Monday, May 10, 2010 | 2:52 p.m.
You’ve never seen Miss USA Pageant glamor girls looking quite like this. Normally, they’re photographed in swimsuits and evening gowns, but now they’ve gone to fishnet stockings, garter belts, bustiers and, in some cases, just panties with no bras!
The skimpy outfits and seductive poses are likely to set off a firestorm as the pageant princesses start rehearsals today after wrapping up a week of photography and filming location sequences in advance of Sunday’s live telecast from Planet Hollywood on NBC.
Photographer Fadil Berisha captured the girls in the sexy portraits for the Miss Universe Organization. Some of the pageant winners -- photographed on a bed -- are seen in lacy lingerie and knee-high boots displaying lots of cleavage and skin.
Even an official for real estate mogul Donald Trump, who owns the Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants, admitted that they are hot and racy shots.
“The final results of the photos speak for themselves. Yes, they are hot, but they are tasteful. We are promoting a smart, sexy and sophisticated modern woman and breaking the stereotype of a pageant princess. Fadil is an amazing photographer who is more of an artist, and we trust his creative and professional instincts. The contestants are confident women who trust Fadil as much as we do.”
The winner of the 2010 Miss USA Pageant on Sunday will go on to represent the United States in the Miss Universe Pageant and compete with hopefuls from other countries where sexy and fashionable looks are more progressive and accepted. I haven’t been able yet to find out if some of the video shots from the pinup photo sessions will be used on the telecast or if the censor will veto them.
This sexy new look has an irony to it, though, because in past years, winners have lost their titles after sexy photographs have turned up online. The girls yesterday kept their clothes on -- albeit in less-sexy pajamas -- when they joined Palms owner George Maloof and Simon restaurant owner Kerry Simon at Palms Place for a Mother’s Day brunch.
Even I was cast into the Flip video competition that’s raging among this year’s contestants. Flip is one of this year’s sponsors, and each state winner is contributing videos to the Miss USA Web site, with some of the sequences airing Sunday. Here’s the dueling Flip video that I recorded of Miss Michigan; you can then go to her Facebook page to see her version of it.
Last night, they all went to superstar entertainer Barry Manilow’s show at the Paris. Today, their last photo assignment takes them downtown to the shark tank pool at the Golden Nugget. Film cameras follow them everywhere to include these location shots in Sunday’s telecast.
We’ll continue our daily reports and photographs of the Miss USA Pageant activities all week long leading up to Sunday’s global telecast. Donny and Marie Osmond’s show producer Chip Lightman, who was the manager of the late Danny Gans for 18 years, has been named one of the judges for the three days of preliminaries starting Wednesday. Another preliminary judge is Rich Thurber, who travels here as Howie Mandel’s touring producer when he headlines at MGM Grand. Rich is a producer on Deal or No deal and America’s Got Talent.
Celebrity judges for the telecast will be announced mid-week. Joan Rivers and daughter Melissa Rivers will cover the backstage happenings during the telecast, so that’s also guaranteed to cause additional fireworks and headlines. It’s all designed to ensure incredible TV ratings!
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.