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April 24, 2014

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Photos: Planet Hollywood welcomes 53 Miss America Pageant contestants

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Tom Donoghue/DonoghuePhotography.com

The 2012 Miss America Pageant contestants arrive at Planet Hollywood on Jan. 5, 2012.

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2012 Miss America Pageant: Arrivals

The 2012 Miss America Pageant contestants arrive at Planet Hollywood on Jan. 5, 2012. Josh Strickland and Miss Nevada Alana Lee are pictured here. Launch slideshow »

2011 Miss America Pageant: Arrivals at Planet Hollywood

2011 Miss America Pageant: Arrivals at Planet Hollywood

For the first time in seven years of traveling to Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas for the annual Miss America Pageant, every contestant arrived safely and on time, and not one piece of baggage was lost. At this afternoon’s arrival and welcome ceremony, families, fans and friends received the first look at all 53 of the contestants, with Miss Virgin Islands Camila Daniels the youngest at 18 and several at age 24, the age cutoff.

Our Miss Nevada Alana Lee, 22, is partnered with Miss New Mexico Sarina Turnbull, 24, as her roommate for the next 10 days of competition. We’ll post official Tom Donoghue and Miss America photos later, so please check back for updates. For now, here’s the first group shot via my digital camera.

This year’s 91st Miss America Pageant welcoming ceremony was emceed by “Peepshow” star Josh Strickland in a dashing gray suit and dapper bow tie. He introduced Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority chief Rossi Ralenkotter, who said: “In the past six years, Vegas has become the Special Events Capital of the World, in addition to being the Entertainment Capital of the World."

Miss America Organization Chairman Sam Haskell said: “We love coming home to Planet Hollywood and Las Vegas. … It’s all about dreams coming true for these young women. This week for every one of them is a dream come true to be here.” The current contract for Miss America here has one more year before negotiations begin for a renewal.

Planet Hollywood President David Hoenemeyer and Josh handed each girl a long-stemmed rose before she introduced herself and the state she represented. Ahead lies 10 days of intensive competition before the ABC broadcast on Saturday, Jan. 14, at Planet Hollywood.

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.

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