Ministry of Gossip

Miss Oklahoma wins Miss USA; Trump is the elephant (who wasn't) in the room

The Miss USA Pageant was held Sunday night in Baton Rouge, La., with Miss Oklahoma Olivia Jordan taking the crown.

Donald Trump, however, might as well have fallen in heels and a gown while juggling batons and singing "The Greatest Love of All" off-key, for all the attention he was getting around the event, which he partially owns and didn't attend.

The presidential candidate's recent comments about immigrants and immigration, of course, resulted in NBC and Univision dumping the show, which ended up on the ReelzChannel at a reportedly bargain price.

"This organization is not one person," Jordan told the Associated Press after the show. "It's definitely not just me. It's a family. This organization celebrates diversity, and I think that was clear on the stage tonight, and I look forward to spreading a message of love and diversity and acceptance."

Still, it was hard not to think about the outspoken presidential candidate during the Q&A portion of the competition, when the judges pushed the women into some crocodile-filled waters.

Jordan stood out with her response to a question about what topic should be the focus of national discussion in the wake of debate around excessive violence by police, the Confederate flag and same-sex marriage. Her answer? Race relations.

"We have not solved this issue. We are still having problems, and we keep hearing about new issues that are coming up," she told the judges before ending confidently with the gusto of a political speech. "We really need to work on being an accepting society and being a society where every single person, no matter your race, no matter your gender, is given the same rights and privileges and opportunities."

Miss Texas Ylianna Guerra, 22, took a stand for capitalism, saying America is the land of opportunity, CEOs work hard enough for their money and no government regulation of exec pay is needed.

Miss Maryland Mame Adjei, 23, was excited about the U.S. reopening its embassy in Cuba, saying that we should "not hold on to old grudges" and that it was "an awesome thing to open our doors to all countries, all nations."

Alas, Anea Garcia, 20, of Rhode Island and Miss Nevada Brittany McGown, 25, stumbled on questions about political correctness and improving race relations, respectively. Their abbreviated answers: Political correctness is both good and bad, and race relations would be improved by bringing more races together.

ReelzChannel owner and billionaire Stan Hubbard told Forbes on Monday that a segment on contestants from immigrant families and some of the interview questions were done on purpose by the pageant, in light of the Trump controversy.

"I think that diversity and immigration have always been important values for the Miss USA/Miss Universe pageant, so it would have been touched on. It got expanded on," he said. "I think it was an answer from the organization, from the women, to the controversy. Not to join the debate but to respond: 'This shouldn’t be touching us.'"

Miss Texas took first runner-up, with Rhode Island, Nevada and Maryland falling in line behind her.

Follow Christie D'Zurilla on Twitter @theCDZ and Google+. Follow the Ministry of Gossip on Twitter @LATcelebs.

 

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