Saturday, August 10, 2013
In case you weren't on the "up-and-up" of the Pageant world, the 31st Annual "Miss Teen USA 2013" Finals are tonight. Every year for awhile now, the pageant occurs from Atlantis Paradise Island in The Bahamas and unfortunately, is not aired LIVE on NBC--like the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants. Instead you can watched it LIVE on the Web via Ustream and Xbox Live.

 Last year's "Miss Teen USA 2012" Logan West, from Connecticut

Last night were the all-important Preliminaries, where a separate panel of judges choose the semi-Finalists who will be announced tonight. Poor girls have no rest between the preliminaries and the actual Finals (in the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, there are at least several days in between to stew over what you might have done right...or wrong!). but not at the Miss Teen USA competition. And now, let's get to what I like to talk about, and that of course, are THE EVENING GOWNS. First up The Mermaid (Gown) Queens:

Miss Ohio Teen USA Brittany Reid: This was one of favorites in the "Mermaid Queen" category. Her gown was more 'mermaid Lite" since it wasn't all pouffy and Cray-Cray full at the bottom (wait for it because there's more of that below!). I thought the soft pink-coral color was pretty on her and the defined waist and covered shoulder applique lace detail hinted at a much more expensive Elie Saab Haute Couture vibe; this was a good Elie Saab knock-off.

Miss Connecticut Teen USA 2013 Kendall Leary: I thought this was a elegant mermaid silhouette choice for Kendall. The color says "soft and sweet", yet the one-shoulder look and correctly placed sequin applique adds more of an elegant mature aspect to it.

The Side Sequin Peek-a-Boo Mermaid Girls: Both Miss Indiana Teen USA Darrian Arch (left) and Miss Mississippi Teen USA Madison Brock (right) wore similar Mermaid Style gowns with slightly different bottom sections. They both had a nude/sequin side "peek-a-boo" detail. It's obvious these gowns come from the same manufacturer (Sherri Hill I presume?). I actually like BOTH of them. That's why they are here, as two of my faves from this "Mermaid Queen" group. if I had to chose a favorite one of the two, that "Gown Trophy" would go to Miss Indiana Teen USA (the blue one with the tiered bottom).

Miss Exotica Mermaid: Here is Miss Missouri Teen USA Bren Smith-Lezama in this fuchsia pink Mermaid styled gown with one shoulder strap and sequined torso and hem bands. To some people this might be a tad "over-the-top" but I LOVED IT! i thought she looked very "Bollywood Princess". there was no other gown like this amongst the other 50 contestants and to me,--while looking at the photos--it made me stop and take notice, and in a good way.

Miss Arizona Teen USA Olivia Argue: The very pretty Olivia wore a "modified" mermaid styled gown for the Preliminaries last night. Normally I wouldn't go for such a fussy looking gown with all the uneven tiered layers PLUS the applique sequined lace top section, but it works on Olivia and gives some DRAMA and hints at those Spanish Sevillana-style Flamenco dresses. I'll give it a "reserved" Nick Gown Thumbs Up.

Sweet & Simple Mermaids: Miss Maine Teen USA Delaney Seavy and Miss New Hampshire Teen USA Kelsey Campbell were two contestants who went the "Sweet & Simple" route with their Mermaid-style gowns. Miss Maine Teen USA's royal blue dress (left, above) was void of any "bells and whistles" relying only on the shape and impacting color. Miss New Hampshire Teen USA's dusty rose gown had some sequin applique but other than that, both were "Pageant Betty 101" gowns suitable for a very nice prom. Since this is the "Miss Teen USA", maybe that's the point. But I expect just a little bit more.

The Not-Sure-About-These Mermaid Gowns:
Miss Louisiana Teen USA Bailey Hidalgo: This gown to me is a bit dyslexic in terms of its design. While I do like the color and the top section, I feel, it should have just been a column-shaped gown completely made of the nude/lace fabrication that was on the top. The ruched hip/thigh section looks messy and so does the uneven/shredded bottom skirt part. Not a fan.

Miss Georgia Teen USA Julia Martin: Miss Georgia Teen USA is very pretty and she made quite a "Mermaid" impression with this bright pink gown. It's not all bad--the torso/top section beading looks expensive and fits va-va-voom good but I have a problem with the over-all "Pageant Barbie" aspect of the whole package: the perfect bleach-blond hair, the fuchsia bubblegum pink, the mermaid shape...It is A LOT to take in.

Miss Nevada Teen USA 2013 Amanda Jenkins: Speaking of A LOT of Look...Exhibit A: Miss Nevada Teen USA. Amanda is all but 18 years old but here--in this gown--she looks much older I think. I give her points for "going there" and well, she is from Nevada and therefore what would you expect; she does give you "Vegas Show Girl Mermaid Gown" with this. I wonder if it would have been a better gown if it wasn't a Mermaid shape but instead a column of those silver sequins.

***Up next: My Best of "Miss Teen USA 2013" Preliminary Competition Gowns, as well as some "Oh Dear's!"

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