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Friday, July 20, 2012

Miss Oregon's dad: Pageant director did her wrong

From today's Fort Wayne Journal Gazette:

According to Fort Wayne resident Jim Berry, his daughter Rachel's residency was not an issue until she'd already won both the regional and state pageants. "Rachel thought she was meeting all the requirements, all along," her father said. "She received confirmation from the pageant director that she had satisfied the requirement.

"But, when push came to shove, she wasn't able to provide any official documentation."

Due to a nondisclosure agreement between Berry and the Miss Oregon pageant, Berry is not permitted to speak with the media.

After Berry's win, pageant officials asked for proof of residency in the form of a driver's license, income tax return or motor vehicle registration, her father said.

"She won, fair and square," he said. "Unfortunately, this was a technicality they hadn't told her about."

The whole thing is here.

You wonder how long Dana Phillips, the executive director of Miss Oregon, will go on stonewalling the mainstream media -- and why she doesn't realize what a bad idea that is.

UPDATE, 2:21 p.m.: In 2007, when we raised a similar question about a previous Miss Oregon, she actually responded on this blog. Funny thing, there was no confidentiality agreement back then.

Comments (36)

The kids at KATU didn't (i.e. can't) write a complete article, as they left out the name of the runner up who would now be given the title (?)

Nichole Mead of Newport was first runner up.

"She won, fair and square," he said. "Unfortunately, this was a technicality they hadn't told her about."

Being a resident of Oregon, to be crowned "Miss Oregon", is a "technicality they hadn't told her about?"

As I might have mentioned previously, it looked to me as though the Seaside gang's involved in a coverup - that from the fact that the press release spent most of its ink devoted to how great they are, as well as from the nondisclosure agreements. As for Berry's dad, it's understandable that he'd want to defend her, but given the close connection to Connie that you outlined, I can't go with "she won fair and square".

The rules are quite clear, and she didn't meet them. And she'd entered Miss California, with the same rules, twice before, so it's hard to see how she didn't understand them.

If there was any misunderstanding, it was probably about whether the rules would actually be enforced.

But if she didn't file a false document, the pageant people have some serious 'splainin' to do.

"But, when push came to shove, she wasn't able to provide any official documentation."

I'm sure she had an "understanding" with the pageant director that the residency issue wouldn't be too closely investigated, and that her lease was good enough for them. If it hadn't been for those meddling bloggers, the whole scheme would have gone perfectly!

On this point, the family is 100% correct. They were told by everyone "in charge" she was eligible. Everything would have worked out fine, too, had it not been for you meddling kids.

There is definitely lingering curiosity about the NDA, but whatever.


non-disclosure agreement. why would she have signed such a document? What did she get in return? perhaps she was "held harmless" in return?

Thanks for the clarification. I thought maybe it was "non-deliverable address."

Although one would assume the residency issue would have been caught at the state level, her local pageant director is the one who actually screwed up.... She was miss willamette valley I think and that's a title given from the Miss Three Rivers Scholarship program. They have a website. I think the director of that pageant has some explaining to do if someone cares enough to ask questions...

Don't jump to conclusions. Are you sure the residency requirements for the Miss Three Rivers required six months' residency?

Yep. Take a look for yourself.

Oh well, at least the whole thing was cleared up and the other girl is able to go.

Although one would assume the residency issue would have been caught at the state level, her local pageant director is the one who actually screwed up . . .

Ouch, yeah, I wondered that too, if maybe the local pageant people deserve more of the blame than the statewide folks. The Miss Oregon folks could say they assumed the local pageant organizers had verified Ms. Berry's eligibility when they let her compete in Miss Three Rivers, and had no reason to doubt that the local people had done so. In any case, both groups come out of this looking incompetent or worse.

Actually, it's all up to interpretation or how you read the requirements page...It says "must live/work/go to school in northwestern part of the state..." but directly above it the other titles require 6 months residency? How bizzare is that? What a warped world the world of pagents are? You can be miss willamette valley if you lived there for a day? LOL. Wow. I'm done looking at all this. Its just so weird!

I have this nagging feeling that somehow Donald Trump is involved in this mess . . .

I am only logging on here to say that the quote on the technicality part of the story was not acurate so don't waste your time going down that path all night. The actual discussion with the reporter was that won fair and square (relating to the actual competition) and that she ended up having it taken away on the technicality. The part about "that she had not been made aware of" related to a subsequent thought. But I am learning how things get turned and twisted. The press release itself that was issued yesterday ended up being misstated several times along the way. Go figure.

The rules of any competition aren't "a technicality" sir, they are the rules. Given your statement, it's not hard to surmise how Rachel got herself in this mess.

This whole controversy smells like a "birther" dustup.

"our lips are sealed" is the comment for the whole group from directors and contestants. They have all been instructed to keep this between "us". They sure didn't protect Miss Oregon when her father's activities were in question, they just let her handle the wolves by herself....shameful this all is! And the buck starts with Berry and ends with Dana Phillips.

I will clarify Miss Oregon 2008 had the questions about her father.

I have asked numerous individuals WHO the new Miss Oregon 2012 will be and a decision has not been reached at this time. WHAT?

Maybe they're trying to screw Nichole Mead -- again -- and she's not willing to play along. If I were Nichole, I'd be tempted to tell Dana Phillips, quite publicly, where she can put her crown.

The Oregon directors need to issue a press release admitting they are they ones who messed this up and then step down. Hopefully the whole national media will pick it up and Miss Berry won't be the only one paying the price for this. Anything less than that should be considered unacceptable.

You mention Donald Trump being involved, and that brings back a local memory from my Tribune days. Miss America at that point was from Gresham, and there was some kind of hassle with her not being able to appear at the same events as Miss Universe even though it was right after 9/11. Something like that. I'm proud to say I don't remember the actual details, but I wrote in my column that Miss America had told Donald Trump to stick it. Clearly, my words - not hers.

That particular column was printed on the front page of the Tribune, and Halloween night I was on the phone, getting dressed down by Miss America's Mom for implying that her daughter would use the phrase "stick it." Every now and then, there'd be a doorbell as another trick-or-treater came to their door so she would politely excuse herself and I could hear her talking sweetly to the children, giving them a treat.

Meanwhile, I was on hold so I had a chance to think. Being a musician, etc...I have a lot of experience with unusual twists and turns in life - strange trips, if you will - but I had to admit it was pretty weird to be getting scolded by Miss America's Mom on Halloween.

Never had more fun than, when in 1968, when I was asked by my boss at Celanese to style and costume the NBC performers for the 1968 Miss America pageant in Atlantic City. Ran around NYC with a wad of $$$ buying costume outfits for the dancers etc. Spent a day or 2 measuring the performers, including Bert Parks, among others (for his "After Six" black tux).

All of the "serious" mothers and "hangers-on" backstage at AC Convention Hall....keeping an eye on their precious "innocent" contestants....what a scene it was. Saturday night out in the NBC truck it was show time...."the bird (peacock) is up," and we were live, around the world. Think it was Axel Stordahl (Stordaw??) orchestra live in the pit. Toni home perm midnight brunch after party until 4-5 AM.

Lotsa styled, managed, contrived, jiggered contestants then too, I'm sure. But maybe a bit more innocent then too....and fun, for a 28yo, just-married guy from Portland, living and working in the sportswear biz in NYC. Coupla memorable days....down on the boardwalk.

Producing live coast-to-coast: exceeding exhilaration.

Bill, spooky. You could almost get damages for mental traume; maybe a class action?
She may have scolded thousands. mind-numbing

There is another pressure point in the chakras of local, state, USA bodies of beauty. Applying prssure to it can be inflammatory and purgative, a healthy cathartic.
This, here:

Miss Oregon 2012
The Official Hostess to the State of Oregon


The Miss Oregon Organization LOVES its sponsors! As part of the Miss America Organization, the world’s largest provider of scholarships to women, the support of community sponsors is essential. If you’d like to find out more about becoming a Miss Oregon sponsor, please visit: http://www.missoregon.org/become_sponsor.php

local pageant director is the one who actually screwed up.... She was miss willamette valley title given from the Miss Three Rivers Scholarship program. They have a website. yes the director of that pageant has some explaining to do if someone cares enough to ask questions...

and yes it requirments for miss three rivers is the same .six months residency.

Miss Three Rivers / Portland / Clackamas Pageant

Director: Julie Fleck / Email: juliefleck@comcast.net

Don't underestimate the rancor of a sore loser.

She won it far and square????? NOT... Call that winning far and square by lying on TV??? Rachel went on KATU TV and said she lived in OREGON ABOUT A YEAR??? Who made her say that? The rules were stated "six months". Rachel you CHEATED, LIED, JUMPED STATES, to WIN WIN WIN. Yes, she is a brilliant, beautiful, passionate person, and possibly could have won CA, but why LIE and risk it all?
And think of all the contestants she HURT, by LYING to win?? Did you stop to think about that when you entered? You knew you had to be here six months. If I was them, I would demand a public apology. You may hurt, but I bet they HURT more.

We want to hear why she LIED??
Why the coverup Berrys???

Jack, Thank you for your awesome investigating.

People, Miss America is not owned by Donald Trump. That's the Miss USA pageant, an entirely different organization. Miss USA goes on to Miss Universe. Miss America is the end title in that program.

Miss America Fan:

Who cares? They're all just trashy, demeaning, degrading, t*** and a** meat markets for horny, leering misogynists. And the ones for female toddlers are a perfect venue for pedaphiles.

Let's not bring the toddler show into this. We're talking about adult women who choose to compete and unless you've competed, maybe you shouldn't pass judgment on these women.

On the Miss OR front, I'm glad she was forced to resign, but I have to say the state board forcing her to sign a non-disclosure agreement pretty much solidifies to me that they have something to hide. I hope we find out what it is because it's clear that Rachel Berry shouldn't be the only one taking the fall for this.

sounfair: she lived there from October-present which is about 10 months today? Just because her signed lease in January was the earliest evidence given to the public after she signed her NDA doesn't mean theres more proof that will hopefully surface soon.

Saying "about a year" when it's been 10 months (or even 8 or 9) doesn't sound like a lie to me

Humm.. so from Jack's investigating and proving she was in CA last fall with all those tweets, pictures, she was able to go from CA to OR in a matter of a couple of days and work in both OR and CA during the the last 10 months? Then her work documentation could prove she was living in OR. So why didnt she get that and show it to MAO?? Things still seem fishy. Lots of coverup between friends and family and MAO. Sad for her, she is such a beautiful, passionate lady. Should have fought for the crown in CA!

If Rachel Berry cannot produce proof that she has been a legal resident of Oregon since October of 2011 (and I think we can all agree that she can NOT) then it is Rachel's fault, and her fault only that she lied on her local/state/national paperwork. Should Dana Phillips have demanded proof of residency? Absolutely...it is not the local director's fault that they believed Rachel on her word. The field director, who happens to be Kari Virding's (former Miss O mentioned who ran in both Cali/OR years ago) mom, is the one who is supposed to uphold the rules and communicate to Dana on the State level....this just gets better and better.

So, to be clear...the mom of a former State Hopper is now the field director for Miss Oregon, and we are wondering why they just crowned a carpet bagger?

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