A Year in Review
Crowning Moments of 2017
1. Miss Universe 2017 – On Sunday, November 26, South Africa’s Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters took home top honors over first runner-up Miss Colombia Laura González, second runner-up Miss Jamaica Davina Bennett, and 89 other women in Las Vegas.The 22-year-old addressed women’s issues throughout the entire competition, impressing judges with her gracious heart and vast intelligence on gender pay to self-defense. Nel-Peters is the second South African to win the title of Miss Universe since the pageant’s inception in 1956: Back in 1978, Margaret Gardiner was Miss South Africa when she won the Miss Universe crown.Her self-defense platform is rooted in personal experience: Nel-Peters herself was “hijacked and held at gunpoint” a month after winning the Miss South Africa title. This harrowing experience led her to found a self-defense campaign called Unbreakable. The campaign is all about equipping women with knowledge and skills to empower themselves so they can avoid a similar situation.
2 Miss USA 2017 – Kara McCullough, 25, from the District of Columbia, took home the coveted title on Sunday, May 14 in Las Vegas. McCullough was named the winner over first runner-up Miss New Jersey, Chhavi Verg, and second runner-up Miss Minnesota, Meridith Gould.McCullough is a nuclear scientist at the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Her win gives the District of Columbia back-to-back victories in the competition, after Deshauna Barber took home the crown last year.During the on-stage question and portion of the competition, McCullough was asked if affordable healthcare is a right or a privilege. She responded that healthcare should only go to those with jobs, and one of the country’s goals should be to create more jobs so more people have healthcare.Her response received mixed reviews from on social media.
3. Miss International 2017 – Indonesia’s Kevin Lilliana was crowned Miss International 2017 by the Philippines’ Kylie Verzosa on Tuesday, November 14th at the Tokyo Dome City Hall in Japan.This is the first Miss International title for Indonesia. Lilliana, 21, a model and Puteri Indonesia Lingkungan 2017 said in her speech that she is a believer of unity and diversity.n her acceptance speech Lilliana said, “I still can’t believe it, it’s just like a dream come true for me. I thought I wouldn’t make it! Thank you so much for Miss International Organization for giving me this opportunity. I will spread the peace and world understanding, also cultural exchange to the world. To the Miss International Organization arigatou gozaimasu. Indonesia, we did it!
4. Miss America 2018 – Cara Mund has become the first Miss America contestant in the pageant’s 96-year history to bring home a win for North Dakota. Mund, 23, won the prestigious title on Sunday, Sept 11th at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, besting 50 other contestants to take the title. The Bismarck native was accepted to Notre Dame Law School last fall, but decided to defer to try to win her state pageant. She has a bachelor’s degree in business, entrepreneurship and organizations from Brown. The victory also makes her the first modern Miss America to have won after graduating from an Ivy League university. Along with the Miss America crown, she receives a $50,000 scholarship for her win, a six-figure salary and an appearance contract with Dick Clark Productions.
5. Miss Earth United States 2017 – On July 5th, Andreia Gibau was crowned Miss Earth United States 2017. She represented the state of Massachusetts at Miss Earth United States 2017. The pageant finale was held in Washington, DC. The 22 year old beauty queen is a Cape Verdean who hails from Brockton, USA. She represented the United States at the Miss Earth pageant in the Philippines finishing in the Top 20. Gibau is not a new face in United States pageantry. She has previously won the title of Miss Teen United States 2015. Ever since then she was more passionate about entering into pageants. This year, all her hard work was worth the effort when she succeeded Corrin Stellakis is as the new Miss Earth United States.
6. America’s Miss World 2017 – on Sunday, August 13th Clarissa Bowers was crowned America’s Miss World at the Linda Chapin Theatre in Orlando, Florida. Bowers defeated twenty-seven gorgeous beauties to clinch the coveted title and the crown. The stunning 20 year old is presently studying neuroscience at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Growing up in a military family, she wants to become a reconstructive surgeon in order to help injured and scarred soldiers. She plays volleyball on a collegiate level. Her Beauty with a Purpose project is all about using baseball to encourage disabled children and adults. Bowers represented the USA with class at Miss World 2017 in Sanya, China and finished in the Top 40.
7. Miss Teen USA 2017 – Missouri’s Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff dazzled the crowd and claimed the title of Miss Teen USA 2017 on Saturday, July 29th in Phoenix, Arizona. Dominguez-Heithoff, 17, graduated from high school a year early and is pursuing a degree in political science and ethics at the University of Kansas. She plans to attend law school afterward.Dominguez-Heithoff created Community and Scholars Cooperatively, an organization that aims to make community service fun and easy for teenagers, with her peers. She also has worked with Missouri legislators to create policies that provide people with disabilities better care and resources. “It’s important to remember that as Miss Teen USA, you are a role model for the entire United State of America,” Dominguez-Heithoff said during the question-and-answer session, dressed in a periwinkle satin gown. “I would love to be the Miss Teen USA that could accept everyone, especially for their differences.”
8. Miss Supranational 2017 – On Friday, December 1st twenty-four yearold model Jenny Kim from Seoul, South Korea was crowned Miss Supranational in Krynica Zdroj in Poland. Kim is the first Korean to win the international pageant. Dressed in a beautiful silver and ivory gown, Kim beat out 64 contestants from different countries to win the title. She was crowned by last year’s winner Srinidhi Shetty of India.
9. Miss Grand United States 2017 – Texas native Taylor Kessler was crowned Miss Grand United States 2017, at Symphony Space in New York City on July 25th. “I am so honored,” Miss Kessler expressed her joy after she was crowned as the winner. Taylor Kessler has an extensive pageant experience, having participated in numerous competitions. Taylor just completed her graduation from Sam Houston State University. Just after her victory, Kessler thanked her fans for all the support by posting a picture on her Instagram account, with the caption, “I can’t believe my dreams come true, I am so extremely blessed to be the Miss Grand United States 2017! Thank you so much to everyone for your love and support I couldn’t do anything without you”.
10. Miss U.S. International 2017 – Shanel James was crowned Miss US International 2017 on June 22nd in Orlando, Florida. James was crowned by last year winner and Miss International 2016 4th runner-up Kaitryana Leinbach. James is from Baltimore, Maryland and studied Marketing at Howard University. She currently works as a Consultant at IBM Global Services.