It was a night of sequins, love, stand-up applause, and an exciting display of New Jersey pride at this year’s Miss’d America. A full house of nearly 1,200 people burst into a raucous applause as community leaders, tourists, and LGBT activists showed their support for not only the Miss’d America contestants, but for the resilience of this seaside resort city that’s constantly reinventing itself and trying to move forward from hard economic times, while simultaneously embracing its historic past. This year, though, was a celebration. It marked its third year at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa and attendance numbers that can squash the news’ cycle’s constant doom and gloom for the boardwalk destination.
Last year, too, Miss America said it would renew its contract with Atlantic City, showing that the World’s Famous Playground has a future to look forward to, in and out of drag.
When Miss America failed to take place in the city a smaller tradition also didn’t take place—the Miss’d America Pageant. The alterna-show, which began in 1993, gave boys who literally “missed” participating in the pageant (many of whom worked for the Miss America Pageant) a chance to show off their goods after the Miss America Pageant. The small gathering began in 1991, but didn’t take place after the show moved to Vegas. Thanks to the Greater Atlantic City GLBT Alliance and the Schultz-Hill Scholarship Foundation, the show was revived, they dusted off the old runway, and the community whole-heartedly welcomed back the queens after five years. The pageant repaid these organization with a whopping ($300,000+). With the return of Miss America and Miss’d America this year, the two pageants are reunited, and Atlantic City sure has a lot to be proud of.
With the support of Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, the show took over its event center. The jam-packed production didn’t have a dull moment, and the audience couldn’t help but to thrive off the show’s indefatigable energy. Host Carson Kressley, now an old pro, knew how to get a rise out of the audience. His in-your-face comedic style turned to the audience for laughs often at the expense of someone in the audience! We suppose that is why he has been chosen six times to emcee.
Adrianna Trenta, Tina Burner, Jenna Tall, Sapphira Cristal, Morgan Morgan Morgan, and Savannah Savanier, and Pattaya Heart competed in three competitions: swimsuit, talent, and questions. It was quite clear from the beginning who were the frontrunners. Pattaya Heart destroyed the competition with her talent. Launching into a full-on Broadway performance of Chicago‘s “All the Jazz,” complete with a full-on dance troupe.
Ultimately, Pattaya Hart proved to be too big of competition for the other ladies, and she took home the crown with Sapphira Cristal claiming first runner-up. Overcome by the confetti, music, and love in the room, she tried to hold back her tears and excitement when the crown was placed on her head.
There were no hard feelings from any of the seven queens at the after-party where one big family united in a celebration of openness, diversity, and love for the Seaside resort.
Interested in visiting Atlantic City? Borgata has made it its mission to be one of the most LGBT-inclusive and welcoming hotels in the area. Visit their dedicated LGBT micro-site here for special packages, events, and discounts.