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July 28, 2014

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2012 Miss America Pageant hopefuls arriving to new-look, live telecast

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Steve Marcus

Miss Nebraska Teresa Scanlan, right, 17, reacts after being announced 2011 Miss America during the Miss America Pageant at the Theater for the Performing Arts in Planet Hollywood on Jan. 15, 2011. 2010 Miss America Caressa Cameron prepares to crown her.

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2012 Miss America Pageant judges

2011 Miss America Pageant: The Big Night

The 2011 Miss America Pageant and the crowning of Miss Nebraska Teresa Scanlan, 17, as the 90th anniversary Miss America at Planet Hollywood on Jan. 15, 2011. Launch slideshow »

2011 Miss America Pageant: The Winner

Miss Nebraska Teresa Scanlan, 17, on the road to winning the 2011 Miss America Pageant at Planet Hollywood on Jan. 15, 2011. Launch slideshow »

2011 Miss America Pageant: Crowning Moments

The 2011 Miss America Pageant and the crowning of Miss Nebraska Teresa Scanlan, 17, as the 90th anniversary Miss America at Planet Hollywood on Jan. 15, 2011. Launch slideshow »

Barring last-minute flight delays, all 53 Miss America Pageant princesses will be checked into Planet Hollywood by 3 p.m. today, assigned their rival roommates and then start 10 intense days of competition. The first 2012 hopefuls arrived Wednesday. Today at 4 p.m., there is the official welcoming ceremony MC’d by “Peepshow” at Planet Hollywood and “Holly’s World” star Josh Strickland and former Mayor Oscar Goodman; an advance story of joy and heartbreak among the contestants was posted yesterday.

My “game face is on,” 2012 Miss Nevada Alana Lee told me Wednesday as she packed her two suitcases in case she wins and sets off on a 20,000-miles-a month schedule (all contestants are required to pack two suitcases). “I’m there to compete,” she told me excitedly. She attended a send-off party for her supporters and proud dad, Nevada State Sen. John Lee, and mom Marilyn, who escorted her to the festivities. Her family purchased six weeklong tickets for the appearances.

“The send-off was an opportunity to show everybody what I’ll be doing,” Alana said. “I’m really motivated, and they are, too. I performed the classic ‘At This Moment,’ which Michael Buble updated and that I’ll sing at the Thursday preliminary. I modeled my new swimsuit, the walk-on outfits for the preliminaries and fielded surprise questions from the guests in a mock interview section. I’m keeping my evening gown as a surprise until the events, though.

“It’s a little bit of a last-minute scramble getting everything packed, but I won’t forget my IPad. My life is on it!”

Miss America will be selected by the panel of judges using the following criteria: lifestyle and fitness, 20 percent, for confidence, presence, charisma, physical fitness and attractiveness; eveningwear, 20 percent, for stage presence, style and personality; and talent, 30 percent, for technical skill, quality of performance, onstage personality and presence, entertainment value and interpretive ability. The judges’ composite scores for the three preliminary competitions are carried forward to the finals, which are 30 percent of the final score.

The contestants will be guests of the cast of “Phantom -- the Las Vegas Spectacular” at the Venetian on Friday night. The first time the public will see all 53 contestants will be at their meet-and-greet at Fashion Show mall Saturday when they model their Express outfits, with Las Vegas resident Lynn Weidner (Miss New Jersey 1971) as MC. Then they’ll relax at dinner at hotel mogul Robert Earl’s Buca Di Beppo on East Flamingo.

Here’s the Royal Robin Rundown for Pageant Week:

MONDAY, JAN. 9: First- and second-round judges’ interviews.

TUESDAY, JAN. 10: Third-round judges interviews; first preliminary competition at Planet Hollywood’s Theater for the Performing Arts. The glamour girls are divided into three groups to rotate nightly their swimsuit and eveningwear parades, talent showcase and the dreaded onstage question.

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 11: Meet the judges: Kris Jenner, Mark Ballas, Teri Polo, Lara Spencer, Chris Powell, Mike Fleiss and Raul de Molina sit for a media Q&A grilling. Plus, second preliminary competition.

THURSDAY, JAN. 12: 2011 Miss America Teresa Scanlan is joined by Miss America winners to announce this year’s Quality of Life Scholarship Award recipients before a reunion luncheon at Vintner Grill. Plus, the third and final preliminary competition.

FRIDAY, JAN. 13: Co-hosts Chris Harrison of “The Bachelor” and Brooke Burke-Charvet of “Dancing With the Stars” join Executive Producer Anthony Eaton to reveal details of this year’s telecast.

SATURDAY, JAN. 14: The 2-hour ABC telecast begins here at 6 p.m. for the 9 p.m. live East Coast telecast; the pageant airs tape delayed on the West Coast. We’ll blog from the pageant live, know the winner by 7:55 p.m. and post reports and photos. The 2012 Miss America faces media moments later, and we’ll have her first video interview later.

In advance of the Jan. 14 broadcast, I can reveal that there will be an entirely new Technicolor vision and theme to the stage show. Miss America Board Chairman Sam Haskell and Grammy Award-winning producer Anthony promised: “It’s already an incredible production, but this year we plan even more exciting new energy.

“It will be even more contemporary and visually exciting. We’ll let you in on the new format closer to broadcast, but it will create a dynamic look to help define the show’s future in a new and completely innovative way. The new format will take America by surprise!”

Vegas DeLuxe extends congratulations to all the state pageant winners as they arrive here and wishes them all great success. We will have daily and continuing coverage from start to finish, so check back here every day.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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