthem. Awkward doesn't even begin to describe the performance (or the looks on her fellow contestants' faces).

Most Surreal Moment

The Dublin Rose's blatant crotch grab at 0:31 most likely didn't win her any bonus points with the judges. The pop and lock, however, was pretty well done.

9. Girl Power Outage

The contestant in this video had a fairly easy question about what the world would be like if it was run by women. After initially trying to blame her lack of speaking skills on the microphone, she recklessly tosses nouns, verbs, and adverbs together into a cringe inducing soliloquy that nearly sets women's rights back a century.

Most Surreal Moment
At 0:47, even the pageant host can't hide his disappointment.

8. Marimba Lady

Hailing from my home state of South Carolina, Carrie Lee Davis was probably a pretty good percussionist in high school...but those skills did not serve her well in the 1992 Miss America Pageant.  

From her lack of a consistent tempo to the plethora of wrong notes, it's hard to imagine how someone who obviously has some knowledge of how to play their instrument could do it so poorly...and think wearing those massive shoulder pads past 1985 was a good idea.

Most Surreal Moment
At approximately 2:00, Ms. Davis throws aside all pretenses of maintaining time and rhythm and begins mercilessly banging her rubber mallets against the helpless marimba.

7. Family Optional

After confidently telling the pageant host that she did not feel any pressure, Janina San Miguel drew a softball question about how big of a role her family played in her life. She then proceeded to stammer about her age, lack of pageant experience, and repeated/drawn out declarations of the word "family."

Most Surreal Moment
Just when you begin to feel some sympathy for Janina, at 1:19 she lets forth a soul piercing cackle that cannot be over looked or forgiven...unless you were one of the judges.  Janina won the competition.

6. Deer in Headlights and Heels

This contestant in the Miss Ivory Coast 2012 pageant had clearly never walked in these heels before that evening...or had been downing shots backstage prior to the swimwear portion of the competition.

Most Surreal Moment
The way all the other contestants just keep dancing while the poor girl continued to fall to the ground.

5. Confucius Confusion

When 2009 Miss Panama contestant Giosue Cozzarelli was asked to interpret a quote by the great philosopher Confucius, she gave a bewildering (and somewhat racist) response.

Most Surreal Moment
One of the many reasons that I would not be a good beauty pageant judge: When Giosue said that Confucius was one the people that "invented confusion," I would have given her the benefit of the doubt and assumed she was making some type of meta joke/philosophical statement.

4. Learning About Fear

When Jeannie Anderson steps forward to answer a question from the judges (and the host's creepy sounding observation about her height), her perpetual deer in headlights look lets you know that things are not going to go well.

Unfortunately for Jeannie, her nervousness was compounded by the fact that she was asked an incredibly stupid question. I mean, seriously...who asks a question for which the "right" answer is "not to be beautiful" at a beauty pageant?  Sadistic and jealous ex-beauty pageant queens, that's who.

Most Surreal Moment
I may not have been a judge, but Jeannie definitely would have won some points with me when she told the audience to shut up at 1:35.

3. Bikini Beat Down

Things get very real when contestants brawl at a Brazilian beauty pageant. My Portuguese isn't very good, but that blonde girl seems like a bit of a bully. I'm still not really sure what is going on, so I may have to watch this one a few more times...for science.

Most Surreal Moment
The blonde bully starts dancing at 0:28, only to inexplicably open up a can of whoopass seconds later on an unsuspecting girl standing to her right.

2. Helping U.S. Americans

Once again hailing from my home state of South Carolina, Caitlin Upton is asked a question about Americans not being able to locate the United States on a map. This line of questioning causes her to lose the ability to locate and verbalize coherent thoughts.

Most Surreal Moment
Look, we've all said things that made absolutely no sense when we got flustered...but where the heck did she pull South Africa and Iraq from?

1. Star Wars Trumpet

For those of you that have never seen this before, I truly apologize for what you just had to endure. According to this interview, Stacy Hedger had no idea that she sounded badly...which makes me wonder what type of horrible friends and family she must have. 

Why didn't someone tell her how horrible she sounded? This was a state-wide beauty pageant and she became "Miss Douglas County" with another (and probably much better) routine. Did they just try to stifle their laughter while telling poor Stacy "Oh no, go with the trumpet solo...but make sure that during the Cantina Band break that you shuffle around the stage like a brain damaged penguin."

Most Surreal Moment
Just when your ears can't take anymore, Stacy mercifully stops at 1:33 to do her dance routine...but by 1:42, you've fully come to the realization that things can get much, much worse.


And that's all folks. If any of you have terrible beauty pageant videos laying around (which would make you kind of creepy if you're a guy) and think that I missed something, let me know. We may do a follow up list once I've psychologically recovered from gathering material for this list.  

Feel free to leave a comment below. If you'd like to sing my praises or tell me how much I suck more personally, you can also find me on twitter.  Until next time... 

May the Force be with you!

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