Judges cut down Miss America field to 10 women
This photo courtesy Miss America Organization shows Miss North Dakota Rosie Sauvageau took top honors Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, after her piano and vocal rendition of "To Make You Feel My Love." The 24-year-old from Fargo, N.D., will take home a $2,000 Amway scholarship from the competition at Planet Hollywood resort in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Miss America Organization)
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Judges at the Miss America pageant in Las Vegas have reduced the field of contestants to a final 10 following swimsuit and eveningwear competitions.
Beauty contest winners from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands took the stage to vie for the title Saturday night at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
The remaining contenders include Miss Iowa Mariah Cary, who has Tourette's syndrome.
Also, still in the hunt are:
— Miss Texas DaNae Couch
— Miss Tennessee Chandler Lawson
— Miss Illinois Megan Ervin
— Miss Oklahoma Alicia Clifton
— Miss Wyoming Lexie Madden
— Miss Maryland Joanna Guy
— Miss New York Mallory Hagan
— Miss South Carolina Ali Rogers
— Miss Washington Mandy Schendel
The remaining women will face off in talent and interview competitions.
The show is the culmination of a week of preliminary competitions and months of preparations.
During an opening number set to One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful," the beauty queens donned knee-length dresses and introduced themselves with quips about their home states.
Judges quickly eliminated all but 15 contestants. Miss District of Columbia Allyn Rose, who made headlines by announcing plans to undergo a preventive double mastectomy after the competition to reduce her risk of breast cancer, was among those sent home.
Miss Indiana MerrieBeth Cox competes in the Miss America pageant on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
As the show went to commercial, co-host Chris Harrison, of "The Bachelor," announced that the judges would be allowed to name an additional semi-finalist before the competition continued. They chose Miss Washington, who continued through the next three rounds.
The 16 semi-finalists strutted in bikinis in front of a red and orange beach backdrop to Will.I.Am's club hit "Scream and Shout."
Miss South Carolina, who oddsmakers named as a favorite, wore a strapless white bikini. Miss Tennessee wore a red matte bikini with glittering straps.
Judges eliminated the fan-voted selection of Miss Montana Alexis Wineman after the swimsuit round. She had grabbed media attention as the first Miss America contestant with a diagnosis of autism.
During the eveningwear competition, Miss Oklahoma strutted the runway in a grey gown with rouging at the hip. Miss Texas donned an asymmetrical, iridescent gown that threw off a rainbow of color.