Final Judgment: Miss USA
BY Ross von Metzke
April 22 2009 12:00 AM ET
When Miss California
(Carrie Prejean) made the flub heard 'round the world with
regard to blogger and Miss USA judge Perez Hilton's now-famous
marriage-equality question, websites and blogs lit up with
commentary, questions, and inevitable follow-up interviews.
Alicia Jacobs, the Las Vegas on-air entertainment reporter for
the city's NBC affiliate and former Miss Nevada USA who sat
at the judges' table with Hilton that evening, ran home and
took to her blog. She was fired up -- frustrated by Prejean's
lack of compassion, eager to shed some light on the issue of
marriage equality, and hoping people reading her words at home
would understand why a Miss USA contestant should have
avoided such a polarizing response to such a topical
Within 24 hours
Jacobs's in-box was flooded with hate mail -- including a
few death threats.
Jacobs reached out to
Advocate.com to talk about the overwhelming response to her
blog post, where she thinks Miss California went wrong, and
what really went down in that auditorium after the
"awkward" applause died down.
Advocate.com:This has been quite a week for you.
Oh, my gosh. Has it ever. I thought I was going to go in and
judge a beauty pageant, which I was delighted and honored to
do, and it's just taken on a life of its own.
When you heard Miss California's response to the
question about marriage equality, did you know instantly it was
going to cause a stir?
I couldn't have imagined that three days later we would still
be talking about it. The girl who actually became Miss USA
[Miss North Carolina, Kristen Dalton] has been put on the back
burner, which is unfortunate because she deserves the limelight
right now, and nobody's talking about her. We're talking about
Miss California, whose answer was definitely polarizing, and
that's not what this pageant was all about.
Perez was the only judge to write his own questions, and
some people have questioned whether or not it was an
appropriate question to ask.
I think it was a completely relevant question to ask. All of
the judges' questions were meant to be topical, and, my
gosh, certainly gay marriage is topical. It's an important
issue and one that most states are talking about as we speak. I
mean, my home state of Nevada -- right now there's legislation
What was the mood in the theater like after Miss
California's response? From what I've heard, what we saw on
TV was not necessarily how it went down.
It was interesting. There was applause, but it almost seemed
like a slightly delayed nervous applause. She had a very large
cheering section there, because California is very close to
Nevada and that's what you'd expect. Look, she's a very
beautiful girl and she competed well, in some people's opinion,
up until that point. But the applause was followed by a great
deal of booing, which didn't surprise me.