POSSIBLE WINNER - ******
POSSIBLE TOP 5 FINALIST - *****
POSSIBLE TOP 10 SEMI-FINALIST - ****
POSSIBLE TOP 15 QUARTER FINALIST - ***
UNLIKELY TO PLACE - **
HIGHLY UNLIKELY TO PLACE - *
ALABAMA: MADISON GUTHRIE ******
Madison kind of came out of nowhere for me and she has totally won me over. I really did not even think she was a contender before the pageant, but she came fully prepared and she is going to keep Alabama's streak going. I actually think she could win it all. I thought she was strong in both and swimsuit and gown. Her gown is quite something else. It's huge and heavy, but she carries it well. I won't be surprised if she finally gives Alabama that crown that they have come so close to in recent years.
ALASKA: KIMBERLY AGRON **
Wearing the Alaskan sash does not really help in this pageant. It's not a very strong sash and their delegates rarely get much attention. Kimberly is cute and she seems really sweet, but she is also tiny. I am not too crazy about her styling and I think she will suffer the same fate she had at Miss Teen USA. I do think she gave it her all though.
ARIZONA: MAUREEN MONTAGNE ******
Maureen has a huge following and as she is half Filipino, she is also getting massive support from outside the borders of the USA. Now, I must say that she has one of the faces of the pageant and she has a great body. She nailed the preliminary competition, but I think she could have worked her evening gown a little bit more. Even though she is not my personal top favorite for the crown, I think she has a very good shot at being in the top 5, and with a little bit of luck she could definitely take it all.
ARKANSAS: LEAH BLEFKO ****
Now here's another lady who really surprised me this year. I did not pay much attention to her before the start of the pageant, but I was drawn to her as soon as I started looking at photos of the delegates in Baton Rouge. It's not just her towering height. She really photographs well, In fact, I think her candids are even better than her professional photos. She also seems to have a lovely personality and with two solid performances in the preliminaries, I believe that this lady will be up there.
CALIFORNIA: NATASHA MARTINEZ ****
I was a bit surprised when Natasha won her highly competitive state pageant, but I know understand why. She turned it on when it mattered the most: the preliminaries. She has great energy on stage and you could not help but take notice of her. Even though I think there are a few delegates who are facially more stunning, there's definitely something about this lady and I won't be surprised to see her do very well on Sunday night.
COLORADO: TALYAH POLEE *****
I am enjoying Miss USA this year. Not because of the scandals and drama, but mainly because of the delegates who came as total surprises to me. I have to say this: I LOVE THIS GIRL. I think she has great energy and she is gorgeous. She was amazing during the preliminaries and I love her evening gown. I am rooting for her to go all the way to the top 5. Go Talyah!!!
CONNECTICUT: ASHLEY GOLEBIEWSKI **
I think Ashley is really pretty. She has a gorgeous face and I actually thought she would definitely be up there. But I must stay that I am not sure after the preliminaries. She was quite stiff on stage and had one of the weaker walks. Can her interview save her? We'll have to find out on Sunday night!
DELAWARE: RENEE BULL **
This is the 64th Miss USA Pageant and Delaware remains the only state that has never placed. It's called the Delaware curse. This year, the task of breaking this curse has fallen on the shoulders of the lovely Renee Bull. I must say I was totally convinced that she would not do much at the pageant, but she has actually grown on me, especially during the final week of the competition. She actually performed much better during the preliminaries than I thought she would. I am still not sure if the Delaware curse will finally be broken. But I've kind of anticipated the curse to be broken for the past five years, and it didn't happen. So it will probably happen this year, because I don't expect it to happen. (LOL!)
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: LIZZY OLSEN **
Lizzy is another positive surprise. I think she is very pretty and I have lots of respect for her after watching her interview. She is an accomplished woman with clear goals for the future. I do think there are stronger bets in this groups, but it's not too farfetched to think that she could sneak into the top 20.
FLORIDA: ASHLEIGH LOLLIE: *****
Florida has been sending great delegates in recent years and Ashleigh is no exception. In fact, she's far more gorgeous than I even imagined. In fact, there are moments when I get glimpses of Aishwarya Rai (yeah, I know no one can even come close to Ash!) and this lady wore one of the most gorgeous gowns during the preliminaries. My main problem is that she looked so bored on stage. Maybe it's nerves or maybe the event of the last few weeks have put a damper on the event for her. But if she turns on the heat and looks like she enjoys it on that stage, she could be a big danger to the front-runners.
Photos courtesy of Miss Universe Organization and www.pageantupdate.info