Monday, June 27, 2011


Rebecca Orsatti, MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2010, won 1st place prize. She impressed the judges in many ways. One in particular, was the rhythmic complexity of her song, "Don't Rain On My Parade". They praised her for her looks, and showmanship, noting from Rebecca's biography, that she was truly born to sing. Sherri McGhie, won 2nd place prize. She aroused the judges and audience with her salty rendition of the country favorite, "Harper Valley PTA". She told the naughty tale with witt and humor, and possessed a rich earthy vocal tone which was noted by the judges.

Sunday June 26th, was a proud day for the MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT organization, when, 4 fabulous former Queens plus our very own Sherri McGhie, took center stage. Generous words of praise abounded from the lips of the 3 judges. Each elegant lady gave powerful, distinctive, and impressive performances, making it impossible for them to find anything to be critical about.

Josephine Araniti, MSNJSA 2007, sang "Where Or When". Dressed in a sexy red dress, she set out to give the great performance that her NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB sisters, have grown to admire and respect. Two of the judges remembered her from a previous contest at the Algonquin Theater, that she participated in last year, and rekindled that memory when they commented on her performance.

Johanne Santori, MSNJSA 2006, MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA STATE PAGEANT DIRECTOR, sang "C'est Si Bonne", with style, glamour and grace. The judges commented on her elegant performance, and noted that her rendition had just the right amount of sexy sophistication.

JoAnn Gordon, MSNJSA 2008, and Vice-President of the NEW JERSEY CAMEO CLUB, was the last to perform among the group of 18 finalists. Her song, "Orange Colored Sky", was a happy and positive way to end the Shore Senior Idol Contest. The judges took note of the fact that she sang with so much joy and confidence, and had the audience tapping their feet to her lively song.

The program was held together by lovely Bernadette Dudek, MSNJSA 2009, and 2009 winner of Senior Idol. As Emcee, she kept the program running smoothly, giving clear and interesting commentary on the different aspects of the contest. At the opening of act 2, she sang, "You'll Never Walk Alone", to which she received a heart warming applause.

The 3rd place prize went to George Aline, who sang an Al Jolson classic, "Rock a Bye Your Baby".

We can be proud of our ladies .... they are out there having fun, and giving inspiration to all they touch. As one of the contestants, I can only say, how happy I was to be a finalist in the Shore Senior Idol Contest, and to be among a group of 18 dynamic seniors who gave their best in what turned out to be great family show!

Friday, June 17, 2011



Now that pageant fever has calmed down, another exciting event is soon approaching, the 3rd Annual Shore Senior Idol Contest. Four MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA QUEENS + SHERRI MCGHIE made the finals, and will join with 13 other contestants, at the Algonquin Arts Theater in Manasquan, on Sunday, June 26th at 3:00 pm.

Besides Sherri McGhie, the Queens are: Johanne Santori, MSNJSA 2006, and MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA STATE PAGEANT DIRECTOR; Josephine Araniti, MSNJSA 2007; JoAnn Gordon, MSNJSA 2008; and Rebecca Orsatti, MSNJSA 2010.

The contestants met at the Algonquin Theater for the first time on Thursday, June 16th. Director Gina Lupi, gave a brief welcome and orientation speech, and rehearsed the opening number with the group. Afterwards, everyone got the chance to go over their solos with the sound crew.

There was a feeling of excitement and anticipation in auditorium that day. Everyone has their "eye on the prize(s)". Who will win, place or show?" That's a secret that only the 3 judges know!

The contestants, with talent "on loan from God", pledge to perform their very best. In particular, our 4 Queens + Sherri McGhie, possess extraordinary vocal prowess that their NEW JERSY CAMEO CLUB sisters know and love.

This year's 3rd Shore Senior Idol Contest will be hosted by another Queen, Bernadette Dudek, MSNJSA 2009. There will be a special performance by the Shore Repertory Theatre Company's production of NUNSENSE!

Please plan to attend and support our great ladies! The Shore Senior Idol Contest, is rated general, and can be enjoyed by the entire family.

Tickets are: $15.00, and can be purchased at the box office or in advance.

Call: (732) 528-9211, or go to:

Friday, June 3, 2011


"The results are in and the winner is"..... This is the traditional phrase that ends most beauty pageants, and yesterday's MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT 2011 was no different. After a 3 hour long battle for the crown, Desiree Nigrelli, a resident of Atlantic City, emerged triumphant as this year's Queen. She convinced a panel of judges and a discerning audience that she is "the gracious lady who best exemplifies the dignity and inner beauty of all senior Americans."

This beauty is more than just "skin deep," as is revealed in the following Q & A interview with Desiree, earlier today.

JA: How did you hear about the MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT?

DN: My daughter did some searching on the internet and found the national website. She
called the office and was given the name, etc. of Johanne Santori, MSNJSA State Pageant
Director, to contact.

JA: Why did your daughter do this for you?

DN: I shared my life in show business with my daughter, so she knows of my background.
I haven't sung or performed in 20 years, and so she wanted me to revive my talent, and
to get involved in performing again in some way. So, when she learned about the
MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT organization, she urged me to enter.

JA: That's interesting. Would you like to share with me your background?

DN: Sure. I am a classically trained ballet dancer, and I performed as prima ballerina and eventually taught ballet. Besides singing, I also play piano and guitar. In Atlantic City's heyday,
I sang in shows at the famous Steele Pier, and I have memories of singing in shows with
great stars like Tony Bennett and comedian, Red Buttons.

JA: Do you have any other special memories when you performed at the Steele Pier?

DN: Yes I do! At the tender age of 15, I was a performer in the famous show, "Stars of Tomorrow". The owner of the Steele Pier approached Tony Grant, the show's host, and requested me as a replacement for Jimmy Rogers, who was to perform in the main theater. He was unable to perform that evening, due to a family emergency, and the owner felt that I possessed the stage presence and talent to replace him.

JA: What other hobbies or talents do you have?

DN: I am trained in the discipline of dressage .... an equestrian sport, where you dress up in a tuxedo jacket, white pants, black hat, and tall riding boots. I've won several ribbons and trophies. Also, my husband Martin and I had a horse ranch built for us in Pittsgrove, New Jersey, where we raised champion horses.

JA: Besides your life in show business, did you have another occupation?

DN: Yes. I was a model, Director of Public Relations for the John Robert Powers Modeling Agency, and served as CEO of a real estate investment company in New Jersey.

JA: How has life been for you since retirement?

DN: It's been exciting and fulfilling. Martin and I bought a beautiful, but old house in Atlantic
City, and we are restoring it, hopefully to its former glory. Also, I am in the process of writing 2 books: the first one is, "Hoofprints On My Heart," which is about my love of horses; and the second one is, "Between the Lines." The title doesn't really tell what the book is about, so let me subtitle it for you: "Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart." Does that help a little? No? Well it's about life in Atlantic City, back in the day!

JA: OH! I'm glad you explained the latter book, because I didn't get it until the end! Did you enjoy yourself yesterday? Did the pageant meet your expectations? Please share your feelings.

DN: It was exciting and memorable. Everyone backstage connected with MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA PAGEANT was helpful and kept us moving. It was an exhilarating experience for me, filled with pleasant memories that will last me for a long time to come. Martin, my husband of 45 years, is my staunchest fan, and he is so proud of my winning the title, as well as my daughter and 2 grandchildren.

JA: I forgot to ask you, you entered the pageant as a singer. What song did you sing?

DN: I sang that classic favorite, "CRAZY."

JA: I know that it is very hard to recite one's Philosophy of Life in 35 seconds, and say how
you really feel. Well, now's the time you may expand it a bit, or express your thoughts, if you wish.

DN: That's true. It was very hard to express my feelings in 35 seconds. Thanks, I would
love to. I think that whatever defines you controls you. With me it is my faith in God
that keeps me morally and compassionately motivated. Also, we sometimes rely entirely on the "now generation". We must remember the best informed person is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that preciously in the multiplicity of their knowledge they will lose sight of what is essential which you learn through age. I am hoping to promote my platform through my title as MS NEW JERSEY SENIOR AMERICA 2011, and project hope and confidence, and keep alive the interest in the growing population of senior Americans.

JA: Those are quite profound thoughts, and you expressed them most eloquently. You will
have a very busy year ahead as our new Queen, and also to prepare yourself for the national
pageant this coming in October. I believe that you will do an excellent job in promoting the
positive aspects of aging. Good Luck!

DN: Thank you so much!

Reporter: Josephine Araniti, MSNJSA2007/Publicity