Wednesday was the second night of the preliminary competition in the Miss America (search) contest. The emcee was Kelly Cash -- niece of Johnny Cash (search) -- but a celebrity in her own right -- she was Miss America 1987. She is very funny, very clever and very talented. She said she would come on On The Record Thursday night and I am excited to have her as a guest. She also said her father is a huge fan of Fox News -- you don't want to miss this interview!
Also, again there was a parade of former Miss Americas. The earliest was Miss America 1939. She took the walk with Miss Americas from 1948, 1954, 1955, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1979, 1981, 1985,1994 (also a judge with me this year), 2000, and 2002. It was fun to watch these women proudly walk the Miss America runway.
The talent award went to Miss Wisconsin. She plays the cello and is a graduate of medical school. The swimsuit award went to Miss Virginia (a recent Harvard graduate.) Of course there were only two winners, but I assure you that the women who did not win were very close behind them. I am glad there are seven judges since it really is hard to decide who should win. Each contestant has impressed me regardless of school. Each has accomplished so much so quickly.
We also judged eveningwear, but we have no idea who won. Apparently that number is added into the week's number and there is no preliminary award for eveningwear. So we judges are as curious as the contestants.
Now onto Wednesday night's show. First, I did not deliberately "cut off" former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (search). He was in our "D" segment which, like our last segment of the show, must end at a certain time or the computer will simply cut us off. Unfortunately my timing was off and thus I had no choice. Many viewers wrote me e-mails giving me hell for cutting him off. Speaker Gingrich is a Fox News analyst and knows that from time to time this happens. So for those who are sending me nasty e-mails, there was no conspiracy or political reason to cut him off! It was simply bad luck.
And for those of you who wrote giving me hell about a comment I made about the University of Illinois on Tuesday, I hope you saw Wednesday's show. You would have seen that the University of Illinois produced Erika Harold, Miss America 2003 and she was on the show tonight. She is now headed to Harvard Law School, after a great education at the University of Illinois and a year as Miss America! In short, tonight I showcased University of Illinois to be a great educational institution and I think it a great school. I did not mean an insult to it when I mentioned it on Tuesday but apparently my words were poorly chosen and that was the impression given. It certainly was not my intention or my opinion. By the way, I also did not go to an "Eastern elite" college -- I went to a public university (University of Wisconsin) and loved it.
Stay tuned to On the Record, in the next few days we will air more of my interviews with Tammy Faye Bakker and Madeleine Albright. You won't want to miss the shocking revelations!
Read Part III of Greta' Miss America diary and watch On the Record with Greta Van Susteren weeknights at 10 p.m. ET