Miss Universe 2015
Urvashi Rautela, Miss India, takes part in a pre-tape segment. Darren Decker/Miss Universe L.P., LLLP

The 2015 Miss Universe annual pageant has officially began in Las Vegas. Contestants of the beauty pageant kickstarted the contest by taking part in the first official event, a pre-taping segment in which they showcased their talents for the final show.

The 2015 Miss Universe competition, currently in its 64th edition, will be the first edition of the pageant under its new owners, WME/IMG, who acquired the Miss Universe Organization from Donald Trump in September. The annual gala will be aired live from Planet Hollywood Resort in Las Vegas on 20 December at 7pm ET (12midnight BST) on Fox.

The three-hour event will conclude with the current Miss Universe Paulina Vega of Colombia crowning her successor. A total of 80 contestants are competing for the Diamonds International Corporation (DIC) crown and the coveted title.

The DIC crown, which was unveiled last year, is estimated at $300,000 (£200,140). Weighing 411g, the crown is encrusted with 311 small polished diamonds that weigh 10.37 karats.

The contest under Trump featured three rounds of competition, including swimsuit round, evening gown and the question-and-answer session. Under the new owners, some changes in the finale are anticipated.

"Miss Universe is a unique, global media property and this partnership with FOX marks a new era for The Miss Universe Organization as a whole," said Michael Antinoro, senior vice president of IMG. "As the broadcast leader in innovative and groundbreaking live events, FOX is the perfect partner as we look to implement new and exciting changes to this show and the franchise."