I must confess that at first I was just as cynical as the all the other jaded, Mancini-hating, hipper-than-thou journalists in attendance, giggling cruelly at every flat note or missed cue. I got a big laugh in particular out of Miss Pennsylvania as she waited in the wings for her turn: This tiny lass was wearing the biggest goddamned TUTU I'd ever seen, and from where I was sitting her oversized warm-up sweater and striped leggings made her look like a toy clown. Then during her ultra-girly ballet routine she almost decapitated herself by running headlong into a camera crane. Ha ha!

Once she was finished and had changed into her street clothes she sat down right in front of me in the audience, and I was dumbstruck by how beautiful Miss Bozo actually was. She "got even" with me simply by being a knockout. I hadn't felt that cooties-infested since grade school.



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