Miss USA finalists named as show goes on after Donald Trump
Associated Press / 10:21 AM June 06, 2016
LAS VEGAS, United States — The top 10 finalists have been named at the Miss USA contest in Las Vegas.
Contestants from Virginia, Alabama, California, Georgia, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Missouri, Arkansas, South Dakota and Hawaii will continue on in the beauty pageant.
Miss California, Nadia Grace Mejia, was also named the fan favorite. During the show, the 20-year-old from the Los Angeles suburb of Diamond Bar talked about suffering from anorexia and wanting to promote body confidence.
The winner of Sunday’s 2016 Miss USA competition held at the T-Mobile Arena off the Las Vegas Strip will go on to compete in the Miss Universe contest.
The three-hour show featured 52 contestants representing each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The pageant had also named a “Miss 52 USA,” Alexandra Miller, a 26-year-old from Oklahoma City.
The Fox network is carrying the broadcast that started at 7 p.m. EDT. Last year, the show aired on cable’s Reelz network.
The beauty pageant organization is bouncing back from a series of controversies last year, including a breakup with former owner Donald Trump and the mistaken crowning of Miss Universe.
At the start of Sunday’s show, Steve Harvey made a cameo in a video to poke fun of the Miss Universe crowning that he botched in December.
Harvey was hosting that event, also held in Las Vegas, and had mistakenly named Colombia’s Ariadna Gutierrez Arevalo the winner before correcting himself on the stage. Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach of the Philippines was then given the crown. Officials later said it was due to human error. The talk show host said he had re-read the card and noticed it said “first runner-up” next to the Colombia contestant’s name before clarifying with producers his mistake.
As for Trump — who didn’t appear at Sunday’s Miss USA pageant — the presumptive Republican presidential nominee wasn’t forgotten by viewers on social media.
Perhaps as polarizing as his policy views were the reactions to the Miss USA show on Twitter. Some commented that the event was less campy and more boring than previous years without the brash billionaire’s involvement, while others said they were glad to take in the guilty-pleasure show without supporting the businessman turned politician.
A year ago, Trump set off an ugly break up with The Miss Universe Organization, then co-owned by Trump and NBCUniversal. Trump offended Hispanics last June when he made anti-immigrant remarks in announcing his bid for the White House.
NBC, which had aired the pageant since 2003, quickly cut business ties with Trump and refused to carry the 2015 show it had already scheduled. The Spanish-language network Univision also pulled out of the broadcast for what would have been the first of five years airing the pageants.
Trump then sued both Univision and NBC.
He settled with NBC in September. Trump’s $500 million lawsuit against Univision claimed his First Amendment rights were violated, as well as claiming a breach of contract. That dispute was eventually settled, too.
The talent management company WME/IMG then acquired The Miss Universe Organization.