Miss USA 1981
Kim Seelbrede, Miss USA 1981
DateMay 21, 1981
PresentersBob Barker
VenueGulf Coast Convention Center, Biloxi, Mississippi
BroadcasterCBS
Entrants50
Placements12
WinnerKim Seelbrede
Ohio
CongenialityCynthia Kerby
California
PhotogenicCynthia Kerby
California
← 1980
1982 →

Miss USA 1981 was the 30th Miss USA pageant, held at the Gulf Coast Convention Center in Biloxi, Mississippi on May 21, 1981.

At the end of the event, Jineane Ford of Arizona crowned Kim Seelbrede of Ohio as Miss USA 1981.[1] It is the second victory of Ohio in the pageant's history. Seelbrede later competed at Miss Universe and was named one of the twelve semi-finalists.

This year also marked the first year since 1957 that a runner-up of Miss USA was sent to Miss World. Holli Dennis, the first runner-up from Indiana, was supposed to compete at Miss World, but chose to marry instead. Due to this, Lisa Moss, the second runner-up from Louisiana, was appointed as the representative of the United States to Miss World. Moss later competed at Miss World and was named one of the seven finalists.

Contestants from forty-nine states and the District of Columbia competed in the pageant. The competition was hosted by Bob Barker.

Results

Placements

Placement Contestant
Miss USA 1981
1st runner-up
2nd runner-up
3rd runner-up
4th runner-up
Top 12

Pageant

Format

Same with 1971, twelve semi-finalists were chosen through the preliminary competition— composed of the swimsuit and evening gown competitions and closed-door interviews. The twelve semi-finalists competed in the evening gown and swimsuit competitions and were narrowed down to five afterward. The five finalists competed in the question and answer round and the final look.[2]

Selection committee

Final telecast

Contestants

Fifty contestants competed for the title.[3][4]

State Contestant Age[a] Hometown Notes
Alabama JoAnne Henderson[5] 21 Tuscaloosa
Alaska Shelley Brunaugh[3] 18 Fairbanks
Arizona Cassie Hill[6] 23 Phoenix
Arkansas Lynnanne Derryberry[7] 18 Jerusalem
California Cynthia Kerby[8] 18 Westlake Village
Colorado Shannon Davidson[3] 19 Boulder
Connecticut Kelly Thompson[4] 20 Monroe
Delaware Natalie Diane Ramsey[9] 21 Wilmington
District of Columbia Belinda Johnson[4] 23 Martinsville, Virginia
Florida Valerie Lundeen[4] 24 Miami Married to "Tarzan" actor Ron Ely, murdered by their son Cameron Ely at their Southern California home on October 15, 2019
Georgia Lisa Joyce Condrey[10] 20 Decatur
Hawaii Teri Ann Linn[11] 20 Honolulu Later became an actress, starred in The Bold and the Beautiful
Idaho Lori Ditch[3] 21 Boise
Illinois Leslie K. Renfrow[12] 21 Chicago
Indiana Holli Rene Dennis[3] 21 Fort Wayne Initially appointed as Miss World USA but chose to marry instead
Iowa Jennifer Lynn Wimpey[13] 19 Coralville
Kansas Missy Kaser[14] 18 Wichita
Kentucky Denise Gibbs[15] 20 Kevil
Louisiana Lisa Lynn Moss[16] 23 Shreveport Later Miss World USA 1981
Finalist at Miss World 1981
Maine Judy Lynn Footer[17] 24 Bath
Maryland Linda Lambert[4] 22 Baltimore
Massachusetts Jo Ann Savery[18] 22 Bridgewater
Michigan Karen Eidson[4] 21 Hazel Park
Minnesota Polly Peterson[19] 22 Edina Sister of Miss USA 1976 Barbara Peterson[19]
Mississippi Angela Ashmore[20] 20 Muscle Shoals, Alabama
Missouri Karyn Marie Smagacz[3] 19 Fulton
Montana Cathi Jo Locati[21] 19 Billings
Nebraska La Donna Hill[22] 21 Seward
Nevada Mary Lebsock[3] 23 Las Vegas
New Hampshire Cynthia Lee Graves[3] 21 North Conway
New Jersey Christy Garthwaite[3] 19 Tuckerton
New Mexico Lise Gabrielle Dominique Thevenet[23] 23 Las Cruces
New York Deborah Ann Fountain[4] 25 Bronx Previously Miss North Carolina World 1979
Finalist at Miss World America 1979
Disqualified after wearing a padded bra in the swimsuit competition[24]
North Carolina Lisa Colleen Swift[4] 22 Southport
North Dakota Laurie Saarinen[25] 20 Jamestown Later Miss Minnesota 1982
Ohio Kimberly Seelbrede[4] 20 Germantown Semi-finalist at Miss Universe 1981
Oklahoma Stacey Loach[4] 17 Oklahoma City
Oregon Dawn Michele Lewis[4] 22 Portland
Pennsylvania Nena Stone[3] 21 Bethel Park
Rhode Island Patti Reo[3] 20 Cranston
South Carolina Zade Denise Turner[26] 21 Myrtle Beach
South Dakota Joan Abbott[27] 19 Irene
Tennessee Sharon Kay Steakley[3] 24 Winchester Mother of Alexandra Harper, Miss Tennessee USA 2018
Texas Diana Durnford[28] 22 El Paso
Utah Tonya Anderson[4] 20 Orem
Vermont Jeannette Wulff[4] 21 Middlesex
Virginia Pam Hutchens[29] 22 Newport News General District Court Judge in Virginia Beach, Virginia
Washington Leila Wagner[30] 20 Seattle
West Virginia Kelly Carr[4] 19 Scherr
Wisconsin Dawn Marie Spreeman[31] 18 Kaukauna
Wyoming Deborah Aspinwall[4] 23 Riverton

Notes

  1. ^ Ages at the time of the pageant.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Miss Ohio now Miss USA". The Daily News-Journal. Murfreesboro, Tennessee. 22 May 1981. p. 5. Retrieved 31 October 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Reynolds, Harold (17 May 1981). "Tonight's the best chance to see all 51 contestants". The Sun. Biloxi, Mississippi. p. 28. Retrieved 31 October 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "The contestants". The Sun. Biloxi, Mississippi. 16 May 1981. pp. 36–37. Retrieved 31 October 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "The contestants". The Sun. 16 May 1981. pp. 36–37. Retrieved 31 October 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ "Miss Alabama-U.S.A." Alabama Journal. Montgomery, Alabama. 3 March 1981. p. 16. Retrieved 31 October 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ Rose, Peter (15 March 1981). "Miss Arizona-U.S.A. title captured by Cassie Hill". Arizona Republic. Phoenix, Arizona. p. 21. Retrieved 31 October 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ Reynolds, Harold (17 May 1981). "Double the pleasure". The Sun. Biloxi, Mississippi. p. 28. Retrieved 31 October 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ Coulter, Tom (16 January 1981). "Miss Port runner-up in state contest". News-Pilot. San Pedro, California. pp. 1, A13. Retrieved 31 October 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  9. ^ "Former state resident in Miss USA pageant". Johnson City Press. Johnson City, Tennessee. 20 May 1981. p. 3. Retrieved 31 October 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  10. ^ "Miss Georgia USA 1981". The Atlanta Constitution. Atlanta, Georgia. 2 March 1981. p. 28. Retrieved 31 October 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  11. ^ "Winner". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Honolulu, Hawaii. 2 March 1981. p. 3. Retrieved 31 October 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  12. ^ Leonard, Sue (9 March 1981). "Chicagoan is Miss Illinois". The Times. Streator, Illinois. p. 1. Retrieved 31 October 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  13. ^ Riccelli, Christine (20 May 1981). "Iowa City girl competing for Miss U.S.A. title". Iowa City Press-Citizen. Iowa City, Iowa. p. 1. Retrieved 31 October 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  14. ^ "Two beauties". Hattiesburg American. Hattiesburg, Mississippi. 15 May 1981. p. 3. Retrieved 31 October 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  15. ^ "She's the one". The Paducah Sun. Paducah, Kentucky. 11 January 1981. p. 1. Retrieved 31 October 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  16. ^ Durrett, Craig (26 May 1981). "Looks, brains: together 'it's dynamite'". The Times. Shreveport, Louisiana. p. 12. Retrieved 31 October 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  17. ^ "Bath woman is named to USA beauty pageant". The Bangor Daily News. Bangor, Maine. 3 February 1981. p. 14. Retrieved 31 October 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  18. ^ "Adopted". The Sun. Biloxi, Mississippi. 24 May 1981. p. 40. Retrieved 31 October 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  19. ^ a b "Profile/Polly Peterson". The Minneapolis Star. Minneapolis, Minnesota. 19 March 1981. p. 15. Retrieved 31 October 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  20. ^ "MSU coed wins pageant". Clarion-Ledger. Jackson, Mississippi. 1 March 1981. p. 14. Retrieved 31 October 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  21. ^ "MSU student is Miss Montana USA". The Independent-Record. Helena, Montana. 1 March 1981. p. 7. Retrieved 31 October 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  22. ^ Reynolds, Harold (24 May 1981). "Airborne Nebraska beauty lives her fantasy". The Sun. Biloxi, Mississippi. p. 40. Retrieved 31 October 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  23. ^ Phelps, Shari (12 January 1981). "Tonia Moya quits state pageant". The Albuquerque Tribune. Albuquerque, New Mexico. p. 2. Retrieved 31 October 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  24. ^ "Officials expel Miss New York from pageant". Johnson City Press. Johnson City, Tennessee. 20 May 1981. p. 3. Retrieved 31 October 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  25. ^ "N.D. pageant winner told". The Bismarck Tribune. Bismarck, North Dakota. 28 February 1981. p. 6. Retrieved 31 October 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  26. ^ "Miss S.C.-U.S.A. likes ballet dancer Baryshnikov". The Columbia Record. Columbia, South Carolina. 16 February 1981. p. 38. Retrieved 31 October 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  27. ^ "Crowned". Argus-Leader. Sioux Falls, South Dakota. 18 January 1981. p. 36. Retrieved 31 October 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  28. ^ "El Paso lass claims Miss Texas USA title". The Paris News. August 19, 1980.
  29. ^ Reynolds, Harold (19 May 1981). "Pageants past highlight outfit of Miss Virginia". The Sun. Biloxi, Mississippi. p. 12. Retrieved 31 October 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  30. ^ Kirkland, Cliff (14 May 1981). "Funny, she sure doesn't look like a professional bowler". The Sun. Biloxi, Mississippi. p. 27. Retrieved 31 October 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  31. ^ "Kaukauna girl wins title". The Post-Crescent. Appleton, Wisconsin. 2 February 1981. p. 17. Retrieved 31 October 2023 – via Newspapers.com.