Last year, I did some serious due diligence for my Miss America predictions—and it paid off. Eight of the 10 girls I picked made the semi-finals. Still proud about it.
This year, I’m planning a wedding, so I don’t really have time to watch videos of the contestants in the media to assess their personalities and speaking skills. I did that last year–and yes, it felt a little creepy…but also, tens of thousands of people read my predictions, so I think my behavior was validated.
Since I don’t have time for proper stalking this time around, and also don’t know as many girls competing because I’m getting old, my investment level has fallen a few notches. Even still, I am traveling to Atlantic City to watch the pageant live this year, which means I need to have some sort of opinion. Thus, I’m making predictions based on my girl crushes. As in, whose face do I want to stare at for a year should she win Miss America?
This is about to be the most shallow prediction list you’ve ever read. Don’t try and make it something it’s not.
Starting with my #10 girl crush:
10. Miss Georgia, Betty Cantrell
She’s hot. There’s really no getting around it. On her worst day, she probably looks infinitely better than me on days when I actually try to look put-together. Her hair is that of a Disney princess, while her face is that of a Victoria’s Secret model. Good for her.
9. Miss Alaska, Zoey Grenier
Listen, I’m going to be honest here. Alaska isn’t known for sending the best-looking contestants to Miss America. And that’s totally fair! Those broads have more important things to worry about than hair and make up lessons– like not freezing to death and avoiding aggressive moose. Still, this year’s Miss Alaska is adorable. Her dimples are just the cutest and her jawline could rival that of a Russian queen (who she could see from her backyard!). Meanwhile, she photobombs a lot of pictures, which makes me want to be her friend.
8. Miss Vermont, Alayna Westcom
Vermont gives me that Karlie Kloss vibe. Anyone? I feel like she’d be friends with Taylor Swift, which automatically catapults her into the girl crush category. She also looks her age, which is rare in the pageant world. Maybe it’s because she wears a normal amount of make up. Probably because she hikes a lot. That’s what people do in Vermont, right?
7. Miss Colorado, Kelley Johnson
This tall drink of water is 6’1”, yet somehow has the face of a petite little blonde that every guy goes for during Happy Hour. Her legs will extend for all of time in her swimsuit, plus you’ll get to see her dimples during close up shots on T.V. Save some features for the rest of us. Geez.
6. Miss New York, Jamie Lynn Macchia
Disclaimer: I know Jamie. But even if I didn’t, just look at her face. Her smile makes me feel warm all the way down to my toes. She looks like she’d bake you a warm apple pie while wearing heels, but could also throw on yoga pants have a tickle fight. I feel like a lot of guys must be in love with her.
5. Miss Idaho, Kalie Wright
This girl pulls off a widow’s peak like nobody’s business. Her features are big and bold, just like the perfect cabernet– so you know I approve. Light blue eyes and dark hair never gets old, and Idaho even manages to rock them without looking like an evil princess. Skillz.
4. Miss Kansas, Hannah Wagner
I feel like Kansas has naturally tan skin, and for that, I am jealous. For all I know, she’s totally white, but she looks really ethnically ambiguous to me. Keeps me on my toes. She’s just stunningly pretty and could easily be a model for facewash or something, plus her arms are exactly what I’d like mine to look like on my wedding day.
3. Miss Alabama, Meg McGuffin
She’s the girl in your sorority with awesome hair who is always placed at the front of group pictures to draw more popularity during recruitment. She’s always en trend, but classy because she’s a southern girl with a reputation to uphold. I don’t know her, but I feel like she says “bless your heart” with the training of the south, and the edginess of a New Yorker. It also doesn’t hurt that her name rhymes with Egg McMuffin.
2. Miss Oklahoma, Georgia Frazier
Most girls look better one of two ways: Smiling, or sexy-smizing. For instance, I look pretty normal when I’m smiling, but when I give the camera my best sexy face, I end up looking like a serial killer. On the other hand, some girls look super hot when they’re being serious, but their smile brings them back down to normal-girl territory. Then there’s Oklahoma, who goes from smoldering sexy to bright, inviting smile like it’s easy. Whichever way you slice it, I like looking at her.
1. Miss Florida, Mary Katherine Fechtel
Florida is the Beyonce of the Miss America Class of 2016. I don’t necessarily want to be besties with her because I’m self-aware enough to know I’m not on her level, but I want to be her. I bet she’s one of those girls who dresses up when she is sick because “when you look better, you feel better.” And you can’t get annoyed at her for never looking bad because she doesn’t even seem to try that hard. She’s the kind of girl who never does anything awkward, yet isn’t boring. Who is easy to get along with and never showy, while still the star of the room. Whose gorgeousness is unrelatable, but doesn’t make you bitter. Pageant Beyonce.
FLORIDA FTW. (Mary Katherine, sorry if you happen to read this and are weirded out that I put up so many pictures of you.)
If 8 of these 10 make the cut during finals night—just like my list from last year—then I am never putting effort towards an educated guess ever again. For anything.
Also, please remember that—save New York—I know literally nothing about the girls on this list except for the 3-7 pictures I’ve seen of each of them.
[The 2016 Miss America Pageant airs Sunday, September 13th, at 9 p.m. EST on ABC]