The ladies came from all over; Holly Dae and Tina Burner came in from New York City, while the glamorous Margeaux Powell hopped it over from Boston Massachusetts! Even the legendary Vita Summers, Dallas born and New York City’s newest resident, took a break from traveling to hit the stage at the 2015 Miss’d America Pageant. It was a young lady by the name of Fifi DuBois however, who stormed to the front of the pack of nine serious competitors and snatched the crown from some very serious competition!

The evening kicked off with “RuPaul’s Drag Race” judge (and frequent Asbury Park visitor) Carson Kressley taking the stage as host for the festivities, giving full “Pope Francis” realness. He kept the evening moving quickly, vamping when necessary, while Writer/Director Mark Dahl created some serious magic behind the scenes. The addition of some eye candy for the crowd was a plus, and Mr. Kressley probably felt so as well, after receiving his own impromptu striptease from the dancers! Kressley definitely kept the evening moving briskly, even injecting topical humor. Whether it was infamous Kentucky clerk Kim Davis to the Mayor of Atlantic City Donald Guardian, no one was safe from Kressley’s humorous and good natured barbs.

Now for the contestants; each and every one of them came ready to win. As a veteran drag pageant judge, it was great to see each of these girls bring their own specific flavor to their presentation, from swimsuit competition to their evening gown presentation. Tina Burner is the quintessential “New York City girl”. She blew the roof off with her Broadway themed, multiple change containing Talent, and her Evening Gown presentation has the other contestants-and the Statue of Liberty-green with envy! Pattaya Hart brought many touches of her native Thailand into her presentation, complete with a daringly gorgeous Evening Gown presentation and exotic “Aladdin with a twist” talent performance. Vita Summers comes from Dallas, where everything is big and she did that and more; from one of the most luscious evening gowns I’ve seen in recent memory, to an eye popping and live vocal talent, Summers has put her stamp on the metropolitan area talent circuit. Margeaux Powell performed Christina Perri’s “Human” to a completely stunned crowd, as she simply stood on stage lip synching this moving track, while a slideshow of LGBT moments in history accompanied behind her on screen. A dry eye was hard to find in the house following the thunderous ovation she received.

From a sublimely wonderful talented dance number for her talent, to a quick and smart Q&A portion (where she wisely told Kressley that she was not looking to just be an ambassador for the LGBT community but for all of Atlantic City), Ms. DuBois cracked the top five, and that was when her individuality really started to shine through, and she was able to demonstrate that she had what it took to become the newest Miss’d America. Before she crowned Ms. DuBois, the divine Honey Davenport, Miss’d America 2014 gave us one final step down performance that brought many to tears, giving us all a lesson in true sisterhood.

The evening was not without another wonderful nod to history. Mark Segal, publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News and original Stonewall “rioter” received a Lifetime Achievement Award. His emotional speech detailed his rise from the streets outside Stonewall in the 60’s where he indicated that “black people were fighting for their rights, women are fighting for their rights; we needed to fight for our rights”.

The Borgata served as the host for this year’s MIss’d America pageant, who, along with the Schultz Hill Foundation and the Greater Atlantic City GLBT Alliance, have been pioneers of the LGBT community in Atlantic City. As the host for this glamorous evening, Borgata’s new “OUT at Borgata” promotion has been creating a huge buzz within the LGBT communities in Atlantic City and much farther up the parkway!

For a weekend as glamorous as the Miss America’d weekend is, there is simply no better place to host the event (or yourself for that matter) than the Borgata. From the lush accommodations at The Water Club, to the decadent spa treatments at Immersion Spa, it’s top notch service all the way. There are more than enough places to satisfy whatever your particular craving for food is, such the Fornelletto Cucina & Wine Bar serving some of the most delicious appetizers I’ve ever tasted, with the most top notch service around. The Borgata has long been a supporter of the LGBT community, and their new “Out at Borgata” promotion is exactly what the community needs in Atlantic City.

(Photos: Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.)