Fear not, pageant lovers. The swim suit portion of the Miss USA competition is safe. Co-host Guiliana Rancic followed Miss USA owner Donald Trump’s assertion ahead of Sunday’s pageant that swim suits would continue to be a feature of the pageant.
The affirmations came after the Miss World organization (a competitor to Miss Universe, the international competition which the new Miss USA will automatically enter) announced it would remove the bikini segment out of respect for the large Muslim population of this year’s host country, Indonesia.
“Every pageant is so different,” Rancic said on a conference call. “I think for Miss USA it’s just what they have done from the beginning, it works for the Miss USA pageant.”
Rancic said she respects the decision of Miss World, though she says the contestants of Miss USA look forward to the swimsuit portion of the competition.
“They are fit and they take care of themselves, and are proud to be in a bikini,” she says. “Could I do it? No.”
On a Monday appearance on Fox and Friends Trump wasted no time reminding viewers that bikini-clad women would still be part of his show’s offerings.
“Well, I own Miss Universe, so I’m actually very happy about it—because if they don’t have bikinis their ratings go right down the tubes,” he said.
Nana Meriwether, the Sidwell Friends alum and 2012 Miss USA, will crown the 2013 winner on Sunday evening during the live telecast from Las Vegas. Meriwether placed second in the competition last June, before taking over for winner Olivia Culpo, who went on to win Miss Universe.
Rancic will co-host the pageant for the third year in a row, along with Nick Jonas of The Jonas Brothers. The band will roll out a few new songs in their live performance during the competition, which is set to air on NBC, Sunday June 16, at 9 p.m. EST.