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Author Nicole Dawn (5 months)
Extra makeup makes you look SO much older - can you believe she was only

Author Raymond Scott (4 months)
Suzette Charles
born Suzette DeGaetano
I love her singing.
She was runner up to Vanessa Williams.
Therefore even the runner up was a woman with African descent.
Suzette Charles is the daughter of an interracial married couple of a white
man with Italian descent and a black woman of French West Indian descent.
She had a different background from Vanessa Williams even though they were
both viewed as lightskinned black women back then.
Lightskinned black is such an oxymoron just like darkskinned white is such
an oxymoron.
Vanessa Williams is the daughter of parents with mixed African and European.
Vanessa Williams did DNA testing.
Her ethnic composition was shown to be an even mix of African and European
which is not a surprise to me.
We are so conditioned by the one drop rule which I feel is very irrelevant
in this 21st Century.

Author ChrisAmericaUSA (2 months)
Suzette was good but just missing that extra something that is not better
than Vanessa's performance.....but Suzette was good

Author ben caraballo (5 months)
Her mom was my music teacher in school when i was a kid!! I still remember
her like it way yesterday!!

Author Mike Bibeault (5 months)
STILL one of the best talent performances in MA history, if not the best! A
gorgeous arrangement of a standard song, and she simply nailed it….

Author Victor Talking Machine (4 months)
Her ending note is a sublime change from the Streisand recording.
And, how'd she get her hair to do that?

Author Felix Papadakis (11 months)
Goosebumps.....she killed it.....the arrangement was beautiful...her
singing was amazing.....

Author Michael Blackmon (1 year)
It's obvious she was the better singer

Author CreoleLiveDoll (1 year)

Author Stage Aurora (1 year)

Author Bruce Powell (1 year)
Vanessa is quite lovely, but always thought SC was slightly more
beautiful. And just a slightly better voice. Fitting that both of them
were Miss Americas, I guess.

Author Just Me (1 year)
Gorgeous! That pageant hair is everything, though. ^_^

Author Victor Talking Machine (3 years)
@butler372 Here's what Suzette said in article for Santa Fe, NM newspaper:
Question: "How did Miss Charles feel when Miss Williams won the title and
she was named first runner-up?" Answer: "I was devastated, she says. "I
wanted to win so badly. I've wanted to win since I was 7! AND IT WAS SO

Author victortalkingmch (6 years)
suzette versus vanessa: to me the edge was given to vanessa williams
because she was a double winner in both talent and swimsuit preliminaries.
suzette did not win her swimsuit competition. this is not to take away from
her enormous talent, though. i personally think if both girls had competed
the same night in talent prelims, suzette would have bested vanessa.

Author Mylam O'James (4 years)
Stunning performance! One can see just how strong a singer she was that
night. Brava!! Mylam O. James

Author josbo51715 (5 years)
I didn't know that this was a Barbra Streisand song.

Author SHARN (4 years)

Author Victor Talking Machine (4 years)
"With the feeling that I get, I don't even mind if I get 1st runner-up..."

Author bon ami (5 years)
Clearly had the pipes. Vanessa had the overall better package--she has that
little something extra than Suzette, I was a little kid watching and
Vanessa was mesmorizing to watch. Vanessa also chose a better song to
perform than Suzette, so no mistakes were made in the final outcome of this

Author shaqimianj (4 years)
Yall must of forgot this back in the days all white judges u have to sing
with less soul and vanessa did it she played her cards right lol

Author Victor Talking Machine (3 years)
@Adizero7000 no, suzette took over duties of miss america for the last two
months after vanessa williams was forced to step down.

Author butler372 (3 years)
My co-worker was a musician for the Miss America Pageant. He said the
judges believed Vanessa was sexier and had more star quality!!! He also
said it was so very close that they could have tossed a coin to pick the
winner. LOL

Author thesinger (4 years)
@TheCounslor 1st let the record reflect I AM BLACK..too her vocals where
less mainstream (meaning able to cater to black and white audiences) than
Williams' vocals...Charles..was point blank blowing like a sister from the
back of the church! Williams' was more subtle like a Pop(ular) Artist!

Author hoyageorge (3 years)
@Adizero7000 She did sing too loudly, and she was just a bit too plain
looking when you put her side by side with Vanessa. She was an awesome
contestant, but first runner up was the perfect spot for her ... Vanessa
clearly outshone everyone the entire week. It was sort of a foregone
conclusion on Saturday afternoon leading up to the final night of
competition that it was Vanessa's to lose. i'm happy Suzette was able to
take over for Vanessa after she stepped down.

Author lorimneal (6 years)
call me crzy, but i think the cosmos were on to something when vanessa was
crowned. i am a huge fan of hers--more so because of her personality than
her talent, cuz her acting has always left something to be be desired, and
her singing is best on vinyl. Charles is definitely the superior
vocalist...BUT..had Charles won she would have only been know as the 1st
black Miss America. Vanessa winning ended up putting the entire pageantry
circuit under the microscope, even to this day.

Author kevseb66 (5 years)
Not to take anything away from the sucess of Vanessa Williams but I always
thought Suzzette shsould have won Miss America 1983. She's just as
beautiful as Vanessa but a much more talented vocalist.

Author Bruce Beckford (4 years)
I'll never forget watching t his pageant and when the last two ended up
being Vanessa Williams and Suzette Charles I was already on cloud nine. I
loved this song then and it still hasn't lost it's flavor after all these
years. I also remember seeing her do guest appearance on Frank Place with
Tim Reid and Daphne Maxwell Reid. I wish her career had taken off she would
have been a true asset to the entertainment community.

Author EBertnyc (5 years)
Sing it Cuz!!!!

Author butler372 (6 years)

Author josbo51715 (4 years)
@Adizero7000 No, she didn't win Miss America the year after. Vanessa
Williams had her crown taken away 11 months afterwards. Suzette got to
serve as Miss America for one month because she was the runner up.

Author Tryinitonmyown (4 years)
Thank you sooooo much for posting this. I've been looking for this
performance for years!

Author cushion93 (6 years)
Suzette's dress was uglier then sin. Williams has a much prettier dress and
was much better in swimsuit. Williams was top 2 in every category that
night that's why she won. Suzette was a great vocalist but had zero

Author Frank Mercado (7 years)
Suzette voice is outstanding She is a little over 5 foot 3 with a beautiful
figure. Vanesa wasnt much taller.She was wonderfully trained and a sweet
girl not nasty at all.She had some bad luck and made some wrong moves in
show biz but she is a legitimate talent who made America proud.

Author PaiSLEE777 (7 years)
True, her stage presence was lacking, though she has a nice voice. I too
heard that she had a bad attitude. I know when they took the crown from
Vanessa, she too spoke not too kindly of her (of Vanessa). Oh well, cest la
vie. I am sure she is happy wherever she is.

Author Devon3579 (6 years)
It's amazing how similar these posts are to American Idol. People always
assume negative things about a contender's attitude when it's obvious their
favorite is inferior. Suzette Charles' performance is the best vocal I have
EVER heard on the Miss America pageant! She went from the bottom to the top
of her range with no scooping or tonal changes. Very hard to do! I respect
Vanessa's win as it's an overall scoring process, but vocally she ain't in
the league. I know singing. This is it!

Author kennedy campbell (4 years)
@maddwitch i agree just look at britney spears, she's def not the best
singer out there by a long shot yet very popular.

Author hoseala (7 years)
Thanks so much for posting this...I've never forgotten about this
performance....Her voice is Sooooo supple and pure....LOVE it...beautiful
song and rendition. Shame she didn't become bigger star...she deserves it.

Author MavNL43 (4 years)
omgsh! she's good! O__O

Author 100abovetheinfluence (2 years)
Vanessa probably edged her in interview, swim suit and evening gown.

Author cushion93 (6 years)
It's not but you also have to have a special something that makes you a
star, there are a lot of wonderful session vocalist and backup singers that
could blow a number of stars out of the water but for whatever reason they
never caught on. Vanessa had the "it" factor Suzette didn't.

Author maddwitch (6 years)
I don't care much about this who's better business, but I just wanted to
comment on your statement. Since when is popular success a measure of real
talent? People eat up crap all the time while some real talents fall by the
wayside for varied reasons. Being the most popular singer, doesn't always
mean you are the better singer. It just means the masses liked you better.

Author terpmaniac (7 years)
Vanessa Williams DID NOT have blonde hair and blue eyes(idiot). She has
brown hair and green eyes, which is fairly common among black people. God
some of

Author Jonathan Richards (5 years)

Author singers333 (2 years)
love it!

Author Victor Talking Machine (4 years)
still gives me chills...the other performance by eventual winner doesn't...

Author dadevi (5 years)
Nobody does old school singing like this anymore. *cries*

Author Sweeti4672 (7 years)
where talents limited to 1:50 - 2 minutes?

Author josbo51715 (1 year)
Vanessa chose a more popular song. Suzette Charles was too soulful and
Vanessa was just right.

Author misshoneybear1998 (5 years)
For those who thought Suzette outdid Vanessa, don't forget the interview
which counted for a large % of the total score. I suspect Vanessa took the
crown with her interview - she always seemed more personable in interviews
than Suzette, although I liked Suzette a lot. I also thought Vanessa had a
bigger presence in general. Lastly, Suzette was technically a better singer
than Vanessa, but Vanessa poured more into her performance, IMO.

Author sh8kit (4 years)
I really think she sang better than Vanessa Williams that same night...WOW

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