If you're not up on the latest reality TV offerings from Bravo, you might not have heard of the new show Game of Crowns, which features (among other personalities) a Native beauty pageant contestant who is a member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe of Maine. Game of Crowns focuses on a group of contestants from the Mrs. America pageant -- that's Mrs. America, not to be confused with Miss America -- and the Native contestant is Vanassa Sebastian, who was Mrs. Connecticut 2012. On Twitter, Vanassa identifies herself as a "Native American Princess," and on BravoTV.com she describes her life as a "Native American Fairytale."
(Mrs. America bills itself as "the only nationally-televised beauty pageant for married women in America;" the feeder Mrs. Connecticut pageant is likewise also not for the single ladies.)
On Sunday, at a series-premiere viewing party at Foxwoods Resort Casino, a brawl erupted between Vanassa's husband and the spouse of one of her beauty-queen rivals; when all was said and done Brian Sebastian, Mashantucket Pequot, was whisked to the hospital with a badly bitten ear that required stitches.
We'll get to that in a moment.
After winning Mrs. Connecticut 2012, Vanassa went on to compete for the Mrs. America title. At the competition, held at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Vanassa didn't win the whole thing, but did take home the prize for Best Original Costume. Her getup was a spoof of Native dress and regalia, topped by an all-white, floor-length feather headdress. Vanassa considered the look to be a tribute to her Native heritage, although the Passamoquoddy do not wear the type of headdress pictured. Furthermore, among the tribes who do wear the "war bonnet" style headdress, it's almost always a sacred honor bestowed upon men, and for a woman to wear one is considered hugely disrespectful.
On the whole, the look was really more of a tribute to Cher than the Passamaquoddy or any other tribe -- that's our feeling, anyway. You be the judge:
Vanassa Sebastian in her award-winning 'costume' at the 2012 Mrs. America pageant. Photo source: BravoTV.com
Vanassa is married to Brian Sebastian, a member of the Sebastian family that figures heavily in the running of Foxwoods. The Bravo website states that Brian Sebastian's "family owns one of the world's largest casinos, Foxwoods Resort & Casino" -- which is incorrect, as pointed out by indianz.com. Foxwoods is owned by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Government.
Enough tale of the tape -- are you ready to rumble?:
On Sunday, Brian and Vanassa Sebastian crossed paths with Leha Guilmette, a former Mrs. Rhode Island who is also on Game of Crowns, and Leha's husband Nick. Details are fuzzy, but it's clear that Brian Sebastian and Nick Guilmette entered into a physical altercation that included Brian throwing at least one punch and Nick's biting Brian's ear -- twice.
Bill Satti, Public Affairs director for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Police, told the Connecticut Day that "at this point there is an active police investigation taking place between the state and tribal police and until the investigation is done we will not be commenting any further on this matter."
Game of Crowns stars Shelley Carbone, Vanassa Sebastian, and Leha Guilmette on the flyer for the show's premiere party, held on Sunday at Foxwoods. Image source: twitter.com/VanassaJSeb