Miss USA field narrowed to 16 finalists in Vegas

CRISTINA SILVA Associated Press Published:

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Beauty queens from Rhode Island, Nevada, Maryland, Ohio and Georgia are the top five finalists at the Miss USA pageant.

The annual competition opened in Las Vegas on Sunday night with a fashion show that sent the 51 contestants down the runway in sparkly gowns, bright mini-dresses and colorful hats.

The pageant at the Planet Hollywood casino on the Las Vegas Strip has three competitions: swimsuit, evening gowns and interview question. Midway through the contest, pop band Cobra Starship performed as the beauty queens modeled their string bikinis.

Miss USA 2011 Alyssa Campanella will crown her successor at the end of the night.

The winner will represent the United States at the 61st Miss Universe pageant.