Bravotv.com: What did you think of Vanassa and Susanna’s airport clash and their sit down after?
Shelley Carbone: Obviously, Susanna made a bad choice. She decided to not only purchase the same outfit that she knew Vanassa had purchased, but then proceeded to make the tacky and disgraceful choice to wear it on the same day. . .at the same time to the same event she knew Vanassa would be wearing it to. If that wasn't bad enough, prior to said event, she believes it would be -- I'm not sure, maybe cute? Funny? Entertaining? -- to call Vanassa to discuss her "fashion faux pas." If Susanna was interested at all in being friends with Vanassa, she should have made better choices. Such as the one to leave the jumper at home. What concerns me is the motive. What could Susanna have possibly hoped to gain by acting this way? Attention. Well, congratulations. Enjoy your 30 seconds.
At some point, the situation needed to be addressed. Vanassa had to travel with Susanna from Connecticut to Arizona. V even cared for Susanna on the flight, when Susanna felt ill. But it was at the baggage claim that things became heated. I don't think it would have gotten out of hand if Susanna would have just apologized and let Vanassa say what she needed to. Susanna created this situation and couldn't handle the heat. She made another bad choice by immediately becoming defensive as though she did nothing wrong and attacking Vanassa. Ha. . .we all know how that worked out.
Susanna's apology was phony and inauthentic. And not because I'm biased, but the lipstick scene is legendary. One of my favorites for sure.
Bravotv.com: Tell us about the bet – was this only fun and games? Why didn't you think Lori-Ann and Leha would go far in the competition?
SC: The bet. Oh my gosh. . .Does anyone really believe it was a real, whole hearted attempt to not support our ladies and win hefty prizes at their expense? Of course it was just fun and games. We were absolutely 100 percent there to support Leha and Lori-Ann in any way possible. We wanted them to enjoy this incredible experience and make life long friends and memories. That is what participating in this event really is all about. At the end of the day, there can be only one winner. Fifty amazing ladies go home losers. "You are all winners" sounds great, and I'm sure on some level it's true. But, please, let's be honest. There is only one woman crowned Mrs. America at this event. You better make the best of this experience, because, for some, that's all you leave with.
Having been to the same pageant a few years prior, I know the caliber of the women competing. The majority are amazing! They are incredibly beautiful, intelligent, articulate, accomplished women from all walks of life. Doctors, lawyers, poets/authors, mothers, Realtors, TV personalities. . .you name it. They are deeply involved with their communities and put themselves out there to bring awareness to their causes that effect them and their families. I feel Mrs. America should embody grace, compassion, and class mixed with a little bit of grit.
I did not think Lori-Ann would place at Nationals. She does not carry herself like a lady. You don't have to be "uptight" or "conservative," but if you are concerned about being able to take a "sh--" between rehearsals or having "swamp ass" in the desert. . .maybe pageantry is not for you. It's too bad, because although Lori-Ann likes to think she competed on a whim, I know she had to compete twice to win Mrs. Connecticut America. She should have had some idea what she was getting into. She should have tried to enjoy her experience and the women she had the privilege to meet there.
Also, based on my experience with this pageant system, I believed that Leha would make it into the Top 10. She is articulate and intelligent. She looked beautiful on stage. So good in fact, everyone wanted to change their bets once we saw her onstage! She was poised and graceful. And those abs. . .seriously?! I believed at that moment that she could have made the Top Three as well. However, I still would not have her as the winner. The competition was fierce. Please remember. . .these are my own personal opinions and I, just like every one of you, am entitled to them. Heck, I didn't think I was going to win either!!