Last August the Missouri Alumni Committee and its Board, comprised of former MGM title holders, again resumed control over the second oldest preliminary to the national pageant. Among the Board’s first decisions was selecting the city of Columbia to host the three-day-event for the first time.
The theme for this year’s pageant was “Burlesque” as 14 of 16 qualified contestants from throughout the state battled it out over two nights of preliminary competition at the spacious SoCo Club. Contestants were judged in the categories of male interview, evening gown, solo talent and talent.
On hand was Coti Collins, the reigning Miss Gay America 2011 and 16 former MGM title holders—a record number. Following Thursday’s preliminary evening gown competition the capacity crowd was treated to a review show boasting nine former title holders as well as the national “Symbol of Excellence.”
Saturday’s final night of competition at the SoCo Club started off with a sizzling opening production number featuring 15-former MGMs in
coquettish dress as MGA 2011 Coti Collins emerged as Cher and sang “Welcome to Burlesque.”
The top-8 finalists were then announced—among them: two two-time, back-to-back first alternates; the reigning Miss Gay Midwest, and three former top five finalists. The impressive octet then did battle in evening gown, on stage question and talent competition. Preliminary scores in solo talent and male interview were the only points to carry over.
Indeed, the crowd was treated to an epic showdown where St. Louis native Madison Elise and her dazzling “City Lights” bested by two points Kansas City’s Tajma Stetson and her updated “MADtv” package. The latter had placed 4th Alternate with the same talent at MGA 2011 last fall and is now tied with Melinda Ryder and Regina Aigner as the only MGM contestants to be First Alternate three times running. Also in the hunt were crowd favorite Loreal and her “Minnie Mouse” mix and the electric Akasha Royale’s “End of the Road” which took 2nd and 3rd Alternate spots, respectively.
Additional stand-out performances were given by Musica Malone with a new take on an old Charity Case package and Trixie LaRue’s brilliant physical comedy.
Individual Category Awards were as follows: Top Non-Finalist: Ginger Nichole, Debut Award: Mia De La More Carlisle, Miss Congeniality: Ladreama Funn, Male Interview: Trixie LaRue, Solo Talent: Tajma Stetson, On Stage Question: Trixie LaRue, Talent: Madison Elise and Evening Gown: Tajma Stetson. The 2011 Missouri Award was given to Sparkle Iman, MGM 2009; The New Day Award was presented to Colin Murphy and Kurt Ross, and the Image Award was given to The SoCo Club.
Unlike some of her sister pageants, MGA requires that contestants be “all boy”—hence no hormones or body augmentation below the neck is allowed.
MGM 2011 Madison Elise and First Alternate Tajma Stetson will go on to compete at the 40th Annual Miss Gay America Pageant in Columbus, Ohio, Oct. 12-15, 2011.
“We were able to observe, this past weekend, the secret of a successful operation and that is organization, teamwork and a desire to be successful,” wrote MGA owners Larry Tyger and Terry Eason in this month’s Excellence. “…We have always maintained that Miss Gay Missouri America, for many years, set the standard for contestant quality and it is so nice to see the pageant system on the move, and moving in a positive direction. Congratulations to Madison Elise, the newly crowned Miss Gay Missouri America 2011.”
Check out the Official Miss Gay Missouri, America Pageant 2011 Souvenir Program.
BY: COLIN MURPHY – SENIOR WRITER