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November 22, 2017

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Photos: Katherine Webb prompts Miss USA, Miss America distinction


Darren Decker/Miss USA Organization

Miss Georgia USA 2012 Jasmyn Alexandria Wilkins and Miss Alabama USA 2012 Katherine Webb at Red Rock Resort on Tuesday, May 22, 2012.

2012 Miss Alabama USA Katherine Webb

2012 Miss George Jasmyn Alexandria Wilkins and 2012 Miss Alabama USA Katherine Webb. Launch slideshow »

Shandi Finnessey

2012 Miss Alabama USA Katherine Webb is the center of controversy and confusion kicked up by ESPN sports anchor Brent Musburger. The 23-year-old brunette bombshell, who is dating Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron (winners of Monday’s BCS Championship against Notre Dame), is no stranger to our Vegas Deluxe coverage of her time in Las Vegas.

When she was here in June, Katherine was one of the sexy stunners photographed as a Grecian goddess by fashion photographer Fadil Berisha at Caesars Palace. Katherine also was captured at Red Rock Resort, Sugar Factory in the Paris and onstage at PH Live in swimsuit and evening gown competitions.

During Monday’s game when No. 2 Alabama crushed No. 1 Notre Dame 42-14, ESPN cameras lingered on the beauty queen, and Brent made comments that the network quickly apologized for Tuesday. Katherine, who said she wasn’t upset by his remarks, saw her Twitter followers leap from just 2,000 to more than 175,000 by Tuesday night, eclipsing her boyfriend’s followers.

But ESPN, Brent and Katherine had to explain that she was a Miss USA contestant and not a Miss America hopeful from Alabama. Katherine even apologized for the confusion to Anna Bryan, who is here in Las Vegas this week representing the Yellowhammer State.

1989 Miss America Gretchen Carlson, who hosts “Fox & Friends” on Fox News, explained the difference between the two pageants when the controversy over Fadil Berisha’s provocative lingerie, fishnets and corsets bedroom shots erupted two years ago.

When the sexy photo furor broke, Gretchen invited 2004 Miss USA Shandi Finnessey on air to explain the difference. She said that the Miss USA girls want to grow up to be Victoria’s Secret models, and Miss America girls want to be doctors and lawyers!

One of the 2013 Miss America Pageant staff at Planet Hollywood told me: “They only go to the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants when they find out they can’t do what it takes to be Miss America. It’s the truth; it is tough to be Miss America. These young women have to have their community service platforms, they have to work on their talent, and they have to be in school.

“The Miss USA program doesn’t require any of that. Miss America is more relevant today because it’s not about pretend glamour, made-up glamour, but finding women who can help lead this country into a better place.”

The January issue of Marie Claire published an article also pointing out the differences ahead of the Miss America hopefuls arriving here. It lists all the state winners who became Miss America contestants who had gone on to careers in politics, some taking part in congressional and senate races. “They are the doers, the planners and big picture thinkers who will define America’s tomorrow,” the story said.

“We give young people the role models who their parents want them to follow as opposed to a lot of Hollywood starlets who go off the tracks and get caught up in sex and drug scandals,” said my pageant insider. “Many of Hollywood’s young girls in the headlines are exactly the people parents don’t want their daughters to have as role models.

“They look at the young women in our program, and they say now that is a young woman who I would like my daughter to follow.”

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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