THOUGHTS OF MISS TEEN USA

2019

THE PRETHOUGHTS

THE RESULTS (April 29, 2019)



It's a second win for the Constitution state! Connecticut has captured a second Miss Teen USA crown (succeeding Logan West's win in 2012) thanks to Kaliegh Garris whose unique look with the curly disco-diva afro that she sported helped her stand out in a big way and bring her to the top 5 where she gave an excellent answer to her final question that was clearly the best of that top 5. It should also be noted that this is the first set of black-to-black wins at Miss Teen USA as Kaliegh Garris' 2019 Miss Teen USA win succeeds that of 2018 Miss Teen USA, Kansas' Hailey Colborn. Previous black Miss Teen USA winners were: New Hampshire's Janel Bishop in 1991, Delaware's Ashley Coleman in 1999, Missouri's Marissa Whitley in 2001, Maryland's Kamie Crawford in 2010 and Connecticut's Logan West in 2012.

In terms of my predictions, I picked 7 of the top 15 plus 2 alternates (Nevada and Tennessee). The 6 ladies I missed were: North Dakota, Mississippi, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Wyoming. I had my suspicions about North Dakota but kept her out when I saw some body shots of her state pageant. I liked Mississippi's headshot initially but then saw some previous headshots where she didn't look like the same person. Wyoming had a great gown at her state pageant that reminded me of that of Iris Mittenaere's at Miss Universe 2016 but I thought the judges wouldn't take a liking to her but I do think she will probably be Miss Wyoming USA in the near future. Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma were off my radar. Sometimes I think IMG might be a bit overly pro-midwest. I posted my predictions prior to watching preliminaries which were held on the same day as finals for the first time ever which made this quite the scramble but at least they did webcast the preliminaries unlike last year. After preliminaries, I did have the impression that Tennessee would place and that New Hampshire and Minnesota wouldn't and that turned out to be an accurate assessment so I guess I did need to watch preliminaries after all to predict better but there were some complete headscratchers in this top 15 that I never would have picked. Surprises are always to be expected but it really did feel like some of these names were picked out of a hat. The congeniality award returned this year though and that award went to Minnesota.

ACTUAL TOP 15:

MY PREDICTIONS:

Winner=Connecticut-Kaliegh Garris

Winner=Massachusetts-Annie Lu*

1st Runner Up=North Dakota-Caitlyn Vogel

1st Runner Up=District of Columbia-Jaclyn Davis

2nd Runner Up=Nevada-Erica Bonilla

2nd Runner Up=Missouri-Abilene Lortz

3rd Runner Up=Mississippi-Kaylee McCollum

3rd Runner Up=Texas-Kennedy Edwards

4th Runner Up=Alabama-Kalin Burt

4th Runner Up=Illinois-A'Maiya Allen*

SEMIFINALISTS (alpha'l):

SEMIFINALISTS:

Arkansas-Maggie Williams

Connecticut-Kaliegh Garris*

Illinois-A'Maiya Allen

New Jersey-Ava Tortorici

Kansas-Hannah DeBok

Washington-Lily Lloyd

Maryland-Amalia Sanches

New Hampshire-Jadyn McDonough

Massachusetts-Annie Lu

Maryland-Amalia Sanches*

Nebraska-Erin Swanson

South Carolina-Allie Richardson*

Oklahoma-Abigail Billings

California-Alina Rae Carranza

South Carolina-Allie Richardson

Arkansas-Maggie Williams*

Tennessee-Bailey Guy

Alabama-Kalin Burt*

Wyoming-Grace Turner

Minnesota-Olivia Herbert

 

ALTERNATES: Nevada*, Hawaii, Tennessee*, Iowa, Virginia

 

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Montana, Idaho, Arizona, Utah, Florida

 

* = made actual top 15




I will post my full commentary on Miss Teen USA 2019 on May 7.












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THE PREDICTIONS (April 28, 2019)

Here come the predictions for Miss Teen USA 2019! A lot of people were surprised to learn that the preliminaries for Miss Teen USA were being held on the same day as finals which made predicting that much more difficult so, to not make this a scramble, I am posting this year's Miss Teen USA predictions prior to preliminaries. This was extra difficult as I really had to go off of bios, headshots, some online pics and overall impression juggling other people's impressions as well bearing in mind that the IMG era is about accomplishments first so we shall see how this goes...

The hosts for this year's pageant are: Nia Sanchez-Miss USA 2014 and Tim Tialdo. The all-female judges/members of selection committee are: Katherine Haik-Miss Teen USA 2015, Kristen Walthers-Remington (Miss Nevada Teen USA 1999 and top 10 semifinalist at Miss Teen USA 1999), MJ Acosta, Ivette Fernandez, and Kristin Collin.

After reviewing bios and pictures, I have now come up with my final predictions for Miss Teen USA 2019 and they are as follows!


TOM'S FINAL PREDICTIONS FOR MISS TEEN USA 2019

Winner = Massachusetts-Annie Lu

If they went with a Princeton girl last year, why not go for the Harvard girl this year? Annie is a freshman at Harvard University and not only that but she founded an environmental tech start-up in addition to BridgEd, an internationally recognized nonprofit organization that bridges the socioeconomic gap in education by providing low-income high school students with free college counseling. Annie is intelligent, accomplished and has a very pleasant look to her and she would be a worthy winner. Massachusetts has never won Miss Teen USA and last placed in 2015 so is it time for the Bay State?

1st Runner Up = District of Columbia-Jaclyn Davis

Jaclyn's headshot and overall look really appealed to me so then I looked for the accomplishments. She attends Towson University majoring in Psychology aiming to be a school psychologist to help eliminate the stigma linked to mental illness and has a story of surviving a mentally abusive relationship and for fun, she is a Disney fanatic. DC has never entered the top 5 at Miss Teen USA and hasn't placed since 2001 so could Jaclyn do it and even give the nation's capital their first Miss Teen USA win?

2nd Runner Up = Missouri-Abilene Lortz

She's only 15 but she has some significant achievements as an honors student who create a nonprofit society, STEM Girl Inc. which provides scholarship for girls aged 12-18 in Missouri. She advocates for STEM awareness and goes to schools discussing this. She has many awards and is clearly a bright girl so I'm looking for her to do very well in the competition. Missouri has won Miss Teen USA twice already (2001 and 2017) so is it time for another win for the Show Me state?

3rd Runner Up = Texas-Kennedy Edwards

Kennedy is the first African-American Miss Texas Teen USA and it should be noted both of the African-American Miss Texas USA winners (Chelsi Smith in 1995 and Crystle Stewart in 2008) went on to win their national crowns and one would even go to win Miss Universe so a lot of people are looking for Kennedy to do extremely well at Miss Teen USA and possibly even take it all. In terms of achievements, she graduated third in her high school class of over 500 students and earned a Capstone Academic Scholarship at Howard University and likes to educate youth on political involvement and its importance. Texas already has the best success rate at Miss Teen USA claiming 3 Miss Teen USA crowns (1996, 2011 and 2016) in addition to two 1st runner up placements (1986 and 2000).

4th Runner Up = Illinois-A'Maiya Allen

A'Maiya has a very cute look appropriate for Teen and she is accomplished. We have yet another Howard University student among us and she is majoring in public relations with hopes of becoming a digital content creator in the sports industry. She also launched a mentorship program called "High Heels High Hopes," at age 13 speaking to over 5000 young girls about the importance of social media responsibility, education and confidence. Illinois won their only Miss Teen USA crown in 1984 and placed as 3rd runner up last year so we'll see how A'Maiya does!

SEMIFINALISTS:

Connecticut-Kaliegh Garris

I love Kaliegh's unique look sporting the afro so it should help to make her stand out massively. She is a dual-enrolled student at Joseph A. Foran High School and the Educational Center for the Arts where she majors in theater. She dances competitively in multiple forms and has a story to tell about starting an awareness program focused on educating others about people with disabilities called "We Are People 1st" inspired by her older sister who has multiple disabilities. Connecticut won its only Miss Teen USA crown in 2012 but hasn't placed since so can Kaliegh do it?

New Jersey-Ava Tortorici

Ava seems warm and approachable with a very nice look and is also accomplished as she is pursuing a degree in medicine with a double major in biology and exercise science at Montclair State University with a goal to be a sports cardiologist in the NFL. She was awarded a provisional patent from the US Patent and Trademark Office for one of her inventions and has numerous accolades to her name. She even started a non-profit organization called "Athletes with Asthma" speaking to students about exercise-induced asthma attacks. New Jersey has never won Miss Teen USA and they haven't placed since 2014 but I fully expect Ava to have a strong showing.

Washington-Lily Lloyd

Lily has a lot of accomplishments under her belt. She is associated student body president and a National Honor Society vice president, an official science scholar and a Tri-M Music Honor Society member. She takes eight advanced placement courses and holds a 3.85 GPA. Lily is also a cheerleader of nine years and created a nonprofit at the age of 15 called the Smize Foundation inspiring high school students to be involved with their local food banks. She also aspires to attend medical school and become a neurosurgeon. Washington has never won the crown and hasn't placed since 2010 so will Lily bring them back in a big way?

New Hampshire-Jadyn McDonough

Jadyn has a strong overall look and is accomplished. As a freshman at the University of South Carolina double majoring in finance and risk management with a minor in aerospace. She is a member of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps with aspirations to work in the Air Force so this could the rare unique achievement that puts her over the edge. Jadyn is an executive member of Circle of Sisterhood where sorority women work to help other women worldwide. New Hampshire has only placed twice (1991 and 2008) but their first placement was a win thanks to Janel Bishop. Will the Granite State have a triumphant comeback with Jadyn?

Maryland-Amalia Sanches

Amalia brings some exotic flavor being born to a French-Guinean mother and a Spanish-American father. She is very diversified and well-rounded being fluent in five languages and she has lived in four different countries and has been a ballet dancer for ten years. She is also very athletic and even created a foundation called Simret Zeru which sends clothes and school supplies for children in West Africa. Maryland won its only Miss Teen USA crown in 2010 and they have placed for the last two years and Amalia is expected to make it a third year in a row.

SEMIFINALISTS:

South Carolina-Allie Richardson

Allie has a great overall look and in terms of accomplishments, she is a recent graduate of Lexington High School where she served as the student body vice president and a chapter officer of the National Honor Society. She is passionate about animals and volunteers with Healing Species, a Non-profit Organization focused on Dog Rescue and Adoption. South Carolina has a strong success rate at Miss Teen USA winning two crowns (1998 and 2014) and placing in 7 of the last 8 Miss Teen USA pageant so Allie is expected to keep it going.

California-Alina Rae Carranza

She takes pride in her Latin roots and has blonde hair. In terms of accomplishments, she is a high school honor student, equestrian team captain, a four year varsity track and cross country runner and was chosen a Gary Sinise Soaring Valor team member. She is also part of "Be the Match" which is an International bone marrow registry and aims to become a veterinarian. California has won the crown two times (1994 and 2013) and they also hold the current longest streak in the semifinals so Alina hopes to keep it going for a 7th year in a row.

Arkansas-Maggie Williams

Maggie has a great overall look and she has strong achievements needed to place. She is a Junior at Piggott High School simultaneously taking college courses. She is her school's highest ranked female singles tennis player, holds a District II leadership position in Future Business Leaders of America, shows cattle and competes in Parliamentary Procedure with her school’s chapter of Future Farmers of America. She aspires to double major in Political Science and Criminology to pursue a law degree.

Alabama-Kalin Burt

Kalin's accomplishments include being a Presidential Scholar at the University of Alabama with a double major in Finance and Spanish. She is a part-time accounts payable clerk and model. She also dances competitively and ran track as well so this is a strong overall delegate. Alabama has never won the crown and last placed in 2016.

Minnesota-Olivia Herbert

I think Olivia's look is very teen appropriate. Her accomplishments look quite good as she is a full time Post-secondary Enrollment Options student at Anoka Ramsey Community College while also attending Andover High School. She is a member of Link Crew and National Honor Society and is very sporty. She was diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome at age 11 leading her to advocate for invisible illness autoimmune disease awareness. Minnesota has never won the crown and they haven't placed since 2013 when they finished as 4th runner up so can Olivia do it for the North Star state?

ALTERNATES:

Nevada-Erica Bonilla

Erica is currently pursuing her Bachelor's degree in secondary education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where she aspires to become a high school teacher. She is also part of Zero Teen Fatalities young drivers task force, speaking to high school students about the dangers of distracted driving. However, she appeared quite thin in some arrival pictures I have seen so I'm not so sure of her chances even if she is the hometown girl and is heavily favored by others so I'm taking a bit of a gamble here in Reno.

Hawaii-Leimakamae Freitas

She has a nice headshot and at times I see a bit of a resemblance to Sushmita Sen-Miss Universe 1994. Her story is that she spoke only the Hawaiian language until 6th grade and aspires to become a Hawaiian language professor. She comes from a musical family and won awards in singing competitions. However, I'm not seeing much in terms of accomplishments here so I have put her as an alternate even though she is another favorite.

Tennessee-Bailey Guy

Like Texas' candidate for Miss USA, Bailey is also a literacy advocate for children across Tennessee. Bailey created her own organization, 'Be a Reader, Be a Leader,' which encourages children to find joy in reading. Although, Tennessee normally fares well, she may not be as accomplished as some of the others so I've placed her here.

Iowa-Kristen Hovda

Kristen has an appealing overall look and I like this headshot. In terms of accomplishments, she is a member of the varsity show choir, track team, has played leading roles in musical productions and has volunteered on school mission trips to Ecuador, Denver and Milwaukee. She likes to teach young kids to read and to teach special needs kids to dance. She has been to 14 countries and plans to study chemical engineering with an emphasis on water treatment at Iowa State University. She is also the sister of Miss Iowa Teen USA 2009, Allyson Hovda. Iowa won its only crown in 1992 and last placed in 2017.

Virginia-Morgan Duty

Morgan is an honor student as a junior at Honaker High School and a varsity basketball player. She is very adventurous performing activities like kneeboarding, surfing and parasailing and would like to try skydiving. She plans to use her 3.9 GPA to get into Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Dentistry. Morgan has a nice overall look. Virginia has never won the crown and hasn't placed since 2010 so will Morgan do it for the Old Dominion State?

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Montana-Megan Brewer

Megan participates in lots of extracurricular activities in sports and music and boasts the ability to play five instruments including self-taught guitar. She aspires to become a reconstructive surgeon and is passionate about teaching youth to embrace their differences that make them unique. She also works with children with disabilities so she seems more in line with what is expected of today's titleholders.

Idaho-Tess Romani

This headshot is fun and Tess has nice accomplishments as she is pursuing her bachelor's degree in paramedic sciences, she has completed a volunteer medical internship in the Dominican Republic and she is working with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to create and support programs to help people affected by mental illness. Idaho has only placed twice though at Miss Teen USA so it's more of an uphill battle for them but one of those placements was a win in 1989.

Arizona-Jordan Waller

She is active in Student Council and maintains a 4.0 GPA. She is signed with two modelling agencies - Ford RBA agency in Arizona and EMG in New York which are both not IMG so I don't know if this is in line with their direction.

Utah-Kaylyn Slevin

She is a professionally signed dancer, model and actress with the Osbrink Agency and MSA Dance Agency. Aspirations in entertainment aren't really smiled upon these days so I've placed her here.

Florida-Katia Gerry

She is home schooled so she can act, model and work on her personal projects. Her headshot is good but I'm not sure if her accomplishments are in line with IMG's direction.






So there you have it! Another year with another list so let's see how it goes this time around and we'll find out who I got right or who I missed entirely!

Watch the webcast for Miss Teen USA (April 28 - Preliminaries at 2 p.m. Pacific Standard Time and then Finals at 8 p.m. Pacific Standard Time) at the website: missteenusa.com/watch




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PREPARE FOR PRELIMINARIES! (April 15, 2019)


Hailey Colborn, Miss Teen USA 2018



Who will succeed Kansas' Hailey Colborn and be the teen queen for 2019?

The preliminaries for Miss Teen USA are apparently the same day as the finals (April 28) so preliminaries will be held earlier in the day and finals held later that day. At least, prelims are being webcast this year (unlike last year which was a disappointing first after many years) but there won't be enough time for me to review preliminaries so I'm going to have to go off of bios and previous pictures to make predictions this year...

The big day for the Teen crowning is April 28 and the pageant will be held for the second time as a concurrent event only a few days prior to the Miss USA 2019 competition in Reno, Nevada at the Grand Sierra Hotel and Casino.

The webcast for preliminaries at 2 p.m. PST and finals at 8 p.m. PST can be viewed at missteenusa.com/watch on April 28.





I will post my final predictions for Miss Teen USA 2019 on the morning of April 28 and we will find out later that day, who wins the crown!


 

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Some photos courtesy Miss Universe L.P., LLLP