Miss USA 1990
DateMarch 2, 1990
VenueCentury II Convention Center, Wichita, Kansas
WinnerCarole Gist
Michigan Michigan
CongenialityJanet Tveita
Minnesota Minnesota[1]
PhotogenicStephanie Teneyck
Mississippi Mississippi[1]
← 1989
1991 →

Miss USA 1990 was the 39th Miss USA pageant, televised live from the Century II Convention Center in Wichita, Kansas on March 2, 1990. At the conclusion of the final competition, Carole Gist of Michigan was crowned by outgoing titleholder Gretchen Polhemus of Texas. Carole became the first African American winner ever and the first woman from Michigan to be crowned as Miss USA, ending the streak of "Texas Aces" from 1985.[1]

For the first time, each judge's score was displayed to every audience, adding transparency to the process.

A major format change in 1990 transformed the Miss USA competition for the next decade: the delegates would face an extra round of elimination on finals night: the top six judges' questions.

Instead of reducing the top twelve to the usual final five, the judges would pick an intermediate top six. Those six finalists would answer questions from the judges and the field was reduced to a final three, who would face the traditional final question, adding unpredictability to the competition after five Texan Miss USA winners from GuyRex Associates, which would lose its Miss Texas USA franchise the next year.

The pageant was hosted by Dick Clark for the second of five times, with color commentary by Leeza Gibbons and Laura Harring, Miss USA 1985.[1]

This was the first time the pageant was held in Wichita, where it would be staged for the next three years.



Map showing placements by state
Final Results Contestant
Miss USA 1990
1st Runner-Up
2nd Runner-Up
Top 6
Top 12

Special awards

Award Contestant
Miss Congeniality
Miss Photogenic



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Bates, Michael (Mar 3, 1990). "Michigan's Miss USA ends streak". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Associated Press. p. 1 (listed as 29 in scan). Retrieved 28 July 2023., continued as Bates, Michael (Mar 3, 1990). "Pageant". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Associated Press. p. 7. Retrieved 28 July 2023.