After years of hosting the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants whenever the MUO could not find another place to welcome and sponsor both events, the state of Nevada (where Las Vegas is located) finally got its payback. Nia Sanchez, an underdog entering yesterday night’s Miss USA final, ended the three-hour long show with the sash and crown.

It was a nicely produced television event with some interesting twists. The calling of the Top 20 lasted for over an hour, adding to the usual suspense and bringing the candidates closer to the audience, with short video introductions of each semi-finalist and backstage chats.

usawinner2However, how about the girls who stood there for over an hour, and did not go any further in the competition? Wasn’t it too long and tiring for them? “Ok, girls, you are out. Thanks for standing there for 70 minutes, you are all winners”.

Musical attractions were not out of this world, but fine. They served the swimsuit and evening gown competitions properly. It still bothers us that even for a few seconds, the cameras focused and followed the girls’ bottoms when they paraded in swimsuits. Really, is there a need for that?

It’s paradoxal: on one hand, Miss USA becomes closer in style to Miss America, showing more of the real women behind the sashes and their families (it was really nice); but then on the other, the cameras chasing the belles’ asses, something so uncalled for, remains part of the show (MUO, rethink that. It’s not even sexy, given that those bikinis are truly anything but sexy. Wrong move).

And how about the girls? As we had mentioned before, it was not Miss USA’s best class in history by far, but with a well-chosen Top 20, most people didn’t even notice that.

What was shocking was to see the stunning Miss Alabama forked so early in the competition. That woman totally deserved to be in the Top 5, or at leat in the Top 10.

But the show continued, a fair Top 10 was selected (but did we mention we missed Alabama there??), and the same went for the Top 6 (Iowa, the one picked by the fans, was the only one a little bit out of place there. But she ended in 6th place, so it was all fair and square anyway).

After the final questions and answers, the impression we got was that Georgia, who seemed destined to finally conquer the first Miss USA title for her state, threw it away with her lame answer. Governors need a bit more than faith to rule, they need to take proper action, so that the people in general won’t lose their faith. But Miss Georgia was so gorgeous, she still managed to finish as 2nd runner-up.

Miss North Dakota was the stunner of the night, what a woman! She had Miss Universe written all over her, but was clearly betrayed by her nerves on the last moments of the contest. It seemed like the woman was going to pass out at any moment (it was actually cute to see someome real and unrehearsed at that point, showing her true emotions).Well done and well-deserved 2nd place.

Then we have the winner, Nia Sanchez of Nevada. We did not predict she was going to be in the Top 20 (same happened with Olivia Culpo in 2012, who ahppened to become Miss Universe that year). She was in our “perhaps list”. But in all reality, just like Olivia Culpo did two year ago, she shined when she had to shine, showing beauty, poise, brains and a sparkling and brilliant personality. Yes, Nia Sanchez is a deserving winner. (And yes, probably Las Vegas will always be there to welcome Miss USA and Miss Universe contestants when the rest of the country and the world turn their backs on the two pageants).

The new Miss USA is proof that the pageant has indeed changed: now it looks for the girl-next-door type more than stunners. Women who are beautiful, but somehow approachable and most other women can relate to. She follows the exact same style of Olivia and Erin, and it’s a good thing. The USA has a fantastic representative.

Speaking of Erin, her farwell walk was touching, what a great Miss USA she was!

We also loved the recap video of interviewes throughout the years – nicely done and original.

Baton Rouge and Louisiana were fantastic hosts. What a colorful, beautiful and full of culture place. Well delivered!

Was three hours too long? For pageant enthusiasts, it was not, for sure. We can see that most of them are raving about it. The problem is, over 99% of people out there, are not exactly pageant fanatics. At home, for example, the room was packed with people wathing Miss USA in the beginning. After 1.5 to 2 hours, they started leaving (even the cat), one after the other, with that “Tell me who won when it ends” line. Let’s wait and see how the ratings went, but perhaps, yes, it was too long.

The hosts did a great job.

GB approved Miss USA 2014 in overall terms. It was a great show with some real innovation. But did we mention we still don’t get what was Miss Alabama’s fault? Ok, we will get over it.

Congratulations, Nia Sanchez, have a great year as Miss USA!

(BTW, was the venue for Miss Universe going to be announced during Miss USA’s telecast?)