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October 20, 2005, 05:52:19 pm
Garland_
Guest

I just thought of something else. This picture could have been taken during the prelimanery competion during either of the pagaents the week of the televised event.This determines who will be the semifinalists.There is usually 10 or 12.In the Miss Universe Pagaent all semifalists were called exept one,and Miss USA was not one of them.I was really worried.I knew they were called in some random order,but I still didn't think she would be last.What a relief when I heard Bob Barker say"Miss USA come on down".Well not exactly in those words but you know what I mean.When Debbie kept on advancing to the next round I was feeling pretty good.When it was just her and Miss Puerto Rico,I was sure she was going to win.Then she was announced as the 1rst runner up,oooh,it felt like somebody stabbed me in the heart.I was stunned,speechless.I couldn't think,I couldn't speak,Iwas just in a daze.Debbie very graciously hugged and congradulated her.All the other girls ran up to her and hugged and kissed her.I was still speechless. What a rollercoaster ride my emotions took that night.That is why I say"July11,1970 is a day that will live in infamy".
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October 20, 2005, 05:52:57 pm
jans_
Guest

Garland, I understand your feelings, my family couldn't beleive it either. On the positive side, by all odds, it was a surprise that Deborah took the Miss USA title. Since the reigning Miss USA was also from Virginia, it was really an incredible win for her, and a first in pageant history. In many ways, the controversy was good for the Miss Universe organization, and Deborah certainly did a lot to elevate the status of the Miss USA title. She's certainly the most famous and most successful of all the Miss USA.
Although I never really followed pageants seriously, I was more an admirer of Miss Americas until Deborah became Miss USA. She really impressed me in her style--she was not trying to portray an image or any one else's style, and she was so genuine in addition to being drop dead gorgeous. All you had to do was look at her eyes to know her heart.
This was an important statement in the '70s, and something women of the era were seeking, freedom to be ourselves. To me, true women's lib has always been the right to gain acceptance in any endeavor--homemaker, beauty queen, professional, etc. It was not following a predefined formula for liberation or feeling guilty about being feminine as some of the radical feminist groups of the era tried to promote.
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October 20, 2005, 05:53:27 pm
Erik_
Guest

Interesting comments from our resident Virginians, who would have been even more stunned by the result than the rest of us. After all, on top of everything else, there was some of that Virginia pride at stake as well! But I was watching from up in Canada (and maybe a little more objective? - Naw! ), and I was totally shocked by the result!
My reaction was reinforced by the fact that I had absolutely no idea of how these pageants were judged (well, I wasn't quite 15 yet): who cared if Miss Puerto Rico gave a better "final answer", she sure wasn't as beautiful as Miss USA - not even close! I thought beauty pageants were about who was the most beautiful, not about who gave the best canned speech. By that criteria, our local church pastor should have been named Miss Universe!
Garland, I love your 'Day in Infamy' analogy - yeah, back in 1970, this was about the most unjust attack on the USA since Pearl Harbor! But Jan's positive spin (the perspective of hindsight) underscores a very important point - this may have been the biggest travesty in the history of the Miss Universe organization, but in the end, I don't think it hurt Deborah's career too much. I'm willing to bet that she got over it and moved on over 30 years ago, so maybe it's time that we did as well...
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October 20, 2005, 05:54:00 pm
Garland_
Guest

I am sure she got over it.She may have accepted the judges decision back then.She always played down her title of Miss USA saying beauty is in the eye of the beholder.She never wanted to be typecast as a beauty queen.She was honered to have that title bestowed upon her,and that it opened up oppertunties to her she may not have had,but she wanted to move on.She was probably hurt more by the other two phases of her career.
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October 20, 2005, 05:54:23 pm
Garland_
Guest

I just remered something minor but interesting about the Miss USA Pagaent.One of the judges was Len Dawson,quarterback for the Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs.She tossed him a football and asked him to sign it,and that she was a big fan.He did and gave it back to her.If he knew how well she could play football, I'm sure he would have sent her out for a pass and thrown it to her.I am sure she would have caught it.
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October 20, 2005, 05:54:49 pm
Wendell2002_
Guest

I just can't believe Puerto Rico won! That's why I hate those pageants! I saw pictures, and not only this girl isn't more beautiful than Debbie, she's way less beautiful than about any girl around her! And her neck looks totally short.
I see prettier girls everyday on the street! ugh. Brazil doesn't look too good either.
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October 20, 2005, 05:55:13 pm
Observer_
Guest

It's probably a good thing she didn't win. How many Misses America can you name (besides Vanessa Williams - and what did SHE have to do to make a name for herself afterward?).
It's just unfortunate that cheap pepsi youth is more marketable than fine wine maturity. Otherwise, we'd see more of Deborah - unless, of course, she wants it that way...
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October 20, 2005, 05:55:33 pm
Erik_
Guest

She definitely doesn't want it that way! She's told me so herself, unequivocally. Your point about "fine wine maturity" is well-taken...
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October 20, 2005, 05:56:00 pm
TamaraM_
Guest

I was in the Miss Portsmouth Seawall Pageant which is a preliminary to the Miss Virginia pageant and it was shocking to me how many pageant girls are career pageant girls, how many were not from this city and how many if they lost in one city jumped to the next just trying to win the state title to go on to Miss USA. It's all very disorganized in my opinion as a former pageant contestant. I won the Community Service Award in that pageant and was told by one of the judges that I reminded him of Deborah Shelton, at the time I had no idea who she was, he told me to come back next year and try again, but I didn't. I really just wanted the experience.
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October 20, 2005, 05:56:25 pm
Observer_
Guest

If it is still a hotly contested decision 30+ years later, chances are there is true validity to it. Second place is not the first loser - you CAN be better and still lose for any number of reasons - many of which are beyond your control.
I am certainly aware of Deborah's beauty, but I am not an acquaintance(much to my eternal displeasure). Therefore, I could not comment on her evaluation of the situation. I can only -try- to understand how she might feel. Although rejection (merely the opposite of selection) isn't the worst thing that can happen, it's probably infrequent enough for her to easily ignore...
Now that's something I CAN'T relate to...!
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October 20, 2005, 05:56:48 pm
Cousin_
Guest

Someone asked a few months ago if a certain Patsy Shelton was related to Debbie. My dad is Debbie's first cousin (my maiden name is Shelton), so I can definitively say Patsy is not related to Debbie. Debbie is an only child, and there is no one by the name of "Patsy" in our family!
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October 20, 2005, 05:57:20 pm
Christo_
Guest

Welcome on the forum,
I'm glad to see so many Debbie friends and relatives here...I'm sure she will be happy to see that too.
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October 20, 2005, 05:57:51 pm
Garland_
Guest

Dear Debbie's cousin, I am glad to see that cleared up.That was sure a remarkable coincidence.She did resemble Debbie. I guess that makes you Debbie's 2nd cousin.Have you ever met her? I hope you will take part in this site.
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October 20, 2005, 05:58:26 pm
Garland_
Guest

It happened again.Miss USA finished 1st runner up in the Miss Universe Pagaent.Last night I had no objections to Miss Australia winning,but I've lost count of how many times this has happened.USA holds the record for the most 1st runners up.I only remember MissUSA winning twice,in 1967and 1980 since I started watching it in 1962.I started watching Miss America in 1958.Are American girls a threat?This is what mighted have happened in 1970.Anyway I look forward to hearing from our beautiful,gorgeous sweetheart, Deborah Shelton. I hope we are as big a hit with her as she is with us.
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