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SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss USA 2011: Winner, Gowns

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Cali Cali Cali Wins!!
Poison Ivy: Miss California USA 2011 Alyssa Campanella waives to the audience seconds after being crowned Miss USA 2011
Last night was the Live Telecast of the Miss USA 2011 Pageant. It was held at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino Theater for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas. Being that it was the 60th anniversary (yep, SIXTY years kids!) , they invited many past titleholders, including my good friend Brook Lee, who not only was "Miss USA" but also "Miss Universe" (the last Miss USA to win that coveted title).
Brook Lee , Miss Universe 1997, wearing a NIKOLAKI by Nick Verreos/David Paul design
They showed them in the audience sitting down but I really thought they should have been introduced onstage flanking last year's Miss USA Rima Fakih, it seemed like a missed opportunity--but that's neither here nor there, as they say; I just wanted to get that off my fashionable chest! Now, sit down, grab a cup of coffee (or red wine!) and let's get to the actual Winner, the finalists, THE GOWNS:
The Fiercest Four: Miss California USA, Miss Tennessee USA, Miss Texas USA and Miss Alabama USA
After the Introduction of the 51 contestants, the field was narrowed down to the Top 15 plus one voted on by the web-savy public. After Swimsuits, they were narrowed down again to the Top 8 and then the Four Finalists. It was all done very "American Idol"-esque and actually quite nail-biting (Good job producers!). Miss California USA Alyssa Campanella--who hails from New Jersey originally and was a Miss Teen New Jersey USA 2007 (in THE SAME pageant as Miss Teen South Carolina Caitlin Upton of "World's Dumbest Answer" fame), won the title of Miss USA 2011 and the coveted spot to attend the Miss Universe Pageant in Sao Paulo Brazil. She was one of my Top Picks in terms of being A)Gorgeous and B) One of the best models and runway walkers of the bunch. So I knew she'd go far.
The Gown: Miss California USA (and now Miss USA 2011) gown from Miss Universe Org. Pageant Sponsor and Prom-and-Pageant Gown Brand, Sherri Hill
In one of my previous posts, I was a bit "disappointed" in her gown choice (a Sherri Hill creation, see above) in that I felt it was A LOT of Gown for her and just "typical" to put a red head into a green gown, but....she still won, so tells you how much I know! I do admit that last night, onstage she WORKED it--and the Gown fit her to a "T". Congrats to Alyssa and the Miss California USA team! Miss Tennessee USA Ashley Elizabeth Durham: Ashley garnered the 1st Runner Up Title. She was so pretty but again I wasn't a fan of the gown. I liked the fabrication but OH THAT SLIT! And how the inner lining-dress stops 1/2 inch below her crotch... Huney! She also misunderstood her Final Question and answered a bit confusingly. But yet again, she almost won! Miss Alabama USA Madeline Mitchell: Madeline received the 2nd Runner Up Title and (sorry to be a "Gown Grump") but I just wasn't a fan of this dress: The Slit was way too high, then it was also backless and then , she had a PLUNGING Sweetheart neckline...It was like "let's throw EVERY Pageant Gown Trick in the Book!". Here are the positives though: The gown was PAINTED on her; it fit her perfectly! She looked almost regal and certainly did not look like "Just another Southern Belle from Alabama" but more like some South American Goddess!! Her face, stature and even up-do hair reminded me A LOT of Miss Universe 1979, the GORGEOUS Maritza Sayalero, from Venezuela (above). Miss Texas Ana Cristina Rodriguez: I really thought Ana was going to win. It seemed as such, the entire time I was watching the show last night. She answered the "Weiner" question very well (or at least I thought so) and it seemed like the crown was hers but then...3rd Runner Up! There was an audible gasp in the audience as even host Giuliana Rancic said uncomfortably "Oh, I guess Texas has a lot of fans here!!!" And BTW: Her strapless-and-asymmetrical ivory crepe gown was sublime--LOVED it! This is how you show "hints" of skin but not so overtly. Big fan of this gown. The Semi Finalists: Miss Maryland USA Allyn Rose: Allyn was a Semi-Finialist at the Miss USA 2011 last night. Did not like this red off-the-shoulder gown. It was so "Dynasty" 1987. I was wondering if Alexis Carrington was going to come out from backstage and throw her in a Caesar's Palace Fountain pool!!! Miss Hawaii USA Angela Byrd: Well, Thank Goodness for SOME diversity Judges! Angela was one of the Semi Finalists and within a SEA of Blonds, it was nice to see someone NOT blond. She was stunning but the gown was not-so-much. She completely LOST me the minute I saw iridescent poly organza fabric: Not a fan. And the bust section was far too big and structured for her. Again it's 2011 not 1956. Miss Maine USA Ashley-Lynn Marble: This was a surprise to me since I said she looked like Cruella de Vil in her "Miss USA 2011 Official Evening Gown Portrait". But she was STUNNING last night; statuesque, amazonian-like! She did, however, wear the same gown as in her Portrait and Preliminary Competition and the halter side-beaded style just seemed old and dated. She needed to be a head-to-toe silver beaded siren gown. Done and Done. Ice Queen anyone? Miss South Carolina USA Courtney Hope Turner: Finally, you can read HERE what I originally said about Courtney and her red ruffled "Cha-Cha" gown back in the Preliminary Competition... Congrats to Alyssa Campanella, the new Miss USA 2011---And now...go find a FABULOUS gown for Miss Universe!!!! Click Below for the Evening Gown Portion of the Competition:

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