The Asian community came together last night at the Inaugural Miss Asian Las Vegas Pageant hosted at The New Tropicana Las Vegas. Several celebrities and VIPs attended including BMX star Ricardo Laguna, Patrick Lee who co-founded Rotten Tomatoes, Chris Phillips and Lydia Ansel of Zowie Bowie, magician Seth Grabel from America’s Got Talent, Maren Wade from Vegas! The Show, Tropicana headliner Murray Sawchuck, and award-winning actor Hector Bustamante, who hosted alongside local anchor Patranya Bhoolsuwan. Councilwoman Geri Schroder, Judge Cheryl Moss and Senator Ruben Kihuen also came to support the show, which opened with a beautiful cultural display of costumes as the delegates introduced themselves. The ladies then showed off their swimwear before dazzling the audience in their evening gowns.

As the contestants retreated backstage for another costume change, founder Annie Chang shared the impact that pageants had on her as a young woman. “Pageants inspired me to be more than I thought I could be and taught me about myself and my culture,” said Chang. She then thanked all the people who supported her in creating Miss Asian Las Vegas including her sponsor, Mikimoto.

The audience was then treated to a video of the delegates and laughter rang throughout the theater as the ladies shared what kind of animal they would be, if they had ever received a ticket while driving, if they had a favorite reality show, and their choice between eyes and smiles. The delegates then shared their platforms, which ranged from recycling to breast cancer awareness. Afterward, the top five delegates where announced; Connie Tsang, Elisa Chan, Mira Chen, Catherine Ho and Alexandra Drechsler. The last portion of the pageant was questions from the judges and the ladies were asked to randomly choose a card, which decided which question they would be asked. All the ladies demonstrated poise and confidence as they answered a variety of questions such as their opinion on cosmetic surgery and its impact on women.

Performer Jenny Cheng entertained the audience by singing “A Whole New World” and “Con Te Partiro” before the delegates were brought back on stage to hear the final results. Everyone waited with eager anticipation as each title was awarded; third place went to Connie Tsang, second to Alexandra Drechsler, first runner up was Elisa Chan and Catherine Ho was finally announced as the first Miss Asian Las Vegas. The crowd cheered as Catherine was crowned, given her sash and took her first walk.

As part of her title, Catherine also received a $10,000 scholarship, $3,500 from Mikimoto, and will go on to compete in Miss Asian Global in San Francisco.

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