Start making those travel arrangements - we have all the specifics for the 2007 Miss America pageant and it's going to be too HOT to miss!

Please come to cheer for me at the Aladdin Resort and Casino, soon to be renovated into the the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada for preliminary competitions starting January 25th. The final night of competition will be airing LIVE on CMT on Monday, January 29th, at 8:00 PM ET/PT. Tickets will be made available for both preliminarie competitions and the final night on

Last month, CMT announced an expanded programming strategy to support the 2007 MISS AMERICA PAGEANT, which includes some nine hours of television devoted to Miss America . This programming features a two-hour contestant special, which will air on CMT and its sister networks, VH1, MTV and Logo; a one-hour special on Miss America 2006, Jennifer Berry; a one-hour look at GREATEST MISS AMERICA MOMENTS; and Miss America features on the popular CMT TOP 20 COUNTDOWN and CMT INSIDER. Additional programming will be available exclusively on the CMT LOADED, VOD,, CMT Radio and CMT Mobile.

Miss America's Oustanding Teen

I'm just back from Orlando where 52 talented Teen contestants competed in the Miss America's Outstanding teen pageant, a sister pageant to Miss America. Congratulations to Maria DeSantis, Miss New York's Outstanding teen, on her win! Also, congratulations to my Outstanding Teen, Elizabeth Payne, for a wonderful performance!

In additon to attending the Teen pageant, I was able to spend time with 34 of the other Miss America state candidates over the long weekend. We enjoyed a special VIP tour of Disney World, where we met all of the characters, had our pictures taken with the Disney Princesses, and didn't have to wait long in line for any of the amazing Disney attractions! We were also hosted by Planet Hollywood for a special lunch and photo shoot for Planet Hollywood and CMT. (This gives much fuel to the rumors that the Miss America pageant will be held at the Planet Hollywood-Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas!)

It was an incredible weekend, a chance to meet some of the beautiful contestants I will be competing with, and an honor to meet for the first time our current Miss America, Jennifer Berry.

Photos to come!

Love & Literacy at the Library

One of the highlights of my week was attending the DC Public Library Board Meeting at the Chevy Chase Neighborhood library branch. The Board welcomed a new Executive Director - Chief Librarian Ginnie Cooper. I hope I'll be able to work with Ms. Cooper and the rest of the Board throughout the year as we all campaign for literacy in the District of Columbia.

What made the Board meeting so exceptional, apart from hearing about the scheduled improvements to libraries across town, was the period after the "official business" when private citizens could voice their opinions and share concerns. I was moved by the strong commitment to community activism - and the love and enthusiasm for reading and continued education - that so many District residents conveyed. I have never seen a group so eager to improve their community through reading!

If you haven't been to a library branch yet this summer, there is still time! And a variety of enticing volumes await you... as well as SO many improvements that have already been made to the atmosphere and the technology that we have come to expect, in addition to literary works, from our public libraries. Find the branch nearest you at

Happy Reading!

Date Chosen for Miss America!

It's OFFICIAL!!! Miss America has announced that this year's pageant will take place on Saturday, January 29, 2007 in some city in America! I know a lot of people have been very anxious to hear the date and location, and I wanted to make sure you knew as soon as we heard some news. Now that we have a few of the specifics, I expect to see every one of you at the pageant!! Stay tuned for more information on how to get tickets!

Now that we've got a set date, I will be stepping up the preparations even more with dance classes and performance practice, wardrobe selection and fittings, working out, and mock interviews!

In addition, from September 5th through the 13th, CMT will be flying me and all of the contestants out to Los Angeles, CA where we will enjoy each others' company and film the documentary reality series, "Finding Miss America," which is set to air on CMT, MTV, and VH1 in a seven part series leading up to the Big Night. Make sure to watch and VOTE, as audience voting scores will determine this year's Miss Congeniality! You can help me win!
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