LAS VEGAS, April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- This evening, during one of the year's most exciting live television events, a star-studded panel of judges chose Miss North Carolina USA, Kristen Dalton, as MISS USA(R) 2009. "My Name is Earl" star Nadine Velazquez and Billy Bush of "Access Hollywood" hosted the 58th Annual MISS USA Pageant from the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in one of the world's most electrifying cities, Las Vegas.
Ms. Dalton is a talented singer and dancer who completed her degree in Psychology and Spanish at East Carolina University. She's not the only pageant winner in her family. Her mother was Miss North Carolina USA in 1982 and her sister was Miss North Carolina Teen USA in 2008.
The judging panel for the 2009 Miss USA(R) Pageant included: Robert Earl, owner and co-chairman of Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino; Miss USA 2004 and television presenter, Shandi Finnessey; co-host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Willie Geist; President of Entertainment, MTV Networks Music Channels, Brian Graden; Holly Madison star of "Girls Next Store"; the internet's most notorious celebrity gossip columnist Perez Hilton; "Access Hollywood" contributor and KVBC News Entertainment reporter Alicia Jacobs; "Deal or No Deal" model and star of "The Celebrity Apprentice," Claudia Jordan; John Miller, Chief Marketing Officer, NBC Universal; Kelly Monaco, season one celebrity winner of "Dancing With the Stars," and "Peepshow" star; comedian and cast member of "Saturday Night Live," Kenan Thompson and Eric Trump, Executive Vice President, Development & Acquisitions of The Trump Organization.
Throughout the two-hour event, the contestants competed in three categories: swimsuit, evening gown and interview. During these competitions, the "Top Five" finalists were selected before the crowning. Crystle Stewart, MISS USA 2008, crowned her successor at the conclusion of the two-hour primetime telecast, where Kevin Rudolf performed his enigmatic anthem "Let It Rock" during the swimsuit competition of the telecast and rising electro-pop stars, The Veronicas, performed their hit single "Untouched" during the evening gown competition before an estimated worldwide viewing audience of more than 250 million.
First Runner Up: Miss California USA, Carrie Prejean will assume
the duties of MISS USA 2009 if the titleholder
is named MISS UNIVERSE 2009 or for some reason
cannot fulfill her duties.
Second Runner Up: Miss Arizona USA, Alicia-Monique Blanco
Rest of Top Five: Miss Utah USA, Laura Kirilova Chukanov
Miss Kentucky USA, Maria Elizabeth Montgomery
Rest of Top Ten: Miss Arkansas USA, Chanley Painter
Miss West Virginia USA, Jessi Pierson
Miss Tennessee USA, Kristen Motil
Miss Texas USA, Brooke Daniels
Miss South Carolina USA, Stephanie Smith
Rest of Top Fifteen: Miss Connecticut USA, Monica Mary Pietrzak
Miss Idaho USA, Melissa Weber
Miss Georgia USA, Kimberly Gittings
Miss Minnesota USA, Erica Nego
Miss Virginia USA, Maegan Elizabeth Phillips
MISS PHOTOGENIC USA(TM) Award: Miss West Virginia USA, Jessi Pierson. The general public voted on www.nbc.com for the delegate who exemplifies beauty through the lens of a camera. She was awarded a $1,000 cash prize.
MISS CONGENIALITY USA(TM) Award: Miss Wyoming USA, Cynthia Pate was awarded a $1,000 cash award. The award reflects the respect and admiration of the delegate's peers, who voted for her as the most congenial, charismatic and inspirational participant. She was awarded a $1,000 cash prize.
The MISS USA(R) 2009 prize package includes: the official Miss USA Diamond Nexus Labs custom designed tiara; 2 year scholarship from The New York Film Academy; custom evening wear wardrobe by Carlos Alberto Haute Couture; cosmetics from Darac Beauty; a shoe wardrobe from Nina Footwear; year supply of CHI hair care products and tools from Farouk Systems; swimsuit wardrobe from Jessica Simpson Swimwear; luxury accommodations in a New York City apartment for the duration of her reign, including living expenses; a year-long salary as Miss USA; personal appearance wardrobe and stylist consultations and the opportunity to represent the USA at the 2009 Miss Universe pageant on August 23, 2009 at Atlantis Paradise Island resort in the Bahamas.
The MISS UNIVERSE(R), MISS USA(R) and MISS TEEN USA(R) Pageants are a Donald J. Trump and NBC Universal joint venture. Utilizing its nationwide grass roots infrastructure, the Miss Universe Organization is committed to increasing awareness of breast and ovarian cancers. By forging relationships with organizations committed to research and education, such as Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Gilda's Club, Miss USA is armed to educate women today.
SOURCE The Miss Universe Organization