What a phenomenal young woman we have as the new Miss Teen USA. Logan West of Connecticut is a star in every sense of the word and I'm so glad that I was able to see it in her from the beginning and correctly predict that she would take it all. Logan's quest to the crown wasn't an easy one however. She started out as Connecticut's representative for the Miss America's Outstanding Teen pageant in 2009 but she did not place at that national pageant but then she pressed on winning the Miss Connecticut Teen USA title and went on to the national title. Logan also has a powerful story to tell as she started a group to prevent bullying in schools as she was very open about a bullying incident in which Logan was the victim when a classmate accused Logan of not acting her skin color. (Logan is biracial with a black mother and white father.) A physical altercation later followed resulting both Logan and her bully were suspended from school for a few days. On a news show, Logan recalled where she and her bully were made to sit in a room together during which time neither one of them spoke to each other. Logan, being the victim, decided to take action against ineffective bullying resolution methods and start her own anti-bullying program. I think that Logan has great star quality and is definitely going places so I'm looking forward to see what the future holds for the amazing young woman.

Host Colin Hornet, Logan West-Miss Teen USA 2012, Host Allie Laforce-Miss Teen USA 2005For the 5th year in a row, Miss Teen USA was held in the Bahamas and the pageant was again webcast and still hasn't returned to television. Of course, 2007 was the last year that Miss Teen USA was shown on television. The optimist in me looks forward to the day when Miss Teen USA will be back on television but one can only wonder if that time will come. During this year's show, there were some fantastic montages showing some great moments in Miss Teen USA history which was a treat for pageant followers like me.

The hosts were Colin Hornett and Allie Laforce, Miss Teen USA 2005 who has been successful in broadcasting and has certainly become a polished, professional young woman. After the introductions, the top 16 were announced and for the first time, one semifinalist was selected via an Internet vote but unlike Miss USA and Miss Universe, the winner of that vote was not revealed until a press release came out a few days later. The winner of that vote was Hawaii.
The results of the semifinals were interesting as I correctly predicted 7 of the semifinalists plus 2 alternates (Ohio and Alabama) and 1 honorable mention (New Mexico). 5 of the 6 ladies that escaped my list were all mentioned just below my honorable mentions (Illinois, New York, Oklahoma, Georgia and Hawaii) and then Wyoming managed to charm the judges and get a spot which didn't really surprise me because she had a pleasantness about her. With Teen, it can go a lot of ways but I'm happy that I got the winner right at least to redeem myself from Miss USA when my winner somehow didn't place so I'm back on track! Miss Congeniality was Vermont and Miss Photogenic went to Oklahoma. So what happened to the 9 ladies in my list that didn't place? Nebraska was the first of them and I thought she was a gorgeous girl and just right for Teen but perhaps she just didn't make enough of an impact. Delaware may not have done well in interview judging by her online video as she seemed to have a bit of attitude and some also thought her walk in preliminaries needed some work. Nevada was another one with a lovely face but her gown wasn't the best choice and it wasn't until I saw a still shot of her body in swimsuit the next day that I realized that she would be taken out as she was looking a bit thick. New Jersey was one that I thought was very polished but her gown also wasn't the best choice. Arizona was the sister of Miss Arizona Teen USA 2006 who made the top 10 in her year and I really liked her online video but I suppose the body and overall look weren't up to par this year. Idaho was favored by many people but her gown also wasn't the best choice. Texas might have turned the judges off in interview. She mentioned that she was friends with Demi Lovato in her online video and I think some may have perceived her goal for participating in this pageant were just to get another crown, if that makes sense. Mississippi was quite photogenic and I thought her look would win her points but she did seem a little uncertain in her online video. Finally, Florida also spoke quite well but I wish she had gone with a better gown. But in any case, it has been said over and over that Teen can go a lot of ways but I do feel like I should have known better in a few cases after preliminaries but we don't really get to see the full picture so we just have to go with what we have.



Winner=Connecticut-Logan West

Winner=Connecticut-Logan West*

1st Runner Up=West Virginia-Elizabeth Sabatino

1st Runner Up=Michigan-Courtney Pizzimenti*

2nd Runner Up=Michigan-Courtney Pizzimenti

2nd Runner Up=Nebraska-Sarah Summers

3rd Runner Up=Oklahoma-Jessica Martin

3rd Runner Up=North Carolina-Kat Puryear*

4th Runner Up=Ohio-Kendall Fein

4th Runner Up=Delaware-Angela Viscount



Alabama-Peyton Brown

Nevada-Katie Eklund

Georgia-Courtney Smits

West Virginia-Elizabeth Sabatino*

Hawaii-Kathryn Teruya

New Jersey-Kendal Barrett

Illinois-Alexandra Plotz

Utah-Keilara McCormick*

Kansas-Katie Taylor

Arizona-Alexa Zellers

New Mexico-Jacqueline Cai

Idaho-Kimberly Layne

New York-Sabrina Mastrangelo

Texas-Madison Lee

North Carolina-Kat Puryear

Mississippi-Jessica Carter

South Carolina-Shannon Ford

Kansas-Katie Taylor*

Utah-Keilara McCormick

Florida-Sydney Martinez

Wyoming-Sydney Graus

South Carolina-Shannon Ford*


ALTERNATES:Ohio*, Maine, Alabama*, Arkansas, Indiana


HONORABLE MENTIONS:New Mexico*, Tennessee, Washington, Maryland, Missouri


* = made actual top 16

Ohio, South Carolina, North Carolina, New Mexico, New York, Michigan, Connecticut, Alabama, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Illinois, Utah, Georgia, Wyoming, Kansas, West Virginia
It was also interesting to note that the preliminary and the finals judges were the same panel which hasn't been done in quite a while. After the judges were announced (one of whom was Tami Farrell, Miss Teen USA 2003 and Miss California USA 2009), the top 16 then competed in the swimsuit competition. Ohio was up first and I swear they do this to me on purpose! For those of you who read my prethoughts when I posted my predictions, you will know I struggled for a long time trying to find a spot for Ohio in my list and I had no idea who to replace so I regretfully made her an alternate and she was the first one they called! Little did I know then that I actually had quite a few options as some of the favorites didn't end up making it for one reason or another. South Carolina followed and she did stand out as a redhead and she did have a great body and carried herself well. North Carolina looked quite muscular and I loved how strong, sassy and spontaneous this girl was especially in her online video. New Mexico followed and I placed her as an honorable mention because my preconceived notion was that the judges would think that she was too scholastic for this pageant and that perhaps this wouldn't be the right path for her to take. New York followed and... this isn't Miss Preteen USA... She just looked younger than a teen to me but based on her online video, she is a talker and I think this girl could just talk for days and I thought this might turn the judges off but it appears they liked that quality that she had. In contrast, to very short Miss New York, the very tall and stunning modelesque Michigan followed working that stage with her flowing hair. Then, out came our winner, Logan West of Connecticut, who just glowed on that stage. Some girls just have that magical air about them and I'm really glad I recognized it when I did. Alabama followed and this girl was so interesting as she really had the pageant look down but inside this girl was total jock and tomboy and you would only pick this up when you watched her online video so I wasn't really sure what the judges would do with her. Then came Hawaii, the winner of the Internet vote, who actually probably could have the semifinals on her own as she did have a nice body so I considered her to be a worthy candidate. Oklahoma really worked her moves but I thought her frame was rather tiny but it was a typical teen kind of look and that probably won over the judges. Illinois did have a great headshot but like Delaware, I thought her interview skills and attitude just needed some refinement so that was my reasoning for not putting her in my list but I wasn't surprised that she made it in. Utah and that disco-diva style and hair certainly won over the crowd. I'm sure the locals in the Bahamas loved her. Georgia followed and I thought her hips looked rather wide and I thought this would keep her out of the running but I did love her hairstyle. Wyoming might have a been a bit of surprise but judging by her online video, there is a sweetness and natural quality that I'm sure appealed to the judges. Kansas also has a great body and overall look so I was very glad that she placed as she was one of my picks. Finally, West Virginia was another one who had a great aura and presence about her that allowed to simply shine on stage so I wasn't surprised to see her get all the way to 1st runner up.
Ohio, South Carolina, North Carolina, New Mexico, New York, Michigan, Connecticut, Alabama, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Illinois, Utah, Georgia, Wyoming, Kansas, West Virginia
After swimsuits, Miss USA, Olivia Culpo and Miss Universe, Leila Lopes did an onstage chat with the hosts. There was a Miss Teen USA history gown montage in which the hosts did mock the previous eras of sequins and shoulder pads. First up was Ohio and I actually really liked this gown with the jewelled midsection and the one-shoulder style reminded me a lot of Miss Universe 1960, Linda Bement. South Carolina in a purple ball gown that was a nice contrast with her red hair. North Carolina followed in a light turquoise gown that had a oval cut to expose her cleavage and oh, how I wish she hadn't gone with this gown as that cut made the gown more Miss than Teen appropriate. New Mexico followed in an absolutely sensational gown. It was like the ocean came alive on her and this gown was just so unique yet spectacular and I'm actually glad that New Mexico placed to show it off. New York had a red sweetheart gown with silver trim but it didn't really do anything for me. Michigan followed in a black gown similar to California's last year and black can be a risky color for Teen but this girl can pull anything off. Connecticut followed in a lavender gown with a bow on her shoulder somewhat similar to how Margarita Moran, Miss Universe 1973 also had a flower on her shoulder. Logan sparkled and that dimpled smile just put her over the top! Alabama followed in a question mark of a pink gown with a bow on the back that I guess was Teen appropriate but even though she placed, I thought she could have gone with something better. Hawaii followed in a sexy sheer gown that seemed more Miss than Teen to me. Oklahoma had a white gown with a slit but I think the judges liked this girl's ability to work a stage. Illinois followed in a blue gown that was okay but didn't really wow me. Utah followed in a gown that looked more like a summer dress to me. Had she gone with something different, she probably would have made the top 5. Georgia had a really nice, flowy princess gown and that hairstyle was also great but I just felt she didn't have the complete look. Wyoming followed in a simple blue gown but it was just okay. Kansas also had a really nice white gown that really gave her the right look. Finally, West Virginia looked angelic in her white gown with a skirt that seems to be a popular style in pageant gowns in recent years.

Top 5-Connecticut, Oklahoma, Michigan, Ohio, West VirginiaDuring an intermission, Colin did a quick interview with each semifinalist. Then it was time to announce the top 5 and then they did a quick chat before the final question. First up was Connecticut who was asked about what personal accomplishment makes her especially proud. Immediately, Logan talked about her anti-bullying campaign and how at age 14, she created a program called Bully-Proof (Empowering children today to prevent bullying tomorrow) which is designed to not only give students the information they need to identify bullying but to give them the tips they need to stop it. She has spoken to over 20,000 students across her state and lobbied successfully for two anti-bullying bills and she feels that makes her special and different. I honestly think after that chat that Connecticut had it won at that point. She is just so articulate reminiscent of many pageant delegates in the 90s and it is just so refreshing to have a contestant like her in this era of pageantry because I think that since there is less emphasis on interview these days that these skills seem to get lost on today's contestants. Oklahoma followed and was asked what she liked most about the pageant experience thus far. She said she liked the girls and how it helps you to grow as a woman, interview skills, how to have presence and learning how to be a young woman. It was an okay answer I suppose. It was also funny when she said she was at a loss for words after making top 5 which doesn't happen very often. Michigan was next and it was clear that she had a lot of support from friends and family in the audience. She was asked how she envisions herself in five years. Michigan said that she envisions herself graduated with college, hopefully with a good job and with a strong head on her shoulders and that's all! Colin interjected, "And hopefully having served as Miss Teen USA" to which she replied, "Hopefully!" Another okay answer. Ohio was next and was asked what her favorite social media tool and she said it was definitely, definitely Twitter, definitely because who doesn't love Twitter? She thinks it's fun to tweet whatever you want to call it and you can't really post negative pictures like you can on facebook and it lets you know what everyone is doing. 'What is your twitter handle?' asked Colin and then Ohio said 'What?', not 'I beg your pardon' or 'Excuse me' but a snappy 'What?' so of course, she sealed her fate as 4th runner up at that point. I think she thought Colin might have been asking her to reveal her personal Twitter handle which I don't think she have wanted everyone to know but she realized it was her Miss Ohio Teen USA handle and said it. Finally, West Virginia was asked what her dream job would be. She said that she is inspired by her mom who is a business woman so she thinks working on the corporate level or in the health care of the business field.

Top 5-Connecticut, Oklahoma, Michigan, Ohio, West VirginiaAfter that, there was a great montage showing some delegate answers throughout the years featuring Katie Aselton (Maine 95), Lauren Caitlin Upton (South Carolina 07), Angela Logan (Oklahoma 92) and then some golden answers like Patricia Campbell (Pennsylvania 96), Loni Sorden (Utah 95), Charlotte Lopez (Vermont 93/Miss Teen USA 1993), Kelly Lloyd (Indiana 93) and finally Danielle Doty (Texas 11/Miss Teen USA 2011). After the montage, Allie Laforce quite eloquently said that for every bad answer, there's about a hundred good answers and the delegates are to be commended since when the pressure is on answering those questions can be tough.

And then it came down to the final question posed by one of the judges. Connecticut picked Dara Bush's question asking if was right for the NCAA to take away Penn State football coach Joe Paterno's wins in light of the recent scandal and is it fair to the players who played on those teams? Connecticut responded, 'Absolutely not. I believe those consequences were too harsh. Yes, what he did was wrong but the team should not have to suffer. They played their games not knowing what he was up to so... (Audience cheers.) I don't really get into sports that much but I do know what's right and wrong and I do know that he had... what he was doing in his private life had nothing to do with those players.' A great answer as expected from Logan and confidently stated. Just to clarify, it was Assistant Coach Gerry Sandusky who was convicted of molesting young boys and Joe Paterno who was the head coach didn't act on his knowledge of it. Oklahoma followed picking Tami Farrell's question. 'How you doin', Oklahoma? That's not your question, by the way!' Tami then asked her real question, 'Only recently did President and Mrs. Obama pay back their student loans. Is the high price of a college education worth it in all of these tough economic times?' Oklahoma replied, 'I believe that education is always worth it no matter how hard you have to work for it. My grandfather has always instilled in me that you have to have hard work ethic and if an education requires hard work, then I think you should still do it.' It was a decent answer. She maybe could have address the whole student loan issue. Michigan picked Stefan Campbell question asking if she had the opportunity to speak to Obama and Romney, what would she ask them? Michigan said she would going off to college next year so she would have to start thinking about student loans and health care which are things that she would have to worry about after college and would like to know more about. I think this answer fed too much off of what was said in the previous question but she did a fair job of pulling it together. Ohio picked David Knapp's question asking if plastic surgery in pageants an unfair advantage similar to steroids in sports. Ohio said she thinks that plastic surgery should not be allowed in pageants. She thinks that pageants are about natural beauty and what's on the outside and what's on the inside and she thinks God has made us the way that he wanted us and doesn't think anyone in this world should have plastic surgery. This answer might have offended a few people but she expressed her opinion well. She could have injected choice somewhere in her answer instead of outright condemning plastic surgery. West Virginia picked Tanya Zuckerbrot's question, 'After tragedies like the recent Batman shooting in Colorado, does the public have the right to see pictures and videos of the criminal? Or does this perpetuate a culture of people committing crimes to become celebrities?' West Virginia answered, 'I think it instills fear in the public. I think it is wrong to do that and you know, it just, it reiterates that insecurity in the public safety so no, absolutely not, I don't think it's right to do that.' Like I was saying in my predictions, I find her answers to be a bit dry but this was a pretty tough loaded question and her answer went a bit in circles and wasn't really what was asked but she got through it.

After Danielle Doty's final walk and the wonderful montage of the winning moments, we learned the results. Ohio was 4th runner up, Oklahoma was 3rd runner up, Michigan was 2nd runner up and then it came down to West Virginia and Connecticut. The hosts bantered to keep everyone in suspense and then Connecticut was declared Miss Teen USA 2012 and what followed was perhaps the reaction to end all reactions! I didn't think anyone could top Christie Lee Woods reaction to winning Miss Teen USA 1996 but Logan West jumped up and down and roared with delight and the bow on her gown even fell off but it was a fabulous moment and I was elated as were a lot of people because Logan will be a sensational Miss Teen USA as she has that magic that winners are made of and I was happy to have seen it in her from the beginning.

Miss USA 2012-Olivia Culpo, Miss Teen USA 2012-Logan West, Miss Universe 2011-Leila Lopes

The Prethoughts - Miss Teen USA 2012




Some photos courtesy Miss Universe L.P., LLLP