Neha Patil (Editor)

Miss USA 2009

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Date  April 19, 2009
Owner  Donald Trump
Broadcaster  NBC, Telemundo
Miss USA 2009
Presenters  Billy Bush, Nadine Velazquez
Entertainment  Kevin Rudolf, The Veronicas
Venue  The AXIS, Las Vegas, Nevada

Miss USA 2009, the 58th Miss USA pageant was held at the Theatre for the Performing Arts in Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 19, 2009. At the conclusion of the final night of competition, Kristen Dalton of North Carolina was crowned by outgoing titleholder Crystle Stewart of Texas.


The event was hosted by Billy Bush of Access Hollywood and actress Nadine Velazquez; Bush returned to host the pageant which he last emceed in 2005. He had previously co-hosted Miss USA 2003 with Daisy Fuentes and Miss USA 2004–2005 with Nancy O'Dell. Entertainment was provided by Kevin Rudolf who performed "Let It Rock" during the swimsuit competition and The Veronicas performed "Untouched" during the evening gown competition.

The competition was broadcast in High Definition for only the second time in history.

Delegates representing the fifty states plus the District of Columbia competed in the pageant, and arrived in Las Vegas on April 2. Miss USA Kristen Dalton represented the USA at the Miss Universe 2009 pageant, where she reached the Top 10.

Pageants were held from June 2008 to January 2009 to select the representative for each state. During the final show on April 19, the fifteen delegates with the highest average scores from the preliminary competition were announced. The top fifteen competed in the swimsuit competition. The top ten delegates from swimsuit competed in evening gown. The top five delegates from the evening gown competition (not averaged composite scores from both competitions) competed in the final question round to determine the winner. The judges' composite score was shown after each round of competition for only the third time since 2002.


The Miss USA 2009 delegates were:

Historical significance

  • This is the first win from North Carolina since Chelsea Cooley won Miss USA 2005. This is the 2nd time North Carolina has won the title.
  • California finished 1st Runner-Up for the 4th time since Shannon Marketic won Miss USA 1992.
  • For only the 2nd time since 1980, Arizona bested 2nd Runner-Up. Jineane Ford assumed the Miss USA 1980 title as 1st Runner-Up after the winner, Shawn Weatherly, won Miss Universe 1980.
  • Utah and Arkansas had its best finishes since 1982. Terri Utley of Arkansas won Miss USA 1982, while Utah finished 2nd Runner-Up.
  • Kentucky had its best finish since Tara Conner won Miss USA 2006.
  • Texas had its 4th consecutive placement in the Top 10.
  • Since Rachel Smith won Miss USA 2007, Tennessee has placed in the Top 10 for the second time.
  • The last four states to win Miss USA (2005–2008) -- Texas, Tennessee, Kentucky, and North Carolina—all had their delegates place in the Top 10 in 2009.
  • South Carolina and Idaho had its best finishes since 2004, West Virginia since 1984, Virginia since 2007, Georgia since 2006, and Connecticut since 2002.
  • Minnesota has placed in the Top 15 for the 2nd consecutive time.
  • Preliminary judges

  • Cara Petry
  • Chip Lightman
  • Lori Levine
  • Nick Light
  • Randall Winston
  • Rich Thurber
  • Seth Mayeri
  • Telecast judges

  • Alicia Jacobs - Access Hollywood & KVBC News Ent.
  • Brian Graden - MTV Networks Music Channel
  • Claudia Jordan - Deal or No Deal Celeb. Apprentice, Miss Rhode Island USA 1997, Miss Rhode Island Teen USA 1990, host of Miss Universe 2009.
  • Eric Trump - Trump Organization
  • Holly Madison - American model, Television personality
  • John Miller - NBC Universal executive
  • Kelly Monaco - Dancing with the Stars winner
  • Kenan Thompson - Saturday Night Live
  • Perez Hilton - Celebrity gossip
  • Robert Earl - CEO of Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino
  • Shandi Finnessey - Miss USA 2004 from Missouri
  • Willie Geist - "Morning Joe" of MSNBC
  • Background music

  • Contestants Introduction: "Hot N Cold" by Katy Perry; "That's Not My Name" by The Ting Tings
  • Swimsuit Competition: "Let It Rock" by Kevin Rudolf
  • Evening Gown Competition: "Untouched" by The Veronicas
  • Controversy over gay marriage question

    During the 2009 Miss USA pageant, Miss California Carrie Prejean, was asked by openly gay pageant judge, Perez Hilton, whether she believed every state should legalize same-sex marriage. She responded that she did not. After the pageant Hilton made negative comments about the contestant and told ABC News: "She lost it because of that question. She was definitely the front-runner before that," leading some to believe that the answer directly had caused her to lose the competition. Prejean stated that Miss California USA officials had pressured her to apologize for her statement and "not talk" about her Christian faith.

    Several politicians and commentators assailed Hilton and defended Prejean for honestly stating her personal beliefs.

    Following the pageant, Prejean hired a Christian public relations firm, and appeared in a television advertisement by the National Organization for Marriage. However, on June 10, 2009, Prejean again stated that her question caused her to lose her title when she learned she was fired by Donald Trump. Miss California USA officials state that her answer had nothing to do with her termination, citing continued breach of her contract instead.

    New crown

    In keeping with co-owner NBC Universal's "Green is Universal" environmental initiative, the Miss Universe Organization announced that Diamond Nexus Labs would become the official jewelry sponsor for the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants. DNL 's man-made gemstones are "all synthesized in clean labs using environmentally friendly processes". Diamond Nexus Labs will create a custom-designed crown for Miss USA 2009, as well as for the Miss Universe and Miss Teen USA pageants later this year.

    Pageant crossovers

    Nine former Miss Teen USA state titleholders competed at Miss USA 2009, the highest since 2007 and the second highest since 2003. For the first time five of the former teens competed at the same pageant, Miss Teen USA 2004. Aureana Tseu will become the first former Teen to represent her state at Miss USA ten years after competing at Miss Teen USA. This is also the first year that a Miss Teen USA 2006 contestant competed at Miss USA.

    Nebraska crowned one of their former Teen USA state titleholders for the first time, and Florida crowned only their second. In Rhode Island, consecutive Teen titleholders (Amy Diaz and Alysha Castonguay) won consecutive Miss titles, the first time this has occurred in the history of the two pageants.

    Unusually, there were no former Miss America competitors, but Lacey Minchew (Louisiana) won the title of Miss Teen America 2002. Minchew later crowned Alysha Castonguay (Rhode Island) Miss Teen America 2003. The Miss America and Miss Teen America pageants are not affiliated with each other.

    The former teens competing at this Miss USA pageant are:

  • Aureana Tseu (Hawaii) - Miss Hawaii Teen USA 1999
  • Alysha Castonguay (Rhode Island) - Miss Rhode Island Teen USA 2002 (top 10 at Miss Teen USA 2002)
  • Nicole White (District of Columbia) - Miss District of Columbia Teen USA 2004
  • Anastagia Pierre (Florida) - Miss Florida Teen USA 2004
  • Jessica McRaney (Mississippi) - Miss Mississippi Teen USA 2004
  • Meagan Winings (Nebraska) - Miss Nebraska Teen USA 2004 (top 10 at Miss Teen USA 2004)
  • Alison Cronin (Massachusetts) - Miss Massachusetts Teen USA 2005
  • Courtni Hall (Indiana) Miss Indiana Teen USA 2004
  • Georgina Vaughan (Nevada) - Miss Nevada Teen USA 2006
  • Despite the high number of former Miss Teen USA competitors, this became the first time since 1994 that not a single former Miss Teen USA competitor managed to place.

    In addition to the winner, Kristen Dalton of North Carolina competing at Miss Universe 2009, three other contestants went on to compete in Miss Universe, after winning national titles from other countries. They are:

  • Anastagia Pierre (Florida) - Later Miss Bahamas Universe 2011, competed in Miss Universe 2011 in São Paulo, Brazil.
  • Erica Nego (Minnesota) - Later Miss Ghana Universe 2011, competed in Miss Universe 2011.
  • References

    Miss USA 2009 Wikipedia