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Miss Universe Organization

THE 2015 MISS USA® PAGEANT
BRINGS THE HEAT BACK TO BATON ROUGE

SUNDAY, JULY 12 ON NBC (8-11 P.M. ET) LIVE FROM
THE BATON ROUGE RIVER CENTER IN LOUISIANA

Miss New York America Kira Kazantsev

NBC, Donald J. Trump and Paula M. Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization, announced today that the 2015 MISS USA® Pageant will take place in Baton Rouge, La. After the success of last year’s telecast, the MISS USA pageant returns to air LIVE from The Baton Rouge River Center Sunday, July 12 (8-11 p.m. ET) on NBC.

“The 2014 MISS USA® Pageant delivered an unprecedented amount of national and international exposure for Baton Rouge, taking its reputation for tourism and business opportunities beyond the local level,” says Trump. “This year’s pageant will be no different. Continuing our partnership guarantees another sold-out show that will provide Louisiana’s capital with another three hours of primetime television coverage,” adds Trump.

“There is always a genuine feeling of true hospitality when visiting Baton Rouge,” says Shugart. “We have created an incredible partnership with the city, and are honored to have the responsibility of sharing what their community has to offer through our worldwide telecasts,” adds Shugart. “Baton Rouge was recently named one of the Top 10 Happiest Cities in America by the National Bureau of Economic Research, which is no surprise to us. We truly cannot wait to go back.”

The Miss Universe Organization will return to the “Capital City” to produce the 2015 MISS USA® Pageant after the tremendous results from last summer. The 2014 MISS USA® broadcast and its events leading up to the show placed Baton Rouge on a world stage, bringing the city unparalleled exposure which vastly increased web traffic and created countless mentions in news and social media. The telecast shared the best of Louisiana’s vibrant culture and featured its lively music scene, unique food and proud people. On the night of last year’s pageant, hotels showed their largest surge in revenue, with an increase of 25 percent from the same day in 2013. Furthermore, it was reported by local news to be a “tourism victory.”

“Last year’s pageant was great exposure for Louisiana. We showed off Louisiana’s unique culture, abundant leisure opportunities and delicious seafood,” Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne said. “We are excited to have the Miss Universe Organization back in 2015 to share our one-of-a-kind hospitality with the contestants and the pageant’s millions of television viewers.”

Mayor-President Melvin L. “Kip” Holden said, “There are so many things about the return of MISS USA to Baton Rouge that are unprecedented, but one of the most memorable from last year which we will again see was the fantastic exposure it gave Baton Rouge and Louisiana as a great tourism destination. There was a national social media buzz about this event all week as the contestants made local appearances. I’m going to predict this year will be even better now that everyone has seen how much entertainment MISS USA brings to Baton Rouge.

“We are elated that the pageant is returning to Baton Rouge. Visitors, contestants and the nation alike saw the uniqueness of Baton Rouge’s attractions, food and culture last year,” said Paul Arrigo, president and CEO of Visit Baton Rouge. “With so much more to see and do in Baton Rouge, we cannot wait to showcase everything else our great city has to offer.”

L’Auberge Baton Rouge Casino & Hotel will host the Miss USA contestants leading up to the pageant. “We are very excited to once again be the host hotel for the MISS USA event,” says Mickey Parenton, Senior Vice President and General Manager, L’Auberge Baton Rouge Casino & Hotel. The Miss Universe organization, contestants and staff were tremendous to work with and we look forward to sharing our South Louisiana hospitality with them yet again.”

The Miss Universe Organization will bring on IMG as executive producers of this year’s MISS USA pageant. Recognized as a global leader in sports, fashion and media, the IMG team most recently produced the 63rd Annual MISS UNIVERSE® Pageant in January. The 2015 MISS USA® Pageant will feature contestants from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Contestants will be judged in three categories: swimsuit, evening gown and interview. The show concludes with one contestant ultimately being crowned Miss USA 2015.

Last year’s telecast concluded with Nia Sanchez, Miss Nevada USA, being crowned Miss USA 2014. The MISS USA telecast now reaches approximately 70 countries and territories. For more information, visit www.missusa.com.

 

[updated 04/15/15]

 

Miss America Organization

The Miss America Organization Announces
New Leadership Team: Sam Haskell
Elevated to Executive Chairman

The Miss America Organization announced its new leadership team and the exit of Miss America President Sharon Pearce. Pearce, a nine year veteran of the Miss America Organization was made President of MAO in June 2013, and informed Chairman and CEO Sam Haskell of her desires to resign after the September 2014 Competition to spend more time with her family. Said Haskell in a prepared statement, "Sharon has provided a great service to our organization. Her support of me, the staff, and thousands of young women coast to coast will never be forgotten. We thank Sharon, and we wish her great success in all of her future endeavors."

"I have been so proud to be part of this incredible organization since 2006 and have had the pleasure of working alongside our Chairman, the Board of Directors as well as our wonderful volunteers across the country and our National Staff. I wish the organization continued success as they prepare to celebrate their 95th anniversary this September," said Pearce.

Sam Haskell was elevated to the position of Executive Chairman of the Miss America Organization and will assume Pearce's responsibilities and maintain his role as CEO.

Lynn Hackerman Weidner has been unanimously ratified to become Chairwoman of the Board. A Former Miss New Jersey, Weidner is the first former Miss America Contestant to hold the position. Weidner was quoted in a prepared statement, "I am humbled and honored to be of service to such a historic organization in it's 95th year. I am proud to stand with Sam Haskell and my esteemed colleagues to take Miss America to even greater heights."

 

[updated 03/02/15]

 

Miss Universe Pageant

Miss Universe 2014 is
Miss Colombia - Paulina Vega

Miss Universe 2014 Paulina Vega

The 63rd annual Miss Universe pageant was held on January 25, 2015 in Doral-Miami at the FIU Arena. Paulina Vega, a 22-year-old student of business administration from Barranquilla, Colombia, beat out first runner-up Miss USA Nia Sanchez and contestants from more than 80 other countries to be crowned Miss Universe 2014.

"It will be a dream come true to represent the woman of today," Paulina said earlier during the week's preliminary competitions. "A woman that not only cares about being beautiful and being glamorous, but also cares about being a professional, intelligent, hard-working person."

Miss Universe 2014:

Colombia – Paulina Vega

1st Runner-Up: USA – Nia Sanchez
2nd Runner-Up: Ukraine – Diana Harkusha
3rd Runner-Up: Netherlands – Yasmin Verheijen
4th Runner-Up: Jamaica – Kaci Fennell

Top 10:

Argentina – Valentina Ferrer
Australia – Tegan Martin
Philippines – Mary Jean Lastimosa
Spain – Desirée Cordero Ferrer
Venezuela – Migbelis Castellanos

Top 15:

Brazil – Melissa Gurgel
France – Camille Cerf
India – Noyonita Lodh
Indonesia – Elvira Devinamira
Italy – Valentina Bonariva

[updated 01/26/15]

 

Miss Teen USA

FORMER MISS TEEN USA,
SHELLEY HENNIG STARS IN “OUIJA”

 

Shelley Hennig stars in Ouija

Miss Teen USA 2004, Shelley Hennig plays Debbie in the new film “Ouija”. Shelley Hennig was featured on the cover of the Fall 2008 edition of Pageantry magazine.

In Ouija, a group of friends must confront their most terrifying fears when they awaken the dark powers of an ancient spirit board. Stiles White directs the supernatural thriller that is produced by Platinum Dunes partners Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form (The Purge, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th) alongside Blumhouse Productions' Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity and Insidious series, The Purge), and Bennett Schneir (Battleship).

Spoiler Alert:

In the way of all horror movies, poor Debbie meets a terrible fate.

 

[updated 11/13/14]

 

Miss Universe Organization

THE 63RD ANNUAL MISS UNIVERSE PAGEANT
TO BE HELD IN DORAL-MIAMI
AT FIU ON JANUARY 25 AT 8/7C ON NBC

 

NBC, Donald J. Trump and Paula M. Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization, announced that the 63rd annual MISS UNIVERSE® Pageant will take place in Doral-Miami, Florida and air live from Florida International University on NBC, Sunday, Jan. 25 (8-11 p.m. ET) with simulcast in Spanish on Telemundo.

 

[updated 10/03/14]

 

Miss America Pageant

THREEPEAT!!
Miss New York America Kira Kazantsev
Crowned in Atlantic City

Miss New York America Kira Kazantsev

 

Miss New York Kira Kazantsev was crowned Miss America 2015 tonight at the birthplace of the legendary competition in Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall. The Miss America Finals were broadcast live on ABC.

Kira's acceptance of the highly-prized crown is just the beginning of a journey that will take her to every corner of the nation during her year of service as Miss America 2015. She will embark on her national speaking tour about her platform, Love Shouldn't Hurt: Protecting Women Against Domestic Violence and act as the official National Goodwill Ambassador for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children's hospitals, is the national platform partner of the Miss America Organization.

Kira is a graduate of Hofstra University. During her year as Miss America she will serve as spokesperson for education as she travels to Washington, D.C., to work with the Department of Education. Along with the coveted title of Miss America 2015, Kira won a $50,000 scholarship provided in part by Joseph Ribkoff Inc. and the Miss America Organization to continue her education. For the talent portion of the competition, Kira performed a vocal performance of the song "Happy".

First runner-up in the competition was Miss Virginia Courtney Paige Garrett who earned a $25,000 scholarship. Her talent was a classical vocal performance, and her personal platform is Defying Disabilities. Second runner-up honors and a $20,000 scholarship were awarded to Miss Arkansas Ashton Jo Campbell. Her talent was a vocal performance, and her personal platform is Aim Higher: Setting Our Sights on Higher Education.

Miss Idaho Sierra Sandison was the winner of ABC's America's Choice, an online competition where viewers were given the opportunity to vote for their favorite Miss America contestant. The announcement was made at the beginning of the Miss America broadcast, and Sierra became the 15th finalist to compete in the live finale. Miss North Dakota Jacky Arness was the winner of the Judge's Choice Award, an on-air, surprise opportunity for the judges to jointly select an additional contestant to compete among the finalists. Jacky also won the coveted Miss Congeniality Award, which was awarded live for the first time on national television during the pre-show.

The winners of $5,000 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Scholarships are: Miss New Mexico Jessica Burson, Miss Vermont Lucy Edwards, Miss Ohio Mackenzie Bart, Miss Massachusetts Lauren Kuhn, and Miss Georgia Maggie Bridges.

As the world's largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women and one of the nation's leading achievement programs, the Miss America Organization made available last year more than $45 million in scholarship assistance. The Miss America Organization provides young women with a vehicle to further their personal and professional goals and instills a spirit of community service through a variety of nationwide community-based programs.

The 94th Miss America Competition was hosted by Chris Harrison and Lara Spencer. The 53 contestants, who represented all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, participated in preliminary competitions earlier in the week.

 

TOP 16

Connecticut – Acacia Courtney
Idaho – Sierra Sandison [America's Choice]
North Dakota – Jacky Arness [Judges Choice]
Texas – Monique Evans
Iowa – Alyson Lou Olson
Kentucky – Ramsey Carpenter
Alabama – Caitlin Brunell
Mississippi – Jasmine Murray
Ohio – Mackenzie Victoria Bart
Oklahoma – Alexandra Eppler
Tennessee – Hayley Lewis

4th runner-up
Masschusetts – Lauren Kuhn

3rd runner-up
Florida – Victoria Cowen

2nd runner-up
Arkansas – Ashton Campbell

1st runner-up
Virginia – Courtney Paige Garrett

Miss America 2015
New York – Kira Kazantsev

 

[updated 09/15/14]

 

Miss Teen USA Pageant

Miss South Carolina K. Lee Graham
Crowned Miss Teen USA 2014

Miss Teen USA K. Lee Graham is Crowned

Miss Teen USA 2014 was the 32nd Miss Teen USA pageant. Held at the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in Nassau, Bahamas, Cassidy Wolf crowned her successor, K. Lee Graham of South Carolina.

K. Lee is actually short for Katherine Lee. When she was born, her one-year-old sis had trouble pronouncing the brunette's name, so she simply called her "K." The nickname stuck with her ever since.

K. Lee hopes to encourage other girls to find true beauty on the inside with her blog, Live Beautifully. "[My blog] has become an outlet for me to address and express some of my opinions about issues regarding body image, self-esteem and personal identity that young adults are challenged with every day," she wrote.

TOP 15

Arizona - Savannah Wix
Delaware - Mia Jones
Indiana - Zoe Parker
Massachusetts - Bailey Medeiros
Michigan - Iris Robare
Oklahoma - Brooklynne Bond
Tennessee - Morgan Moseley
Texas - Kellie Stewart
West Virginia - Lexsey Marrara
Wisconsin - Patience Vallier

4th runner-up
New Jersey - Valentina Sanchez

3rd runner-up
California - Bianca Vierra

2nd runner-up
Pennsylvania - Sydney Robertson

1st runner-up
Mississippi - Vaeda Mann

Miss Teen USA 2014
South Carolina - K. Lee Graham

 

[updated 08/03/14]

 

Miss America's Outstanding Teen Pageant

Miss America's Outstanding Teen 2015 is
Olivia McMillan of Georgia

Miss America's Outstanding Teen 2015 - Olivia McMillan

Miss Florida's Outstanding Teen, Olivia McMillan was crowned Miss America's Outstanding Teen 2015 in the Linda Chapin Theater at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

Olivia’s triumphant walk across the stage was just the beginning of a journey that will take her all of the country during her year of service as Miss America’s Outstanding Teen 2015. She will travel speaking to audiences about her platform “The Sibling Support Project” and acting as the official National Teen Goodwill Ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children’s hospitals. CMNH is the national platform partner of the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Organization.

Olivia is a 17-year-old student at Northside High School. She is the daughter of Greg and Tracy McMillan and resides in Centerville, Georgia.

Along with the title of Miss America’s Outstanding Teen 2015, Olivia won a $25,000 scholarship provided by the Harris Rosen Foundation and Neutraderm towards her college education. For the talent portion of the competition, Olivia sang “Nessun Dorma.”

The first runner-up was Miss Tennessee’s Outstanding Teen, Lexie Perry who earned a $10,000 scholarship. Her talent performance was fiddle and her personal platform is “Hear Me Out.”

Second runner-up honors and a $7,500 scholarship were awarded to Miss Alabama’s Outstanding Teen, Morgan Green. Her talent was a vocal and her personal platform is “Literacy: Pathway to Prosperity.”

Third runner-up and the winner of a $5,000 scholarship was Miss Virginia’s Outstanding Teen, Casey Shepard. Her talent was a Ballet en Pointe and her personal platform is “E.N.D.D. Embracing Not Defining Disabilities.”

The fourth runner-up and recipient of a $2,500 scholarship was Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen, Morgan Holen. Her talent was a lyrical dance and her platform is “Random Acts of Kindness.”

Miss North Dakota’s Outstanding Teen, Raghen Lucy, and Miss Virgin Island’s Outstanding Teen, Cereyna Bougouneau, were the winners of America’s Choice, an online competition where viewers were given the opportunity to vote for their favorite Miss America’s Outstanding Teen contestant. The announcement was made at the beginning of the show and they became the 1st and 2nd Semi-Finalists to compete in the finale.

 

[updated 08/02/14]

 

Miss USA Pageant

The New Miss USA 2014 is
Miss Nevada - Nia Sanchez

Miss USA 2014 Nia Sanchez

The Miss USA 2014 pageant was the system's 63rd event, held in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at the Baton Rouge River Center. The stellar broadcast was one hour longer than usual, and gave viewers the opportunity to get to know some of the contestants in their home state in snippets and video vignettes during their introductions.

Outgoing titleholder, Miss USA 2013 Erin Brady of Connecticut, crowned her successor after the 51 state delegates [including the District of Columbia] competed for the prestigious title, televised live on NBC.

TOP 20:

Alabama - Jesica Warren Alhberg
Arizona - Jordan Wessel
Indiana - Mekayla Diehl
Minnesota - Haley O'Brien
Nebraska - Amanda Soltero
New Jersey - Emily Shah
Oklahoma - Brooklynne Young
Pennsylvania - Valerie Gatto
Tennessee - Kristy Landers Niedenfuer
Virginia - Arielle Rosmarino

TOP 10:

California - Cassandra Kunze [Miss Photogenic]
Maryland - Taylor Burton
South Carolina - Christina Zapolski
Wisconsin - Bishara Dorre

TOP 6:

Florida - Brittany Oldehoff
Georgia - Tiana Griggs
Iowa - Carlyn Bradarich
Louisiana - Brittany Guidry
Nevada - Nia Sanchez
North Dakota - Audra Mari

FINALISTS:

WINNER USA Nevada - Nia Sanchez
1st runner-up North Dakota - Audra Mari
2nd runner-up Georgia - Tiana Griggs
3rd runner-up Louisiana - Brittany Guidry
4th runner-up Florida - Brittany Oldehoff
5th runner-up Iowa - Carlyn Bradarich

Miss Nevada Nia Sanchez is a fourth-degree black belt in the Korean martial art of taekwondo, and will go on to represent the U.S. at the Miss Universe competition later this year.

[updated 06/08/14]

 

Miss Teen USA

CBS SPORTS ADDS ALLIE LAFORCE TO COLLEGE FOOTBALL BROADCAST TEAM

Allie LaForce heads to CBS Broadcast team for college football

Allie LaForce Joins as Lead College Football Reporter

CBS Sports has added Adam Zucker and Allie LaForce to its college football broadcast team. Zucker has been named host of COLLEGE FOOTBALL TODAY, the Network’s pre-game, halftime and post-game studio show. LaForce joins as lead college football reporter, teaming with Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson on the "SEC Game of the Week.” The announcement was made today by Sean McManus, Chairman, CBS Sports.

“Both Adam and Allie represent the next, great generation of sports broadcasters,” said McManus. “We are extremely excited about the future of our college football coverage from the studio to the sidelines, and look for both to contribute to its continued and storied success.”

Miss Teen USA 2005, Allie, joins as lead college football reporter working with Lundquist and Danielson calling the "SEC Game of the Week” as well as the Army-Navy game. LaForce joined CBS Sports in 2012. She currently hosts the late night show LEAD OFF on CBS Sports Network and serves as a college basketball sideline reporter, including working the NCAA Tournament the last two years. LaForce also was part of CBS Sports Network’s NFL pre-game studio show, THAT OTHER PREGAME SHOW, last year.

 

[updated 5/27/14]

 

Miss America Organization

American Team-Up

Miss America, Nina Davuluri is teaming up with Tony Bowls

The Miss America Organization and renowned designer Tony Bowls have entered into a partnership to have Tony Bowls/Mon Cheri as the Official Evening Gown Sponsor of Miss America.

Tony Bowls’ groundbreaking designs will showcase the 53 beautiful Miss America contestants and captivate the attention of millions of viewers. The Tony Bowls Collection will make its debut on the Miss America stage during this year’s competition at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. The Miss America Pageant will be broadcast live on ABC Sunday, September 14th at 9 pm.

 

[updated 5/22/14]

 

Miss Universe Organization

The 2014 Miss USA Pageant will be hosted in
Baton Rouge, Louisianna, on June 8th

Miss New York, Nina Davuluri is crowned Miss America 2014

The Miss USA competition is headed to the birthplace of pageants and Pageantry magazine this year.

As revealed on the Today Show by Donald Trump, the owner of the Miss Universe Organization, this year's contest will be held in Baton Rouge, La., on June 8th. The contest will air on NBC from 8-11 p.m. ET.

“We developed strong ties with Mayor Holden and everyone in the Baton Rouge community when they hosted the Miss Teen USA pageant in 2005, and we anticipated coming back the following year,'' Trump said in a news release.

But the pageant couldn't return in 2006 due to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, "when the population doubled overnight due to people in damaged areas seeking safety and shelter,” Miss Universe Organization president Paula Shugart said in the release. “The sense of community that Baton Rouge has is incredibly inspiring and the hospitality shown to us while we were there was second to none. I am looking forward to bringing an event back to Baton Rouge to experience the charm of the Capital City.”

The competition will feature contestants from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, who will be judged in the categories of swimsuit, evening gown and interview.

"It is an honor to host the Miss USA pageant in Louisiana," Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne said in a statement. "It is an incredible opportunity for Baton Rouge to shine on a national stage and I expect the delegates will enjoy our unique culture and joie de vivre."

 

[updated 3/13/14]

 

Miss America Organization

Miss America Pageant broadcast live on ABC
Sunday, Sept. 14th at 9 pm

Miss New York, Nina Davuluri is crowned Miss America 2014

Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri joined Sam Haskell, CEO of the Miss America Organization, newly-elected Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian, Casino Reinvestment Development Authority Executive Director John Palmieri, Atlantic City Alliance President Liza Cartmell, and Miss America Organization President Sharon Pearce at the Atlantic City Sheraton to announce the date for the Miss America pageant and events leading up to the crowning later this year.

The Miss America Pageant will be broadcast live on ABC Sunday, September 14th at 9 pm. The iconic "Show Us Your Shoes Parade" will be held on the Atlantic City Boardwalk on Saturday, September 13th. Miss America week will begin with preliminary competitions will be held Tuesday, September 9th through Thursday September 11th at Boardwalk Hall.

Tickets will go on sale this spring. Visit www.missamerica.org for more information.

 

[updated 1/23/14]

 

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