The countdown for the crowning of Miss America 2013  is already well underway and the beautiful young woman set to represent the United States on this season's pageant circuit is to be unveiled at PH Live, at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

Laura Kaeppeler: 2012 Miss America Pageant Winner
Laura Kaeppeler: 2012 Miss America pageant winner

Where to Watch Live

The 92nd annual Miss America beauty pageant will beshown live on 12 January at 9pm ET (2am GMT) on ABC. Live updates will also be available from the Miss America Organisation's Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Overview

The event will be hosted by television host Chris Harrison and actress and model Brooke Burke-Charvet. The judges are fashion designer Bradley Bayou, Dancing with the Stars pro-dancer Cheryl Burke, Good Morning America weather anchor Sam Champion, former Entertainment Tonight host Mary Hart, Shark Tank entrepreneur Daymond John, Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney and Miss America 2009 Katie Stam Irk.

And of the 53 contestants, Miss Montana, Alexis Wineman, will be making history as the first autistic contestant in the Miss America beauty pageant. The 18-year-old is also the youngest competitor.

"I feel like I was given my autism for a reason, that God gave it to me for a reason," Wineman said, "to show people that a girl with a few differences is Miss America material...I grew up not knowing that."

Meanwhile, Miss Puerto Rico, Kiaraliz Medina, twisted her ankle and later fainted backstage during the competition's Question-and-Answer segment. She continued on though and appeared, sporting a pair of crutches, during the swimsuit competition.

"I'm here to make the crutches look good," she said.

The winner will be crowned by the reigning Miss America, Miss Wisconsin, Laura Kaeppeler. She will also receive a $50,000 (approximately £30,000) scholarship and be recognised as the organisation's role model and brand ambassador for the year. The winner can expect to go on tour and work to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network, the organisation's official charity.

Miss America 2013: Autistic Miss Montana Makes History [PHOTOS]