- Associated Press - Monday, August 23, 2010

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A panel of judges has narrowed the field of beauty queens competing for the Miss Universe title in Las Vegas to 15.

The final contestants Monday night were: 21-year-old Miss Puerto Rico Mariana Paola Vicente, 23-year-old Miss Ukraine Anna Poslavska, 22-year-old Miss Mexico Jimena Navarrete, 19-year-old Miss Belgium Cilou Annys, 20-year-old Miss Ireland Rozanna Purcell and 22-year-old Miss South Africa Nicole Flint.

Also chosen were 23-year-old Miss France Malika Menard, 19-year-old Miss Australia Jesinta Campbell, 24-year-old Miss Jamaica Yendi Phillipps, 18-year-old Miss Russia Irina Antonenko, 24-year-old Miss Albania Angela Martini, 23-year-old Miss Colombia Natalia Navarro, 20-year-old Miss Guatemala Jessica Scheel, 18-year-old Miss Czech Republic Jitka Valkova and 22-year-old Miss Philippines Venus Raj, 22.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

LAS VEGAS (AP) _ More than 80 beauty queens from around the globe have started their final run in hopes of being crowned the next Miss Universe.

The 83 national pageant winners from six continents took to the stage Monday night at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. They introduced themselves by wearing over-the-top costumes celebrating their homelands. They then strutted onstage in short silver and black dresses.

Just 15 contestants will to stay in the running to replace Miss Universe 2009 Stefania Fernandez after the opening number.

A panel of celebrities is judging the women on how they look in swimsuits and evening gowns, as well as how well they answer an interview question.

The winner gets a package of prizes including an undisclosed one-year salary.

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