Published Monday, Aug. 23, 2010 | 6 p.m.
Updated Monday, Aug. 23, 2010 | 7:59 p.m.
The 2010 Miss Universe Pageant begins at 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET at Mandalay Bay Events Center for a live broadcast on NBC on the East Coast, as 83 contestants, including 2010 Miss USA Rima Fakih of Dearborn, Mich., competes for the crown and to succeed Stefania Fernandez of Venezuela.
We’re blogging live from Mandalay Bay.
The red carpet at Miss Universe is about to start. Miss Universe President Paula Shugart tells me that talks are underway for the Miss USA Pageant to return to Las Vegas next May.
She added, “I love our pageants being in Las Vegas. We move Miss Universe around each year but would love to do it again here.”
Criss Angel and Donald Trump backstage at Miss Universe. Does The Donald want the Mindfreak for Celebrity Apprentice?
Exclusive! Olympic figure skating gold medalist Evan Lysacek from Dancing With the Stars is judging tonight and tells me that he’s moved to Las Vegas. “I’m now a local,” he said.
Show host and Poison singer Brett Michaels says he goes back in for surgery in January but wants to do another reality TV show. This time on a boat island hopping! Brett, Sheila E and Niki Taylor pose for a photograph.
The parade of nations in national costumes is to Michelle Williams’ new single “Commander.” Host Natalie Morales is wearing a blue gown, and Brett is wearing a blue handkerchief over his head. “I am fired up!” Brett said.
The Top 15 is revealed after the commercial break.
They are Miss Puerto Rico Mariana Vicente, Miss Ukraine Anna Poslavska, Miss Mexico Jimena Navarrete, Miss Belgium Cilou Annys, Miss Ireland Rozanna Purcell, Miss South Africa Nicole Flint, Miss France Malika Menard, Miss Australia Jesinta Campbell, Miss Jamaica Yendi Phillipps, Miss Russia Irina Antoneko, Miss Romania Onana Paveluc, Miss Colombia Natalia Navarro, Miss Guatemala Jessica Torres, Miss Czech Republic Jitka Valkova and Miss Philippines Venus Raj. No Miss USA!!!
The judges are introduced: Niki Taylor, William Baldwin, Chynna Phillips, Evan Lysacek, Tamron Hall, Chazz Palminteri, Jane Seymour, Criss Angel (who mouths “I love you, Mom”) and Sheila E.
Las Vegas gets a lot of airtime now. Valley of Fire. Seven Sisters. Lake Mead and Hoover Dam. The Grand Canyon. World Market Center with flair bartenders, star chef Rick Moonen. Sushi Samba. Nevada Cancer Institute. Fremont Street Experience with Neon Trees. “We love Las Vegas” the contestants say.
Keep your eyes on Ireland and Colombia. My expert pageant princess is predicting Ireland.
It’s Viva Elvis by Cirque du Soleil at MGM CityCenter’s Aria performing during the bikini swimsuit competition, all of which are purple. The order: Miss Puerto Rico, Miss Ukraine, Miss Mexico, Miss Belgium, Miss Ireland, Miss South Africa, Miss France and Miss Australia. The parade is broken up by Viva Elvis.
The parade resumes with Miss Jamaica, Miss Russia, Miss Albania, Miss Colombia, Miss Guatemala, Miss Czech Republic and Miss Philippines. Natalie is now wearing a yellow gown.
It’s the judges’ Top 10 after the break. The Top 10 is Miss Ireland, Miss Albania, Miss Philippines, Miss Jamaica, Miss Mexico, Miss Ukraine, Miss Puerto Rico, Miss South Africa, Miss Guatemala and Miss Australia.
Six-time Grammy winner John Legend and The Roots perform during the evening gown competition. Miss Ireland is in a glittering champagne-colored gown. Miss Albania is in a glittering white gown. Miss Philippines is in shimmering solid silver. Miss Jamaica is in bright blue satin. Miss Mexico is in fiery red.
John sings a few lines at his piano. Miss Ukraine is in a pearl white gown. Miss Puerto Rico is in pink with a large bow at the bank. Miss South Africa is in purple. Miss Guatemala is in champagne, just like Miss Ireland. Finally, Miss Australia is in a multicolor floral gown.
It’s the Top Five after the break. Natalie is back in a black gown. Miss Congeniality, presented by Miss Teen USA, goes to Miss Australia Jesinta Campbell. Miss Photogenic, presented by 2009 Miss Universe Stefania Fernandez, is Miss Thailand Fonthip Watcharatrakul. Fan favorite for national costume also goes to Miss Thailand!
The Top Five are Miss Mexico Jimena Navarrete, Miss Australia Jesinta Campbell, Miss Jamaica Yendi Phillipps, Miss Ukraine Anna Poslavska and Miss Philippines Venus Raj.
Evan Lysacek asks Miss Mexico about unsupervised Internet use. Niki Taylor asks Miss Australia about religion on clothing. Tamron Hall asks Miss Jamaica about the death penalty. Jane Seymour asks Miss Ukraine about full body scanners at airports. And William Baldwin asks Miss Philippines about the biggest mistake she has made in her life and how she fixed it, which she botches.
The judges are making their final decision now, and the Top Five pose one more time in their evening gowns. Stefania takes her final walk in a navy blue gown. The winner will be named after the break.
The results! Fourth runner-up is Miss Philippines. Third runner-up is Miss Ukraine. Second runner-up is Miss Australia. First runner-up is Miss Jamaica. The 2010 Miss Universe is Miss Mexico Jimena Navarrete!
Vegas DeLuxe Editor Don Chareunsy contributed to this report.
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