Blackwolf the Dragonmaster's Diary of Magecraft

Being a Chronicle of the Inner Secrets of, and Spells of Magick as Wielded by, the Philosopher of the Internet and Unofficial Sorcerer-in-Residence of the City of New York

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Location: New York, New York, United States

As New York's Unofficial Wizard, my mission is to encourage the Mortals of Manhattan to imagine responsibly!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Blackwolf on Miss America: There She Is! But Why Should We Care?

Well, Mortals, tonight at the Aladdin Hotel-Casino in Vegas, the Miss America Pageant faces its greatest challenge: a challenge that, if successful, could make it the biggest ratings hit in ad-supported cable television history --- the reason, of course, taking the form of its new TV home, Country Music Television. But should this grand experiment fail, the 85-year-old entity, far from its Atlantic City, NJ headquarters for the first time ever, will be rendered hopelessly, perhaps, irreparably irrelevant.

The truth of the matter is, as some have dared to ask in prior years, why should we care about Miss America 2006? Will we even remember what her name is a year down the road? Will the telecast return to Vegas? We still don't even know what CMT's plans are for Miss America 2007. How, then, to justify Miss America's continued existence in a world dominated by Desperate Housewives (one of whose regulars, one James Denton, is hosting the show tonight), American Idol and the constant image of that odious Paris Hilton?

I must admit to having a fancy for, from time to time, visiting the pageant news sites on the web --- Jimmy's Pageant Page and the Pageant News Bureau (PNB), in particular. They, too, will be watching what goes down in Vegas tonight. Like myself, they have their reasons for wanting to watch. Let your Dragonmaster share his before anything stupid gets said hither: In a nutshell, 'twas that fiend Bob Bain, whose self-named, Santa Monica, CA-based production company is a cancer to Hollywood television, who set into motion the events culminating in tonight's show. Had Miss America remained in the comforting care of TV legend Jeff Margolis, I'm sure the show would have at least performed, both in terms of showmanship and in terms of TV ratings; for, as a veteran producer-director, nobody knows to bring both to the world and whip them into shape like Jeff Margolis!

But Bob Bain Productions --- they, the fools! I recall a few years back how the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce tried to team up with that wiener to revive the fortunes of their crown jewel, the Hollywood Christmas Parade! The resulting NBC special, airing December 1st, 2002, was such a ratings flop that many, myself included, complained! I knew then, as I know now, that Bob Bain Productions would eventually destroy the ratings fortunes of Miss America! Still, as you have obviously percieved, I have not fully answered the question: As a television audience, why should we care about watching the telecast?

Perhaps there is an audience for this type of show; alas, in this day and age, like so many other things, it's all about not just the economic bottom line, there's also the entertainment factor. The truth is, you have to find a new and more innovative way to reach out, hold and above all else entertain an audience of some 300 million viewers --- because otherwise, you simply don't stay on the air. Period. The entertainment world is often very hazardous at times, and sometimes it can be incredibly cruel. Your Dragonmaster has lived too long not to remember otherwise; this is ONE Wizard who knows when to make an exit when and if the time comes!

The point, kids, is simply this: The Miss America Pageant, in its present form, is in a lose-lose situation. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. To survive it must reach out, hold and entertain its intended audience --- or risk irrelevancy permanently. I wish there were a nicer way to say that, but there are times when even a Mage has to be blunt about show biz.

(A BRIEF FOOTNOTE: Since this was posted, Miss Oklahoma, Jennifer Berry, a 22-year-old senior at the University of Oklahoma, managed to wrest the crown and title of Miss America from all comers, taking home a $30,000 scholarship in the process. While Aladdin Hotel-Casino executives were anxious to have the Pageant back next year, Organization CEO Art McMaster said that no decision had been made as to whether or not all that happened in Vegas would stay there.)

Nevertheless, as usual, I wanna know what you think, America. Gimme an e-mail at blackbeardian@yahoo.com.

Master Blackwolf

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