Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012 | 1:02 p.m.
2012 Miss America Pageant
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As the 91st Miss America Pageant competition hits the halfway mark to Saturday night’s ABC telecast from Planet Hollywood, our Miss Nevada Alana Lee says “she's feeling good” -- but it’s much more hectic and busier than she expected.
In an interview this morning, Alana told me: “I thought this was going to be easy peasy, but in fact in high heels all day long, it’s killing me! I’m sleeping only 4 to 5 hours a night. Before I can even reflect on the day, I’m passed out before my head hits the pillow.
“But I’m feeling good. It’s a phenomenal experience. I’m one performance in, and the judges’ closed-door interviews are completed. I did my best, and I’m confident about how it’s all going so far.
"You have to be on your A game all the time, makeup ready. I didn’t anticipate the amount of filming work we would be doing in addition to everything else. I’d done months preparing for the pageant, but we’re right now into the production of the show itself, and I hadn’t thought what was involved in that.
“When people tune in Saturday, it will be so different than anybody has ever seen before with a Miss America Pageant. I’m predicting even you, Robin, will be swept off your feet. Nobody will see the opening number until Saturday. It’s totally different from anything you’d expect, and I think I’ve nailed it already!”
Each night of the preliminary pageants, Alana has a different gown for her walk-ons, but tonight, she has the evening gown portion. “Tonight, it will stand out. It is truly beautiful and different. I’ve noticed a real trend this year in the contestants’ gowns using layers and layers of nude fabrics. People are telling us all that we are the hottest group of Miss Americas yet!”
Last night, her dad, State Senator John Lee, watched her onstage. He told me: “She’s made us so proud. She’s a remarkable young lady, and she’s shining among a great sea of shining girls.”
Alana said that she’s made many new friends among her rivals. “It’s been so good to get to know all these girls. There’s no rivalry, no bad vibes -- just all good, solid friendships with everybody rooting for each other. I believe many of them will be lifelong friends from here on.”
Since entering the Miss Nevada and Miss America Pageant, Alana has won $20,000 in scholarships.
“If a young girl wants to be her best through life, then this pageant is the one that helps you grow, pushes you to the limits, refines you and gives you the best grounding of how to succeed in the world. You couldn’t ask for a better organization than this to make you the best woman possible.”
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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