Miss Oklahoma wins Miss USA; Trump is the elephant (who wasn’t) in the room

13 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Miss Nevada trips over dress, flubs race relations question.

Oklahoma’s Olivia Jordan was crowned Miss USA on Sunday, capping weeks of controversy in the run-up to the annual beauty pageant after its co-owner Donald Trump made incendiary remarks about Mexican immigrants after announcing his run for president. Several judges, guests and the event’s hosts all backed out after the real estate mogul described some migrants from Mexico to the United States as drug-runners and rapists while announcing in June he was seeking the Republican nomination, reported Reuters. Despite the controversy, no incidents or disruptions were apparent either in the audience or on stage during the live broadcast from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, carried on cable channel Reelz after NBC dropped the show over Trump’s remarks. Jordan, 26, an actor and graduate of Boston University, won the 64th pageant after deftly answering a question about the nation’s next hot-button issue.

She appeared taken aback by the question but still tried to reply saying: “What I would do to improve race relations in the U.S. is get more racist groups together and be able to be with each other in a non … ummm, let’s see.” She smiled at the camera knowing she fumbled the interview portion, and lost her chance at the crown. One segment focused specifically on contestants’ multi-cultural backgrounds, with the women speaking in taped segments about being bi-racial or coming from immigrant families. Among the few indirect or veiled references to Trump’s remarks, Miss USA 2013 Erin Brady said during a live interview that she was happy to be on hand cheering the contestants on, “especially given the chaos of the past two weeks.” Game show host Todd Newton and former Miss USA Alex Wehrley shared hosting duties after MSNBC newsman Thomas Roberts and Dancing With the Stars host Cheryl Burke dropped out.

Hinting at the controversy, Newton referred at the show’s outset to “what has become the most anticipated and what will be the most exciting night in recent pageant history.”

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