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January 14, 2011

Crain garners attention in swimsuit and evening gown preliminaries on Thursday

ULM's Kelsi Crain, Miss Louisiana 2010, continues to excel in this week's preliminaries to the 2011 Miss America competition.

"Kelsi did a great job last night competing in swimsuit and evening gown preliminaries," said Miss Louisiana Organization Executive Director Dewana Little. "She is a beautiful young lady both inside and out."

Little said that Crain has pushed herself to get in great physical shape over the past six months with assistance from Rico Boyer and his team at Fitness Together. That hard work paid off last night as she took the stage in swimsuit competition, according to Little.

"These ladies have to be in top physical shape because as Miss America they travel about 25,000 miles a month moving from city to city with very little time for rest," explained Little. "For this reason, it is important the title holder have the stamina to carry such a challenging and demanding schedule."

Kelsi also commanded the audience's attention when she hit the stage in her evening gown, according to Little.

"Kelsi's gown is from Tre' D, a dress design store in Baton Rouge," Little said. "Former Miss Louisiana and Miss America First Runner-up Jennifer Dupont donates her evening gowns. This year the team met with designer Tony Bowls to create an original beauty, and Kelsi just looked perfect in it!"

The Miss America Pageant is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. Miss Louisiana officials encouraged everyone back home to watch the celebration and pageant finals live on the ABC television network, beginning at 7 p.m., CST, from Planet Hollywood Casino Resort in Las Vegas.

The junior kinesiology major from Monroe made the trip to Las Vegas on Thursday, Jan. 6, to vie for a new title and crown this weekend.

This year's panel of judges include: Joy Behar, co-host of ABC's The View and host of The Joy Behar Show on HLN; Miss America 1990 Dr. Debbye Turner Bell, a veterinary doctor, motivational speaker and broadcast journalist; Marc Cherry, creator and executive producer for the ABC network; Tony Dovolani, competitive ballroom dancer and judge on the hit ABC series, Dancing with the Stars; actress and movie star Marilu Henner; Taryn Rose, an orthopedic surgeon turned shoe designer; and multi-platinum selling country music star Mark Wills.

Crain's preliminary competition schedule included a performance of her talent on Tuesday, a dance en point to "Victory" by the string quartet, Bond. Before taking the Miss Louisiana crown, Crain was named Miss University of Louisiana at Monroe in October 2009. On June 16, 2010, Crain earned the state title and has been diligently working ever since to prepare for the national crown.

The Miss America Organization is one of the nation's leading achievement programs and the world's largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women. Last year, the Miss America Organization and its state and local organizations made available more than $45 million in cash and scholarship assistance.

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