Miss USA 2020
DateNovember 9, 2020
Presenters
EntertainmentHaley Reinhart
VenueExhibition Center and the Soundstage, Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee
Broadcaster
Entrants51
Placements16
WinnerAsya Branch
 Mississippi
CongenialityImani Blackmon[1]
 Washington
← 2019
2021 →

Miss USA 2020 was the 69th Miss USA pageant. It was held at the Exhibition Centre and the Soundstage at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, on November 9, 2020.[2] Akbar Gbaja-Biamila and Allie LaForce served as hosts, while Cheslie Kryst and Christian Murphy served as backstage commentators, and Haley Reinhart performed. Cheslie Kryst of North Carolina crowned Asya Branch of Mississippi as her successor at the end of the event. Branch is the second consecutive African American to win the title, and the fourth one in five years. This is Mississippi's first win at the Miss USA pageant. Branch represented the United States at the Miss Universe 2020 pageant and placed in the Top 21.[3]

Originally scheduled to be held in spring 2020 and was initially to air on Fox, the competition was postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On August 31, the Miss Universe Organization announced that the competition would be held on November 9 of the same year.[4]

FYI served as the new broadcaster of the pageant, replacing Fox, which had broadcast the pageant since 2016.[2][5] The show was also rebroadcast on November 18, 2020 on YouTube.[6] The competition marked the first year that a new crown made by jeweler Mouawad is used at Miss USA, effectively retiring the Mikimoto Crown.[7]

For a third consecutive year, the competition was held concurrently alongside the Miss Teen USA competition. This was the last Miss USA to be organized by Miss Universe Organization before being split into its separate organization beginning in Miss USA 2021.

Background

Location

Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, the host venue of the Miss USA 2020 competition.
Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, the host venue of the Miss USA 2020 competition.

On August 30, 2020, Graceland announced on their schedule that the competition would be held on November 9 on their premises in Memphis, Tennessee.[8] The MUO later confirmed that the competition would be hosted at Graceland the following day. This was the first time since Miss USA 1983 that the state of Tennessee would be hosting the pageant.[2]

Hosts and performer

On October 22, it was announced that the competition would be hosted by Akbar Gbaja-Biamila and Allie LaForce, while Cheslie Kryst and Christian Murphy would serve as backstage correspondents. Gbaja-Biamila is a commentator on American Ninja Warrior and former professional football player, while LaForce formerly was crowned Miss Teen USA 2005, and has worked as a sports reporter for Fox and Turner Sports.[9]

On the same day, American Idol alum Haley Reinhart was announced as the musical guest.[a][10]

Selection of contestants

Delegates from 50 states and the District of Columbia were selected in state pageants which began in September 2019 and concluded in February 2020. The first state pageant was Texas, held on September 1, 2019, while the final pageant was Kentucky, held on February 1, 2020. Nine of these delegates were former Miss Teen USA state winners, six of them were former Miss America state winners, one delegate was a former Miss America's Outstanding Teen state winner, and one was former Miss Earth United States winner who competed at Miss Earth 2017.

Rachel Slawson, Miss Utah USA 2020, became the first openly LGBT woman to compete in Miss USA; Slawson identifies herself as queer.[11][12] One state titleholder was appointed as a replacement after the original titleholder was unable to compete. Katie Bozner, the original Miss Wyoming USA 2020, resigned three weeks before Miss USA 2020 due to her academic obligations in optometry school. She was replaced by Lexi Revelli, who was the first runner-up of the Miss Wyoming USA 2020 pageant.[13]

COVID-19 restrictions

The pageant was heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Restrictions implemented included an audience of only 300 spectators for both the preliminary and final competitions, and daily temperature checks, COVID-19 testing and social distancing measures for contestants and staff members. If a delegate tests positive from COVID-19, she would automatically withdraw from the competition, resulted all of the delegates were tested negative prior to arrive in Memphis. Other in-person events such as pre-pageant activities had been cancelled, including press briefings from pageant commentators.[14]

Results

The state map results of Miss USA 2020, colors shaded in each state
The state map results of Miss USA 2020, colors shaded in each state
Final Results Contestant
Miss USA 2020
1st Runner-Up
2nd Runner-Up
3rd Runner-Up
4th Runner-Up
Top 10
Top 16

§ Voted into Top 16 by viewers.

Special award

Award Contestant
Miss Congeniality

Pageant

Preliminary round

Prior to the final competition, the delegates competed the preliminary competition, which the judges and a presentation show where they competed in swim wear and evening gown. It was held on November 6 at Graceland Exhibition Center and the Soundstage in Memphis hosted by Christian Murphy and Cheslie Kryst.[15][16]

Finals

For the first time since Miss USA 2012, the number of finalists increased to 16, up from 15 in previous years. The sixteenth finalist was determined through an online vote from the viewing public. During the final competition, the top sixteen competed in swimsuit, and the top ten in evening gown. The top five format returned for the first time since Miss USA 2015, where the five finalists competed in two question rounds. The winner and her runners-up were determined by a panel of judges.

Judges

Contestants

All 51 state titleholders have been crowned.[18]

State Contestant Age[b] Hometown Placement Notes
Alabama Alabama Kelly Hutchinson[19] 23 Auburn 4th runner-up Previously Miss Georgia's Outstanding Teen 2013[20]
Alaska Alaska Hannah Carlile[21] 25 Fairbanks
Arizona Arizona Yesenia Vidales[22] 24 Phoenix
Arkansas Arkansas Haley Pontius[23] 24 Houston (AR)
California California Allyshia Gupta[24] 26 Los Angeles Top 10
Colorado Colorado Emily DeMure[25] 22 Boulder Later crowned Miss Grand United States of America 2022
Connecticut Connecticut Chelsea Demby[26] 24 Farmington
Delaware Delaware Katie Guevarra[27] 27 Middletown
Washington, D.C. District of Columbia Cierra Jackson[28] 28 Washington, D.C. Top 16 Previously Miss District of Columbia 2016
Florida Florida Monique Evans[29] 28 Naples Previously Miss Texas 2014
Georgia (U.S. state) Georgia Alyssa Beasley[30] 22 Brunswick Top 16 Previously Miss Georgia 2017[31]
Hawaii Hawaii Samantha Neyland[32] 24 Honolulu Top 10 First African-American Miss Hawaii USA
Previously Miss Hawaii Teen USA 2013
Idaho Idaho Kim Layne[33] 26 Nampa 1st runner-up Previously Miss Idaho Teen USA 2012
Illinois Illinois Olivia Pura[34] 22 Chicago Top 10 Previously Miss Illinois Teen USA 2016
Indiana Indiana Alexis Lete[35] 24 New Albany 3rd runner-up
Iowa Iowa Morgan Kofoid[36] 23 Leon Previously Miss Iowa Teen USA 2013
Kansas Kansas Hayden Brax[37] 21 Leawood
Kentucky Kentucky Lexie Iles[38] 24 Louisville
Louisiana Louisiana Mariah Clayton[39] 24 Zachary Top 16
Maine Maine Julia Van Steenberghe[40] 22 Old Town
Maryland Maryland Taelyr Robinson[41] 28 Annapolis Starred in The Vineyard
Massachusetts Massachusetts Sabrina Victor[42] 23 Brockton
Michigan Michigan Chanel Johnson[43] 27 Detroit
Minnesota Minnesota Taylor Fondie[44] 22 Blaine Former Minnesota Vikings Cheerleader
Mississippi Mississippi Asya Branch[45] 22 Booneville Miss USA 2020 First African-American Miss Mississippi USA
Previously Miss Mississippi 2018[46]
Missouri Missouri Megan Renee Kelly[47] 24 Kansas City Top 16
Montana Montana Merissa Underwood[48] 28 Missoula
Nebraska Nebraska Megan Swanson[49] 27 Omaha Previously Miss Nebraska 2014
Sister of Allie Swanson, Miss Nebraska 2019
Nevada Nevada Victoria Olona 27 Las Vegas Top 16 Fan vote winner
New Hampshire New Hampshire Alyssa Fernandes[50] 26 Merrimack
New Jersey New Jersey Gina Mellish[51] 21 Oceanport Top 10 Previously Miss New Jersey Teen USA 2016
New Mexico New Mexico Cecilia Rodriguez[52] 28 Las Cruces
New York (state) New York Andreia Gibau[53] 25 Brooklyn Top 10 Previously Miss Earth United States 2017
North Carolina North Carolina Jane Axhoj[54] 22 Charlotte Previously Miss North Carolina Teen USA 2015
North Dakota North Dakota Macy Christianson[55] 24 Minot Previously Miss North Dakota 2016[56]
Ohio Ohio Sthephanie Miranda[57] 26 Campbell Top 16 Later Top 6 at Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2021
Oklahoma Oklahoma Mariah Jane Davis[58] 24 Norman 2nd runner-up
Oregon Oregon Katerina Villegas[59] 27 Hillsboro
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Victoria Piekut[60] 24 Pittsburgh
Rhode Island Rhode Island Jonét Nichelle[61] 25 North Providence Former New England Patriots Cheerleader
South Carolina South Carolina Hannah Jane Curry[62] 21 Greenville
South Dakota South Dakota Kalani Jorgensen[63] 26 Sioux Falls Previously Miss South Dakota Teen USA 2012
Tennessee Tennessee Justice Enlow[64] 26 Nashville
Texas Texas Taylor Kessler[65] 24 Houston (TX)
Utah Utah Rachel Slawson[12] 25 Provo First openly LGBT person to compete at Miss USA[11][12][66]
Vermont Vermont Shannah Weller[67] 24 Middlebury
Virginia Virginia Susie Evans 27 Poquoson Previously Miss Virginia Teen USA 2011
Later winner of season 26 of The Bachelor
Washington (state) Washington Imani Blackmon[68] 25 Tacoma Previously Miss Washington Teen USA 2013.
West Virginia West Virginia Charlotte Bellotte[69] 26 Charles Town
Wisconsin Wisconsin Gabriella Deyi[70] 28 Madison
Wyoming Wyoming Lexi Revelli[13] 26 Lyman Originally first runner-up, but assumed the title after winner Katie Bozner resigned the title three weeks before Miss USA due to her academic obligations.

Notes

  1. ^ Although Haley Reinhart chose not to travel to Memphis for the final competition, but was pre-recorded from her home and sang Elvis Presley song "Can't Help Falling in Love" during the evening gown segment.
  2. ^ Ages at the time of the pageant

References

  1. ^ a b "Miss Congeniality is a classic movie to most of us, but to pageant girls it's beyond that. This year at Miss USA we didn't have time to vote in our Miss Congeniality 2020 so we decided to vote when we got home. I'm so proud and happy to say that I'm your MISS CONGENIALITY 2020🤩😭". Instagram. Miss Washington USA. November 15, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Petski, Denise (August 31, 2020). "2020 'Miss USA' Competition Moves To FYI Network From Fox". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 1, 2020.
  3. ^ "Miss USA 2020: Highlights from the coronavirus-era Graceland competition". USA Today. November 10, 2020. Retrieved April 16, 2022.
  4. ^ "Miss USA & Miss Teen USA to take place at Graceland in November". www.localmemphis.com. August 31, 2020. Retrieved 2022-04-19.
  5. ^ de Moraes, Lisa (October 28, 2015). "Fox To Broadcast Miss Universe & Miss USA Pageants". Deadline. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  6. ^ "Miss USA". m.facebook.com. Retrieved 2020-11-26.
  7. ^ "Mouawad will be make an debut as official sponsor of Miss Universe 2019 crown". Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  8. ^ "MISS USA". Graceland. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  9. ^ "Meet Our Hosts". Miss USA. October 22, 2020.
  10. ^ "Meet Our Performer". Miss USA. October 22, 2020.
  11. ^ a b "Being Queer is not a "platform." The reason I waited so long to come out as a member of the LGBT+ community was that I didn't think who I choose to love should define who I am". Rachel Slawson. January 17, 2020.
  12. ^ a b c Walters, Mike (January 21, 2020). "Miss USA Pageant Has Its First Openly Bisexual Contestant In Over 60 Years". The Blast.
  13. ^ a b Romero, Hannah (October 23, 2020). "Rock Springs resident will be Miss Wyoming". Rock Springs Daily Rocket-Miner. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  14. ^ "How This Year's Miss USA Contestants Are Adapting Amid COVID-19". Inside Edition. November 9, 2020. Retrieved April 3, 2021.
  15. ^ "That tie-dye skirt Sparkling heart..." Twitter. Miss USA. November 6, 2020.
  16. ^ The preliminary competition on the official Miss USA YouTube channel on YouTube
  17. ^ a b c d e f "Meet Our Selection Committee". Miss USA. 22 October 2020.
  18. ^ "Delegates". Miss USA. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  19. ^ Colurso, Mary (October 6, 2019). "Miss Alabama USA 2020: Miss Auburn-Opelika takes the crown". AL.com.
  20. ^ Thrash, Rodney (June 24, 2013). "Cobb Contestants Shine at Miss Georgia Pageant". Marietta Patch.
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  22. ^ "Miss Arizona con toque latino" (in Spanish). Telemundo Arizona. January 17, 2020.
  23. ^ "Conway native crowned, will compete for Miss USA 2020". THV 11. November 25, 2019.
  24. ^ "Meet Allyshia Gupta of Miss California USA in West Hollywood". voyagela.com. March 9, 2020.
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  26. ^ "Miss Connecticut USA and Miss Connecticut Teen USA Talk About Their Pageant Experiences". NBC Connecticut. December 16, 2019.
  27. ^ Richardson, Rodaris (December 20, 2019). "Miss Delaware USA 2020 Makes it Her Goal to Empower Young Women". WBOC.
  28. ^ Rowson, Erin (February 11, 2020). "Chatting with Miss DC USA and Miss DC Teen USA". WJLA.
  29. ^ Atkins, Andrew (January 21, 2020). "Southwest Florida contestants snag Miss Florida USA, Miss Florida Teen USA pageant title". Naples News.
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  33. ^ Robinson, Erin (October 29, 2019). "WSU veterinary student crowned Miss Idaho USA". KXLY.
  34. ^ "Polka najpiękniejszą kobietą w Illinois! Obiecuje, że nie zawiedzie Polonii" [Polish woman is the most beautiful woman in Illinois! She promises that will not disappoint a Pole] (in Polish). Super Express. September 15, 2019.
  35. ^ "Alexis Lete". Miss Indiana USA. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
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  38. ^ Whaley, Will (February 7, 2020). "Barker crowned Miss Kentucky Teen USA, heads to national competition". Bowling Green Daily News.
  39. ^ Foster, Kent (October 20, 2019). "Zachary native, Southern University alumna crowned Miss Louisiana USA 2020". WVUE-DT. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  40. ^ "Old Town woman crowned Miss Maine USA". Bangor Daily News. November 14, 2019.
  41. ^ "Newly crowned Miss Maryland USA 2020, Taelyr Robinson". Miss Maryland USA. November 13, 2019.
  42. ^ Corpuz, Mina (January 18, 2020). "Brockton native crowned Miss Massachusetts USA". Enterprise News.
  43. ^ Wells, Brian M. (September 22, 2019). "Miss Michigan USA crowned at McMorran Theater". The Times Herald.
  44. ^ "Duluth teen crowned Miss Minnesota Teen USA". WDIO. December 2, 2019.
  45. ^ McWilliams, Adam (October 27, 2019). "Former Miss Mississippi Asya Branch wins Miss Mississippi USA 2020". WAPT.
  46. ^ "Asya Branch, Miss Tupelo, crowned Miss Mississippi". Clarion Ledger. June 23, 2018.
  47. ^ Wehmer, Dan (December 15, 2019). "Seymour's Miss Missouri". Webster County Citizen.
  48. ^ Axworthy, Nicole; Starostinetskaya, Anna (October 31, 2019). "Miss Montana USA sparks backlash from meat industry for speaking out against factory farming". VegNews.
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  50. ^ "Granite State misses are a hit". Sentinel Source. Keene, New Hampshire. December 9, 2019. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  51. ^ "Oceanport's Gina Mellish crowned Miss New Jersey USA". USA Today. November 26, 2019.
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  55. ^ "Grand Forks' Amanda Higginbotham selected Miss North Dakota Teen USA 2020". Grand Forks Herald. September 22, 2019.
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  57. ^ "Campbell woman crowned Miss Ohio USA". WKBN. November 11, 2019.
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  60. ^ Hurst, David (November 4, 2019). "Here she is: Miss Pennsylvania crowned". The Tribune Democrat.
  61. ^ "Two new ladies take the crown". WPRI. October 16, 2019.
  62. ^ Davis, Kimberlei (November 25, 2019). "Newberry College junior crowned Miss South Carolina USA 2020". ABC Columbia.
  63. ^ Heemstra, Jody (September 23, 2019). "Jorgensen named Miss SD USA 2020; Kreger named Miss SD Teen USA 2020". DRG News.
  64. ^ "Miss Belle Meade crowned Miss Tennessee USA". WZTV. October 12, 2019. Retrieved October 13, 2019.
  65. ^ "Miss Texas USA 2020 talks about winning crown, preparing for Miss USA pageant". The CW 39 Houston. September 3, 2019.
  66. ^ Andrew, Scottie (January 23, 2020). "She is the first openly bisexual contestant in Miss USA's 68-year history". CNN.
  67. ^ Manxhari, Polikseni (November 13, 2019). "Miss Vermont USA and Teen USA 2020 discuss plans for their reign". My Champlain Valley.
  68. ^ "Newly-crowned 2020 Miss Washington USA Imani Blackmon & 2020 Miss Teen Washington Marianne Bautista discuss what they hope to accomplish during their reigns". KING 5. November 4, 2019.
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