Miss America judge Rush Limbaugh: Miss VA "has it all."
In selecting Miss Virginia Caressa Cameron as Miss America 2010, it seemed like the judges made the ultimate zeitgeist choice.
There she was, the representative of a much-watched swing state, a community-college grad (so in now), singing a Beyoncé song and wearing bright yellow -- the color that exploded across the House floor on so many congresswomen's suits at the State of the Union last week.
But maybe we're overthinking this. In the view of pageant judge Rush Limbaugh, the 22-year-old Fredericksburg native and VCU student won simply because she "has it all. Extraordinarily good conversationalist, amazing presence, unique and classic beauty, glamor... and the girl can sing!!"
Hold on: Rush Limbaugh? True! The bombastic king of conservative talk radio was enlisted to serve on the celebrity judging panel (along with Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson and actress Vivica A. Fox, among others) and happily signed on. Why? "Because I was honored to be asked," he emailed us, en route back home from Vegas in his private jet. "And the opportunity to market myself to the audience and demo watching the pageant."
At a mild and wholesome contest that's suffered years of ratings losses, Limbaugh did not get to experience the kind of culture-war moment enjoyed last spring by celeb-blogger Perez Hilton when he clashed with beauty queen Carrie Prejean over gay marriage at the racier, jigglier Miss USA pageant. It did sound like he had an interesting time, though. He described a surprisingly rigorous six days of judging, including 15 hours spent interviewing the 53 contestants.
How much backroom wrangling? None, said Limbaugh: Judges were strictly prohibited from discussing the contestants amongst themselves, to the point of being chaperoned when together. On Saturday morning, though, they had a few minutes to share thoughts after learning the names of the semifinalists -- and by then, he said, "we could pretty much tell what was going to happen."
The Reliable Source
February 1, 2010; 1:04 AM ET
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