The AC Serves Up a New Queen
The summer season may have come to a close this weekend but Atlantic City, still the crown jewel of the Jersey Shore, had one more dish to serve on the menu when it unveiled its latest beauty queen at this year’s Miss’d America Pageant. Miss Victoria "Porkchop" Parker gleefully took the coveted title and now represents the Northeast in one of the most coveted reigns attainable by a drag queen.
The show, a combined effort and production of the Greater Atlantic City GLBT Alliance, was held at a House of Blues inside the Showboat Hotel & Casino, and was hosted by the stylishly rambunctious Michelle Visage recording star/radio personality and standing judge on LOGO’s hit reality competition series RuPaul’s Drag Race. Which seemed an appropriate token of good luck especially as when the series launched in its first season, the now crowned Miss’d America Winner, Victoria "Porkchop" Parker was the first queen in Drag Race history to be sent home.
Visage expertly entertained the full-house introducing this year’s fourteen contestants, most from the east part of the States, as the ladies competed in the established swimwear, evening gown, and talent categories leading to the final interview portion. Dance diva CeCe Peniston performed the classic house hit "Finally" and brought the crowd to their feet. One overzealous fan excitably jumped on stage and joined Peniston stage as the artist belted out her powerhouse riffs. Fan-favorites and past-title holders Michelle Dupree (2010) and Kitty Hiccups (2011) also performed a rousing duet of "Sister", before last year’s winner Sable Scities passed the title to this year’s new queen.
Bringing Down the House
The evening’s program was beautifully directed by Mark A. Dahl, and featured one of the most ambitious opening acts ever staged to introduce the Miss’d America Pageant, when Sable Scities was joined by the talented youthful artists from the New Jersey Acrobatic & Contortion Company. On the heels of the New Jersey return of the Miss America Pageant to its rightful home in Atlantic City this year, the traditional of the Miss’d America Pageant was elevated to an entirely new level this weekend. Although not necessarily "officially" tasked or branded as a Gay Pride event, it is perhaps the biggest show of GLBT pride and celebration drawing visitors from all over to Atlantic City, including the award-winning actress Toni Colette appearing in the new TV series "Hostages" who dropped by to get her dose of drag.
A lavish post party was held at the Showboat and a pre-party event was hosted by the Resorts Hotel & Casino, which also featured a live appearance from CeCe Peniston at Pro Bar the hotel’s Gay bar and lounge, who warmed up the start of the weekend with a couple of new tracks including the recent "Celebrate" and "All My Love". Many of Miss’d America’s contestants were also present, some appearing out of drag to enjoy the incredible DJs.
Now the new Miss’d America, Victoria "Porkchop" Parker has the task of representing her title and serving as a role model for the community in appearances that have in the past included marching in the New York City Gay Pride Parade. Sharing the evening’s wins with Miss Parker were Dallas Dubois and Margeaux Powell, both from New York City. The task of selecting, ranking and rating this year’s contestants went to a team of celebrity judges which included pop-culture icon Michael Musto, local radio personality Diane Mitchell, and reality competition stars fashion’s Jay McCarroll and drag comic Mimi Imfurst.
Many congratulations to all the participants in this year’s competition and especially the community of Atlantic City for consistently putting together one of the season’s most anticipated events, and especially for supporting the "Miss’d America Pageant". Proceeds from the event, as always, will go to benefit local charities in the AC. Along with the main event, the weekend also featured a spectacular 3D Street Art festival, and adjacent to Resorts Hotel & Casino the new on the beach Landshark Bar & Grill "happiest happy hour", which is only steps away from the historic Steel Pier Amusement Park, rounding a worthwhile visit to Jersey Shore’s casino and entertainment oasis, Atlantic City. DO AC today!