Nadine Kam photos
A bat hovers over Miss Vamp Hawaii contestants while they waited to hear their fate Oct. 15.
I went straight from Eurocinema Oct. 15 to Hawaii Theatre, where the 2nd annual Miss Vamp Hawaii 2011 Pageant was going on.
The islands have had a long history of pageants celebrating “otherness.” When ethnic beauties found themselves unrepresented in the mainstream Miss America competitions that began in 1921, they went ahead and started their own pageants beginning in 1949 with the Cherry Blossom Pageant for women of Japanese ancestry, and 1950 with the Narcissus Pageant for women of Chinese descent, and so forth.
Now there are pageants celebrating lifestyle as well, from rodeo queens to universal show queens, and now, this close to Halloween, why not vampires?
Waiting for the winner to be named.
Dubbed “The First Vampire Beauty Pageant of its Kind, ” creator DJ Nocturna says, “Like the traditional beauty pageants, but with a darker edge,” the contest “also incorporates intelligence, personality, creativity, talent, passion and love.”
As at a typical pageant, the 15 contestants were required to think on their feet in answering judges’ questions, and model their most alluring vampire attire in a “moon bathing” segment. But, unlike the typical pageant, where the girls are so rehearsed there is often little that sounds genuine in their responses, this competition is so new that the women were simply themselves, showing their distinctive personalities, with answers warm and heartfelt, or delivered in sly vampire mode. The energy and originality was amazing.
When it was over, reigning Miss Vamp Hawaii 2010, Kornelia Szauter (Nelli), turned her crown over to Miss Vamp Hawaii 2011 Tara Tynanes.
Other winners were Miss Congeniality Bonnie Harrison, Miss Photogenic Angie Hanai and first runner-up Amber Wandtke.
Tara Tynanes shed a few vampire tears upon hearing she’d won the Miss Vamp crown.
Tara with Miss Vamp promoters DJ Nocturna, left, and Lana Saldania.
Amber Wandtke learns of her first runner-up win.
Amber with fellow Vamp Ashlynn Rabang.
Angie Hanai is crowned Miss Photogenic.
Karen’s Minions, from left, Stephanie Kung, Jacky Monzon, Stacie Koga and May Commander, were there to show their support for Karen Tracewell.
Miss Vamp candidate Michelle Poppler Moody graced our newsroom for several years as a page designer, when not designing her own costumes. She created the program illustration of last year’s winner, below:
Michelle receives some newsroom support from Wendy Takushi and Lorenzo Trinidad.
Vampires can have human friends and family, as Bonnie shows.
The first Miss Vamp Hawaii, 2010’s Kornelia Szauter (Nelli).
Dan Eternal with Miss Vamp candidate Christine Waters.
Michelle with her husband James.
Miss Vamp contestant Xylena Augustin addressed the judges in the question-and-answer segment.
Miss Vamp candidate Sonia Gomez answers judges questions.
Miss Vamp candidate Natalie Lowrie talked about the division between her Hawaiian and vampire identities.