Miss North Carolina USA Kristen Dalton was crowned Miss USA 2009 on Sunday, beating out 50 other beauty queens in the live pageant televised from Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
But her runner up, Miss California Carrie Prejean, of San Diego, shocked the audience when she answered a question about legalising same-sex marriage. The tall blonde stumbled some before giving an answer that appeared to please the pageant audience.
"We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage," Prejean said. "And you know what, I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offence to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised."
Miss Wyoming USA Cynthia Pate, of Casper, Wyo., was voted Miss Congeniality by her fellow contestants. Jessi Pierson, of Milton, W.Va., was voted Miss Photogenic through an online contest on the Miss Universe Web site.