Miss USA prelims begin day after new hosts named

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Miss USA pageant officially kicks off the competitive phase with the preliminary rounds Wednesday.

Contestants have been touring Baton Rouge all week, trying out the food and culture of south Louisiana. It's been all fun and games up to this point, but now, the ladies get focused on the competition. Preliminary rounds include interview, beauty, evening gowns and swimsuits. Those competitions will not be televised.

Three new hosts were named Tuesday for the pageant. Todd Newton announced on his Twitter account that he would be co-hosting the pageant with Alex Wehrley. Julie Alexandria will be handling the backstage coverage.

The pageant, which is being held Sunday night at the Baton Rouge River Center, will air on Reelz channel after it was dropped by NBC and Univision. The network came to the event's aid on July 2.

The original hosts of the pageant pulled out of the show following comments pageant co-owner Donald Trump made about Mexican immigrants. Several judges and acts have also pulled out of the show.

A new Miss USA will be crowned live Sunday night.

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