Leading up to the pageant, there were rumors of special surprises and announcements that will be made during the pageant, so I was extra eager. Since I have been following most of these ladies since their state crownings, I was really excited to see how most of them would look and perform. I had my favorites, but things can all change the night of finals.
The past couple of years, the opening has changed from around the city pre-taped videos to a fashion show with a red carpet and the contestants modeling official sponsor Sherri Hill. As you saw, if you read my Miss USA series, my predicted Top 16 before finals. Unfortunately I only pegged 9 out of 15, and for some reason, they did not have the 16th fan vote finalist, which I was really disappointed in.
Here is the called Top 15 scored by the preliminary judges.
**Disclaimer: I DO NOT own any rights to these photos. These photos were taken from the Pageant Update Facebook Page.**
In alphabetical order..
No surprise here. And I think everyone would agree. DAMN did she come to win.
Not very surprised with this one either. I had her in my Top 16 based on sash factor alone (meaning her sash says California).
This one was a surprise for me. I had her on my radar leading up to Vegas (she really knows how to take a picture!!) but with all of the photos, videos, and her prelim performance, I didn't even have her picked for semis. With that said, this green gown is dynamite on her!
Even though she wasn't in my personal Top 16, I had a feeling she would get picked. Just look at her face, you can't deny that beauty.
I just knew she would be called. This girl has been on fire and really came to win that crown. She did so well leading up to prelims and her performance was great. There was no way she wasn't getting into semis.
Definite surprise here. I had this girl no where near my Top 16. I can't even remember her prelim performance. She must've rocked the interview.
I had her picked for Top 16. Not surprised she got the call.
I have been loving this girl and had her picked for semis way before she even arrived in Vegas. So glad she got the call!
Based on her awesome photos and how well she rocked her performance in prelims, I knew she would get the call. So glad she was all smiles all night instead of the "trying to be sultry" look.
What a face!! I honestly completely forgot about this beauty, I definitely should have had her in my Top 16, but honestly her red gown during prelims had me lost.
Honestly, a definite WTF moment for me. Based on looks alone, she looks like a 35 year old in my opinion. Must've rocked her interview, and I guess her prelim performance wasn't terrible, but still.. her over so many others?!
This girl is super cute and I love her energy. I didn't have her in my personal Top 16 but she definitely deserved a spot!
I'm honestly not a fan of this girl, but another one based on sash factor alone I pretty much knew she would get the call.
Looking at her face, you'd have to be crazy to think she wouldn't get the call. I knew it!
Another one of my faves, I knew she would get the call. She is no newbie to the national pageant stage having repped WV in Miss Teen USA 2007 and placing 4th Runner Up.
Out of the 15 called, I pegged 9 correct. Not bad, over half.
Of course she was my sentimental favorite, repping my home state. But I can understand how she was left out. Although she is obviously beautiful with a bangin' body, she seemed kind of stiff and the whole "deer in the headlights" look does not show much confidence on stage.
I don't know what happened here. I thought her prelim performance was good enough to get the call. And her pictures are beautiful no doubt.
Surprised, but not surprised. Like I said, I was afraid she was too skinny. That and with being young could've hurt her. It's too bad because I wouldn't mind looking at that face all year with a Miss USA sash. I really think she would've stood a chance at Miss Universe.
This girl's face is also super beautiful, but I'm afraid she might've been too skinny as well. Don't get me wrong, I'm so glad we're crowning and rewarding healthy looking girls, it's great for the image. But dang that face.. so beautiful. And I loved her peplum evening gown.
I was really impressed with her prelim performance. Facially, she may not have been the strongest which may have hurt her in the end.
I've said before, best body of the pageant. And her prelim performance was not that bad. But see South Dakota's on facial beauty. A little old looking (in terms of pageant beauty) and it may have cost her.
I was actually sad about her missing the call. I think she is super cute and her performance for prelims was awesome! Maybe next year.
One thing changed this year was.. No 16th Fan Favorite contestant! WTF? I voted like every day and encouraged others in hopes to get a 16th contestant to be called into semis. But nope, Trump decided to switch it up this year.. and I DO NOT approve.
After the Top 15 was called, it was time to announce the judges and then move on to swimsuit competition.
Miss USA 2013 celebrity judges:
- Bob Harper - trainer and star of The Biggest Loser
- Betsey Johnson - fashion designer
- NeNe Leakes - reality show star, actress
- Wendie Malick - star of Hot in Cleveland
- Jessica Robertson - star of reality show Duck Dynasty
- Larry Fitzgerald - Arizona Cardinals wide receiver
- Nikki Bella - WWE Diva wrestler
- Mo Rocca - TV/radio/blog political satirist
- Christina Millian - singer, actress, TV personality
The Jonas Brothers were invited to perform during swimsuit competition. The beats of the music were good for the circumstance, but the actual songs seemed very teen-y to me. They performed well though, I just would've preferred someone else.
Top 15 in Swimsuit
A little on the skinny side compared to the other contestants in semis, but this girl is fierce and she knows it. You could just tell by the confidence she had the entire time she was on stage.
I thought her presentation was pretty good. She really knew how to play up the camera.
She rocked the swimsuit and her body is amazing. Prefect amount of tone and muscle. Super sexy, I loved it!
I knew she'd advance from her performance in swimsuit. Super sexy body and such a beautiful face.
One thing I love about this girl is the look of fun she has when she is on stage. She really seems to enjoy being in the spotlight and that's very attractive from a judge's point of view.
She definitely had the confidence. Probably not the best body in comparison to others (in pageant standards, not real life :P) but I was still scratching my head on why she was even there in the first place!
Too skinny in my opinion. Thought for sure she'd be knocked out from advancing.
Rocked swimsuit. Her body is awesome and she knows it. Love her!
I'll say it again, so glad this girl was all smiles. Much more attractive that way. She really knows how to walk and her confidence just shines through on stage.
Definitely a stunner in the face and she walked with confidence. I thought for sure she'd advance.
I still can't get over how she advanced over some of my favorites. Her face is not doing for me, with that said, at least you can tell she really works on her fitness.
This girl brought it on finals night. She wanted that crown and you could tell by the way she commanded the stage.
Not my fave, not my fave. I just am not crazy about this girl. I definitely thought others deserved a spot over her, but I wasn't a judge and I'm sure she charmed them in interview.
She brought it. She wanted that win and she knew it was hers to lose. She strutted that beautiful body with confidence and the right amount of sexiness.
Being a veteran in the USA system, she knew how to work it in swimsuit. Loved how she repped us blondes with only being 1 out of 2 chosen for semis.
Another thing that was different with this competition from past was there was no scoring posted with each girl. Usually their scores are posted at the end of their presentation for each phase, which gives you kind of an idea of how things will go, but not this time.
Before Evening Gown competition, they announced the Miss Congeniality and Miss Photogenic awards.
- Miss Congeniality - Washington
- Miss Photogenic - Utah
I was pleased with these awards :)
Moving on to the Top 10 and Evening Gown competition..
Top 10 in alphabetical order
No surprise. Gown was amazing. She performs really well.
After her swimsuit performance, I wasn't surprised she was called. This gown however is NOT my favorite, and never will be. Maybe the top half, but that's all.
Another non surprise based on swimsuit performance. This gown really helped to tone down her sex appeal which I think helped her out.
Obviously this is no surprise to me, I've liked this girl ever since the competition began and I had her in my Top 16 for gowns. Glad she advanced and stuck with this gown.
SO happy she advanced. This gown, you either hate it or you love it. I loved it personally, and I thought she worked it really well.
Knew she'd get the call to advance. There is just something I love about a blonde in black, especially a gown as timeless and classy as this one. She rocked it.
I will say, I LOVED when she walked out in this yellow gown. So much better than her red one she wore for prelims. Good change!
Honestly, I'm never really a fan of this style gown. I would've rather had a flattering string-strap top than this one. But she did look beautiful in it.
Worst gown of the Top 10 in my opinion. Not a fan at all. It's not very flattering to her figure, too busy, but the red was a nice color.
Like I've said before, love this gown, and love this girl in it. Dang she was on fire. Definitely getting the advance to Top 5.
After Evening Gown competition, I had a pretty good idea on who was getting the call to Top 5. One thing I did not have a good idea about was the "surprising twist" they decided to throw in. During the Evening Gown phase, viewers from the Eastern and Central time zones only (because it had yet to show anywhere else) had the opportunity to vote, via Twitter, for their favorite contestant in the Top 10 to guarantee them a spot in the finals.
This is not a reality show people, it is a pageant. And pageants should be in the hands of judges only I mean what was that all about?! And the fact that it was only open to certain time zones, not fair for those West Coast and Midwest states still in the running. Good one Trump, good one. I DO NOT approve.
Anyway.. The Top 5 was called..
- Miss Utah
- Miss South Carolina
- Miss Alabama
- Miss Illinois
- Miss Connecticut
And surprise, surprise Texas was the winner of the Twitter fan vote. Well DUH considering that is the largest state in population allowed to vote. Sorry Texas, you're great and all but you do not deserve to be in the Top 5 on your own merit. I was pretty disappointed by these turn of events.
After the girls were asked personal questions to lighten the mood, the anticipated final question was all that was left in the competition. I can't even explain how that went in words appropriate so I will just post a video and let you see for yourself. Sorry about the quality.
My opinions? Utah lost the crown for herself, I fully believe the judges had it between her and Alabama until she flubbed. South Carolina was also up there in ranking I feel but didn't do herself any favors with her answer as well. I did not like AL's answer, I felt it was not genuine and she was just saying what she felt like the judges would want to hear. Connecticut had the best answer of the night followed by Illinois. Sure Texas can speak but I don't think she even answered the question - besides she shouldn't have even been there in the first place.. Grr.
With all that said, unless you have been in a pageant yourself, you cannot even being to imagine how insanely nerve wrecking the on stage question is. Especially at the national level where not only thousands are watching in the stands, but millions are watching across the planet. You have to make sure you are alert in listening to the question and have your points organized in your mind before you start speaking. It's very easy to get ahead of yourself and mixed up, as well as not entirely hearing the question full out. SC and UT may have had horrible answers, but for them to get as far as they did, I commend their performances and don't think any different of them than what I did going into the beginning of the night. They are still educated, beautiful ladies and for anyone to have a bad view on pageants from that part of the evening is very close-minded and judgmental. For those making snide remarks about it, I'd like to see you do all of that. 'Nuff said.
I was actually surprised with the rankings of winners..
5th Runner Up
Miss South Carolina - Megan Pinckney
First off it's so weird saying 5th RU. I definitely thought Megan deserved a higher ranking based alone on the fact that she made it to the Top 5 by judges scores.
4th Runner Up
Miss Texas - Ali Nugent
Glad she didn't place higher. I thought her styling was completely off that night and like I've said earlier, she shouldn't have even been there in the first place. Maybe I'm bitter?
3rd Runner Up
Miss Utah - Marissa Powell
This placement right here proves that the judges had her ranked high the entire night. Her answer was worse than SC in my opinion and yet she still placed two spots higher. It was hers to lose, unfortunately she lost it.
2nd Runner Up
Miss Illinois - Stacie Juris
She answered her question really well in my opinion. I'm not surprised she placed this high but also not surprised she didn't place higher.
1st Runner Up
Miss Alabama - Mary Margaret McCord
Kind of and kind of not surprised. I really thought she had it. Her and CT were the two most consistent the entire night, but like I said with her final question, it did not come off genuine, and maybe that is what hurt her.
Miss USA 2013
Miss Connecticut - Erin Brady
Happy with this win. She seems very sweet and genuine, and you can't deny her beauty. Her body is dynamite in swimsuit, I really think she will take full advantage of this new job and use it to the best of her abilities. I also think we have a shot at Miss Universe this November. Erin is a classic, old school beauty, a lot like the reigning Miss Universe, Olivia Culpo. She has a very classy look which will help the Miss USA organization in my opinion.
Connecticut getting the call - Miss USA 2013!
Tears of joy.
The crowning moment.
One of the sweetest and best moments of the night was when all of the contestants came rushing to Erin chanting "Connecticut, Connecticut, Connecticut". They were all so excited for her, you could tell she was very well liked. She won Miss Congeniality at her state pageant as proof. So nice to have a nice girl win the title. Way to go Erin!
Erin made history by being the very first representative from the state of Connecticut to capture the title of Miss USA. She will represent the United States in the Miss Universe Pageant held November 9th in Moscow, Russia!
Did you watch the pageant? What are your thoughts?