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Oh, How the Pageantry Continues

Miss California Carrie Prejean (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

Who won last month's Miss USA pageant? Oh, there were so many winners!

  • Donald Trump, who co-owns the beauty contest for very pretty women (no talent required!) strutting around in bikinis and evening gowns.

  • Miss California USA Carrie Prejean, who's become an overnight celebrity despite her runner-up finish.

  • Perez Hilton, the gossip blogger who's appeared on every cable shout-fest denouncing the beauty queen.

  • Cable news, which got another juicy story yesterday when California pageant officials announced they want to strip Prejean of her tiara.

    The latest salvo in the culture wars began last month when, late into the live broadcast, Hilton (a pageant judge) asked Prejean her view on same-sex unions. The blond beauty, 21, answered that she believed marriage should be between men and women -- her now-classic phrase "opposite marriage" -- and suddenly, the exchange lit up every talk show.

    State officials now claim Prejean is in breach of contract for failure to disclose the typical I-was-young-and-stupid topless photos that surfaced after the pageant, and mostly for joining the conservative National Organization for Marriage's lobbying efforts. "Up until now, we have just been riding along, pretty much a passenger on this runaway train," co-director Keith Lewis told reporters. "As of today, that ends." Sadly, he didn't mention Prejean's breast implants paid for by the pageant.

    But Lewis can't take away her title. That decision falls to Trump, who's reviewing all the arguments and will announce his decision at a news conference today in New York. It may not help Prejean or the pageant's sagging ratings, but should be a good show: Remember, it was just 2 1/2 years ago when Trump benevolently allowed repentant Miss USA Tara Conner to keep her job after boozing it up and a stint in rehab.

    In case you're wondering: Miss North Carolina USA, Kristen Dalton, was actually crowned Miss USA that night.

    Who? Exactly.

  • By The Reliable Source  |  May 12, 2009; 1:03 AM ET
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    Next: Donald Trump Lets Miss California Keep Crown

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