Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Miss America Week Begins! Preliminary Night One

I am finally in Las Vegas!!!!! Early this morning my Mom and I flew five hours to Las Vegas for Miss America week!!!! We arrived in Las Vegas around 11:30 AM (if you are following me from New York then it was 2:30PM). We are staying at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, where the pageant will take place. The hotel is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! It even has it's own mall right in the middle of the casino. There is definitely no need to leave the hotel because everything you could possibly need is right here. We were so excited to be a part of pageant week for numerous reasons. This is my first time in Las Vegas so it is extra special to be here for Miss America. The last time I was at the Miss America Pageant was in 2004 when it was still in Atlantic City. Erika Dunlap was crowned with the prestigious title. So it was awesome that she was the first Miss America I saw at the hotel! I got a picture with her and her husband Brian Kleinschmidt, which most of you know came in third place on the CBS Emmy-Award winning reality competition The Amazing Race. We then stopped for a late lunch at Ocean One, one of the many restaurants in the hotel.

Erika Dunlap, Miss America 2004, and her husband Brian Kleinschmidt

After lunch, we got ready for the first night of preliminaries. The pageant is being held at the Theatre of the Performing Arts right in the hotel. Alyse looking phenomenal in the opening number dancing away front and center. She only competed in on-stage question tonight, which all the contestants are being asked questions related to their platform. She did a great job! The ALPHA Group performed their talents and I was very impressed. The pageant actually began with half of the group performing and the second half went after the on-stage question portion of the competition. The SIGMA Group competed in lifestyle and fitness (aka swimsuit competition) and evening wear. Let me just say that ALL the contestants have fantastic bodies! They are wearing black bikinis designed by Winn Wear, official Miss America sponsor. Some bikinis have a rhinestone broach on the bottoms which looks really cute.

My Mom and I at visitation

At the end of the night the preliminary winners were Miss Virginia, Caressa Cameron, for Talent (singing "Listen" from Dreamgirls) and Miss Puerto Rico, Mimi Pabon, for Swimsuit. I was extremely happy for Caressa Cameron because we competed together at the Miss Teen America Pageant in 2005. It was great to see her again.

Caressa Cameron, Miss Virginia

Mimi Pabon, Miss Puerto Rico

Alyse Zwick, Miss New York

When the competition was over we all headed to the ballroom where visitation was taking place. Visitation is when you get a chance to talk to the contestants for about twenty minutes. It was so great to finally get a chance to talk to Alyse. She looks amazing and I cannot wait to see what the rest of the week has in store for her.