'Miss USA 2015' Photo Recap: Beauty Amongst the Ruins

·Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

If we're being honest, the Miss USA 2015 competition should probably not have happened this year. Not simply because the idea of a nationally televised beauty pageant feels bizarre and retrograde in 2015, but rather because a few weeks ago nearly everyone involved in the Donald Trump-owned production quit the show. Hosts, musical guests, celebrity judges... For some reason, no one wanted to be associated with Trump's recent comments equating Mexican immigrants with rapists. In Hollywood industry terms, these departures were a matter of “creative differences over the fact that our producer is a racist creep who produces antiquated pageants that we no longer want to be a part of.” But by far the biggest name to jump ship from the Miss USA competition was NBC, the network on which Miss USA has aired since 2002. For all intents and purposes, Miss USA the TV special was over.

That's when something called "Reelz" stepped up to air the competition. But even after watching all three mind-numbing hours of this thing, I am still not sure what the Reelz channel is. All of its commercials were for either Christian dating sites or other Reelz shows, which seem to mostly consist of specials about dead female celebrities. It's truly a hell of a thing to watch a women parade around in swimwear interspersed with ads hyping up the autopsy of Whitney Houston, or specials that explore the deaths of Princess Diana, Anna Nicole, and Marilyn Monroe. Exactly what message were impressionable girls supposed to take away from all this? I had a lot of questions about the Miss USA 2015 competition, but one thing was for sure: Reelz is an embarrassing deep-cable dumpster and deserves to stay that way.

Fortunately the competition itself overflowed with nice-seeming, conventionally attractive, intelligent women — some of their impromptu question-and-answer responses were downright coherent! — and Trump's beliefs are not their fault. So now, to celebrate an evening with glitz and glamor second only to the Miss America pageant, please enjoy these photo highlights of the only thing of note that will ever air on Reelz.