Kristen Dalton Crowned Miss USA 2009

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Kristen Dalton, Miss North Carolina, was crowned Miss USA 2009 Sunday, beating back challenges from 50 other beauty queens in the live pageant in Las Vegas.

An aspiring motivational speaker and entertainer from Wilmington, N.C., she edged the first runner-up, Miss California Carrie Prejean, and second runner-up, Miss Arizona Alicia-Monique Blanco, for the coveted beauty queen title.

"It feels really natural," said Kristen Dalton, who takes over for Miss USA 2008 Crystle Stewart, who was preceded by Rachel Smith, who succeeded Tara Conner.

"I worked so be here and this has been my lifelong dream and it's finally here. And whoever knew you could win in a turquoise gown?" Who ever knew, indeed:

Contestants from all 50 states and the District of Columbia competed in the pageant, in which they were judged by their performance in swimsuit and evening gown modeling contests and their responses to questions asked onstage.

The top 15 worked the stage in white string bikinis designed by "singer" Jessica Simpson's mom jeans swimwear line. Surprisingly, they didn't look awful!

Kristen Dalton's title comes with a year's use of a New York apartment, a PR team, a two-year scholarship at the New York Film Academy, an undisclosed salary and an insane schedule of drinking, snorting coke and girl-on-girl action.

And maybe even porn down the line. Just ask Kelli McCarty. Anyway, we wish our new Miss USA the best. Click to enlarge lots more Kristen Dalton pictures ...

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