Like most Texans I am a long time pageant fanatic. Whether it's a GLBT one or not, I'm either sitting in the audience enjoying the show or in front of the set watching it.
Tonight I'll be flipping channels back and forth between Battlestar Galactica and the Miss USA pageant to root for my Houston homegirl Crystle Stewart and see if she can bring the title back to the Lone Star State for the first time since 2001.
Crystle's already done the hard part. After five attempts, she finally captured the Miss Texas title..
The Miss Texas USA pageant routinely has more than 100 women vying for the title, more than the number of contestants competing for Miss Universe or Miss USA. In many cases they have to battle through stiff competition in local pageants in the Houston, Dallas and San Antonio metro areas along with other pageants scattered across the state just to get the shot at winning the state title. In addition, Miss Texas USA is one on the few state pageants in the Miss Universe system that's televised live.
Texas delegates have been prolific at winning Miss USA. Miss Texas representatives have won the Miss USA pageant going into tonight eight times, with a remarkable run from 1985-1989 in which a Miss Texas won it five straight years. During that run, Christy Fitchner beat a future Oscar winning actress by the name of Halle Berry for the 1986 Miss USA title.
Despite that run of success, a Miss Texas has only won Miss Universe once, Chelsi Smith in 1995.
Crystle's also trying to make a little history. In addition to making the attempt to become only the fifth African-American to win Miss USA, she's also trying to succeed Rachel Smith. last year's winner. While there have been back-to-back African-American winners in the Miss America system, it's never happened in the Miss USA pageant.
I'll be rooting for my fellow Cougar to do just that tonight and hopefully continue on to win Miss USA.