Nicole Johnson Quietly Named Miss California

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The Miss California USA pageant came and went with nary a gay marriage controversy last night.

However, the winner of the 2010 crown actually does have a celebrity gossip connection: Nicole Johnson was romantically linked to Michael Phelps in October 2008.

Nicole Johnson Picture

Now, the brunette beauty from Ventura County can make news on her own. She follows Carrie Prejean as the state's title-holder, though that attention-starved author was eventually stripped of the crown.

“I think it was my presentation,” Johnson said, when asked why she won. “I was very confident on the stage, and I stood out in a red gown. I think maybe that was it.”

After the ceremony, Nicole added that she loved gay people and has never starred in a sex tape.

Last year, at the Miss USA pageant, Perez Hilton asked Prejean for her views on gay marriage. Last night, CSI's Hill Harper inquired about California's challenges as a state. Replied Johnson, profoundly:

“Focusing on what we truly believe in. Sometimes we are very divided, and I feel if we can unite and be one state and focus our beliefs in one thing, I think we can succeed and be a very dominant state.”

Seriously, folks, how stupid are beauty pageants?!? Does anything, The Bachelor included, set the women's movement back any further?