Miss USA 2013 live blog: Nana Meriwether passes on her crown

nana-meriwether-miss-usa-2013-gi.jpgThe 2013 Miss USA pageant has arrived. From a field of 51 young ladies, there can only be one Miss USA, who will move onto the Miss Universe pageant. Olivia Culpo of Rhode Island won the title in 2012, but had to vacate it when she became Miss Universe. The reigning Miss USA is Nana Meriwether from Maryland.

Hosts Nick Jonas and  Giuliana Rancic preside over the festivities, which will include a Jonas Brothers performance. 

The action kicks off at 9 p.m ET, and Zap2it will be live-blogging the event for you to follow along.

Who will dazzle in an evening gown, or show off their sexy side in a bikini? Of course, the big questions to ask is who will take home the crown, winning for their state?

All times below are Eastern.

9:00 - And it begins with the contestants being introduced onto a stage flanked with strange guys wearing dark sunglasses.

9:05 - The theme of the introductions seems to be all about the red carpet, with the ladies walking between the velvet ropes.

9:05 - Before going to commercial, Giuliana says "Vegas's own" DJ Pauly D will be handling dance music later in the show. Has he forsaken the Jersey Shore for a new land? Donald Trump seems to be handling the voice overs for sponsors going into break, if you ever wanted to hear him shilling for a cell phone provider.

9:20 - That was quick, time to narrow it down to 15 already. Moving forward are Texas, Ohio (Who had to give up pasta to compete), Louisiana, South Carolina, Pennsylvania (who lists "making green smoothies" as a passion), Alabama, Massachusetts, California (wants to be the next Giuliana Rancic), North Carolina (lists "Harry Potter" as a passion, which rocks), West Virginia, Maryland, Illinois (passionate about make-up), Nevada, Connecticut and finally, Utah.

9:25 - Time for the judges: Bob Harper ("The Biggest Loser"), Wendie Mallick, NeNe Leakes, Larry Fitzgerald, Jessica Robertson ("Duck Dynasty"), Betsey Johnson (designer), Mo Rocca, Nikki Bella (WWE wrestler) and Christina Millian ("The Voice" social media correspondent).

9:28 - The ladies talk about their Vegas highlights. Lots of swimming pools and shows. Nothing that could rival "The Hangover," that's for sure. "Vegas really is the city of endless possibilities," one says. Though, you have to have deep pockets for that.

9:29 - Reigning Miss USA Nana Meriwether takes the stage to talk about her family for some reason. Then she talks about the Meriwether Foundation, which helps with aid and relief around the world.

9:30 - Coming up next is the swimsuit competition. How do you know? The video of the women oiling themselves up backstage, of course.

9:35 - The Jonas Brothers take to the stage to perform, surrounded by the Top 15, all in bikinis. So this is why Nick was okay to host, it all makes sense now. They're performing the song "Pom Poms," naturally.

9:40 - The thing about the swimsuit competition, is wearing a bikini and high heels doesn't happen in the real world. The announcer points out that Miss California suffers from a skin condition. Surely, she must be stoked that's out there now.

9:43 - Is it a requirement that they each wear their wrap a different way? Someone should wear it like a cape. The announcer sharing "interesting facts" is all over the map. "She loves tropical fish," is no match for "She wants to cure sick children."

9:49 - Oregon snags an extra $1000 and the title of Miss Congeniality USA. Miss Photogenic USA goes to Utah, who gets $1000 and a weekend at Trump's fancy Vegas hotel.

9:50 - The judges are making their first cut. The Top 10 are Connecticut, South Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Illinois, Nevada, Louisiana (who gets a ton of love from the crowd), Utah, Alabama and North Carolina. No luck for California and her skin condition.

9:55 - Evidently the pageant is making use of Twitter. The Top 10 contestant who gets the most tweets will automatically move forward to the next round. So, get hashtagging.

10:00 - Time to get to know the Top 10 a bit better. Connecticut has an accountant's brain and Ohio wanted to be a quarterback as a kid. Alabama was born with a hole in her heart, so there's that.

10:05 - Time for the evening gown competition. Connecticut rocks a very shiny corset. Ohio is flowing in bright yellow, while Texas is in red and encrusted with diamonds. Louisiana has a nice white gown, with some sort of metallic harness. "Looks like she likes to take risks," says the ominous TV voice. North Carolina wraps up the competition with a lot of leg, as her skirt doesn't exactly go all the way around.

10:10 - Behind the scenes video from a hair curler commercial. This isn't blatant advertising at all.

10:16 - Time to narrow it down once again. The Top 5 are Utah, Alabama, Illinois, South Carolina and Connecticut. They'll move on to the next competition. That's not all, though. The Twitter winner moves forward as well.Texas makes the Top 5 into 6.

10:21 - The ladies now have to answer such thought-provoking questions as "How many bags did you bring?" and "How does your family crack Easter eggs?"

10:25 - Now cameras follow the girls out on the town in Vegas. They are lots of food, talked to Taylor Hicks for one reason or another, and Penn & Teller did magic. Otherwise known as a regular Vegas weekend. Minus the booze, anyway. They can't exactly show them getting hammered on the show, though.

10:30 - It's time for the "Final Question." Let's all hope for calamity. Utah answers why women don't make more money as a need for more jobs. The world needs to learn "how to create education better," it seems. Alabama has to answer a question about the government tracking cell phone calls. She's on board with big brother following us, if it leads to safety.

10:33 - Illinois things irresponsible drinking isn't about an age, and changing the legal drinking age won't change that. South Carolina doesn't think those leaking classified documents should be charged with treason. It's unclear if she knows what classified means, though. Connecticut agrees with the Supreme Court, that police should subject criminals to a DNA test after arrest. She sounded like she knew what she was talking about the most. Finally, Texas tackles the hard-hitting question about whether you should or shouldn't wear bikinis in a beauty pageant, after they were banned by Miss World.

10:42 - Now, the "Final Look" with DJ Pauly D providing the music. That hair at a beauty pageant is a strange sight. Lots of fist-pumping from Pauly, as each of the ladies gets a closeup.

10:52 - Trump is out and looking very tan. He's there to announce that Miss Universe is headed to Moscow for 2013.

10:53 - Reigning Miss USA Nana is out and ready to pass on her crown to the winner.

10:55 - After many thank yous and plugs, the winner is announced with the help is Miss Teen USA 2012. Fifth runner up goes to South Carolina, Fourth runner up is Texas. Utah takes third runner up, while second runner up is Illinois.

10:57 - The 2013 Miss USA is Connecticut, meaning Alabama takes first runner up and will fill in is Miss USA can't fulfill her duties with the crowd. Nick Jonas signs off from the show, with a mention of an after party none of you can go to.
Photo/Video credit: Getty Images