51 pageant queens compete for Miss USA

Emcee Richard Simmons urges on Miss Kentucky USA 2011, Kia Ben-et Hampton as she performs in the Chinese Laundry hula hoop contest in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The contestants appear at events leading up to the 2011 MISS USA Pageant on June 19 at 9:00 pm ET broadcast LIVE on NBC from the Theatre for Performing Arts in Las Vegas. (AFP)

Fifty-one beauty queens from around the country are getting ready to smile and strut before a panel of judges and a live audience in Sin City to determine the country's next Miss USA.

Sunday night's winner will replace Miss USA 2010 Rima Fakih and be America's representative at the Miss Universe pageant in Brazil in September.

Fakih overcame a near-stumble in her evening gown to win last year. This year's contestants hope to avoid missteps and shine in swimwear, evening gown and interview competitions at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

A Las Vegas oddsmaker has tabbed Miss California Alyssa Campanella the favorite of the competition.

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