9.27.2012

2012 Miss Universe Pageant relocates to Las Vegas from Dominican Republic



The top five contestants of the Miss Universe Pageant: Miss Philippines 2010 Venus Raj, Miss Ukraine 2010 Anna Poslavska, Miss Jamaica 2010 Yendi Phillipps, Miss Australia 2010 Jesinta Campbell and Miss Mexico 2010 Jimena Navarrete at Mandalay Bay on Aug. 23, 2010.
It’s now official that the 2012 Miss Universe Pageant will be headquartered at Planet Hollywood beginning Dec. 11, and the NBC telecast is set for Dec. 19, confirming our story posted Wednesday. Less than one month will separate the Miss Universe Pageant and the rival Miss America Pageant airing Jan. 12 on ABC.
In fact, it’s such a narrow window that the Miss Universe contestants depart Dec. 20 and the Miss America hopefuls arrive Jan. 3 -- and this all happens in and around the annual PRCA National Finals Rodeo. Talk about chaos and congestion with bull riders vs. beauty queens.

Vegas DeLuxe has learned that the Miss Universe broadcast will air the night after the top-rated “The Voice” finals, so expect great cross-promotion opportunities. Miss Universe from Planet Hollywood’s theater PH Live will be holiday themed to show Christmas around the world. It’s the first time the pageant is being held in December.

When Dominican Republic government officials notified Miss Universe officials this week that they could no longer afford the agreed $6 million in site fees to promote tourism there while providing hotels, transportation, offices and support facilities, it meant dramatic phone calls to our Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority officials and Caesars Entertainment executives.

Thanks to the close working relationship as a result of the continuing Miss USA Pageants here, it took just two phone calls at the midnight hour to lock in a last-minute deal. Still to be announced will be the hosts and celebrity judges, but I’m hearing buzz that chef Gordon Ramsay might play a role since he’s about to open his second restaurant in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace and eventually a third at Planet Hollywood.

Gorgeous Audrey Hepburn look-alike Olivia Culpo, who won the 2012 Miss USA Pageant at Planet Hollywood on June 3, will represent the USA against 84 contestants from as far away as Poland, Russia, Singapore, Lebanon, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. Olivia, a 20-year-old cellist from Rhode Island, became the first titleholder from her state to capture Miss USA.

One of five kids, she competed on a whim winning the state title in a $20 “Rent the Runway” dress that was too short and torn in the back. She wowed the judges in Las Vegas, too, and won with her poised response to a tricky Twitter question regarding transgender contestants.

Vegas DeLuxe will have coverage of all the Miss Universe Pageant news in the weeks to come.

SOURCE: Las Vegas Sun, 9/27/2012

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