The production of Miss Nevada USA and Miss Nevada Teen USA this past weekend at the Palms sizzled like the southwest desert. The caliber of girls for 2012 was simply amazing and we absolutely loved the runway style stage. It was difficult to choose a favorite headshot on the contestant website because many of them were professional and top notch. All of the gowns were first class and the swimsuit portion had sass and flare. Kudos to the production team (including DWTS Tony Dovolani as choreographer) for a great show.
Opening number was fantastic in that all of the girls wore black convertible dresses which allowed them to each show their own individual style while maintaining a level playing field. We love when pageants have the girls in matching attire for opening routine. If girls are left to select their own opening number pieces, sometimes there is color discrepancy (there are many shades of red for example) and other times there will be a girl in a $700 cocktail dress next to a girl in a $70 cocktail dress. We like the opening number to be uniform, fair, and fun.
There were only 12 teen contestants this year which meant that each girl got to compete in both swimsuit and evening gown on the night of the finals. We love this idea. Usually, only the top 10 or 12 get to compete in both swimsuit and evening gown for finals. That fact that every single teen contestant got to perform for their friends and family is fantastic; they will remember it for the rest of their lives. The teen girls had floppy beach hats as props during the swimsuit competition while wearing a swimsuit of their choosing. Teal was the most popular color with almost half of the girls wearing blue-green bikinis. Many of the girls did cute poses with the hats and incorporated them effortlessly into the catwalk. Some girls wore the hats down the runway which actually detracted and distracted from their overall look (take a look at our video about how to rock the props while keeping the attention on you!). We loved the peppy walked showcased by many of the girls, but there were a few instances where the bouncing got out of hand. During teen evening gown, the color pink dominated with 3 of the 12 girls (25%) wearing it. The winner wore a beautiful Barbie-pink gown that was age-appropriate. We were going ga-ga over the beautiful jewel-tones and were relieved to see a break from the standard white-gown majority. The teen interview questions revolved around self-discovery, titleholder qualities, helping others, and pageant promotion.
The Miss division kicked off the swimsuit competition for the finalists with incredibly chic, sheer black robes which they removed as they sailed down the runway. Each of the contestants wore a black two piece swimsuit of their choosing. Although it was more high fashion than a usual pageant, we were somewhat distracted by the interesting shoe choices that strayed from the pageant world norms (clear or nude). We saw glittery gold shoes, black pumps, black strappy sandals, etc. The Miss contestants all wore the same exceptionally large gold dangly chandelier earrings. What we liked about this part of the competition was that the playing field was leveled seeing as all of the girls were wearing the same color swimwear with the same jewelry and robe. This made the judges focus on the girls and not their bikini choice.
White gowns were plentiful during the Miss finals. In the Top 12, five dresses were white, two dresses were gold, three black, one red, and one pink. Of the top 5, three were wearing white. The winner was wearing a stunning strapless white gown with a nude underlay and silver floral beading. The interview questions for the Top 5 Miss ladies focused on today’s youth, censorship, social networking, and experience versus education.
Besides the crowning, our favorite part of the evening was seeing the ever-gorgeous co-host Shanna Moakler (Miss USA 1995) and the current Miss USA, Alyssa Campanella (whose boyfriend was a judge for Teen). At one point, Alyssa even showed the girls her famous runway strut–it was fierce and hot! Congratulations to the new Nevada titleholders Jade Kelsell (Miss) and Katie Eklund (Teen) and best of luck on your journeys to Nationals this year!