Saturday, June 11, 2011 | 3:24 a.m.
Robin Leach's Vegas DeLuxe
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There’s still an erotic and exotic edge to the new 2011 Miss USA Pageant photographs of the 51 contestants. Despite last year’s outraged headlines, this new collection is still all about plunging necklines, bare shoulders, thigh-high slits, sexy makeup and outrageous hairstyles.
Vegas DeLuxe received a first look at photographer Fadil Berisha’s glamour shots, and although they’re toned down from his racy lingerie and stockings that ignited a storm of controversy last year, this year’s photos will still raise eyebrows.
We’ll post all 51 of the high-fashion shots in a photo gallery Monday, but meantime here’s a sneak peek at 2011 Miss Nevada USA Sarah Chapman and a few of her pageant pals. Also coming soon: the identity of this year’s panel of judges.
The 51 contestants kept up an unrelenting schedule for Day 4, and the Miss USA photography team of Patrick Prather, Darren Decker and Ivan Vejar captured the ladies biking at Red Rock, shopping at Sugar Factory at the Paris, partying at XS in the Encore and sight-seeing -- including Donald Trump’s Tower -- from atop the Eiffel Tower at the Paris for NBC to include in its broadcast from Planet Hollywood on June 19.
They also visited the kitchen of Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace; Iron Chef winner Kerry Simon’s KGB Burgers at Harrah’s, where he taught them how to make cotton candy; and Top Chef Masters Chef Susan Feniger, who welcomed them to her Border Grill at Mandalay Bay to try their skills at South of the Border cooking. (Susan’s chef-partner Mary Sue Milliken has won four challenges this season on the Bravo series and competes in Wednesday’s finals.)
More than 40 of the contestants partied at Tao in the Venetian in an event by pageant swimwear sponsor Kandy Wrappers on Thursday night (the remaining 11 are most likely younger than 21!). They cheered reigning 2010 Miss USA Rima Fakih, Sarah and 2011 Miss Massachusetts Alida D’Angona as DJ Jason Lema invited the trio into his booth to get on mic for the crowd.
Last night, fitness guru Richard Simmons hosted a Hula Hoop contest at Chinese Laundry in Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile, one of the pageant’s sponsors. Today, the 51 hopefuls will work with Best Buddies, a global volunteer movement to create opportunities for integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In the evening, Caesars Palace headliner Matt Goss welcomes them to his show, and Sunday, he’ll emcee their fashion show at Fashion Show’s catwalk.
Next week, the preliminary competitions get underway Wednesday, and on Friday to mark the 60th anniversary of the Miss USA Pageant, 2010 Miss Universe Jimena Navarrete and Rima host some 40 Miss USA titleholders at a reunion at Planet Hollywood. Donald arrives Saturday in time for a fashion show hosted by 1995 Miss USA Shanna Moakler and 2010 Miss Teen USA Kamie Crawford.
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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