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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Tour of Missouri: Podium Girls create a stir

I have nothing against Tour of Missouri podium girls Erin Haney and Jen Caudill, but at least two other blogs aren't too thrilled that the Tour of Missouri hostesses are from Georgia, rather than Missouri.

One of those is over at the St. Louis-based Riverfront Times. Writer Chad Garrison was surprised to read Erin and Jen both live in Atlanta.

"But, c'mon. You think over in Europe the Tour de France imports its hostesses from the Republic of Georgia? Hell, no! They use homegrown talent. The question is: Why can't we?

"Surely, we have some corn-fed beauties who can represent Missouri? Don't we?"

The other comes from a frequent critic of the Tour of Missouri, the Fired Up! Missouri political blog.

Fired Up! Missouri often doesn't let the facts get in the way of a juicy blog post or at least some hyperbole. For example, Fired Up! Missouri claim Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder hired Erin and Jen as the podium girls. Not quite true. The RFT post says they were chosen by the Georgia-based Medalist Sports, the promoter of the Tour of Missouri.

"No word on why Miss Missouri, the State Fair Queen or other talented Missouri women were unavailable for these Missouri taxpayer funded gigs," a Fired Up! Missouri contributed known only as Cole wrote. "So much for 'show-casing' the Show-Me State to the world."

In another post about the podium girls, Fired Up! Missouri offers up this bit of commentary: "Peter Kinder's Official Tour of Missouri Hostesses (imported from Georgia) have created a Twitter feed and video blog detailing how they are spending Missourians' tax money." That post goes on to quote from Erin and Jen's Twitter feed.

OK, I have to admit their Twitter posts aren't great literature. But they are what they are: two women describing their days and nights in the Show-Me State.

Here's what the Tour of Missouri Web site has to say about Erin and Jen:
(Erin) Haney, an Atlanta native, is currently working in sales and marketing for Turner Broadcasting. She is also a freelance make-up artist, stylist and TV host. She was named Miss Georgia USA in 2003 and has remained involved in pageants as a producer, consultant, emcee and judge. She possesses a college degree in Fashion Design and interned with fashion designer Vera Wang. Haney also has over 15 years of formal dance training.

(Jen) Caudill, who currently lives in Atlanta, also works in marketing for Turner Broadcasting Company. She also serves as a model and actress and has appeared in music videos and on an episode of Lifetime's Drop Dead Diva. She earned a degree in Advertising from the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism. Caudill is also an experienced equestrian.
Again, I have nothing against Erin and Jen, They're good at their jobs. But you would think there are two women from Missouri who are podium girl material. I know of at least one: St. Louis native Laura Antoine, who was a podium girl at this year's Tour de France. Here's a video of Laura and judge for yourself:

(The photo of Erin and Jen kissing Tour of Missouri Women's Series podium finisher Carrie Cash Wooten was taken by Beth Harris.)


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