This year’s Miss USA pageant ventured into unchartered social media territories when they let the Twittersphere tweet in questions to ask during the dreaded question and answer portion of the competition. With 1,554 total tweets to the #askmissusa hashtag, the ultimate winner went to @ARTMME with the question, “Would you feel it would be fair that a transgender woman wins the Miss USA title over a natural born woman?”
This question is in regards to the Miss Universe Canada contestant Jenna Talackova, who was born a man and was allowed to compete in the Miss Universe Canada pageant in May, after initially being disqualified from the pageant. The question went to Miss Rhode Island who stated, “I do think that that would be fair, but I can understand that people would be a little apprehensive to take that road because there is a tradition of natural-born women, but today where there are so many surgeries and so many people out there who have a need to change for a happier life, I do accept that because I believe it’s a free country.”
Ultimately, Miss Rhode Island was crowned Miss USA 2012. Last year was the first year the organization let viewers vote on their favorites which was largely done using social media. Viewership was down 18% compared to last year’s competition, however NBC still had the highest ratings among the 18-49 demographic for the night, beating out the premieres of “Secret Millionaire” and “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition.”
I just wonder if there will ever be a time with the competition becomes that of an American Idol or The Voice where America chooses who get’s the crown. However, those programs all time Twitter mentions top out around 1.1 million and 4.2 million respectively and with Miss USA mentions only adding up to be 190,000 (34,000 for this year’s ceremony), the Miss USA organization needs to gain a bigger social media presence if they plan on continuing this trend.
*Stats recorded via topsy.com and Yahoo! TV. Questions via storyful.com