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SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss USA 2012: Evening Gown Recap!


The Girl wearing the Gown WITHOUT The HOOCHIE Slit Wins...Quelle Surprise!!!:

A Queen's Wave: Olivia Culpo "Miss Rhode Island USA 2012", the newly crowned Miss USA 2012

This past Sunday night was the Miss USA 2012 Pageant, telecast LIVE on NBC from Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino Las Vegas. 51 beautiful ladies representing the 50 United States plus the District of Columbia competed. And the Winner was 20 year old Olivia Culpo Miss Rhode Island USA 2012. She is one of the shortest Miss USA's standing at 1.66 m or about 5' 5"/5' 6" (some sites state her height as 5' 7" as well, so who knows!) and this is the FIRST TIME the State of Rhode Island has won the Miss USA pageant--in sixty one years!! (Go Rhode Island!) Olivia Culpo wore one of my favorite gowns when I reviewed the "Miss USA 2012 Website Portrait Evening Gowns" last week HERE.

 OMG: The moment Olivia Culpo finds out she is the new Miss USA

When I watched the LIVE telecast Sunday night, and saw her, I thought "She's GORGEOUS! There's your Winner" and I also remarked how she resembles one of those actresses on HBO's "Entourage" show, Emmanuelle Chriqui. She may not be editorial or runway model height (you need to be 5' 9" or taller, so fashion designers lending her gowns will have to, well, alter the length, kids) but she is PERFECT "Actress Height", thank you very much. Supposedly she is a cellist. Not for very long. Time to get a big Hollywood agent and go for Hosting/Acting gigs (after her Miss USA 2012 reign is over of course!).

She was a well-deserved winner--not only for her beauty, poise, perfect swimsuit figure (see above photo) but after she answered that Final Question regarding "Transgender Pageant Contestants", well, she "had it in the bag", as they say. So now that we've got that out of the way, let's discuss my "Nick V. Two Cents" of the Evening Gowns:

The Best Dressed Were:

Alyssa Campanella, Miss USA 2011: Alyssa was giving up her crown on Sunday and she did it in style! Usually as the beauty queen who is "passing the torch" you have better choices in gowns and fashion--by the mere fact that you have been at this for a year and have access to stylists, more high-profile designers, etc. She wore two fabulous evening gowns, first when she was introduced by the evenings hosts, Andy Cohen and Giuliana Rancic, she wore a GORGEOUS ivory gathered Grecian Goddess gown with a sequined neckline and structured shoulders (above photo).

Then when she made her "Farewell Walk", she wore yet another fabulous gown (above photo)--this time a light pink sequined number that Mermaid-flared into organza and tulle ruffles. This could have gone Tacky Toddlers and Tiaras but it was anything but; she looked Paris Haute Couture Runway Model Chic!

My other "Best Dressed" was the beautiful Giuliana Rancic: I just LOVE her, for so many reasons but in terms of fashion and style, she's worn my NIKOLAKI designs in the past so she's in my "Nick Style Hall of Fame"! Not sure who the designer is of this silver and nude gown but she looked great. This, ladies, is how you do, all over embellishment/sequins.

Now, let me discuss the "Oh Dear's" of last night Live Telecast/Pageant and then, I'll get to my "Top Gowns" of the finalists...

The Intro:

My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding  meets Kentucky Derby C-List: Miss Texas USA 2012 Brittany Booker (left) and Miss California USA 2012 Natalie Pack (right) doing their best through The Most Tacky-licious Miss USA Live Telecast Intro EVAH!

What. In Toddlers and Tiaras Fashion was that Intro "Fashion Show"? The Live telecast began with a supposed fashion show that was a cross between Kentucky Derby C-List, Bravo's "Real Housewives of Orange County" and Grown-Up Toddlers and Tiaras! I thought I had somehow gone back in "Pageant Time" and  it was 1992 all over again! Why don't the producers look at any of the last Victoria's Secret Fashion Shows and think THAT'S how one should open a 21st Century Live Televised Beauty Pageant/Fashion Show.

Now, the Ten Finalist's Gowns:

Miss Georgia USA 2012 Jazz Wilkins: She wore the same gown for the Preliminaries as well as Sunday night's live telecast. She loved this gown so much, in fact, that she also wore this to win her Miss Georgia USA 2012 Pageant. I thought it was HOOCHIE and Stripper-Fab back when I reviewed the Prelims HERE and well, my mind did not change last night. Jazz IS absolutely gorgeous, tall and has a PERFECT figure. So, why did she need to press the matter wearing a plunging neckline exposing her cha-cha's; slit up to her you-know-what and then, it was BACKLESS! Seriously Jazz? It was interesting to see how, during the Finals, her "Miss Georgia" sash was double-stick taped to her plunging cleavage, thereby covering that part of her body--wisely.  
My Unofficial Nick Judging Score For Miss Georgia: 7.8 out of 10

Sequined Ladies: Semi-Finalists Miss Alabama USA Katherine Webb (a favorite to win) (left) and  Miss  Colorado USA Marybel Gonzalez (right)--these two ladies did good in terms of their evening gowns. I liked Alabama's better than Colorado's but Miss Colorado USA, Marybel WORKED the runway and had SO much stage presence. She watched all those Miss Puerto Rico and Miss Venezuela Pageants and learned A LOT, huney!

Miss Alabama USA: 8.2; Miss Colorado USA 8.4

Miss Ohio USA Audry Boute: Miss Ohio USA 2012 wore the same canary yellow strapless silk shantung gown she wore for her "Portrait Evening Gown", as well as the Preliminaries. I liked this gown at every stage of the competition. It was very 1996, in terms of its silhouette and styling but it fit her well, the color was perfect for her and she stood out in a good way. PS: Bless Her Heart on that Final question and referring to Julia Roberts and "Pretty Woman". Bless Her Heart.

My Evening Gown Score: 8.9

Ivory Queen: Miss Nevada USA 2012 Jade Kelsall looked AMAZING Sunday night but I can see how she might have come off as aloof and too "model"-like. And yes, after the "well, we had been up at 4 am to answer that 'who's the Vice President of the USA' question.." She didn't fare so well. If I was her, I would not have made excuses and have been all "We have no knowledge of POLITICS darling, all we do is Facebook and Tweet!". In terms of her gown, it was gorgeous. She looked very "Spartan Princess". I just do not know why she over-accessorized so much. Why all the extra necklaces Jade? Not necessary.  

My Score: 8.5

Miss New Jersey USA Michelle Leonardo: Michelle, on the other hand, kept it clean when it came to the accessories and looked fresh and Pageant Pretty in her ivory halter neckline jersey gown with sequined midriff. It wasn't original but it fit her well, and she worked the stage with it.  

My Score: 9.0

Beaded Ladies:  

Miss Oklahoma USA Lauren Lundeen wore one of my favorite gowns as I mentioned during my Review of the Preliminaries. It was nude-colored backed and embellished with countless multicolored mirrored crystals. It was modern, directional yet still "Pageant Perfect". Her bun was a little high and yes, those stacked LEGO-looking pumps (Thanks Global Beauties for that Perfect reference!) were a bit much...but still an impacting overall look.

My Score: 9.5

Miss Texas USA 2012 Brittany Booker: Supposedly this lovely lady is a good Christian girl. Well....looking at this "I'm a Stripper in West Hollywood" gown it's hard to understand...what do you guys think? My opinion is that she's STUNNING and did not need to look so HOOCHIE...It's great for a Vegas Showgirl Act and Revue, or as a Back-Up Dancer for Cher, Celine Dion, or Elton John...but as a Miss USA evening gown??

My Score for Evening Gown: 7.5

Finally, the Top Two:

Miss Maryland USA Nana Meriwether: Nana Meriwether was THE Star--or Star Runner-Up of the night. Born in South Africa, six foot tall Nana tried out for Miss California USA a bunch of times (My sister Rita Verreos even runway trained her in one of those Miss California tries) finally she was wise to move on---and went on to "Miss  Maryland USA" where she won. And good for her! She looked GLORIOUS at last night's "Miss USA 2012" Finals. Her white chiffon gown with silver leaf-like detail evoked visions of Aphrodite at Mt. Olympus: Flawless.

Score: 9.8

Miss Rhode Island USA Olivia Culpo: I loved her raspberry chiffon Empire-style gown back in the Miss USA Website Profile Photos and she wore it also for the Preliminaries and she decided to not change when it came time for the Finals. No HOOCHIE Slit. No HOOCHIE Plunging neckline. She looked elegant, glamorous, red carpet-ready. It was perfect. These Empire-cut "flinging chiffon" gowns are popular as of late and it can get a bit of a "OK, enough of the chiffon Empire Dresses!" however, I would take these gowns over HOOCHIE Slit-Up-To-The-Ya-Ya-These-Are-My-Breasts ones ANY DAY.

My Score for her Evening Gown: 9.8.

Congrats to Olivia, the new Miss USA. Good Luck at Miss Universe 2012--wherever it may be. And hope you choose a FABULOUS evening gown. PS: Call me!!

3 Responses to "SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss USA 2012: Evening Gown Recap!"

Carlos Jimenez said...

I had fun reading your review, Nick. Very entertaining and accurate.

Anonymous said...

I love miss rhode island.. She's the only one up there who looks fresh. The rest looks like some hooker somewhere. And maryland is too old, she could be my mother.

Atty said...

Rhode Island's dress is similar to Miss Ukraine 2011's gown in the Miss Universe. Different color but same banana.