Monday, May 17, 2010 | 3:22 p.m.
The quiet 7-month-long romance between 2009 Miss USA Kristen Dalton and The Bachelorette Season 6 star Reid Rosenthal is headed toward an engagement ring, and when he arrived at last night’s 2010 Miss USA Pageant at Planet Hollywood, he even had a blue Tiffany box to present to her.
I had to ask Reid to open it to see if we had the second beauty pageant scoop of the year. At the Miss America Pageant back in January, I was part of the marriage proposal by Brian Irk to girlfriend and now fiancee 2009 Miss America Katie Stam.
Reid told me: “Not so fast! It’s going to happen, but not just yet. It’s a special Tiffany gift to celebrate the end of her reign. She’s had a fantastic year, and we have had an incredible seven months. But she had to give up her crown tonight, so I wanted her to have something else she can treasure forever.
“Kristen is a girl in a million -- exceptional -- and she’s the first pageant girl I’ve ever dated. I never thought she would be this wonderful in every possible way. I am a very lucky man.”
For the first time, Kristen welled up with tears running down her cheeks. She explained to me: “It’s because I’ve just realized now that Rima (Fakih) has won that it’s over for me. I’m really happy for her, but in a way, I’m kind of losing my family. I am going to miss that Miss USA Organization and going to the office every day to see them when I wasn’t traveling.”
We posted an interview with Kristen on Saturday as she began the final countdown to her “retirement.”
She added: “Rima has a fabulous personality. She answered the tough question head on. She literally gave a one-word answer and was assertive. She glows -- her personality is infectious. She even said hi to her mom from the stage, and that is class on a live telecast! So natural!
“Rima sold everything to make it. The girl has drive and ambition. She did whatever it took to get here because she believed in herself. It also shows she will take her new role and duties very seriously.
“That means a lot to me because she’s the girl that steps into my shoes and what I did the past year and takes on my old family. I’m really happy she won.”
That engagement ring and proposal? It’ll happen on their first anniversary!
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.