Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 | 1:27 p.m.
2013 Miss America first-night winners
For the first time since arriving in Las Vegas, fans, family and friends got to see all seven celebrity judges and the 53 Miss America Pageant hopefuls onstage together Tuesday night.
It was the first evening of preliminary competition, with our Miss Nevada Randi Sundquist shining with modern ballet in the talent section. The pageant princesses were divided into three sections so that each will be featured over three nights in talent, lifestyle and fitness and evening gown categories.
Our thanks to contributing photographer Tom Donoghue, who was on duty at PH Live for these first-night photo galleries. Check back Thursday for tonight’s second-preliminary competition and Friday for the final third night.
Seven celebrity judges who began their interviews with each contestant Monday also got to see the three category challenges for the first time, and for fun, two of the judges, 2012 Olympic gold-medalist gymnast McKayla Maroney and “Good Morning America” broadcaster Sam Champion, struck the sulking pose she made headlines with in London last summer.
The other judges are Oprah Winfrey’s Glam Squad designer Bradley Bayou; “Dancing With the Stars” pro dancer champion Cheryl Burke; my friend Mary Hart, who anchored “Entertainment Tonight” for 30 years; Daymond John, business mogul and star of “Shark Tank”; and Indiana’s first Miss America in 2009, Katie Stam Irk. I grill them today, and we’ll post that report Thursday.
The first scholarship winners Tuesday night were Miss South Carolina Ali Rogers for lifestyle and fitness in a white Catalina swimsuit trimmed with gold and Miss Oklahoma Alicia Clifton for talent with a tap-dancing performance of “Can’t Buy Me Love.” Amway donated $3,000 in education funds to the two recipients. The Miss America Organization makes available more than $45 million each year in scholarship assistance.
On Thursday, we’ll learn the winners of the Quality of Life Awards. Seven of the girls have been named as finalists for their platforms: Miss Alabama Anna Bryan for her work with autism; Miss Delaware Alyssa Murray for skin cancer advocacy; Miss Idaho Whitney Wood for her work with women in shelters; Miss Maryland Joanna Guy for her Healthy Hearts program; Miss Mississippi Marie Wicks assisting classroom children coping with early blindness; Miss Tennessee Chandler Lawson for her Fight Against Child Hunger; and Miss Washington Mandy Schendel for her Youth Leadership work. Three will be named to share $12,000 in scholarships.
The two-hour 2013 Miss America Pageant hosted by Brooke Burke-Charvet and Chris Harrison airs Saturday on ABC and will be preceded by an hourlong “20/20” news special anchored by “GMA’s” Lara Spencer: “Pageant Confidential: The Road to Miss America,” which is filming here this week.
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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Catering to the young and modern crowd, Planet Hollywood is a one-stop shop for entertainment with its massive shopping mall, slew of restaurants, spacious casino and clubs.
The ambiance of the casino is retro-chic meets high-tech with black granite floors throughout and colorful LED lights throughout the space. The theme carries into the 100,000 square-foot casino with 250 flat screens topping off slot machines. The casino is also home to 87 tables, a sports book and a poker room.
There's also the Miracle Mile Shops, one Vegas' largest malls, with 140 stores including BCBG Max Azaria, bebe, Urban Outfitters and The Discovery Channel Store.
Following an afternoon of shopping, guests can satisfy their appetites at one of the gourmet restaurants in Planet Hollywood, like the non-traditional approach to steakhouses at Strip House or check out the exotic Far East motif at KOI restaurant and lounge. And if guests are still looking for more, they can spend the after hours at Privé, Triq or Krave nightclubs.
Perhaps one of the resorts biggest attractions came in March with the addition of "Peepshow." The naughty twist on the story of Little Bo Peep is modern-day spin on the run-of-the-mill Vegas topless review. The "Peepshow" stage has seen visiting celebs like Scary Spice Mel B, "Dancing with the Stars" Kelly Monaco and Playboy's Holly Madison.