2015 MISS USA® Pageant Judges Include Former Miss Universe and Miss USA Winners

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Pageant Airs Live on REELZ Sunday, July 12 at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT

Friday, July 10, 2015— REELZ today announced the panel of nine telecast judges for the 2015 MISS USA® Pageant are all former titleholders of the Miss Universe Organization. The announcement comes on the heels of the news that Emmy Award-winning host Todd Newton and former Miss Wisconsin USA 2009 Alex Wehrley will co-host the 2015 MISS USA® Pageant, which airs live on REELZ Sunday, July 12 at 8 p.m. ET and 5 p.m. PT. Country music star and former “The Voice” contestant Adley Stump will perform as guest vocalist with a live in-house band. Music mogul Master P and his daughter Cymphonique– stars of the upcoming REELZ series “Master P’s Family Empire”– will make special guest appearances with backstage host OK! TV’s Julie Alexandria during the live telecast.
 
The Panel of Judges Includes:
 
Nana Meriwether – In addition to holding the Miss USA 2012 title, Meriwether is a two-time All-American athlete. She captained UCLA volleyball to the semi-finals and broke three NCAA records in the process. She graduated from UCLA with highest honors and a degree in political science, going on to complete postgraduate pre-med studies at USC. Meriwether was born in South Africa where she grew up in rural villages while her father was a medical missionary. She is the co-founder of the non-profit Meriwether Foundation, which serves the most impoverished sectors in five southern African nations. Meriwether currently lives in New York City where she works at Harper’s Bazaar magazine.
 
Leila Umenyiora – In 2011, Umenyiora (formerly Lopes) became the first woman from Angola to win the Miss Universe crown. Umenyiora used her title to champion HIV/AIDS prevention and works with organizations such as Youth AIDS/PSI, Latino Commission on AIDS, and Gay Men’s Health Crisis, among others. She was named the Drylands Ambassador by the United Nation Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in an effort to combat land degradation – an issue that affects not only her country but the entire continent of Africa.

Rima Fakih – Crowned Miss USA 2010, Fakih became the first Muslim woman to ever win the title. Born in Lebanon, she immigrated to America in 1993. Following her reign, Fakih was named one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Arab Women, ambassador of the Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and honored by the American Task Force of Lebanon. Notable moments include presenting at Ronald Reagan’s Centennial Celebration and attending the American Chamber of Commerce conference alongside former President Bill Clinton. Rima recently returned to the United States after a successful run competing in the Lebanese edition of “Dancing with the Stars.”
 
Crystle Stewart – As Miss Texas USA, Stewart won the title of Miss USA in 2008 and was a spokesperson for breast and ovarian cancer education, research, legislation and early detection. Stewart donates her time to Best Buddies, an organization that pairs mentally challenged children and adults with a friend. Stewart currently stars in the Tyler Perry sitcom “For Better or Worse” on OWN.
Danielle Doty – After winning Miss Texas Teen USA, Doty won the title of Miss Teen USA 2011. She has made guest appearances at notable events such as Glamour’s Women Of The Year Awards and The People’s Choice Awards, in addition to her work with the USO. Most recently Doty appeared as a host for FOX Sports Southwest and the nationally televised show, “Girls on the Go” Driven by FORD.

Tara Conner – Conner won Miss USA in 2006 and became the first woman from Kentucky to win the title. After a very public struggle with her own addiction, Conner has become an advocate and works to raise awareness that addiction is a disease and many people go on to lead a healthy, productive life in recovery. In addition to her advocacy work, Conner is a television host, singer/songwriter, actress and model.
 
Kimberly Pressler – Since winning Miss USA in 1999, Pressler has appeared on television screens across the globe as a sports reporter and host for networks such as FOX Sports, ABC, MTV and Red Bull Media, covering everything from X Games to the ACIS Fitness National Championship. Currently, Pressler is in her sixth season as lane-side reporter for ESPN on the PBA Tour. Brook Lee – Lee is the only native Hawaiian to win both Miss USA and Miss Universe titles. After winning Miss Universe in 1997, Lee made several appearances in television before becoming a host for ESPN’s “Hawaii Sports Adventure” and E!’s “Behind the Scenes Look at Miss Universe.” Brook is also a tech ambassador for MommyLovesTech.com.

Michelle McLean-Bailey – International TV personality, motivational speaker, entrepreneur and philanthropist, McLean-Bailey won Miss Universe at 19 for Namibia in 1992. Among her many philanthropic efforts, she established the Michelle McLean Children Trust, now in its 24th year, to raise funds for education of underprivileged children in Namibia. She has worked with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt on a variety of charitable projects. McLean-Bailey has also been an ambassador for UNICEF and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. As a globally recognized motivational speaker on the topic of “Success Under Pressure,” she aspires to be an agent of positive change in people’s lives around the world.

Special Guests for Live Backstage Coverage:  Master P – Self-made hip-hop mogul, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Master P is a driven businessman who presides over a diversified business empire. Most of all, he is a loving father who guides his children to succeed. Master P stars in the upcoming REELZ original series “Master P’s Family Empire” alongside his daughter Cymphonique.
 
Cymphonique – Actress, singer, dancer and writer, Cymphonique is one of Hollywood's biggest teen phenomena. She is an R&B, pop and hip-hop artist and recently created a book series called "Fabulous Girls" to empower young girls. Cymphonique founded Fabulous Girls Charity to help bring awareness to kids with cancer and a performing arts school with the Let The Kids Grow Foundation.
 
WHERE TO WATCH THE 2015 MISS USA® PAGEANT:
Viewers can catch the excitement and the action of the 2015 MISS USA® Pageant on REELZ, which reaches 70 million homes on DIRECTV channel 238, DISH Network channel 299, Verizon FiOS TV channel 233, Time Warner Cable channel 128, AT&T U-verse channels 799/1799HD and cable systems nationwide. Find REELZ in your area by visiting http://www.reelz.com. REELZ is a High-Definition network and if it is not available, or not in HD, on your cable or telco provider, we encourage viewers to call them and ask for it.

About REELZCHANNEL—Hollywood Happens Here™
REELZ is a leading independent cable and satellite general entertainment network, connecting its viewers across America with the magic, wonder and excitement of Hollywood wherever it happens. The network is home to cutting-edge factual entertainment and reality programs, compelling television events, miniseries, movies and series featuring big stories and big stars. Programming ranges from the critically acclaimed and award-winning The Kennedys to Hollywood Hillbillies, Beverly Hills Pawn, Branson Taxi, Autopsy: The Last Hours Of…, Celebrity Legacies, OK! TV, Hollywood Scandals, the upcoming series Master P’s Family Empire and miniseries The Kennedys: After Camelot and much more that connects directly to the world of entertainment. REELZ also showcases top movie and entertainment expert Leonard Maltin who provides specific on-air recommendations for movies viewers can watch at home.
 
Owned by Hubbard Media Group, REELZ is headquartered in Albuquerque, NM with national ad sales based in New York City with offices in Boston and Chicago. As one of the last truly independent television networks remaining in today’s media landscape REELZ has created the Independence Happens Here™ website to help keep free thought and innovation alive by highlighting the importance of independent businesses. The website can be found at http://IndependenceHappensHere.com.

For more information, please contact the REELZ Media Line
877- REELZTV (733-5988) / pr(at)reelz(dot)com

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Rachel Bass
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