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11 surprising facts about Miss USA contestants

From living in refugee camps to having weird phobias, these contestants for Miss USA 2012 are more than just pretty faces.

The 51 women competing in Sunday night’s Miss USA pageant in Las Vegas are more than just pretty faces. These beauties are just like us, facing phobias, obstacles and sporting some hilarious quirks. Get some fun tidbits, culled from contestants’ online pageant videos, about 11 of the competitors – one of them might just win the crown and face-off for Miss Universe in December!

For Miss California, model and aspiring doctor Natalie Pack, the best way to de-stress is to jump on her hog.

“I’ve been going through so much stress in applying to medical school and studying for MCATs, there’s no better way to relieve stress like there is riding a motorcycle in the open sun, especially in California,” Pack, 23, said.

She doesn’t own a huge Harley, rather she has a Honda — “a little bike,” she explained. She lives near the scenic Pacific Coast Highway. “What better place to own a motorcycle?” said Pack, who wants to become a dermatologist.

Miss Alabama
Miss Minnesota
Miss Alaska
Miss Delaware

There’s one fear that Miss D.C. Monique Thompkins never outgrew: The 23-year-old has a fear of balloons. “When you’re blowing up a balloon, I’m nowhere around,” Thompkins said. “If you’re tying a balloon, I’m nowhere around. If you’re playing with a balloon, I try to figure out why.”

Today, Thompkins has fond memories of her childhood. Her mom had her when she was very young, so Thompkins’ father took her to live with her grandmother.

“I never really noticed that I came from a broken home,” she said. “I never thought of it that way. It was pretty normal for me.”

Miss South Carolina Erika Powell has been singing since the time she could walk.

“We would have singing time after story time at night on the couch and I would sing ‘Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed,’” said Powell, 26.

Now a singer who had her solo debut at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in 2010, she says she’d love to be seen as “the female Josh Groban.”

“If I were to define myself as a singer I would say I’m not an opera singer but a singer who’s heavily influenced by opera,” Powell said.

And with all her talents, she wishes she could do it all.

“If I could be great at one thing I would be in more than one place at one time,” Powell said. “There are tons of things I wish I could do but they all seem to happen at the exact same time so I wish I could clone myself.”

If you don’t watch out, Miss KansasGentry Miller just might bedazzle you, too.

Miller loves to craft with rhinestones and “really bedazzle anything I possible can.”

“I have phone cases covered in rhinestones,” Miller, 24, said. “My dog collar is covered in rhinestones.”

And when she graduated summa cum laude from the University of Kansas, the top of her mortar board was tricked out with a rhinestone “G.”

“Really, anything — if it doesn’t move, it’s going to be covered in rhinestones,” she joked.

Miss West Virginia
Miss Ohio
Miss Utah