From PEOPLE Magazine Click to enlarge
Splish splash, she was takin' a bath: Wherever Ali Landry pops up, there's water involved. The 24-year-old Cajun was raised in seaside Breaux Bridge, La., the Crawfish Capital of the World, and, all grown-up in an orange one-piece swimsuit, she paddled off with the Miss USA 1996 crown. She has even done some laps on TV in—what else?—Sunset Beach, and her tidal turn took place in a laundromat.

During last January's Super Bowl, she wiped out viewers in an ad for Doritos Puffs: Two cool dudes try to impress her with their prowess at catching the chips in their mouths, but Landry, who studied tap, ballet and gymnastics for 15 years, outdoes them with a series of splits and leaps performed with a man-melting smile.

Says her commercial costar Sean P. Hayes: "We were shooting all day, and a lot of Doritos were consumed. I've never seen anyone look better with orange powder on her face."

The 5'8" Landry, who lives in L.A. and dates Phoenix Cardinals quarterback Stoney Case, still can't believe her impact. "It's absolutely crazy," she says, citing her imperfect vision ("I'm almost blind without my glasses") and her bunions (she kept her favorite tennis shoes through a growth spurt).

Even her best beauty secret is down-market. "I buy this teethbleaching stuff at Target and do it myself," she says. Her former apartment mate Brian Edwards swears it works: "When Ali smiled, I would say, 'Stop it, you're blinding me!' "