Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012 | 9:04 p.m.
2012 Miss America Pageant
Miss America Pageant
Miss America Pageant
For the seventh consecutive year, beauty queens will take over Las Vegas this week as 53 women compete in the Miss America pageant.
The competition at Planet Hollywood’s Theater for Performing Arts will feature women ages 17 to 24 representing all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia.
The pageant is based on a scholarship program that enables women to achieve goals through education, Miss America Chairman Sam Haskell said.
“Miss America focuses on beauty, yes, but also community service, talent and education,” Haskell said. “Some 13,000 start to end up with one Miss America.”
Started in 1921, the oldest pageant celebrated its 90th anniversary last year, crowning the youngest Miss America — 17-year-old Teresa Scanlan — since age requirements were established in the 1930s.
The winner of the competition receives a $50,000 college scholarship and spends a year traveling the country as Miss America.
Although finals aren’t until Jan. 14, the women arrive today for rehearsals, preliminary competitions, public appearances and some Vegas fun.
If you want to follow the events this week, here are some essentials about the Miss America Pageant:
• Preliminary competitions begin Tuesday, Jan. 10. The public can buy tickets for those competitions, Jan. 10 to 12, and for the finale through Ticketmaster.
Tickets range from $85.15 for the preliminary competitions to $163.80 for the final night live on ABC.
• All 53 contestants arrive at 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 5, at Planet Hollywood. An arrival ceremony takes place on the mezzanine level of the resort, with special guests former Mayor Oscar Goodman and executives from Ceasars Entertainment Corp. The event is open to the public.
• The contestants take part in IHOP’s National Pancake Day with a charity event Friday, Jan. 6, and later that day head to the Venetian to see “The Phantom of the Opera.” The events are not open to the public.
• Saturday, Jan. 7, the contestants rehearse at Planet Hollywood. At 6 p.m., they will walk the red carpet at the Fashion Show Mall — their biggest free public event — wearing Express clothing.
• Taping for the ABC pageant special starts Sunday, Jan. 8. This year, seven TV-personality judges will review the contestants’ performances, including Kardashian mom Kris Jenner, Mark Ballas of “Dancing With the Stars” and lifestyle journalist Lara Spencer.
• Monday, Jan. 9, is a full rehearsal day for the contestants, who will begin personal interviews with judges. The event is not open to the public.
• The public is invited to attend a charity luncheon at noon at Vitner Grill hosted by Neiman Marcus on Jan. 12. Tickets are $150, and all proceeds benefit the Miss America scholarship fund.
• The final telecast on Jan. 14 will begin with all contestants, but the roster will be quickly narrowed down as the top 15 are announced. The women compete in five categories: personal interview, swimsuit, evening gown, talent, and live question. The top 10 finalists will compete in the talent portion, and the top five will answer a live question.