Miss USA Pageant Kicks Off in Vegas – Vote for Your Favorite

  • The Miss USA finalists
    Darren Decker/Miss Universe Organization
  • The ladies step out at Pure Nightclub in Caesar's Palace
    Patrick Prather/Miss Universe Organization
  • from left: Miss South Dakota USA 2013, Jessica Albers; Miss Connecticut USA 2013, Erin Brady; Miss Alaska USA 2013, Melissa McKinney; Miss Michigan USA 2013, Jaclyn Schultz; and Miss North Carolina USA 2013, Ashley Love-Mills
    Patrick Prather/Miss Universe Organization
  • from left: Miss Oklahoma USA 2013, Makenzie Muse; Miss Nebraska USA 2013, Ellie Lorenzen; Miss Indiana USA 2013, Emily Hart; and Miss Wisconsin USA 2013, Chrissy Zamora
    Darren Decker/Miss Universe Organization
  • Miss Texas USA 2013, Ali Nugent, signs a photo at the Fashion Show Mall in Las Vegas
    Darren Decker/Miss Universe Organization

06/12/2013 AT 04:00 PM EDT

The Miss USA pageant isn't until Sunday night, but the preliminary competition is already in full swing in Las Vegas.

Fifty-one hopefuls – representing their respective states and Washington, D.C. – have converged on the fabled Strip to be vetted by a panel of judges (including yours truly!) tasked with narrowing the field.

The prelims involve interviews as well as swimsuit and evening gown evaluations, all to help determine 15 semifinalists (including one voted in by fans) to be announced during the primetime telecast on Sunday, June 16.

Through June 15, fans can vote their favorite contestant into the semifinals, either by going to the official Miss USA Facebook page or by clicking on www.missusa.com.

Be a part of the action by checking out the preliminary competition live stream on Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET on www.missusa.com, or grab a $40 general admission ticket and sit in the audience of The PH Live at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino.

Miss USA 2012 Nana Meriwether, who took over when Olivia Culpo went on to win Miss Universe, will crown her successor at the conclusion of Sunday's two-hour telecast, hosted by E!'s Giuliana Rancic and Nick Jonas.

The final competition airs live on NBC at 9 p.m. ET with a slew of celebrity judges: Trainer Bob Harper, designer Betsey Johnson, Bravo star NeNe Leakes, Hot in Cleveland's Wendie Malick, Duck Dynasty's Jessica Robertson, football great Larry Fitzgerald, former WWE Diva Nikki Bella, correspondent Mo Rocca and singer Christina Milian.
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