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Ex-'The Amazing Race' racer Jamie Hill finishes in Miss USA Top 15


By Christopher Rocchio and Steve Rogers, 04/15/2008 

Jamie Hill made it much farther as a Miss USA 2008 semifinalist than she did as a The Amazing Race tenth-season participant.

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The 24-year-old Miss South Carolina USA 2008 was a Miss USA 2008 Top 15 semifinalist after being part of the third team eliminated from The Amazing Race's Fall 2006 tenth season with her friend Kellie Patterson

Hill failed in her bid to become a Top 10 semifinalist in the 57th annual pageant, which NBC broadcast live from the Theatre for the Performing Arts at Las Vegas' Planet Hollywood on Friday night.  Miss Texas USA 2008 Crystle Stewart was eventually crowned Miss USA 2008.

Despite her The Amazing Race "cheerleader" billing, Hill is no stranger to the pageant circuit, as she had already competed for Miss Teen South Carolina twice -- finishing as first runner-up and second runner-up -- before being cast to compete on the long-running CBS reality show with Patterson.

However the cheerleaders were the victims of incorrect directions that sent them driving off in the wrong direction at a crucial part of the second leg, causing them to be the last team to reach the tenth-season's second Pit Stop in Mongolia.

"We didn't last as long as we had hoped," Hill told her hometown Columbia Star newspaper in a pre-Miss USA 2008 competition interview. "We were the third team to be bumped from the group. But it was truly an amazing experience. I had never been out of the country, and China? Mongolia? Wow!"


Miss South Carolina USA 2008 Jamie Hill models for the judges during the 57th annual Miss USA competition (Photo credit ho/Miss Universe L.P., LLLP)
In addition to it being an "amazing experience," The Amazing Race also allowed Hill to help make some contacts in the entertainment industry and landed her a job casting for television and movies -- including reality shows.

"I work with a number of different producers," she told the Star. "Sometimes they have very specific requirements for the applicants they want to interview. When they are in the market for a Southern accent, they think of me and I search for the right applicant. Sometimes, when I am at a mall or on the street, I just look around me. I might see an interesting face or someone with a lively personality. I ask them if they would be interested in trying out for some of the reality TV shows, and then I help them plan a demo tape for an audition."

Unlike its Miss America rival, the Donald Trump-owned Miss USA pageant does not include a talent category.  The contestants are judged in three categories -- swimsuit, evening gown and interview.

This year's judging panel included former Dancing with the Stars participants Joey Fatone and Heather Mills as well as fourth-season Project Runway winner Christian Siriano.

Last fall, MTV aired Pageant Place, a Donald Trump-produced reality series that followed Miss Universe 2007 Riyo Mori, Miss USA 2007 Rachel Smith and Miss Teen USA 2006 Katie Blair -- and later Miss Teen USA 2007 Hilary Cruz -- living together in their Trump Place apartment and representing their crowns.  (Like Miss USA, the Miss Teen USA and Miss Universe pageants are also owned by Trump.)

(Photo credit CBS)


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