There were two stars in Sunday night’s live broadcast on NBC of the Miss USA Pageant. It was held at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Besides the obvious newly crowned Miss USA , a new Twitter trending star, Miss Utah, has emerged. It was during the “do or die” final question round with the top six beauty contestants. For the first time in this pageant’s history, the organizer’s decided to take to Twitter. Viewers would decide who the sixth finalist would be. It ended up being Ali Nugent-Miss Texas.
Opening the pageant featured the 51 contestants being introduced as they walked down the red carpet to the crowd as the paparazzi. From there the top 15 were chosen for the swimsuit competition. The field was narrowed down to the top 10 semi-finalists for evening gowns. The final five would have to face the judges for one question each. This is what truly decides who wears the crown of Miss USA. If you answer a difficult and controversial question, you’re likely the next winner. However, if you mess up, you’ll become an internet sensation that’s not exactly flattering. This is what happened to Erin Brady-Miss Connecticut and Marissa Powell-Miss Utah respectfully.
Earlier in the competition Miss Utah won the title of Miss Photogenic based on her preliminary photo sessions. Powell was called first and chose judge #3, who was reality TV star Nene Leakes. Here was Nene’s question: “A recent report shows that in 40 percent of American families with children, women are the primary earners, yet they continue to earn less than men. What does this say about society?” At first the Salt Lake City resident answered part of it, until a deafening pause that seemed to last an eternity, made her lose her train of thought. From there she just rambled on incoherently, something about “figure out how to … create education better.” Some say this was reminiscent of the 2007 Miss Teen USA Pageant with Miss Teen South Carolina answering her question that made no sense at all.
Miss Connecticut received her question from comedian Mo Rocca, who was all seriousness, when he asked about the Supreme Court’s ruling on police DNA tests for criminal suspects. Without hesitation Brady responded articulately to this challenging question with “I would agree with this. I think that if somebody’s being prosecuted and is . . .[short pause]. . . committed a crime that’s that severe that they should have a DNA test. I think there are so many crimes going on in this world that if that’s one step closer to figuring out who has done it, I think we should absolutely do so.”
Miss South Carolina was fifth runner-up; Miss Texas (chosen by Twitter) came in as fourth runner-up, Miss Utah, surprisingly, was third runner-up, and Miss Illinois as second runner-up. It was down to Miss Alabama and Miss Connecticut, with the latter as the new Miss USA. Erin Brady is the second consecutive winner hailing from the New England region. Last year’s Miss USA, now Miss Universe, Olivia Culpo, was the former Miss Rhode Island.