It’s the middle of a global pandemic, but for this year’s Miss USA contestants—the show must go on. Inside Edition spoke to all 51 beauty contestants from their hotel rooms as they prepared for Monday night’s big competition in Memphis, Tennessee.
The contestants are all staying in a bubble-like atmosphere to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.
“It definitely has been very weird to see everyone and not be able to hug,”Jonét Nichelle, Miss Rhode Island, told Inside Edition.
The show will be live streamed from the soundstage inside Graceland. Only 300 people will be allowed in the socially distanced audience. Several contestants are high risk, including Miss California Allyshia Gupta, whose Lyme Disease diagnosis makes her immunocompromised.
“Miss Universe organization has truly gone above and beyond with daily temperature checks, health screening, quarantining, the social distancing, the mask mandates that we’ve been abiding by, that I really haven't felt unsafe in my time here,” Gupta told Inside Edition.
The pageant is also making history with the first openly bisexual contestant, Miss Utah Rachel Slawson.
“It's definitely a lot of responsibility, because I'm speaking for a community of people that have never once had this opportunity or this voice before at Miss USA,” Slawson told Inside Edition.
Now the 51 contestants are ready to mask up and complete for the Miss USA crown.