The Miss’d America Pageant, a high-stakes drag competition that raises funds for local AIDS and LGBT charities has been a hit in Atlantic City since the early 1990s—after a brief hiatus when the Miss America Pageant left for Vegas in 2006, the show returned bigger than ever in 2009.
This Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall was the 2012 Miss’d America Pageant, where TV personality Carson Kressley emceed as 14 contestants competed in traditional pageant categories—swimsuit, talent, evening wear—in hopes of winning that crown. In the judges booth sat Michael Musto, TJ and Ryan of The A-List: New York and New York drag queens Hedda Lettuce and Bianca Del Rio among others. And in between categories, a crowd of about 1,300 was entertained by numbers from Weather Girl Martha Wash and American Idol veteran Erika Schiff.
There were plenty of crowd-pleasing moments: Shi-Queeta-Lee’s version of “Proud Mary” as a geriatric Tina Turner, Victoria “Porkchop” Parker coming out in a Miss Piggy bathing suit, 2011 Miss’d America Kitty Hiccups’ amazing singing voice.
But in the end there can be only one. And when that name was called, it was lithe vixen Sabel Scities (left) who took the tiara, with Parker and New York’s Bootsie LeFaris named runner ups.
At a post-pageant press conference, Scities shared her nervousness about taking on the title of Miss’d America. “I’m excited, humbled, terrified and exhilarated,” she said. “my skin is the only thing holding me together right now.”
The winner of Miss Fire Island 2010, Scities got her start in drag in Portland, OR, six years ago. As Timothy Byars (her male alter ego), she was hired as an entertainer at a drag club. “We had a turnabout night, where all the boys went as girls and the girls went as boys. I dressed up like Reba McIntire,” Scities reveals. “I was scared as crap but it’s really what got me started.”
Click through for photos from the 2012 Miss’d America Pageant in Atlantic City
Photos: Payton E. Wright