Miss USA Climax Approaching

While doing research for a Miss USA post last night, I stumbled across a webcast in progress from Las Vegas–the pageant’s preliminary round at Planet Hollywood. The video quality wasn’t great, and only around 6,000 people were logged in–not bad for a Hinderaker-Ward Experience podcast, but a little thin, one would think, for a Miss USA event.
Still, it was fun to see the contestants and listen to outgoing Miss USA Rima Fakih, who, as usual, was irreverent and funny, if not always appropriate. I didn’t make it to the bathing suit portion of the event, and despite scouring the pageant’s web site and news accounts of the preliminary round, I can’t determine that anything was decided last night–like, say, who the semifinalists will be. It appears to have been just a practice round.
It has been a busy week for the Miss USA contestants. They spent some time at Nikki Beach; not sure what that is, isn’t Las Vegas in a desert?
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They went to Jimmy Buffett’s bar, Margaritaville:
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As well as to a place called Rain Cosmetics. I don’t know who this contestant is, but if I did, I would vote for her. Which reminds me that you can vote for your favorite contestant at the Miss USA site. One of the semifinalists will be chosen based on the public’s votes:
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The contestants have also visited several night clubs:
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With the contest finale coming up Sunday night on NBC, things are getting really serious. Interestingly, however, the betting odds have remained quite stable. Miss California continues to be a strong favorite, followed by Miss South Carolina–who, based on comments I’ve seen, may be the peoples’ choice. Personally, I am skeptical of Miss California. Upsets are common in pageantry, and I would be surprised if she actually wins the title. Miss Indiana currently ranks third. We have already posted the betting favorites’ photos here. Perhaps the most significant recent development is that Miss Idaho has now moved into fourth place, but I would rather show you Miss Tennessee. (As Ronald Reagan once said, I paid for this microphone…)
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Until now, Tennessee has been famous mainly for Glenn Reynolds. Maybe this year’s Miss USA pageant will change that.

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