Last night's Miss America pageant assembled some of the most esoterically talented women in the country on a single stage to dance ballet, sing opera, and try very hard not to blink under the blinding scrutiny of Kris Jenner. Though 52 of them have by this time today already sunk deep into the morass of ignominious defeat, the opportunity to represent their respective states in the most venerable form of American ogling was a kind of crown all its own β€” an invisible crown that no one else will ever see and that certainly doesn't sparkle, but a crown nonetheless. Let's all take a moment this afternoon and remember some of these women who were brave enough to get onto a Las Vegas stage and bare their souls to us:

  • Miss Arizona's talent was dancing and she danced so much that she got to tour with a dance company in Europe, where she most likely exacerbated her fear of windmills during a brief stint in the Netherlands. She probably returned to America on an airplane, and since airplanes are pretty big, the flight almost definitely catalyzed an episode of her other mental issue, megalophobia (fear of large objects). In the wake of the pageant, the globe-trotting dancer will go by her common name: Jennifer Sedler.
  • If you thought Miss Oklahoma would make a great Miss America because she reads the Declaration of Independence to commemorate every Fourth of July and because she knows how to give a cow a pedicure, you'd be wrong because she lost and now she's just Betty Thompson, bovine pedicurist.
  • Miss New York wishes to visit outer space, but then so does everyone who believes that we didn't film the moon landing in a Burbank studio. For her unflagging belief in American achievement, Kaitlin Monte probably deserved better than the top 15 β€” maybe the top 14.
  • Miss Tennessee suffers from "Bieber fever," so she was immediately quarantined and disqualified. Get well soon, Erin Hatley.
  • Miss Iowa's favorite food is French toast, so she's obviously a traitor and didn't even deserve to be in the running.
  • Miss Louisiana almost swallowed a diamond and, what's more, thought that such a story was worth sharing with a national audience.
  • Miss California (above) has 800 Twitter followers, but she's probably misreading the number because she's always looking upside-down.
  • Miss America Pageant 2012 Recap [TVology]