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Miss USA photos: Rima Fakih defends partying; 51 evening gown pics

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Miss Bolivia 2010 Claudia Arce Lemaitre, Miss USA 2010 Rima Fakih and Miss Venezuela 2010 Marelisa Gibson pose in their Dar Be Dar swimsuits during the registration and fitting process of the Miss Universe 2010 competition at the Mandalay Bay on Aug. 8, 2010.
Photo: Darren Decker/Miss Universe

Robin Leach's Vegas DeLuxe

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2011 Miss USA: Evening Gowns

It’s coming down to crunch time at the 2011 Miss USA Pageant. Rehearsals continued at maximum power yesterday, and the hair and makeup professionals are geared for the onslaught of pressure for tonight’s preliminary competition. The 51 contestants will pose, preen and parade as if it’s the Sunday competition. Las Vegas radio DJ Chet Buchanan is hosting the preliminaries at Planet Hollywood.

It’s a great run-through for the contestants and the cameramen before Sunday’s NBC telecast with hosts Giuliana Rancic and Andy Cohen and backstage commentator Kelly Osbourne. As promised, here’s the official photo gallery of the girls and their gowns courtesy of Patrick Prather of the Miss Universe Organization, Miss USA’s parent organization. These are the stunning Sherri Hill creations they’ll wear tonight and again Sunday at the Theater for the Performing Arts Theater.

On Monday night, hair guru Michael Boychuck and his team at Color at Caesars Palace had their hands full with the tresses of 2011 Miss Nevada USA Sarah Chapman and 2011 Miss California Alyssa Campanella, along with Miss USA 1995 Shanna Moakler, who will host Saturday’s night’s True Beauty fashion show with Miss USA titleholders, 2010 Miss Universe Jimena Navarrette and 2010 Miss Teen USA Kamie Crawford. “We’re the Boychuck blondes,” Shanna laughed. “He’s the best there is.”

Past Miss USA Pageant winners have started arriving on the Strip for the 60th anniversary, and they get their own high-roller-styled party Friday night with a welcome by 2010 Miss USA Rima Fakih. Meantime the controversy -- nontroversy, really! -- over Rima’s late-night partying continued yesterday morning with a segment on ABC’s Good Morning America. Host Robin Roberts interviewed Rima, of Dearborn, Mich., on a Las Vegas satellite hookup after security tapes showed she’d overslept after returning to her New York apartment one morning at 4 last week before flying here.

“I wasn’t doing anything illegal,” Rima said. “Miss USA is just a real woman. As my reign comes to a close, I have to remind people that whomever is crowned Miss USA isn’t totally perfect -- and never will be.” Check out the full interview on ABC’s Web site.

Vegas DeLuxe will have reports and photo coverage from all the events, so check back often.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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