Tag Archives: beauty pageants

Miss USA Pageant Contestants Vie for Porn Star Honors in Las Vegas

Remember when Miss USA Pageant contestants once wanted to cure cancer and be the first female president?  Or do you recall when swimsuits and two-piece bathing suits were all the rage? Well, get with the times– that was so last century! This year’s Miss USA pageant is trying to boost rapidly sagging television ratings by promoting its upcoming pageant with an erotically explosive expose of the contestants shown in busty and skimpy photos and videos. 

A pageant spokeswoman calls the underwear photos tasteful. The contenders for the pageant title ALL dream of being Victoria’s Secret Angels, reveals pageant president Paula Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization, which operates the Miss USA pageant. 

“They’re not looking to bring peace to the world,” Shugart explained to Today Show co-host Matt Lauer on May 11. That’s why it was not just OK, but it actually made sense to have the 51 contestants photographed in bust- and leg-revealing, bras, panties, fish-net stockings and open men’s shirts, while laying on beds and chaise lounges, for their pageant promo shoots. 

The “come hither” black and white photos make the contestants look more like members of Tiger Woods‘ harem than the young ladies who supposedly combine beauty and brains we’re used to seeing in pageants.  

The tenuous line between wholesome family entertainment and soft porn has now, apparently, been obliterated- one for the dusty history books. 

Girls in bikinis appear chaste and sublime next to this year’s crop of potential Miss USAs, who are adorned in masses of long wild hair, heavy smoky make-up and pouty lipstick, sprawled seductively on beds. 

But pageant officials are quick to point out that the seductive shoots were all voluntary and had no force or effect on the judging.  Yeah, right.  Nearly all contestants participated.

Swirling controversy, however, has been common fodder for the pageant as of late.

Former pageant winner and now judge Tara Connor says she doesn’t have a problem with the revealing looks, questioning why many have their “panties in wad.” She nearly lost her crown after reports of substance abuse cropped up in 2006 and even had to go into rehab. 

The next year, Miss Nevada, Katie Rees, lost her title after racy photographs surfaced on the Internet.

And last year, Miss California, Carrie Prejean, got into some trouble for comments against gay marriage — and her own set of racy photos appeared.  Eventually, she was fired. 

Pageant owner and well-quaffed Donald Trump seems to feel that the sexed-up look is necessary for the contestants if the pageant is going to compete for ratings on TV. He says he has no problem with the pictures. He calls them “a little bit sexy” and is glad people will be watching.

“If you look at Miss America, it’s now off network television,” Donald told the New York Daily News

So, BFFs — wanting to be a beautiful brain surgeon who happens to also look good in elbow-length gloves and a ball gown just isn’t enough to compete in a beauty pageant anymore. 

You also have to be willing to crouch on a bed, pouting on all fours in Madonna-style soft-core porn pics. 

“There used to be an idea that pageants … were about upstanding young women with a future and it wasn’t at all surprising to find a woman of stature in public life, in government or corporate America who had a pageant tucked into her resumé,” says Pamela Paul, author of Pornified. ”There was an idea that pageant contestants could be well-rounded woman with ambition. This ad campaign chucks aside any other qualifications than they look good in a bra.” 

On the Miss Universe/Miss USA website for the 51 contestants, brief bios list their ages, hometowns- and nothing else. They do, however, all get star ratings. Interestingly, the top-rated contestant was Miss Louisiana, Sara Brooks, a 21-year-old from Lafayette who happens to be the most clothed of all of the 51 contenders. Maybe people do like having pageant beauty leave a little something to the imagination and just maybe they would like them to be brain surgeons as well as beauties after all? 

Just a few decades ago, more than 20 million viewers watched women in one-piece bathing suits in the Miss America pageant. But as the suits got skimpier, that portion of the competition was downplayed — and viewers fled. That contest is now off the air, a fate Miss USA is trying to avoid like the plague- at any cost.

“Any press is good press,” Conner admits. “So — keep talking!” 

NBC’s “59th Annual Miss USA Pageant,” which will broadcast live from Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas on May 16 (7-9 p.m. ET). 

Tickets to the Miss USA Preliminary and Finals competitions at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas are available through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com and at (800) 745-3000. 

{Pictured is Miss USA 2010 contender Nicole Johnson from California.}

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Miss America Crowned in Las Vegas; Historic Legacy Continues

The 2010 Miss America has been crowned.  Saturday night, 22-year-old Miss Virginia, Caressa Cameron, walked the Planet Hollywood stage in Las Vegas wearing a canary yellow evening gown, sporting the traditional Miss America tiara and, of course, giving the traditional Miss America wave. 

In 1920, the Business men’s League of Atlantic City was looking for a way to keep sunbathers on the boardwalk past Labor Day.  They held a Fall Frolic including tennis tournaments, parades and concerts.  But one Boardwalk publicity event, where young men pushed decorated rolling wicker chairs through the streets, truly captured the public eye.  It wasn’t the spectacle of the young men or chairs that caught the public interest – it was the young women in the chairs and in particular, Ernestine Cremona, wearing a delicate white robe.  The event was a huge success and was repeated in 1921.  Only now, there was the addition of a “bathing revue” and it came to pass the crowning of the first Miss America, 16 year old Margaret Gorman. 

From the start, the Miss America pageant has struggled with the paradox of presenting a conservative image of women as virtuous and innocent while parading them around in swimsuits and skin tight evening wear.   But, as the years went by, the pageant had it’s highs and lows, eventually struggling to survive as society evolved while Miss America clung to it’s original conservative roots.   

But even though growth came slowly to Miss America, it did come, most notably in the 40’s.  In 1945 Miss America Bess Myerson received the first scholarship awarded as one of the pageant prizes.  But 1945 also signaled a turning of ethnic tide at the pageant, as Myerson was the first Jewish American to win the title.  Just a few years later the “color” barrier was broken when Irma Nydia Vasquez from Puerto Rico, and Yun Tau Zane from Hawaii, the first Asian contestant, walked the pageant stage. 

In 2004, after several years of declining ratings, the pageant’s Aqua Net hairstyles and glitterati gowns were no longer welcomed on network television.  And then in 2006, the pageant turned to the city of reinvention – Las Vegas, Nevada – to begin to, well, stage a comeback. 

And now it’s in Las Vegas, under the gaudy neon lights, playing to a crowd of 7,000 at Planet Hollywood that Fredericksburg, Virginia, native Caressa Cameron received her crown.  

During her on-stage interview – the segment of all pageants that has drawn the most criticism and interest during recent years – Miss Cameron was asked about how to deal with the epidemic of childhood obesity.  Her reply: “We need to get our kids back outside, playing with sticks in the street like I did when I was little.  Expand your mind, go outside and get to see what this world is like.” 

Good advice for anyone…

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Beauty Crown Found, Medical Student Wins Miss Nevada Title

Christina Keegan, 23, of Gardnerville, Nevada beat out 11 other women to be crowned Miss Nevada on Saturday night.    ChristinaKeegan

Before the crowing night, organizers couldn’t find her $400 crown, but on Friday it was finally discovered in the possession of an apologetic volunteer who said she misplaced it.

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Miss Nevada’s Gown to Win the Crown?

For decades there’s been a standard beauty pageant look- Aqua net hair, bright red lipstick and that too bright never fading smile.  But in the last 10 years, a new image has emerged.   The padded shoulders and brittle taffeta skirts have slowly been replaced with more current fashion designs including an evening gown created by Project Runway designer Kayne Gillespie. 

This year, Miss Nevada-USA Georgina Vaughan will take the fashion focus all the way to haute couture with a wardrobe of designs by Lana Fuchs of Lana Fuchs Couture. 

A Las Vegas resident since 1995, Lana Fuchs has designed one of a kind clothing worn by celebrities such as Paula lanafuchs1Abdul and Meaghan Martin.  And now she has created a weeks worth of looks for Georgina Vaughan including a fashion forward evening gown that is expected to help set the Las Vegas local apart from the other 50 Miss USA contestants. 

“There’s such a mold of the typical pageant girl,” she says. “Being blond, people prejudge you.”  

Lana Fuchs had a successful runway debut at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Los Angeles in October 2008.  She’s also been featured in Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, In Touch Weekly and 944. 

The Miss USA Pageant will be televised live from the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Las Vegas on Sunday, April 19th, starting at 7 p.m. on NBC.

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Miss Indiana Katie Stam Crowned Miss America in Las Vegas

Culminating at least a year of preparation, and followed by weeks of pre-pageant festivities in Las Vegas, on Saturday evening, January 24, Miss Indiana Katie Stam was crowned the 2009 Miss America at the pageant broadcast live from the Planet Hollywood Theatre for the Performing Arts.  katiestam 

Norm Clarke, entertainment columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, reported that the number of free tickets given away to fill the 7,000-seat theatre for the event was in the thousands. But, even so, a jump in the TV ratings is anticipated when voting results are tallied.

Stam, a 22-year-old communications major from the University of Indianapolis, whose platform was promoting community service, called it “a dream come true.”  

During the question-and-answer session that followed, Stam gushed to the media about what an exciting year it has been, with Barack Obama becoming the first African-American president, adding “and now I’m Miss America.”

The fresh-off-the-farm, church-going beauty tactfully thumped first-place winner Chastity Hardman, 24, of Georgia to take home the $50,000 scholarship and the right to represent the Miss America organization through 2009. 

After walking the runway with her new crown and bouquet of roses, the new Miss America quickly pointed out that she loves breakfast food and can’t live without laughing. 

Many Miss America contestants had eating on their minds and in their agenda, attending many eating fests while enjoying Las Vegas.

Days before the 2009 Miss America Live! Pageant, saucy Miss Massachusetts Alicia Zitka, 22, of West Springfield, quickly dispelled the stereotype pageant image of having to adhere to a strict diet. 

 Thankful she was wearing and evening dress and not shoe-horned into a swimsuit, the talented Miss America dance contestant was a quick study when she learned to prepare Italian food- and then ate with gusto her high-caloric creations. 

 Her January 17 pageant outing was to the Buca di Beppo restaurant in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Zitka was accompanied by 51 other ravished Miss America contestants.  “I’ve always wanted to learn how to cook fine Italian food,” said a beaming and hungry Zitka, a University of Massachusetts – Amerst student, as she received cooking tutelage from Buca di Beppo executive chef Michael Miyahara.  

Providing a brief food profile to accompany her impressive pageant credentials, Zitka revealed, “My real favorite food is chicken noodle soup.  I’ll eat it anytime- when it’s snowing outside, and even on hot days.”  Then she added she wasn’t fond of eating fancy seafood, though.  Guys take note for your blackbook.

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