The Miss Continental Pageant finals are always held on Labor Day night. This year's show, owner Jim Flint's 30th, was the best one we've attended so far at Park West. The Continental Pageantry system was started in 1980 to provide an avenue for professional female impersonators to compete for a national title. The opening number was a wonderful medley of the top Broadway hits from Cats, the Wiz, 9 to 5, La Cage aux Folles and many, many more. The closing number of this segment was performed by the legendary, Chilli Pepper (who was also the very first winner of the Miss Continental title in 1980) , "singing" a song from Sunset Boulevard as Norma Desmond. Clad all in white and acting her little heart out, she was clearly the crowd favorite!
There were 30 talented contestants this year each performing mini Broadway performances for their talent segments, appearing in swimsuits and also evening gown competition. I'm glad I wasn't a judge like my friend Nadine Epstein (who has been judging for 25 years). They were all so terrific! Other judges included Jim DeMundo, Skip Mackall, Brian Reams, Howard Meyer, Tommie Ross (a former Continental winner), Antonio Edwards, Denis Sabol, Robert Hamm and Fred Asbell.
During the opening greeting, Jim Flint mentioned that they had received a long distance call from a soldier serving in Afghanistan for tickets -she was home on leave--and he introduced her from the stage to a standing ovation. Erica Dunlap, Miss America 2004, was there enjoying the show as well as 16 former Pageant winners. 1100 excited fans and friends watched as Armani (Miss Continental Florida) was named the winner (she performed a mean Michael Jackson number for her talent segment). First runner-up was Mokha Montrese (Miss Canada Continental) who performed Swan Lake, and 2nd runner-up was Naysha Lopez (Miss Virginia Icon Continental) who performed a space-age production number. The other two finalists were Aurora Sexton from Chicago and Kim Moore from Puerto Rico. We thoroughly enjoyed the show and want to congratulate Jim Flint on his dedication to the community and for creating this exciting and unique show! See you all NEXT Labor Day!
Armani, Aurora Sexton, Baton Show Lounge, chilli pepper, Erica Dunlap, Jim Flint, Kim Moore, Mimi Marks, Mis Continental Pageant, Mokha Montrese, Monica Monroe, Naysha Lopez