Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013 | 1:58 p.m.
Forty gorgeous girls will compete next month for the title of Miss Nevada USA 2014, and another 20 will compete in the Miss Nevada Teen USA Pageant. They all met for the first time over the weekend with pageant director and Miss USA 1995 Shanna Moakler, Miss USA 2011 Alyssa Campanella and reigning Miss Nevada USA Chelsea Caswell.
The Silver State preliminary orientation session was held at Michael Boychuck’s Life Spa + Salon near Red Rock Resort in Summerlin, as he is the official hair sponsor for the Miss Nevada USA Organization. After the fun-filled day, the ladies also received a course in female self-defense taught by Lifetime athletic instructors Matt Hodges and Eric Watts.
Shanna, Alyssa and Chelsea talked with the hopefuls, giving them insight and advice about the pageant, which takes place at UNLV on Sunday, Jan. 12. Our thanks to pageant photographer Georgina Vaughan, Miss Nevada USA 2009, for her photo gallery of the contestants working out and in swimsuits at the pool.
As part of my judge’s duties, I sat in on the orientation session. Shanna told me: “We have some very beautiful and talented contestants this year. In fact, they are the best we’ve ever had. The competition will be very fierce. I know at least six who the judges will have a very tough time deciding on.
“This is the first time I can truly say I’m glad I don’t have to be a judge. It’s going to be a very, very difficult decision process. Any of them could easily be voted in as Miss Nevada and then make a very strong Top Five, Top Three challenge at the national pageant in June. My goal is for a Nevada girl to become Miss USA, and this could be the year. ”
Since Shanna took over the pageant two years ago, she has succeeded in placing Nevada representatives in the national Top 5 with Jade Kelsall in 2012 and Top 10 with Chelsea last year. (Incidentally, congratulations to Chelsea, who was just promoted in the Food & Beverage Department of Steve Wynn’s hotels to move from Andrea’s in Encore to SW Steakhouse in the Wynn as a manager.)
Shanna did not know anything about the rumors I’ve heard that Miss Universe Pageant owner Donald Trump is moving his Miss USA Pageant back to Las Vegas.
“We will only know where the June pageant will be held when all the state preliminaries have been completed,” she said. “We’ve had a record number of entries this time around, and that’s always a very good sign. I’m confident we could find our next Miss USA winner from Nevada. They are that strong a contender.”
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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