The 2013 Miss USA pageant is just around the corner, and the bikini- and evening gown-clad contestants are just about ready to show if they have what it takes to earn the crown. On Sunday, 51 women will compete at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
Fifteen semifinalists will be chosen before the pageant, where the winner will be announced on the primetime telecast. Up until Saturday, fans can vote their favorite contestant into the semifinals on the official Miss USA Facebook page or on www.missusa.com. The Miss USA pageant will air live on NBC on Sunday, beginning at 9 p.m. EST. The judges are Bob Harper, designer Betsey Johnson, Bravo star NeNe Leakes, “Hot in Cleveland” star Wendie Malick, “Duck Dynasty” actress Jessica Robertson, footballer Larry Fitzgerald, former WWE Diva Nikki Bella, correspondent Mo Rocca and singer Christina Milian.
The ladies, from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., will display a variety of talents and poise, vying for the title. The Miss USA pageant began in 1952 with a local bathing beauty competition launched by Catalina Swimwear in Long Beach, Calif. More than 60 years later, it has evolved into much more than your average beauty pageant. Contestants are required to display a talent, answer tough questions in an interview and show poise and grace.
Contestants in the pageant and in the Miss Universe Organization are expected to display “those characteristics in their everyday lives, both as individuals, who compete with hope of advancing their careers, personal and humanitarian goals, and as women who seek to improve the lives of others,” according to the Miss USA official website.
The Miss USA competition is part of the Miss Universe Organization, owned by Donald Trump and NBC. Miss USA contestants must be between the ages of 18 and 27 to compete, and the winner goes on to compete in the Miss Universe pageant, which will be held in Russia this year for the first time.
Check out all 51 Miss USA 2012 contestants in the photos below. Who is your favorite?
Miss USA ContestantsMiss USA Contestants