LAS VEGAS – A new Miss USA will be crowned Sunday night after a series of controversies last year with the beauty pageant organization, including a breakup with former owner Donald Trump and the mistaken crowning of Miss Universe.
Fifty-two contestants will participate in the 2016 Miss USA competition will be held at the T-Mobile Arena off the Las Vegas Strip. The Fox network will carry the broadcast at 7 p.m. EDT. Last year, the show aired on cable’s Reelz network.
In addition to contestants representing each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the pageant also named a “Miss 52 USA.” Alexandra Miller, a 26-year-old from Oklahoma City, got the most fan votes among a group of finalists chosen by the organization.
The winner of Sunday’s pageant will compete in the Miss Universe contest.
A year ago the brash billionaire and now presumed Republican candidate for president set off an ugly breakup with The Miss Universe Organization, then co-owned by Trump and NBCUniversal. Trump offended Hispanics last June when he made anti-immigrant remarks in announcing his bid for the White House.
NBC, which had aired the pageant since 2003, quickly cut business ties with Trump and refused to carry the 2015 show it had already scheduled. Spanish-language network Univision also pulled out of the broadcast for what would have been the first of five years airing the pageants.
Trump then sued both Univision and NBC.
He settled with NBC in September. Trump’s $500 million lawsuit against Univision claimed his First Amendment rights were violated, as well as claiming a breach of contract. That dispute was eventually settled, too.
The talent management company WME/IMG then acquired The Miss Universe Organization.
During the Miss Universe pageant in December, host Steve Harvey mistakenly named Colombia’s Ariadna Gutierrez Arevalo the winner before correcting himself on stage. Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach of the Philippines was then given the crown.
Officials later said it was due to human error. The talk show host said he had re-read the card and noticed it said “first runner-up” next to the Colombia contestant’s name before clarifying with producers his mistake.
That Miss Universe contest was also held in Vegas, at the Planet Hollywood hotel-casino.