|Miss USA 2009|
Miss USA 2009 Titlecard
|Date||April 19, 2009|
|Presenters||Billy Bush, Nadine Velazquez|
|Entertainment||Kevin Rudolf, The Veronicas|
|Venue||Planet Hollywood Theatre for the Performing Arts, Las Vegas, Nevada|
Miss USA 2009, the 58th Miss USA pageant was held at the Theatre for the Performing Arts in Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 19, 2009. At the conclusion of the final night of competition, Kristen Dalton of North Carolina was crowned by outgoing titleholder Crystle Stewart of Texas.
The event was hosted by Billy Bush of Access Hollywood and actress Nadine Velazquez; Bush returned to host the pageant which he last emceed in 2005. He had previously co-hosted Miss USA 2003 with Daisy Fuentes and Miss USA 2004–2005 with Nancy O'Dell. Entertainment was provided by Kevin Rudolf who performed "Let It Rock" during the swimsuit competition and The Veronicas performed "Untouched" during the evening gown competition.
The competition was broadcast in High Definition for only the second time in history.
Delegates representing the fifty states plus the District of Columbia competed in the pageant, and arrived in Las Vegas on April 2. Miss USA Kristen Dalton represented the United States at the Miss Universe 2009 pageant, where she reached the Top 10.
Pageants were held from June 2008 to January 2009 to select the representative for each state. During the final show on April 19, the fifteen delegates with the highest average scores from the preliminary competition were announced. The top fifteen competed in the swimsuit competition. The top ten delegates from swimsuit competed in evening gown. The top five delegates from the evening gown competition (not averaged composite scores from both competitions) competed in the final question round to determine the winner. The judges' composite score was shown after each round of competition for only the third time since 2002.
|Miss USA 2009|
The Miss USA 2009 delegates were:
|Alaska||Jessica Irene Nolin||Palmer||22|
|Arizona||Alicia-Monique Blanco||Phoenix||22||5'8"||2nd Runner-Up|
|Arkansas||Chanley Painter||Conway||24||5'9"||Top 10|
|California||Carrie Prejean||Bangalore||21||5'10"||1st Runner-Up||Dethroned as Miss California USA 2009|
|Colorado||Patrice Williams||Colorado Springs||22||5'7"|
|Connecticut||Monica Mary Pietrzak||Manchester||25||5'11"||Top 15|
|District of Columbia||Nicole Annabelle White||Washington, DC||20||5'8"||Previously Miss District of Columbia Teen USA 2004|
|Florida||Anastagia Pierre||Fort Lauderdale||20||5'9"||Previously Miss Florida Teen USA 2004; Later Miss Bahamas Intercontinental 2010 and Miss Bahamas 2011|
|Georgia||Kimberly Gittings||Lilburn||20||Top 15|
|Hawaii||Aureana Tseu||Mililani Town||25||5'7"||Previously Miss Hawaii Teen USA 1999|
|Idaho||Melissa Weber||Boise||27||Top 15|
|Indiana||Venus Raj||Evansville||20||5'9"||Previoulsly Miss Indiana Teen USA 2006; Later Binibining Pilipinas-Universe 2010 and 4th Runner-up at Miss Universe 2010|
|Iowa||Chelsea Lynn Gauger||Ankeny||20|
|Kentucky||Maria Elizabeth Montgomery||Danville||19||5'10"||4th Runner-Up|
|Louisiana||Lacey Minchew||Baton Rouge||25||5'7"||Previously Miss Teen America 2002 (represented Georgia).|
|Maine||Ashley Underwood||Benton||24||5'8"||Survivor: Redemption Island contestant|
|Maryland||Gabrielle Carlson||Marion Station||24|
|Massachusetts||Alison Cronin||Weymouth||21||Previously Miss Massachusetts Teen USA 2005|
|Michigan||Lindsey Tycholiz||Sterling Heights||26|
|Minnesota||Erica Nego||Plymouth||24||Top 15||Later Miss Universe Ghana 2011|
|Mississippi||Jessica Lauren McRaney||Terry||23||Previously Miss Mississippi Teen USA 2004|
|Nebraska||Meagan Winings||Atkinson||23||Previously Miss Nebraska Teen USA 2004|
|Nevada||Georgina Vaughan||Las Vegas||21||5'10"||Previously Miss Nevada Teen USA 2006|
|New Hampshire||Christy Dunn||Laconia||26|
|New Jersey||Kaity Rodriguez||Clifton||24|
|New Mexico||Bianca Matamoros-Koonce||Albuquerque||23|
|New York||Tracey Chang||New York City||26||5'7"||Born in China|
|North Carolina||Kristen Dalton||Wilmington||22||5'7"||Miss USA 2009||Mother was Miss North Carolina USA 1982; sister was Miss North Carolina Teen USA 2008 & 2nd runner-up at Miss Teen USA 2008|
|North Dakota||Kelsey Erickson||Grand Forks||22|
|Rhode Island||Alysha Castonguay||Woonsocket||22||5'6"||Previously Miss Rhode Island Teen USA 2002.
Previously Miss Teen America 2003 and Miss Teen Galaxy 2005.
|South Carolina||Stephanie Murray Smith||Goose Creek||21||5'7"||Top 10||The Amazing Race 17 Contestant along with her then-fiance Chad Waltrip|
|South Dakota||Jessica Rowell||Sioux Falls||22||5'7"|
|Tennessee||Kristen Motil||Franklin||24||5'9"||Top 10|
|Texas||Brooke Daniels||Tomball||22||5'9"||Top 10|
|Utah||Laura Chukanov||Salt Lake City||22||5'9"||3rd Runner-Up|
|Virginia||Maegan Phillips||Quantico||22||Top 15|
|Washington||Tara Turnure||Seattle||23||Her sister, Tracy Turnure, succeeded her as Miss Washington USA 2010.|
|West Virginia||Jessi Pierson||Milton||21||5'7"||Top 10||Miss Photogenic|
|Wyoming||Cynthia Pate||Casper||22||Miss Congeniality|
During the 2009 Miss USA pageant, Miss California Carrie Prejean, was asked by openly gay pageant judge, Perez Hilton, whether she believed every state should legalize same-sex marriage. She responded that she did not. After the pageant Hilton made negative comments about the contestant and told ABC News: "She lost it because of that question. She was definitely the front-runner before that," leading some to believe that the answer directly had caused her to lose the competition. Prejean stated that Miss California USA officials had pressured her to apologize for her statement and "not talk" about her Christian faith.
Following the pageant, Prejean hired a Christian public relations firm, and appeared in a television advertisement by the National Organization for Marriage. But on June 10, 2009 Prejean again stated that her question caused her to lose her title when she learned she was fired by Donald Trump. Miss California USA officials state that her answer had nothing to do with her termination, citing continued breach of her contract instead.
In keeping with co-owner NBC Universal's "Green is Universal" environmental initiative, the Miss Universe Organization announced that Diamond Nexus Labs would become the official jewelry sponsor for the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants. DNL 's man-made gemstones are "all synthesized in clean labs using environmentally friendly processes". Diamond Nexus Labs will create a custom-designed crown for Miss USA 2009, as well as for the Miss Universe and Miss Teen USA pageants later this year.
Nine former Miss Teen USA state titleholders competed at Miss USA 2009, the highest since 2007 and the second highest since 2003. For the first time five of the former teens competed at the same pageant, Miss Teen USA 2004. Aureana Tseu will become the first former Teen to represent her state at Miss USA ten years after competing at Miss Teen USA. This is also the first year that a Miss Teen USA 2006 contestant competed at Miss USA.
Nebraska crowned one of their former Teen USA state titleholders for the first time, and Florida crowned only their second. In Rhode Island, consecutive Teen titleholders (Amy Diaz and Alysha Castonguay) won consecutive Miss titles, the first time this has occurred in the history of the two pageants.
Unusually, there were no former Miss America competitors, but Lacey Minchew (Louisiana) won the title of Miss Teen America 2002. Minchew later crowned Alysha Castonguay (Rhode Island) Miss Teen America 2003. The Miss America and Miss Teen America pageants are not affiliated with each other.
The former teens competing at this Miss USA pageant are:
Despite the high number of former Miss Teen USA competitors, this became the first time since 1994 that not a single former Miss Teen USA competitor managed to place.
In addition to the winner, Kristen Dalton of North Carolina competing at Miss Universe 2009, two other contestants went on to compete in Miss Universe, after winning national titles from other countries. They are: