Monday, Jan. 9, 2012 | 2:38 p.m.
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2012 Miss America Pageant
To fans, friends, family and observers, it all looks like a fun weekend on the town for the 2012 Miss America Pageant contestants in Las Vegas: a fashion show, an Italian restaurant outing, a visit to “Iron Chef” Kerry Simon’s restaurant Simon at Palms Place and a backstage meet-and-greet with the cast of “Phantom -- the Las Vegas Spectacular” at the Venetian after watching the musical starring Anthony Crivello, Kristi Holden and Andrew Ragone.
But behind-the-scenes, the competition is difficult work: a constant round of TV rehearsals, parade practice and even “back-to-school” classes. Our thanks to the Miss America Organization photographers for their gallery today.
Executives at the Miss America Organization have promised a startling new look to the show airing on ABC on Saturday from Planet Hollywood. For now, the opening is top secret, but I do know that 2011 Miss America Teresa Scanlan holds court over the hopefuls and presumably passes along advice and answers questions featured in an article she wrote last week for Vegas DeLuxe.
For the orientation classes, the glamour girls returned to school for lectures from Miss America officials, the security team, the TV production crew and the administration staff to learn the rules and regulations of the 10-day visit to Las Vegas and for the winner who will immediately leave for her 12-month reign.
The judges who decide their fate arrived safely in Las Vegas on Sunday and today start the intensive interview sessions with the contestants. The first of three preliminary competitions starts Tuesday at Planet Hollywood’s Theater for the Performing Arts, and tickets are on sale to the public.
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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