Made-Over Beauty Queens Vie For Miss America Crown in Las Vegas

A newly made-over Miss America Pageant takes the stage in Las Vegas tonight.

The 87-year-old contest spent a four-week reality show shedding its dated look to try to cultivate modern "It girls." The fading beauty institution has struggled to find a television home since being dropped from network television in 2004.

It spent two years on Country Music Television before being picked up and revamped by TLC.

This year's reality TV infusion, "Miss America: Reality Check," was notable for taking a decidedly irreverent tone with the long-revered pageant. Style experts took shots at the contestants' hair, makeup, talent and stiff parade wave.

Among the contestants vying for the tiara this year: Miss Utah, an Army medic who served in Afghanistan; Miss Michigan, granddaughter of 1944's Miss Michigan; and Miss Iowa, a fire juggling baton twirler and entrepreneur.

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(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-01-26-08 1528EST

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