What is a Sweeps/Sweetheart pageant?
Nationally, a “Miss Sweetheart” pageant is held in Hoopeston, Illinois for women who were named first runner-up at their state competition. (If the first runner-up cannot attend, it is passed down to other runner-ups.) In many instance, Miss Sweetheart goes on to win her state the next year and ultimately does well at Miss America. Our current Miss Ohio, Amanda Beagle was a first runner-up, was named to the top ten at Miss Sweetheart, then won Miss Ohio and received a talent award at Miss America!
On the local level, Sweeps/Sweetheart pageants serve as a “last chance,” and often produce some of the best performances of the year, since the stakes are so high.
In analyzing Sweeps/Sweetheart pageants, there are two schools of thought regarding their effectiveness. Some people pose the argument, “If it took her all year to win a local, how is she going to do any good at Miss Ohio?” Also, she’ll have the least amount of time with her E.D.’s to prepare for Miss Ohio. The first argument is clearly asinine; women should be applauded, not berated for their growth within the program. Past Sweetheart winners disprove this idea: Miss Heart of it All, Tiffany Hass, was crowned Miss Ohio 2002 and last year Miss Buckeye State, Jillian Dansko, made the top ten. Second, while women who win a local earlier have more time to work with their E.D.’s, it is usually a safe assumption that Sweetheart winners have more onstage competing experience.
Wow! I am so sorry for that last paragraph! I’m still at the Forensics tournament and just ended a round of Rhetorical Criticism (or some call it Communication Analysis). I prefer the first, because then we shorten it to “crit” and call ourselves “critters.”
*Insert bad joke groan here.*
I digress… These pageants also tend to have a higher sense of community, as titleholders are invited on stage for the crowing, as if to welcome the last member of their sisterhood of Miss Ohio participants. I am disappointed I will not be able to attend the crowning of Miss Buckeye State and Miss Heart of it All tomorrow; many deserving women with whom I am friends will be competing and I wish them all the best of luck!