Las Vegas - An abandoned rats' nest teetering on foreclosure is how critics of pageant coiffure have summed up some contestants' hairdos ahead of this year's Fathers Day extravaganza.
"That backcombed peroxide big hair look is still incredibly popular," celebwatch site LA FagHagSlag beauty editor Laguna Highball commented today.
"Exaggerated Kim Basinger-esque volume eclipsing magnificent dark, glossy radiance, eh? That's such a well-worn cliche.
"A pity, because pageant lighting can be unforgivingly cruel."
The release of official evening gown pics this week confirms that nearly three quarters of this year's competitors are classic fair haired beauties.
But US hairdressing industry sources reckon many are dangerously prone to the dreaded resurrection of the 1989 Mandy Smith** look immortalised during her 1989 wedding to Rolling Stone Bill Wyman.
Fortunately there are few such extremes at Miss USA this year - although the big-hair comeback has thrown up some oddities.
Pretty-as-pie Miss Maryland Allyn Rose's tousled platinum curls come top of the retro-themed look with Miss Mississippi Keeley Patterson's corkscrew beehive a close second.
But Miss Missouri Hope Driskill's madcap coiffure, Miss New York Amber Marie Collins' silken tresses and Miss Rhode Island Kate McCaughey tumbledown locks all come in for special criticism.
"They're all slightly crazy hairdressing looks that are bound to distract from otherwise pleasant facial and body features," Ms Highball added.
"Should give some of the pageant's stunning dark-haired Latinas a distinct edge over the competition!"
Glossiest among the glossies is Miss Texas Ana Rodriguez's gorgeous shiny mane.
Admirers say its refraction of harsh studio lighting projects a magnificent shimmering aura around her classic, sculpted features.
"It'll be a very close call on Sunday evening," UK beauty pageant sources claimed today, "with overall competitive levels being so extraordinarily high.
"However bookmakers' 25/1 odds for a Miss Texas triumph may yet be 'a steal' with hindsight."
The Las Vegas competition will be aired live.
**The post-anorexic teetotal vegan's former blond bombshell hairdo was famously described by her ex-husband as one of the reasons for the marriage's collapse.