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August 23, 2014

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2014 Miss USA Pageant heads to the Louisiana bayou in June

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Steve Marcus

Donald Trump with Erin Brady at a news conference after Brady, Miss Connecticut, was crowned 2013 Miss USA on Sunday, June 16, 2013, at Planet Hollywood.

2013 Miss USA Pageant

Miss Connecticut Erin Brady reacts as she is crowned by Miss USA 2012 Nana Meriwether during the Miss USA pageant at Planet Hollywood Sunday, June 16, 2013. Launch slideshow »

2014 Miss Nevada USA Nia Sanchez: Glamour Photos

2014 Miss Nevada USA Nia Sanchez. Launch slideshow »

Despite the Wicked Whispers & Racy Rumors, the 2014 Miss USA Pageant won’t be here in Las Vegas in June.

The annual competition is heading to the Louisiana bayou, and our new Miss Nevada USA Nia Sanchez will be packing her bags to travel there to compete against 50 other hopefuls.

Donald Trump, the owner of the parent Miss Universe Organization, revealed this morning on NBC’s “Today” that this year’s contest will be in Baton Rouge on June 8 and broadcast live on NBC from 8 to 11 p.m. ET.

“It’s just a place that really wanted us,” The Donald told host Matt Lauer. “We had about 12 places that were fighting for the rights, and we just decided that’s sort of the home of pageantry.

“It’s sort of the home of the whole beauty thing. They’re terrific people, and they’re going to put on a great show.

“Usually we go to Las Vegas. We never fail in Las Vegas. It’s great, but we thought we’d move it.”

In the past few days, there were rumors that Las Vegas was in the lead over Miami to have the pageant return to the Strip, so this morning’s news of its relocation to Baton Rouge was a surprise to all involved.

Baton Rouge hosted a Miss Teen USA competition in 2005, but the pageant couldn’t return in 2006 due to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, “when the population doubled overnight due to people in damaged areas seeking safety and shelter,” Miss Universe Organization President Paula Shugart said in a later release.

“The sense of community that Baton Rouge has is incredibly inspiring, and the hospitality shown to us while we were there was second to none. I am looking forward to bringing an event back to Baton Rouge to experience the charm of the Capital City.”

The competition will feature contestants from all 50 states, including Nia representing Nevada, and the District of Columbia. They will be judged in the categories of swimsuit, evening gown and the dreaded interview segment.

Miss Connecticut Erin Brady is the reigning Miss USA, and she will crown her successor in just over two months.

Miss Nevada USA Pageant director Shanna Moakler, Miss USA 1995 and the ex-wife of Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, is hoping that Nia will take the crown and the title as the pageant’s first winner from our Silver State.

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.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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