Letters 4.08


When I wrote the fluff piece on the 1996 Miss Nude Oregon pageant for the T&A Times, there was a lot of material that the REAL "producer" didn't want to print -- or even acknowledge. This is my chance to set the record straight -- and offer apologies to all due them.

Weeks before the event, clubs and contestants complained that the front-man/"producer" for this year's event, Andrew Lewis, was impossible to reach. I was asked by club after club what was happening with the pageant producer. Callers either got busy signals or an answering machine -- where messages were left unreturned. Questions were unanswered and critical information was not relayed in time.

Based on handouts to contestants and Orchid's 1995 pageant performance, Michale, 1995's Miss Nude Oregon, had planned a 10-minute, two-girl show with props, a fog machine, and a one-minute costume change. When she arrived, she was met at the door by Phil Yoder and Lewis. According to Michale, Yoder yelled at her and was rude to her, demanding to know "Just what do you think you're doing?" He continued this behavior throughout the show...which he had only told her about a mere five days before the event. Her performance was "chopped up," she said, requiring her to ad-lib. She was given a minute to leave her judges' seat, put on her costume and begin her act, without her fog machine or props. In fact, some of her expensive gear was broken or "lost." She and Kit, her dance partner, were caught on-stage changing their costumes, also. Adding insult to injury, Yoder failed to announce Michale and Kit when introducing the judges, doing so only after the crowd called out their names. Even then, he got Kit's name wrong.

"Why was he wearing some costume when all the judges were in formals and tuxedos?" she asked. "The dancers needed to be better briefed. They put a LOT of time into their costumes, only to have their act pulled apart at the last minute. Dancers stress out enough in these events without stupid stuff like being docked points for the wrong shoes. Lack of good costumes ruins the entertainment value; otherwise, it might as well be just like a bikini contest in the Miss America pageant, with everyone wearing the same kind of swimsuit." Costumes, she felt, should have been "no more than two points out of 10." Concerning the problems with performances by last year's winners, Kit said, "Either give them enough time or eliminate them."

Bobbi Brown, another competitor, echoed the sentiment. "It's a good thing the girls were so supportive, because (Yoder) was so negative." She felt he got "too close" and otherwise should not have had any connection at all with the judging. Although she felt the judges were a good selection, overall she had doubts about the quality of judging, as well as the final outcome. With six years experience as an international feature act, she echoed many others when she described the pageant as "unprofessional."

Candy from the Sandy Jug, found it worse than that. She and her group arrived late and found that their reserved seats had been sold out from under them. Candy was shocked and furious. "I busted my but and sold 60 tickets for him and this is my pay back? This is positively the LAST time I'll ever support him!" Since then, Candy, who'd given me her first ad copy for the T&A Times last autumn, has dropped him and joined the ranks of Exotic's exclusive advertisers.

There were other comments, mainly from those who won't have anything further to do with the pageant. Those who worked so hard to make it happen in the face of ceaseless criticism and lack of support, deserved better. But, since the odds of Yoder apologizing are about the same as his admitting who REALLY runs his paper (hint: it's the guy who pockets all the money), I'll simply say, on behalf of all those of us who care, I apologize to all of you who competed in, or attended, the Miss Nude Oregon pageant. You are truly the winners who deserve the credit for whatever success that pageant had. I hope that, next year, someone else produces a truly "professional" pageant that is worthy of you.

Marcus Tempe -- via standard mail

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