Four young ladies competed for the title of Miss Mendocino 2017 Saturday night in Ukiah, where they sang, danced and shared their thoughts on current events.
That was cool.
Unfortunately, after watching all two-plus hours of the pageant, I knew little more about the contestants than what was written in the program.
That’s because so much of the ceremony was devoted to the “celebrity guests,” one of whom had no ties to Mendocino County. In fact, the professional opera singer admitted she was visiting the area for the first time to attend the pageant held Feb. 4 at Ukiah High School.
No matter your opinion on what assets are being celebrated, the purpose of local pageants is to celebrate the attributes of local residents. And since there were only four contestants this year, the organizers had the perfect opportunity to give each young lady more time in the spotlight.
Instead, they seemed to focus on the visitors rather than the home team. I didn’t keep track with a stopwatch, but I’d bet each celebrity guest was given at least twice as much stage time as each contestant.
|Chris Pugh - Ukiah Daily Journal|
For example: instead of giving the professional opera singer, who spends her daily life on stage, at least twice as much time to sing than any of the contestants were given, I think each contestant should have been given more time to showcase her talent. And instead of shuffling the local girls off the stage as soon as they finished performing to give more time for “visitations” with the celebrities, why not ask each girl why she chose the skill she wanted to share, and perhaps let her explain how hard she worked to perfect it?
And when I consider how much money each of the girls’ families spent on multiple outfits, especially an evening gown, I can’t help but think that a few more minutes could have been spared to give each girl more time to wear those outfits with her family watching, providing the “Cinderella Moment” that was the theme of the event.
And while one family member is invited to escort each lady in her evening gown, there was also plenty of time to ask that family member what makes them the most proud of the contestant, and why they feel she should be representing Mendocino County.
Again, in stark contrast to the life of the opera singer and the other celebrity guest, this might have been the last time some of the contestants get an opportunity to stand on stage at all, let alone with their families and their town cheering them on. Why not give them as much time up there as possible?
I mean, that’s the whole point of a local pageant. Right?