2016 Year in Review
17 Amazing & Shocking Moments in Pageantry
1. Genesis Davila Dethroned – Puerto Rican beauty queen Genesis Davila’s dream came true when she was crowned Miss Florida USA 2017 back in July. Davila felt like she was “dreaming on a cloud” after winning, as she described in an Instagram post. But that feeling would be very short lived and only for about a week. The pageant accused the stunning model of violating one of the regulations from
the organization. “We have a zero-tolerance policy on rules,” said Grant Gravitt, executive producer of the Miss Florida USA pageant to a Miami television station. “Whether it’s something major or minor, it’s all about keeping an equal and level playing field. Unfortunately, our title holder sought an unfair competitive advantage, and that’s just not acceptable in our system.” According to the rules all contestants are required to do their own hair and makeup and Davila allegedly used outside help. The beauty queen is now firing back and filed a $15 million defamation law suit and the right to have crown returned.
2. Miss Grand International Final Question – Indonesia’s Ariska Putri Pertiwi has already been crowned Miss Grand International 2016 at the Westgate International Theater in Las Vegas, October 25, but the reactions to the pageant’s controversial question and answer portion took forever to die down. As broadcasted live earlier through MGI’s Facebook account, with only five contestants left, all were asked, “If you had to choose one of these two people to help you stop the war and violence, who will you choose between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and why?”
Most of the crowd was in shock with the candidate’s answers. Miss Grand USA Michelle Leon surprisingly chose Trump over Clinton and received boos from the audience but didn’t allowed it to affect her answer. Leon answered, “Believe it or not, I would choose Donald Trump. Why? Because the same way that we (interrupted by boos) the same way that we are all here to change the minds of people, to share our passion of stop (sic) the war and violence is the same way I will share my passion with him. And the same power that he has to stand up for what he believes in, is how I will have him stand up for stop the war and violence and change the lives of people together.” Leon would discuss her controversial answer with People en Espanol and stood confidently by her answer stating that she wasn’t asked who she would vote for but who she would ask to help stop the war and violence.
3. Miss Teen USA Axes Swimwear – After years of alleged complaints the Miss Teen USA pageant decided to ditch swimwear in favor of active wear. Miss Teen USA, open to women aged 14 to 19, said on its website that “in a society that increasingly prioritizes feminism and equality, watching women parade across a stage in bikinis can feel outdated.”
4. Miss U.S. Supranational Alexis Sherrill – True acts of kindness do exist in pageantry. One example is Miss U.S. Supranational 2016 Alexis Sherrill. The North Carolina native went above and beyond at the international pageant in Poland by taking off her gold evening gown and giving it to Miss Suriname. Sherrill unfortunately did not make it into the finals of the international pageant and while waiting to go onstage she noticed that her fellow competitor couldn’t find her gold gown. Without a moment of hesitation Sherrill did what any beauty queen would of done, she took her gown off and gave it to Miss Suriname to wear for crowning.
5. Miss Grand International 2015 Anea Garcia Dethroned – There are two sides to this story. One version states that Rhode Island native Anea Garcia stepped down because she felt that her life was in danger and wasn’t being provided the proper security when she was asked to travel and the international director failed to fulfill his end
of the agreement. The second version states that Miss Garcia (who represented the Dominican Republic) was just too demanding and failed to fulfill her obligations as their titleholder. She also refused to give the international director any time allow to work on any of her request. Which side is true? You decide!
6. Miss Teen USA Karlie Hay – Texas native Karlie Hay was just crowned Miss Teen USA 2016 at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, Hay didn’t get to celebrate for long. Just hours after accepting her title, the newly crowned Miss Teen USA found herself in the midst of a scandal. Tweets from Hay’s Twitter account resurfaced from 2013 and 2014 in which she used the N-word and racial slurs multiple times. The 18-year-old quickly released a statement to explain herself. “Several years ago, I had many personal struggles and found myself in a place that is not representative of who I am as a person. I admit that I have used language publicly in the past which I am not proud of and that there is no excuse for,” she wrote on Instagram. “Through hard work, education and thanks in large part to the sisterhood that I have come to know through pageants, I am proud to say that I am today a better person.”
7. Finding Miss 52 – The Miss Universe Organization announced #FindingMiss52, a first-of-its-kind nationwide search for a 52nd contestant to join the 2016 MISS USA competition.The goal of #FindingMiss52 was to find one lucky woman to join the already qualified 51 contestants from all 50 states and District of Columbia onstage for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of becoming Miss USA 2016. Oklahoma native Alexandra Miller won the national search but failed to place at the national pageant. Miller placed first runner-up twice at Miss Oklahoma USA and took over the duties of Miss Oklahoma USA after the winner Olivia Jordan went on to be crowned Miss USA 2015.
8. Minnesota Teen Makes History – A Somali-American teen has made history after she wore a burkini and a hijab when participating in the semifinal of the Miss Minnesota USA pageant. Halima Aden was met with rapturous applause when she stepped out on stage in a burkini during the swimsuit segment of the contest.
9. Susan Jeske Saves the Ms. America Pageant – Ms. America CEO Susan Jeske’s worst nightmare was about to come true after a Costa Mesa production company decided to drop the deal and not fulfill their end of the agreement. The CEO was left scrambling to find a stage, runway and proper lighting after financially strapped BTB Event Productions, based in Costa Mesa, suddenly pulled out of the deal and she was told it was having its assets liquidated. Jeske, a former Ms. America, paid over $3,000 to produce the show and never received a refund. Thankfully the pageant went on as planned and the theater recommended a Lake Forest-based DJE Sound and Lighting to produce the show at double the cost.
10. Miss World Canada Anastasia Lin – The Chinese-Canadian beauty queen, actress and model won the title of Miss World Canada in 2015. Lin, an outspoken Chinese human rights activist was supposed to compete at Miss World 2015 in China, however, was refused a visa by Chinese authorities. The news of the rejection caused global media attention and even made the front page of The New York Times. One year later, Lin finally got the opportunity to represent Canada at the 2016 international event in Washington, D.C. At first the Miss World Organization tried everything to block Lin from speaking to members of the media but finally gave in when they received negative publicity.
11. Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell’s Awkward Interview – Talk about a bad day. Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell decided to be a little more open in her interview with the media gossip site Broadly. Cantrell talked about topics from making appearances and not being able to have her hair and makeup done to complaining about being a part of a 4th of July parade. She also talked about how she is looking forward to moving on with her life and focusing on her music career. Some pageant critics feel the interview was a set up and not what Cantrell actually said. Unfortunately we will never know just what really happened.
12. Miss Grand Iceland Quits Due to Body Shaming – Miss Grand Iceland 2015 Arna Ýr Jónsdóttir was told she needed to lose weight if she wanted to do well in the Miss Grand International beauty contest. According to the Iceland Monitor, a spokesperson for the competition told Jónsdóttir, 20, to “stop eating breakfast, eat just salad for lunch and drink water every evening until the contest,” and that the advice was given to her because the owner of Miss Grand International, Thai TV presenter Nawat Itsaragrisil, “likes you and wants you to do well in this contest.”
13. Miss Earth United States Corrin Stellakis – Despite a dress malfunction and an oversized crown the newly crowned Miss Earth United States Corrin Stellakis handled her crowning moment with true style and grace. The pageant, under the directorship of Laura Clark, operated smoothly with fifty amazing contestants, a simple stage and an excited audience.
14. Miss Missouri Makes History – Miss Missouri Erin O’Flaherty made history by becoming the first open lesbian to compete at Miss America. “Being able to represent Miss America as a gay woman would mean a lot to me, because I really feel a responsibility to make the LGBT community proud, and make history, and break another ceiling for a minority group,” O’Flaherty, 23, told People.
15. Mrs. International vs Same-Sex Marriage (True or False) – Writer Beth Greenfield recently wrote an article for Yahoo Beauty. In the article Ms. Greenfield made a huge allegation against the Jacksonville, FL based Mrs. International Pageant. The pageant celebrates the accomplishments of married women all over the world — but only those who are married to men. Contestants must also pledge to defend marriage as something reserved solely for a man and a woman, according to some who were blindsided by the requirement at the international pageant earlier this year.
16. Miss America Says Goodbye to National Sweetheart – The Miss America Organization has prohibited contestants and judges from taking part in the National Sweetheart Pageant, a major event in pageant circles that has produced multiple Miss America winners. A change in contracts now prohibits them from working with the event if they want to continue to be part of the Miss America Organization. The Sweetheart Pageant, based in Hoopsten, Illinois, follows Miss America rules and scoring, despite not being affiliated with the Miss America Organization, the report said. The pageant features the runners-up from various state Miss America events.
17. Former Miss USA Arrested – KTLA news anchor Lu Parker was arrested for allegedly stealing headphones which belonged to an off duty police officer and was booked for petty theft. The former beauty queen accepted an offer from the City Attorney and will participate in something called the Neighborhood Justice Program.
Photo Credit and Copyright to individual photographers. Beauty…it’s Everywhere does not own any of the above photos.