- Mike Bell
- At this year’s Miss Arkansas Pageant
Yes, pageants are tired and vapid. But let’s forget that next year. Because Fort Smith native Alyse Eady, crowned Miss Arkansas last July, is surely the best contender our state’s sent to the Miss America Pageant since, well, ever. For starters, she’s got all the requisite qualities: She’s strikingly pretty; she advocated, in the Miss Arkansas pageant, for a good cause, the Boys and Girls Club; and as a recent OBU grad, with a major in communications, she’s not likely to bungle her answer to the onstage question. But most of all, we’re smitten with her for her talent: a yodeling, ventriloquist rendition of “I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart.” Yup, an African-American pageant contestant is yodeling and singing one of Arkansas’s greatest contributions to country music — Arkansas native Patsy Montana made it the first million-copy seller for a female country artist in 1935 — without moving her lips! We need Alyse Eady T-shirts. “Miss America” airs at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 15, on ABC.