Update on Miss Texas Pageant and its gay connections

Posted on 06 Jul 2010 at 3:20pm

Don Maines, the contributor who wrote the piece in the June 25 edition about Miss Dallas Ali Burrow and her gay pageant consultants, sends along this update from the stages of the Miss Texas contest, which concluded last week:

Miss Dallas Ali Burrow placed 11th in Friday night’s Miss Texas Scholarship Pageant in Arlington, just a hair’s breadth from getting to compete in the top 10 in the annual contest to select the Lone Star State’s representative to Miss America. Burrow’s strong showing netted her a $500 cash scholarship that will help her continue studies at KD College Actors Conservatory.

Burrow was coached by best friends and roommates Chris Bertrand and Hunter Daniel, who worked so closely with her that she moved into their Uptown apartment last month so the trio could focus 24/7 on preparing Burrow for the annual state faceoff. Last summer, the guys’ house guest was Ashley Melnick, whom they coached as Miss Grapevine 2009. Under their tutelage, Melnick scored a preliminary fitness award and placed as second runner-up to Miss Texas in 2009.

Returning this year as Miss Fort Worth, Melnick won preliminary awards in both fitness and talent (singing “Circle of Life” from “The Lion King”) and captured the coveted crown of Miss Texas 2010.

In fact, all five finalists represented communities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including (in order) Misses Irving, Frisco, White Settlement and Arlington. The winner and first runner-up Jordan Johannsen are roommates at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, where third runner-up Kendall Morris is a featured twirler.

Rounding out the top 10 (in order) were three more North Texans: Misses East Texas, Plano, Ellis County, Houston and Harris County.

Because this was the pageant’s 75th crowning celebration, an inordinate number of gay men attended the weeklong pageant that featured many former Miss Texas titleholders who emceed and performed in production numbers. In addition, both former Miss Americas from Denton, Phyllis George (1971) and Dr. Shirley Cothran Barret (1974), held court at several of the festivities.

The new Miss Texas will compete for pageantry’s most prestigious title when the 90th annual Miss America finals is broadcast live from Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas on ABC-TV on Jan. 15, 2011.

Meanwhile, fans can spot Miss Dallas in a new TV commercial for the Big 12 Conference, in which Burrow plays a Kansas State University tennis player.

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