Let me start by saying that watching prelims always changes my top 5. A contender with a great headshot may perform unexpectedly on stage. Stage presence can make or break a contestant.
During the intro section where the girls simply state their ages and names at the mic, the following 11 girls stood out: Connecticut, Georgia, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Texas. These girls were confident and posied.
Evening gown, the most glamorous part of the prelims competition, featured several new trends of note: tons of sheer panels and skirts, low backs, low fronts, multi-colored beading, the introduction of a lavender/purple/fuchsia color palette from a few contestants, white flowing Grecian-gowns (a la the Fidel photo shoot), liquid beading, and mile-high slits. As usual, white dresses dominated the color scheme with over one in four girls (25%) rocking this color. A standout gown that I would like to call-out in particular is the gorgeous bright yellow number worn by Ohio. Not only is the gown a shocking color, but it is also a sea of fabric. Ohio rocked it, and it grew on me. She could have easily gotten lost in this gown but did not by a stretch. After evening gown competition, I had narrowed down a top 7: Connecticut, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Nevada, Rhode Island, and Texas.
The swimsuit portion featured amazing swimwear by Kooey. The main color palette was aqua/mint, lavender, and coral, three great color combinations for the season. Flirty patterns, mix and match tops and bottoms, and string ties showcased each of the ladies’ remarkable fitness levels.
I can’t wait to update you live from Vegas this weekend when Miss USA is crowned. Follow our team on Twitter @PageantProfs.