Showing posts with label Miss USA 2014 Contestants. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Miss USA 2014 Contestants. Show all posts

SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss USA 2014 Evening Gown Portraits, The Best Gowns!

Miss South Carolina USA 2014 Christina Zapolski: Is this gown one of The Best? Keep reading and find out...

It's "Miss USA" time again and as you know--if you keep up on my NICKVERREOS.COM blog here, I love to talk Beauty pageants and especially Beauty Pageant Gowns so, needless to say, Miss USA is a "BIGGIE" when it comes to this dear subject of mine. The Finals of the Miss USA 2014 pageant are occurring this Sunday, June 8th, live from Baton Rouge Louisiana. Yes kids THIS SUNDAY--on the SAME NIGHT as the Tony Awards! It's like "SuperGay Sunday!" Not sure what I'll record and what I'll watch LIVE. Major Dilemma. Last year's winner was Erin Brady from Connecticut...

Erin Brady Miss USA 2013--We'll have to tune in Sunday night to see who will be the new Miss USA. But now to the important matters at hand: The Evening Gowns. The 51 contestants have been in Louisiana for the last couple of weeks for the preparations, welcome events, parties, and official photo sessions. One of these photo sessions involves the "Evening Gown Portraits" which the contestants take in advance of the Preliminaries and Finals. Lots of times, the ladies wear different gowns for these Portraits as opposed to what they wear for the preliminaries and/or Finals. In addition, some of them wear gowns provided by the Evening Gown Sponsor, Sherri Hill. In this post, I want to highlight my Top Favorite of these gowns in the Miss USA 2014 Evening Gown Portraits. Note: the All-Important Preliminaries occur tonight so I'll have a "Gown Recap" tomorrow of those and will be interested to see if there will be any "Gown Changes". But for now, let's get to my Top Gown Picks:

Miss Ohio USA Madison Gesiotto: from head to toe, this is perfection! Madison looks every bit a QUEEN in this blush fitted gown with silver/pewter flower-and-leaf applique. The fit is great and I love the heavy-to-light falling "rose branches". I would normally think the up-do bun and big ol' earrings would have been "Too Muchey" but here, it really completes the total look.

Gown Score: 9.7

Miss Louisiana USA Brittany Guidry: Since Miss USA 2014 is being held in Brittany's state, she has to make a fabulous impression. And she does in this golden sheath of a gown with silver sequined tulle overlay. She seriously looks like J.Lo attending the Golden Globes. I love it! One of the best of these Evening Gown Portraits.

Gown Score: 9.7

Miss Iowa USA Carlyn Bradarich: 5' 10" tall Carlyn looks fabulous in this statuesque black gown with sequined neckline detail. The dress is very "Couture"-impacting and makes a definite statement; perfect fit, perfect length.

Gown Score: 9.5

Miss Kentucky USA Destin Kincer: Of the white/ivory gowns on display in these Miss USA 2014 Evening Gown Portraits, this is one of the best. The gown features a Mermaid silhouette with an appliqued torso, drop shoulders and illusion front neckline and back. It's very impacting and accentuates her almost 6 foot tall frame.

Gown Score: 9.5

More "Very Good" Ivory Gown Ladies:

Miss Colorado (left) Eleanna Livaditis: I love the simple elegance of these two ivory "Goddess" gowns. Eleanna's features a full gathered skirt and sweetheart neck scooped bodice and scroll-like sequined midriff applique. Very nice.

Gown Score: 9.4

Miss District of Columbia (right) Ciera Nicole Butts: Ciera's gown is similar to Eleanna in silhouette but is definitely more Grecian Goddess-inspired with  the gold mettalic and sequined midriff panel. This gown is perfect for her. I just wish she wasn't crossing her arms like that.

Gown Score: 9.4

And BTW--Ciera's (Miss District of Columbia USA) gown is the same one Miss Wisconsin USA 2014 wore when she won that crown (yes, these same gowns get around...)--Bishara Dorre "Miss Wisconsin USA 2014" above.

Miss South Carolina USA Christina Zapolski: Just by looking at this photo, I can see why this six-foot tall beauty may be one of the favorites to take the crown; she looks like an All-American Olympic Skier/Volleyball/Surfing Champion. In regards to the gown, it's an impressive choice for Christina. The Mermaid shape is perfect for her and the strawberry-red color shines against her blond hair and skin. I also love that her hairstyle is modern, young, un-done but still quite red carpet. Once again, I may not have styled it with the big ol' "Miss Venezuela"-like earrings but, I am #not #hating.

Gown Score: 9.5

More "Very Good" Red Gown Ladies:

Miss Texas USA Lauren Guzman (left): Lauren looks chic, modern and red carpet-ready in this red gown with sequined waist and shoulder strap detail. It's a perfect example of how you can make the same impact in a simpler dress as opposed to a Big Ol' Krazee Mermaid "McMansion" of a Gown (those will be on my following blog post, kids!). And just a note: I could TOTALLY see Lauren as the "Entertainment Reporter" for "Access Hollywood"...or at the very least, she's the new gorgeous weather anchor for a top Texas local news station!

Gown Score: 9.4

Miss Missouri USA Erica Sturdefant (right): I think Erica looks sexy and modern in this Herve Leger-like sheath of a red gown. It's simple, to-the-point and really highlights her figure and in a non-vulgar way. It's so NOT a "Pageant Gown" and I'm so happy she wore it. That's why she's one of my Top Gown picks.

Gown Score: 9.4

Miss Maine USA Samantha Dahlborg: Naturally, what first got my attention was the photo and the fluttery chiffon overlay of the gown. It's like there was a fan but only on one half of her gown. Speaking of the gown, I like it. The rust/gray and teal gown features a plunging neckline, silver sequin applique at the waist/midriff and gathered bust. It is elegant and very "Spartan Queen". I give her (or her "Glam Squad' team) points for keeping the hair simple and elegant and avoiding the accessories; the gown is enough.

Gown score: 9.3

Miss Wisconsin USA Bishara Dorre: I LOVE the bright canary yellow color of this gown. I think it's perfect against Bishara's beautiful skin color. I also like the dress style--with the sequined bodice, defined waist and gathered full chiffon skirt. Her hair, drop earrings, and MILLION DOLLAR Smile finish the look. She looks sweet but above all very pretty; it's the perfect silhouette (and color) of a dress for her.

Gown Score: 9.3 

Miss Connecticut USA Desiree Perez: This black strapless gown may not be as "impacting' as some of the others (see below), but the fit is flawless and the simple elegant style is what leads me to put it here as one of my Top Gown Picks from the Miss USA 2014 Evening Gown Portraits. I like the draped/knotted bust and silver sequined "crown"-like midriff detail. Good job Connecticut!

Gown Score: 9.3

Miss California USA Cassandra Kunze: I am adding Cassandra--and this gown--in my "Top Gown" blog post just because she looks fun Disco Fabulous! Seriously, this golden/copper sequined gown is like a Disco Ball--a Sexy Disco Ball at that! It's impacting and Va Va Voom in its style and unabashed high-wattage factor. I don't think the come-hither-I-will-steal-your-husband-away pose helps but overall, she's owning this gown and I would hang out with her in this dress.

Gown Score: 9.0

Miss Oregon USA Emma Pelett: Finally, I placed Emma and this gown here because of the overt 50's Hollywood Glamour Goddess silhouette of this gown. the jewel blue taffeta gown features diagonal draping and pleating that ends up in a side "fall" with silver sequined accents at the side waist. It's the only one of its type within the Miss USA Evening Gown Portraits and it stood out for me. Her side-swept hair style worked but I would have done without the bracelet/cuff; the gown is enough.

Gown score: 9.0

***NEXT UP: My Picks for the "Uh Oh!" and "OOOOOH GURL!" Gowns from the Miss USA 2014 Evening Gown Portraits!!!

SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss USA 2014 Preliminary Evening Gown Competition Recap Part 1, My Top Ten Best Gowns!

 Miss USA 2014 Preliminary Competition Evening Gown Show--Baton Rouge River Center, Baton Rouge Louisiana

Last night were the all-important Preliminaries for the Miss USA 2014 beauty pageant. This is when a separate panel of judges (different from the NBC-Universal "talent" that judges the Final Live Telecast) chooses the Semi-Finalists who will be named on Sunday night's Final Show who will go on to compete for the Miss USA 2014 crown. The Preliminary Competition involves an Introduction of all the contestants in "cocktail wear", the Swimsuit Competition and finally, the Evening Gowns... 

 Gown Applause: The Miss USA 2014 contestants in their evening gowns--Miss USA 2014 preliminary Competition Baton Rouge River Center, Baton Rouge Louisiana

The 51 contestants modeled their evening gowns to be judged on their poise, presence and overall impact when dressed up. And yes, they were been judged on their style choices. One can tell with an evening gown choice whether this young woman is "Stately", "Queen-like" or Too Sexi-Licious (read: Hoochie!). Some of the contestants did "Gown Changes" from what they previously wore for the Evening Gown Portraits which I talked about HERE and HERE.

So, without further ado, let's get to my Top Ten Picks for Best Gowns of the Miss USA 2014 Preliminary Competition. 

We begin with Miss LOUISIANA:

Miss Louisiana USA Brittany Guidry: Wow! Two words: simply stunning! Brittany wore a beautiful metallic sequined gown for the Evening Gown Portraits which I LOVED and this one is a change from the portrait gown. And I LOVE this one even more! The gown is a violet empire-cut dress with heavy sequined applique at the bust, neckline and drop shoulders. It's majestic, impacting and looks outstanding on her. I also think she did her hair and makeup just right.

Gown score: 9.8

Miss Florida USA Brittany Oldehoff: Fort Lauderdale native Brittany shimmered in this showstopping beaded fringe column gown with nude base. This was also a Gown Change from what she wore for the Evening Gown Portraits (above, bottom)--and definitely a change for the better! I also love the side-swept hairstyle. One of the best gowns of the night; it has movement, impacts well on stage and works for her hourglass figure.

Gown score: 9.7

Miss Nebraska USA Amanda Soltero: Amanda definitely gets an award for "Most Improved Gown Choice" to what she had worn for the Gown Portraits (above, bottom). I wasn't a total fan of this but I am a MAJOR fan of the silver and nude gown choice for the Preliminaries. This gown hints at a Couture creation from Zuhair Murad and has just the right amount of Red Carpet Wattage. Good job Amanda!

Gown Score: 9.7

Miss Colorado USA Eleanna Livaditis: I placed Eleanna as one of my favorites for the gowns in the Evening gown Portraits and now, it's "two for two". She wore the same gown and this was wise; it's a gorgeous Grecian Goddess gown that works well for her. She looks like a Miss Greece at the Miss Universe pageant (It's safe to assume she's probably of Greek descent from that name so, it's PERFECT!).

Gown Score: 9.7

Miss Oklahoma USA Brooklynne Young: Beautiful Brooklynne wore this black simple gown (above, bottom) for the Gown Portraits but changed into this STUNNER of a gown at the top pic. This gown change was VERY GOOD. The golden Mermaid-shaped gown with oversized jeweled crystals is much more impacting and looks much more expensive. I think she looks very regal and still very approachable. This is one of my favorites of the night.

Gown Score: 9.6

Miss Ohio USA Madison Gesiotto: Madison did not do a Gown Change for the Preliminary Competition and frankly, she didn't need to. I placed her at the TOP of my favorite gowns from the Gown Portraits in this dress and now she's here in the top again. This is a beautiful gown and from head to toe, she is perfection. I might lose those big ol' earrings because it does take her into "Miss Puerto Rico" territory. Nothing wrong with that but for "Miss USA" I'd say less is more.

Gown Score: 9.5

Miss South Carolina USA Christina Zapolski: This is probably the best mermaid-type gown of the Preliminaries. It's a lot of gown but it is quite impressive, well-made and looks gorgeous on the six foot tall Christina. I absolutely love the silver and creme colored sequined torso. This is the type of gown you see at Cannes on a fabulous actress no one has ever heard of but suddenly becomes a Red Carpet Fashionista. The only thing I would do here is remove those big ol' earrings. The gown is enough! Sometimes the Glam Squad takes it too far and they should use that old adage to "remove one thing before leaving the house".

Gown Score: 9.5

Miss District of Columbia USA Ciera Nicole Butts: Ciera changed her gown (like so many others did) for last night's Preliminaries. As you can see, the previous one (above, bottom) was on the same vein of "Grecian Goddess' and ivory and with a full gathered skirt. I liked both of them. Ciera looks great in an ivory Goddess gown with some "sparkle"; she knows what works and sticks with it. If there was any critique, it would be her hair, I like it down but understand that because of all the crystal beading in the neckline and shoulders, she wanted to showcase it (therefore, the hair goes up).

Gown Score: 9.4

Miss Hawaii USA Moani Hara: Moani (as you can see in above, bottom pic) wore a nude-colored gown for the Gown Portraits. it wasn't impressive and rather bland. thank Goodness she changed. I love this midnight blue sequined sheer gown on Moani; it's sexy but not vulgar and has enough of a Red Carpet Awards Show vibe that can make the judges stand up and take notice. I also love that she put her hair up (which works for such a halter neckline style).

Gown Score: 9.3

And finally...

Miss Wisconsin USA Bishara Dorre: I loved this gown in the Gown Portraits (Bishara didn't change gowns) and I'm happy to see it again on her. The canary yellow color is beautiful on her and the silhouette of fitted strapless bustier and full multi-layered chiffon skirt is perfect for her to "work" the stage. her hair and makeup are Pageant Right. Congrats Bishara for making my Top Ten Best Gowns of the Miss USA 2014 Preliminary Competition :)

Gown Score: 9.3

***Next Up: The "Could Have Been Better" Gowns of the Miss USA 2014 Preliminary Competition!!

SASHES AND TIARAS.....Miss USA 2014 Evening Gown Portraits, The "Uh Oh!" and "Too Mucheey!"

Miss New Mexico USA (left) Kamryn Blackwood and Miss Utah USA (right) Angelia Layton: One is an "Uh Oh!" and the other, "Too Mucheey!"--can you tell the difference? keep reading...

In my last post, I discussed my "Nick Top Picks" of the the Evening Gowns featured in the Miss USA 2014 Evening Gown Portraits. Now, it's time for the "Uh Oh!" gowns. To begin with, surprisingly, there weren't many; after all this isn't the "Miss World" pageant where some of those lovely girls from not-so-pageant savvy nations (Bless Their Hearts!) wear these Tacky-licicous concoctions more appropriate for my "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding" as opposed to winning an international beauty crown. But still, there were several 'Uh Oh's" here. In addition to these, I also want to highlight what I call the "Too Mucheey!" gowns--gowns that were A LOT and probably more right for riding on top of a Carnival--or Gay Pride--Parade Float...With that said, let's get to it:

Let's begin with the "Uh Oh!":

Miss New Mexico USA Kamryn Blackwood: Oh Kamryn, she's a lovely girl for sure. On the plus side, her hair looks un-Pageant Betty and up-to-date, and she didn't pile on the jewelry. However (big however!), she wore THIS gown. This plum-colored gown is HOOCHIE and better for the AVN Awards (sorry) than for running for Miss USA; it's too revealing, too cut-out and about one inch away from a "wardrobe malfunction".

Gown Score: 4.2

Miss Virginia USA Arielle Rosmarino: I think this particular gown could have been 'passable" if it didn't have that jeweled arm "attachment". A) What Is that? And B) What is THAT??? Seriously. She is 2 years away from looking like a tacky "Real Housewife of Atlanta" Virginia!

Gown score: 4.4

Miss Nebraska USA Amanda Soltero: I am actually on the fence in regards to this gown choice for the pretty Amanda. on one hand, I appreciate that she chose a non structured drape-y jersey style and I like the bold coral color. Her hair, makeup and jewelry are OK as well. I think it's the too-plunging cowl back that gets me. I LOVE a plunging open back but this is one inch too close to her you-know-what (what's the female version of a "plumber's butt?").

Gown Score: 7.0

Miss Arkansas USA Helen Wisner: While I appreciate the major Sexi-licious factor in this gown and I love the silver crystals strewn throughout the illusion top portion of this gown, it's a bit "Too Mucheey" in it's "I-AM-the-Woman-who-is-having-an-affair-with-your-Huzzband". And I just do not like the "boobie" pads on the dress that are quiet visible; that's unacceptable.

Gown Score: 5.2

The Show-Me-Some-Leg Girls:

Miss West Virginia USA Charrise Haislop: Oh Charisse. Where do I begin? (maybe with that bumped up hair that screams 2003). Irregardless,  I will just discuss the gown: This is a gown from another decade--the keyhole halter look, the too high slit, those huge-platformed heels...She's such a pretty girl who is only 24 years old yet here she looks 47.

Gown Score: 5.6

Miss Georgia USA Tiana Griggs: Tiana is NOT playin' around in this gown--and with that hair, puckered lips and "I Will Cut You" look. This gown would have been FABULOUS in 1979. And on a good note, the sequin work is gorgeous. But in 2014, this gown looks dated and too "Showgirl". And once again, wrong shoes, she should wear no platform strappy heels.

Gown Score: 6.7

And now the "Ooooh GURL!/No You Didn't!":

Miss Idaho USA Ivette Bennett: I do love the bright neon yellow color of this chiffon and crepe satin gown. And the shape and fit are quite nice.'s just A LOT of dress and with that chiffon overskirt, seems best utilized for a costume in need of a feathered headdress.

Gown Score: 7.9

Miss Indiana USA Mekayla Diehl: This "OOOOH GURL!" section is about highlighting the gowns that are A LOT. And this one fits the bill. This lipstick red gathered Mermaid-silhouette gown is very Pageant Betty--you've got the Mermaid shape, the sweetheart neckline, the nude illusion inset, the off-the-shoulder...Oh, and then there's a sequined waist trim. If that wasn't enough, somehow she felt it was necessary to wear those earrings and deep red lipstick. GURL!!???

Gown Score: 7.2

Miss Massachusetts USA Caroline Lunny: One word: Wow. And I'm not sure if it's a good "wow". It's A LOT (that's why she's here). I know that someone like Eva Longoria has worn something like this (at Cannes) and gotten away with it (even with her teeny tiny frame). But it was COUTURE and silk and not rippling polyester. This gown is overwhelming. THE definition of "Too Mucheey". On a good note, I love her modern side-swept hairstyle and "nude" makeup.

Gown Score: 7.0

Miss Michigan USA Elizabeth Ivezaj: I think Elizabeth is so exotic and very pretty. She didn't need this "Too Mucheey" gown. First off, the colors are a little too "moody" and in combination with the heavy sequin applique and multi-tiered tulle, it's very "National Costume" as opposed to Evening Gown. Also, her "sisters" look smooshed.

Gown Score: 6.8

Miss Nevada USA Nia Sanchez: First off, Nia is GORGEOUS and I get why her "Glam Squad" (or Nia) chose this gown, in terms of its color; it works with her skin tone and hair. But...IT'S A LOT. You've got the nude illusion backing, the sequined applique and then (naturally), the over-the-top Mermaid shape and multi-tiered ruffled bottom half. Oh and of course, that wasn't enough so she also accessories with earrings. This is a Cha-Cha Queen dress and more suited for Miss Universe than Miss USA.

Gown Score: 8.0

Miss Utah USA Angelia Layton: And here's another "Too Mucheey" mermaid-shaped gown. It's definitely a trend at this year's Miss USA--or at least in the Prom-and-Pageant World. On a good note: her waist looks TEENY but I just feel that she didn't need this too-Mermaid dress; her "sisters" look smooshed (another Miss USA trend?) and I think it's better suited for a fabulous Drag Queen at the Rio de Janeiro Gay Pride.

Gown Score: 7.2

Miss Pennsylvania USA Valerie Gatto: I love the black lace-over-nude fabrication but...for some reason, the fabric with the silhouette and the too-low strapless sweetheart neckline--it just looks a little too "Real Housewives of (name a city)". The over-pouffed hairstyle does not help. This gown and girl needs some editing and de-pouffing.

Gown Score: 7.5

***Next Up...the Miss USA 2014 Preliminary Evening Gown Competition--Highlights and Low Lights and (hopefully) some Gown Changes