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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Miss USA Trivia


            It’s beauty pageant season once again and one of the most prestigious national beauty pageant is about to happen on May 16, 2010 at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada – the Miss USA 2010 where 51 of the most loveliest faces across America will vie for the most coveted crown. Surprises will unravel as the events unfold leading to the finals and get ready to be blown away by the breathtaking ladies and most of the beauty watchers have their bets already. For the meantime, here’s some trivia and information you need to know about the 59 years of the pageantry.


          The Miss USA pageant was conceived in 1950 when Yolande Betbeze, winner of the rival Miss America pageant refused to pose for publicity pictures while wearing a swimsuit. Pageant sponsor Catalina decided to pull their sponsorship off the pageant, and create their own competition.

           John Charles Daly hosted the show from 1963–1966, Bob Barker from 1967 until 1987, Alan Thicke in 1988, Dick Clark from 1989–1993, and Bob Goen from 1994–1996.

          In the mid-1960s, it was established when a Miss USA wins the Miss Universe title, the first runner-up assumes the Miss USA title for the remainder of the year.

         Unlike the Miss America pageant, there is no talent section at Miss USA. Delegates are required to compete in Evening Gown, Swimsuit, and Interview.

         From 1979–2002, the average scores of each delegate were shown on the television broadcast and thus the semi-finalists could be ranked. This was changed in 2003 to a "circle" system where judges choose a certain number of delegates to "circle", and those with the most "circles" make the cut. This was the same system that was used prior to the "computer" scoring system implemented in 1979.
The most successful state is Texas, which has had the most semi-finalists and winners, including five consecutive Miss USA titleholders during the 1980s. Other successful states include California, New York, Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia. The least successful states are Montana, which has not placed since the 1950s; Wyoming, which has had only one placement, in the 1980s; and Delaware, the only state that has never placed. The only state which has produced more than one Miss Universe is South Carolina.

         The first Eurasian woman to win Miss USA was Mai Shanley in 1984, and the first African-American to win was Carole Gist in 1990.

         Five Miss USA titleholders have also competed at Miss America. These included Miss USAs 1954–1956 (Miriam Stevenson, Carlene King Johnson, Carol Morris), Mai Shanley (1984) and Shandi Finnessey (2004). All were unplaced Miss America, although Shandi Finnessey, Miss USA 2004 and Miss Missouri 2002 won a preliminary evening gown award at Miss America 2003. Also, Miriam Stevenson placed in the top 10 at Miss America 1954.

        Many Miss USA winners have gone to pursue careers in the entertainment industry. Those who have been successful in the industry include Summer Bartholomew, Deborah Shelton, Laura Martinez-Herring, Shanna Moakler, Ali Landry, Kenya Moore, Brandi Sherwood, Susie Castillo and Shandi Finnessey.
In the first eight years of competition (1952–1959) the Miss USA pageant was held in Long Beach, California. The competition moved to Miami Beach, Florida in 1960 and stayed there until 1971. In 1972 the pageant was held in Puerto Rico, the only time the pageant has been held outside the continental United States. That pageant was rocked by an explosion at the host hotel.

        Miss Pennsylvania USA 1978 admitted to host Bob Barker and viewers that her odd pet menagerie included a dog, a Cuban tree frog, and a water dragon named Godzilla, whose favorite show was, naturally, The Price is Right. Although Godzilla had free reign in her bedroom and liked to go shopping with her, her boyfriend nixed the idea of little Godzilla tagging along on dates.

        Carole Gist, Miss USA 1990, on being the first black woman ever to win the Miss USA title: "Nelson Mandela had been freed and I had a feeling in my heart from God that a black would win." ---To Cindy Adams
Bob Barker once called his job hosting the Miss USA and Miss Universe beauty pageants, "a blind date with 83 of the most beautiful girls in the world."
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