UW Stout student heads to Las Vegas to compete in Miss USA - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UW Stout student heads to Las Vegas to compete in Miss USA pageant

Posted:

LAS VEGAS (AP) - The ranks of 51 beauty queens from every U.S. state and the District of Columbia competing for the Miss USA crown in Las Vegas was cut to 15 as the show got under way Sunday.

Miss Texas, Miss South Carolina and Miss California were among the long-haired, super-fit women who remained in the competition after the first cut Sunday night at the Planet Hollywood casino in Las Vegas.

Also making the cut were beauties from Ohio, Louisiana, Texas, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Massachusetts, California, North Carolina, West Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, Nevada, Connecticut and Utah.

The women were chosen based on competitions and interviews done during the week before the telecast.

They moved on to compete for the crown in three arenas: swimsuit, evening gown and interview question.

Reigning queen Nana Meriwether will relinquish her crown and the posh New York apartment that comes with it at the end of the night and usher in her successor.

The women got the night started with a light-hearted fashion show, gliding down a runway in short dress and ball gowns to Pitbull's "Don't Stop the Party" against a backdrop of gleaming LED screens. All but one wore her hair down in loose curls.

Miss USA Contestants cannot have been married or have children, and they must be younger than 27.

Unlike the rival Miss America pageant, Donald Trump's Miss USA does not ask its queens to perform a talent or choose a charity mission.

The judge's panel includes over-the-top fashion designer Betsey Johnson, "Biggest Loser" star Bob Harper and "Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me" personality Mo Rocca.

Rocca praised the pageant as a prime example of Americana backstage. He said he was looking to appoint a new Miss USA who reminded him of Abraham Lincoln "without the beard."

The pageant aired live on NBC, hosted by Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers pop act and Giuliana Rancic, co-anchor of "E! News." The Jonas Brothers and DJ Pauly D were expected to perform.

The winner will represent the United States at the Miss Universe pageant in the winter.

Last year's Miss USA, Olivia Culpo, won that international crown, becoming the first Miss USA to ascend to Miss Universe in 16 years. Meriwether, who had been first runner-up, took over for her for the remainder of the year.

Sunday's winner will become a spokeswoman for breast and ovarian cancer awareness and other causes and will traveling to promote the organization.

The Miss USA hopefuls have been staying at the Planet Hollywood casino for the past week, but the flashing slot machines and ubiquitous oversized novelty drinks have been little more than a background to a stuffed schedule of product tie-in media events, including hairdo contests and paddleboat competitions.

The animal rights organization People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals is using the pageant to stage a protest of fur and the tradition of awarding furs to winners of some state pageants.

PETA has made a provocative ad featuring four nude former Miss USA winners. The tagline is: "Feel Beautiful in Your Own Skin, and Let Animals Keep Theirs."

___

Yvette Cruz contributed to this report.

Hannah Dreier can be reached at http://twitter.com/hannahdreier

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

**********************************************

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A group of 51 beauty queens from every U.S. state and the District of Columbia are preparing to smile and strut their way toward the 62nd Miss USA title.

Reigning queen Nana Meriwether will relinquish her crown and the posh New York apartment that comes with it and usher in her successor during the competition Sunday evening at the Planet Hollywood hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

Danielle Hooper will represent Minnesota in the Miss USA pageant. Hooper, from Inver Grove Heights, is majoring in retail merchandising and management. She'll be a senior next year. 

Representing Wisconsin this year is Chrissy Zamora from Greenfield.

Contestants will be whittled to 15 after the event's opening fashion show with judging decisions based on competitions and interviews done during the week before the telecast. The remaining contestants will vie for the crown in three arenas: swimsuit, evening gown and interview question.

Contestants cannot have been married or have children, and they must be younger than 27.

Unlike the rival Miss America pageant, Miss USA does not ask its queens to perform a talent or choose a charity mission.

The judge's panel includes over-the-top fashion designer Betsey Johnson, "Biggest Loser" star Bob Harper and "Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me" personality Mo Rocca.

The pageant airs live on NBC, hosted by Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers pop act and Giuliana Rancic, co-anchor of "E! News" and featuring performances by the Jonas Brothers and DJ Pauly D. The network co-owns the parent Miss Universe Organization with Donald Trump.

The winner will represent the United States at the Miss Universe pageant in the winter.

Last year's Miss USA, Olivia Culpo, won that international crown, becoming the first Miss USA to ascend to Miss Universe in 16 years.

The night's winner also becomes a spokeswoman for breast and ovarian cancer awareness and other causes, while traveling to promote the organization.

The Miss USA hopefuls have been staying at the Planet Hollywood casino for the past week, but the flashing slot machines and ubiquitous oversized novelty drinks have been little more than a background to a stuffed schedule of product tie-in media events, including hairdo contests and paddleboat competitions.

The animal rights organization People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals is using the pageant to stage a protest of fur and the tradition of awarding furs to winners of some state pageants.

PETA has made a provocative ad featuring four nude former Miss USA winners. The tagline is: "Feel Beautiful in Your Own Skin, and Let Animals Keep Theirs."

___

Hannah Dreier can be reached at http://twitter.com/hannahdreier

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WQOW. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's pubic inspection file should contact News Director Dan Schillinger at 715-852-5920. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.