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Video: Golden girl! Ms. ‘Senior’ America

  1. Transcript of: Golden girl! Ms. ‘Senior’ America

    MATT LAUER, co-host: We're back at 8:46. This morning on TODAY'S FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH , we're celebrating women of a certain age. TODAY national correspondent Amy Robach hit the boardwalk in Atlantic City -- which doesn't sound right -- and found a great group of women participating in a unique competition. Amy , good morning to you.

    AMY ROBACH reporting: That's right . Good morning, Matt. We've all heard of Miss America and Miss Universe , but did you know there's another pageant that honors women who've reached the age of elegance? Atlantic City was home to the Miss America Pageant for more than 80 years. The coveted crown, a symbol of youth, beauty and talent. But what you may not know is that just down the boardwalk for the past 30 years another pageant has

    been quietly emerging: Ms. Senior America , where the age requirement is 60 plus and the contestants are ready to be heard.

    Ms. LINDA HUNTLEY (Ms. Virginia 2010): I feel like a queen when I'm walking around doing the poses in our crowns. And I just feel very proud. I'm loving every minute of it. I'm living every day to its fullest.

    ROBACH: That's right . Instead of Bingo and bridge, these golden girls are singing, dancing, miming and jamming on the tambourine. They represent 33 states and the US Virgin Islands . Their goal: the founder says to showcase seniors' confidence and inner beauty.

    Dr. AL MOTT (Founder, Ms. Senior America): When you know who you are and you feel fulfilled, then you can share it with others.

    ROBACH: Even at the age of 86.

    Ms. TULA SERVES (Ms. Ohio 2010): This is the second time I've been on stage. I've enjoyed it, it's been thrilling, exciting. And my life has changed.

    ROBACH: Ms. Senior America is very much like its younger counterpart. Each

    state winner competes in four areas: talent, interview...

    Unidentified Woman #1: Never, ever give up.

    ROBACH: ...evening gown and, oh, I bet you're thinking about it. So you say there's always one question everyone asks you. What is it?

    Ms. MICHELLE RAHN (Pageant Director): I know that I am going to answer that question that 99 percent of you out there have, and that is no, there is not a swimsuit competition .

    ROBACH: Replaced with philosophy of life competition.

    Unidentified Woman #2: I proclaim senior ladies rock.

    ROBACH: After even gown competition...

    Unidentified Woman #3: Ladies and gentlemen , our top 10.

    ROBACH: ...the finalists are announced.

    Unidentified Woman #4: I was shaking, bleeding....

    ROBACH: And following a heated talent competition with everything from a Tina Turner impression to a sailor tap dance routine, the winner is finally announced. Ms. Senior America doesn't walk away with a scholarship or any large cash prize. Instead, she spends a year representing what an older woman can achieve and still offer to her community.

    Dr. KIMBERLY MOORE (Winner, Ms. Senior America 2010): I am so excited. I just want to get the word out to other senior women that they can do anything. And you know the amazing part, some of these women were doing things they never would have attempted in their younger days. Matt , some of these women, this was the first time they were ever even on stage. They learned to sing for the first time , so it's nice to see that, hey, they're ready to get out there and try new things.

Data: Miss Klingon? 12 bizarre beauty pageants

Forget Miss America! These contests celebrate a different standard of beauty.

Photos: Miss World 2010

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  1. And the winner is...

    Beauty queens from around the globe competed at the 60th annual Miss World pageant, held on Saturday, Oct. 30 in Sanya, China. Miss United States, Alexandria Mills, beat out 114 contenders to take the crown, shedding tears as she waves to the crowd.

    Mills, who hails from Kentucky, said that the other contestants nicknamed her "KFC" for Kentucky Fried Chicken, which is "Ironic", she said, "because I’m a vegetarian." (Diego Azubel / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Winners embrace

    Alexandria Mills, Miss United States, is congratulated by 2009 Miss World Kaiane Aldorino from Gibraltar, who is wearing a white Galiano gown. (Liu Jin / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Crowning moment

    Former Miss World, Kaiane Aldorino of Gibraltar, crowns winner Miss United States Alexandria Mills. "I believe that this past month has made such and impact on my life, I can only imagine what the next year will bring … I want to help everyone that I possible can," Mills said in her 30-second spotlight speech before being chosen as Miss World. (Diego Azubel / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Celebrate good times

    The top three -- runner-up Miss Botswana Emma Wareus, left, Miss United States Alexandria Mills, and Miss Venezuela Adriana Vasini, who placed third, celebrate at the end of the 60th Miss World pageant. (Jason Lee / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Moment of truth

    Miss United States Alexandria Mills, right, Miss Ireland Emma Waldron, center and Miss China Tang Xiao, left, hold hands while waiting for the announcement of the winner of the 2010 Miss World pageant contest. (Alexander F. Yuan / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Hi-five

    The top five contestants wait to find out who will win. From left, Miss Venezuela, Miss Botswana, Miss United States, MIss Ireland and Miss China. On her home turf, Miss China Tang Xiao made the crowd go wild when she was announced as a finalist. (Miss World Organization) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Pop of color

    Miss Venezuela Adriana Vasini struts in her bright, flowing gown. She placed third in the competition. (Liu Jin / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Kind words

    Miss Botswana Emma Wareus smiles next to Miss United States as she is announced as the runner-up during the Miss World 2010 finals. Before the winner was crowned, Wareus' roommate was asked to describe her. "She is just what you think, beautiful inside and out," she said. (Liu Jin / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Beach babe

    Miss Puerto Rico Yara Santiago won the title of Beach Beauty before the finals, fast-tracking her to the top 25, but she didn't place in the top seven. (Alexander F. Yuan / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Anxiously waiting

    Miss Finland Anne Nurminen, second row on the right, and other contestants wait eagerly to find out the who placed in the top 20. Nurminen did not place. (Jason Lee / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Preparing for success

    Miss Italy Giada Pezzaioli smiles in a beautiful, glittery white gown. Pezzaioli, 17, is a high school student and says she was learning Mandarin in preparation for the competition. She made it to the top seven. (Diego Azubel / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Big ambitions

    Miss Netherlands Desiree Berg shows off her radiant look at the Miss World finals. Berg, 23, a student at University of Amsterdam medical school, speaks four languages and says she wants to start a fertility clinic. She was chosen for the top 25, but did not advance further. (Diego Azubel / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Pretty in pink

    Strutting her stuff in a pink gown, Miss Bolivia Maria Cordova, 24, describes herself as "a sensitive person and a dreamer with great conviction." (Diego Azubel / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Black beauty

    Miss Greece Diamanto Gasteratou steals the show with a black studded ball gown. She didn't place in the competition. (Diego Azubel / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Three times a lady

    Miss Mexico Anabel Sosa stands between Miss Mauritius Dalysha Soorga, left, and Miss Moldova Daria Zaiteva, right. None of them placed in the final rounds for Miss World. (Diego Azubel / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Feathered frock

    Decked out in a bright red feathery number, Miss Poland Agata Szewiola, 21, dazzles the crowd. (Diego Azubel / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Colors of the world

    Contestants show off their colorful gowns at the Miss World pageant. Many of them also performed dances from their native countries, wearing traditional grab, during the "Dances of the World" segment. (Jason Lee / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Beat it

    The Li dancers start off the show, performing with drums and sticks. (Miss World Organization) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Cultural pride

    The dancers and drummers are Li, and ethnic minority group in China who live mainly on the southern Hainan island. (Miss World Organization) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Image: China Miss World
    Diego Azubel / EPA
    Above: Slideshow (19) Miss World 2010: Beauties take the stage
  2. Image: 2010 Miss Universe Pageant
    Ethan Miller / Getty Images
    Slideshow (10) Crowning Miss Universe
  3. Image: Rima Fakih
    Isaac Brekken / AP
    Slideshow (13) Crowning Miss USA

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