Miss California, Alyssa Campanella, leads the race to replace Rima Fakih as Miss USA.
Part 1 of our Contestant Rundown
Miss USA 2011
takes center stage
Sunday night in Las Vegas, where Planet Hollywood’s Theater for Performing Arts
hosts the event for a fourth straight year. The annual affair will have
51 contestants from around the nation battling it out in swimsuits and evening
gowns for a chance at succeeding Michigan’s Rima Fakih
, who captured the 2010
crown in a stunning upset over Oklahoma’s Morgan Woolard.
Here is a betting preview for this years contest, along with the betting odds provided by Bodog. You can also follow the live lines at SBR's sportsbook.
Miss California leads the pack
Betting odds were released with California’s
Alyssa Campanella as a 9/2 favorite to win Sunday’s contest. The Los
Angeles model was originally born in New Jersey and represented the Garden
State in Miss Teen USA 2007, losing to Colorado’s Hilary Cruz as the battle’s
Campanella relocated to the west
coast last year and won November’s Miss California USA pageant, earning her way
into this Sunday’s affair. California has not had a Miss USA winner since
Shannon Marketic’s triumph in 1992, when the state’s fifth crown was captured.
Other Miss USA favorites
South Carolina’s Courtney Turner
(6/1) and Indiana’s Jillian Wunderlich (10/1) are the oddsmakers’ next two
choices to take Sunday’s crown. Turner is presently majoring in
Communications and Business at the University of South Carolina, hoping to
become her state’s first Miss USA winner since 1994. Wunderlich won Miss
Congeniality and Miss Photogenic while capturing Miss Indiana USA, and will
look to end the Hoosier State’s drought of having no Miss USA titles.
Arizona’s Brittany Brannon, Hawaii’s
Angela Byrd, and Michigan’s Channing Pierce all opened at 12/1 odds. Brannon won Miss Arizona USA after being the contest’s runner-up last
year. Byrd is a mix of Korean and British decent, measuring up as one of
the pageant’s tallest contestants at 5’10”. Pierce hopes to win consecutive
titles for the Wolverine State, which has not happened for any contestant since
Texas’ Gretchen Polhemus took the crown in 1989.
Texas has won the most Miss USA
titles with nine, looking for this year’s contender Ana Rodriguez to bring home
another at long odds of 25/1. The Laredo native won September’s Miss
Texas USA honors in her fifth attempt, following top-three finishes in the each
of the last three years. Rodriguez works as a preschool teacher, while
having modeled for several magazines.
Nevada’s Sarah Chapman and Maine’s
Ashley Marble enters Sunday’s contest as its two oldest contestant, both
bringing 27 years of beauty into Planet Hollywood. Chapman is a sizable
home dog at a price of 25/1, while Marble invades from the northeast as a 60/1
Sunday’s four longest shots are New
Hampshire’s LacyJane Foster (75/1), Pennsylvania’s Amber Watkins (75/1),
Montana’s Brittany Wiser (100/1), and North Dakota’s Brandi Schoenberg (100/1).
Changes in this year's Pageant
This year’s pageant has undergone
formatting changes, with its semifinal group consisting of 16 contestants
rather than 15. The viewing public will also get to choose one of the 16
semifinalists for the first time via the internet and text messaging.
The 16 semifinalists will then be
narrowed down by the judges’ voting to groups of eight and four, instead of the
traditional pairings of 10 and five.
Sunday’s event has NBC providing the
national television coverage, beginning at 9 p.m. (ET).
For more contestant pictures and SBR member predictions, check out the Miss USA 2011 thread in our posting forum.