THE RESULTS (June 16, 2013)

Erin Brady of Connecticut is crowned Miss USA 2013 by Nana Meriwether, Miss USA 2012

Erin Brady reacts to being named Miss USA 2013 and is congratulated by 1st runner up, Alabama's Mary Margaret McCord Erin Brady, Miss USA 2013 is congratulated by another winner from Connecticut - Logan West, Miss Teen USA 2012 Congratulations to Miss USA 2013, Connecticut's Erin Brady. Erin makes history in two ways tonight. Not only is she the first Miss USA winner from Connecticut but this is also the first time in history that Miss USA has come from the same state as the reigning Miss Teen USA! Logan West, Miss Teen USA 2012 is also from Connecticut and for a time, it seemed like Miss USA would never come from the same state as the reigning Miss Teen USA. This almost happened in 1996 when Kansas' Danielle Boatwright finished 1st runner up to Miss USA 1996, Ali Landry of Louisiana. At that time, the reigning Miss Teen USA 1995, Keylee Sue Sanders was also from Kansas so it almost seemed as if it was a hex to be from the same state as the reigning Miss USA but Erin Brady broke the hex! Unfortunately, my pick for the winner, Utah's Marissa Powell messed up her final answer and ended up as 3rd runner up but she did win Miss Photogenic! Oregon's Gabrielle Neilan won Miss Congeniality. As for my predictions, I predicted 9 of the top 15 plus 2 alternates (This year's winner Connecticut as well as California) and 2 honorable mentions (Louisiana and Ohio). The two surprises that missed my list entirely were "MA and PA" (Massachusetts and Pennsylvania). Isn't that something?? This year, there were some unexpected twists. They reverted back to a top 15 this year when there was a top 16 in 2011 and 2012. Also, after the top 5 were announced, a 6th delegate was saved and she was selected by whoever got the most votes on Twitter and that delegate was Texas so the top 10 were cut to a top 6! There hasn't been a cut to a top 6 since 1997. And the venue for Miss Universe 2013 was announced! Miss Universe 2013 will be in Moscow, Russia at the Crocus City Hall on November 9. This makes Olivia Culpo the first of the 8 Miss Universes from the USA that is not crowning her successor on American soil!

I will post my full commentary on Miss USA 2013 on June 20.



Winner=Connecticut-Erin Brady

Winner=Utah-Marissa Powell*

1st Runner Up=Alabama-Mary Margaret McCord

1st Runner Up=Illinois-Stacie Juris*

2nd Runner Up=Illinois-Stacie Juris

2nd Runner Up=Nevada-Chelsea Caswell*

3rd Runner Up=Utah-Marissa Powell

3rd Runner Up=Alabama-Mary Margaret McCord*

4th Runner Up=Texas-Alexandria (Ali) Nugent

4th Runner Up=Kentucky-Allie Leggett

5th Runner Up=South Carolina-Megan Pinckney

5th Runner Up=Virginia-Shannon McAnally

FINALISTS (alpha'l)


Louisiana-Kristen Girault

South Carolina-Megan Pinckney*

Nevada-Chelsea Caswell

Colorado-Amanda Wiley

North Carolina-Ashley Love-Mills

Tennessee-Brenna Mader

Ohio-Kristin Smith

Maryland-Kasey Staniszewski*



California-Mabelynn Capeluj

West Virginia-Chelsea Welch*

Maryland-Kasey Staniszewski

Washington-Cassandra Searles

Massachusetts-Sarah Kidd

North Carolina-Ashley Love-Mills*

Pennsylvania-Jessica Billings

Georgia-Brittany Sharp

West Virginia-Chelsea Welch

Texas-Alexandria (Ali) Nugent*

(No 16th semifinalist)

Florida-Michelle Aguirre


ALTERNATES:California*, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Connecticut*, New Jersey


HONORABLE MENTIONS:Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio*, Louisiana*, Arkansas


* = made actual top 16

THE PREDICTIONS (June 14, 2013)

It's that magical time of year again! Time to reveal my final predictions for Miss USA. After a lot of thought and consideration and after viewing the preliminaries, this is what I'm going with for my predictions this year.


Winner=Utah-Marissa Powell

Yes, Marissa remains my pick for this year! She has remained consistently on top and I was very pleased with her performance in the preliminaries. Her overall look and those eyes are mesmerizing and I've pretty much had her picked as the winner for a while now and that hasn't changed so will Marissa bring Utah its first Miss USA crown since 1960?

1st Runner Up=Illinois-Stacie Juris

A strong contender right from the get-go. The jury is out that Stacie is a stunner who could very well go all the way this year. Illinois hasn't placed since 2006 even though this state has won 4 crowns so can Stacie make it a 5th?

Nevada-Chelsea Caswell

Those piercing blue eyes and that blonde hair and this knockout body also make the hometown girl a contender. Las Vegas has hosted the pageant since 2008 so is it finally time to reward Nevada with its first Miss USA crown? Chelsea has also had training from Miss USA 1995, Shanna Moakler so Chelsea is expected to do very well.

Alabama-Mary Margaret McCord

Not just riding on the coattails of her successful predecessor, Katherine Webb (Miss Alabama USA 2012), Mary Margaret McCord is also a heavy favorite for the title this year. She looks like she will wow in gown and has a sensational body so will Mary Margaret give Alabama its first crown since 1967?

Kentucky-Allie Leggett

Another tall blonde with a great body. I think interview may get her the 4th runner up position but we will see if she can take the crown for Kentucky since its last win in 2006.


Virginia-Shannon McAnally

This girl is a pageant pro. Shannon has competed in other state pageants like in Texas and Florida before finally winning in Virginia so she has a lot of experience so that should pay off for her. This hairstyle in gown is somewhat daring so it will be interesting to see where this takes her.

South Carolina-Megan Pinckney

This fresh-faced, youthful beauty represents a powerhouse state and she didn't disappoint in preliminaries. This gown is really stunning and she is in great shape so I fully expect Megan to have a strong showing this year.

Colorado-Amanda Wiley

I just really like this girl. Amanda has a fabulous head of hair and a great body. The gown could be a bit better but I think the judges will find her charming so she's in my list.

Tennessee-Brenna Mader

Tennessee has the longest streak in the semifinals of all states and Brenna is expected to keep the streak going. She has that nice, flowy hair and a great body so let's see how she does.

Maryland-Kasey Staniszewski

Can Kasey bring another crown to Maryland? Kasey is a performer so she is used to being on the stage and it shows. She has a fantastic body. This gown is a rather unique choice but she wears it well. Kasey was also 3rd runner up at Miss Teen USA 2009.


West Virginia-Chelsea Welch

Chelsea is very charming and after placing as 4th runner up at the very competitive class of Miss Teen USA 2007, she is looking to ease into the semifinals this year. Her body is very nice and this gown is unique but she worked it well.

Washington-Cassandra Searles

Initially, this girl wasn't anywhere near my list but then the preliminary gown competition happened and this girl just blew me away with how she worked her gown and just like that, she made a lot of lists including mine! Washington hasn't placed since 2004 so it could be time again.

North Carolina-Ashley Love-Mills

This was another one that you can't help but notice because of her powerful stage projection. She also worked her gown well, even if it was one of those panty-gowns that we saw much of last year during Miss Universe. Ashley showed us how it's done and she could be well rewarded for those presentation skills and fit body.

Georgia-Brittany Sharp

Brittany was 4th runner up at Miss Teen USA 2006 and has certainly delivered on the Miss USA stage also. She has a great body and a spectacular gown so Brittany is expected to keep it up for Georgia.

Texas-Alexandria (Ali) Nugent

The most competitive state at Miss USA is Texas and Ali holds the title this year. At first, she was considered more of a surprise winner but she has an aura about her and although, I didn't feel that it came across fully in preliminaries, she likely impressed in interview and could pull it off.

Florida-Michelle Aguirre

Michelle is a strong oddsmakers pick and her sultry, youthful looks seem to be winning a lot of favor so I decided to give her the final spot in my list.


California-Mabelynn Capeluj

Somehow, I get the feeling that California may be cut again this year. Although, she has a decent body and gown, some say her face isn't that appealing. She reminds me a bit of Selena Gomez. She also stumbled a bit in the gown competition in preliminaries so let's see what happens.

Minnesota-Danielle Hooper

I was close to giving Danielle a spot because she seems very poised but I'm not totally sure about body and gown and in some close-up pictures, her facial features seem a bit wide so we'll see if she can pull it off.

Oklahoma-Makenzie Muse

This is another one that could do it but I'm not totally sure that she will. Her gown is interesting and body is decent but her face is a bit long and for some reason, I can see her being cut so I'm putting her as an alternate.

Connecticut-Erin Brady

A lot of other people like Erin but I haven't been entirely sold on her and this gown didn't help so I'm putting her as an alternate since some other people seem to feel stronger about her.

New Jersey-Libell Duran

The legs are looking a bit stumpy here but she has competed in Miss Dominican Republic and placed in the top 5 there so she does have a bit of that Latin flare but I can see her being cut so I placed her here in my list.


Michigan-Jaclyn Schultz

She's very fit with smaller bust but comes across as somewhat unpolished to me. Other people seem to like her though so we'll see how she does.

Wisconsin-Chrissy Zamora

She's a possibility but it's rare that Wisconsin places and this year's contestant probably could have been a bit stronger.

Ohio-Kristin Smith

I wanted to give Ohio a spot as she is a natural beauty but she doesn't quite have the body and this gown didn't help at all so unfortunately after preliminaries, she took a dive into this category.

Louisiana-Kristen Girault

She has a decent look but the body isn't quite strong enough. The hips are somewhat wide but this gown is very nice.

Arkansas-Hannah Billingsley

Arkansas won the Internet vote last year so can it happen again this year? Hannah has the cute, southern appeal to her but looks more suited to a Teen pageant to me and seems a bit stiff on stage so we'll see how she does.

And of course, there are normally surprises that no one saw coming so we never know for sure. Some other names I might mention include Mississippi who I liked earlier but she just doesn't have the right body for this competition. Vermont could pull off a surprise as could others like Indiana or Kansas and many others but we will know the truth on Sunday, June 16 on NBC when Miss USA 2013 is crowned!

Also check out this ad for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) featuring four former Miss USA posing nude.

Pictured in the ad are Alyssa Campanella-Miss USA 2011, Shanna Moakler-Miss USA 1995, Shandi Finnessey-Miss USA 2004 and Susie Castillo-Miss USA 2003.


The delegates have arrived in Las Vegas so rehearsals are underway and they are taking the experience in and are preparing for the big night when one of them in crowned Miss USA 2013!

Tom's Page of Miss Universe Mania was born on June 9, 1998 which means that today is my website's 15th birthday!!! Can you believe I have been doing this for 15 years??? Thanks to all my followers worldwide who have supported me over the years! Since my website turns 15 today, I will post a song I fell in love with last year aptly titled "Fifteen (Oxford Remix)" by Goldroom featuring Chela. It has a delicious summer feeling and I would love to hear it used in a pageant one day.

Don't forget to watch the 2013 Miss USA Preliminary Competition streamed live on June 12th at 7 p.m. Pacific Standard Time by viewing the embedded link below:

Free desktop streaming application by Ustream

I will be posting my final predictions on June 14 but in the meantime, I will be posting my present thoughts on each delegate.


Yowza! This gown shot is hot! Mary Margaret McCord has definitely made a name for herself and is not just riding on the coattails of the success of last year's Miss Alabama USA, Katherine Webb who placed in last year's top 10 and has gone on to achieve great success recently. Mary Margaret Mccord just happened to be Katherine's 1st runner up at Miss Alabama USA the year before winning the crown and is certainly proving herself to be a force to be reckoned. She is currently among my top 10 contenders but could place very highly after I see her in preliminaries.


Some say she has a bit of a Lady Gaga look to her but Alaska hasn't placed since 1990 and they have yet to win the crown. I don't think this year's delegate will change that.


Arizona last placed in 2011 and they inherited the crown in 1980. Arizona has had some sporadic placements over the years but this year's delegate is also not expected to place.


Arkansas surprised us with a placement year after winning the Internet vote so can it happen again or will this year's delegate use her southern charm and that sweet face to win over the judges and earn a spot in the semifinals? Arkansas won the crown once in 1982 and this year's delegate has possibilities but I'm thinking she might be an alternate in my list unless she really impresses me in preliminaries.


I'm immediately reminded of Selena Gomez whenever I look at Mabelynn Capeluj so I think this look will help her get a semifinalist spot. She is also tall and has great presence so I think California can make a comeback after missing the cut last year. California has won the crown 6 times (1959, 1966, 1975, 1983, 1992 and 2011).


There are great possibilities here with Amanda Wiley. Of course, you know I love her hair and I think she has a really fit body so as of right now, she is among my picks but where exactly I place her will depend on how she does in preliminaries. Colorado has been noticed lately placing in the top 10 last year and placing 3rd runner up in 2010 but they have never won the crown so can Amanda change that?


Connecticut is the state of the reigning Miss Teen USA and no state has won the Miss USA crown right after winning Miss Teen USA so the pressure will be on Erin Brady especially since placements for Connecticut are rare. This year's delegate has been noticed by some. I am seeing inconsistencies though so as of right now she is more in the alternate/honorable mention category for me.


The pressure is always on Delaware since it is the only state to have never placed in the history of Miss USA. Rachel Baiocco seems like a decent contestant but like her predecessors, she doesn't seem to have that extra something to put her in the semifinals.

District of Columbia

The nation's capital last won the crown in 2002 thanks to Shauntay Hinton and they also won in 1964 with Bobbi Johnson. D.C. hasn't placed since 2006 though and I'm not expecting this year's delegate to place either.


The sunshine has yet to actually win the crown even thought the 1967 titleholder, Cheryl Ann Patton accepted the crown after Sylvia Hitchcock won Miss Universe 1967 and the 1st runner up did not accept the title. Michelle Aguirre is one to keep an eye on as she does seem to have loads of personality and at times reminds me of Miss Teen USA 2006, Katie Blair. I'm not positive that she will place but I will be watching her closely during the preliminaries to determine where to put her in my list.


Another state that has come close many times but has never won the crown. Brittany Sharp was 4th runner up at Miss Teen USA 2006 so can she do it on the Miss USA stage? Georgia has been doing well in recent years but Brittany is one of there is a chance that she could miss the cut so she really needs to bring it in preliminaries.


Hawaii has won the Miss USA crown 4 times with their most recent winner also winning Miss Universe in 1997. Hawaii's representative for this year, Breanna Acosta, won the title of Miss Pageant Central from a recently closed pageant messageboard called Pageant Central so let's see if that extra boost will give her that extra something to place in the semifinals.


What a nice face this girl has! A possible winner of the Miss Photogenic award. Idaho doesn't have too much success at Miss USA but they usually have the odd gem and this year's delegate could pull it off. I will be watching her in the preliminaries because I'm not totally sure about the body but there are possibilities here. Idaho last placed in 2009 and inherited the crown in 1997.


Stacie Juris is quite the stunner with a great body as mentioned in my first round prethoughts. She is firmly in my top 5 and I don't see that changing. Illinois last placed in 2006 and has won the Miss USA crown 4 times but has had to fight for placements in recent years. Will Stacie give Illinois their 5th Miss USA crown?


I don`t see it happening this year for Indiana. They have also never won the crown and last placed in 2011 so we`ll see what happens with this year`s delegate.


Placements for Iowa are rare. They last placed in 2000 and their only winner, Carol Morris in 1956 went on to win Miss Universe that year. This year`s delegate is not expected to place.


Staci Klinginsmith is representing Kansas and has potential to be a surprise semifinalist. I am not quite sure about her but some others are talking about her so we`ll see how she does. Kansas last won the crown in 1991 thanks to Kelli McCarty and they last placed in 2010.


I watched her Road to Miss USA video and I`m not completely sold on her but others seem to think highly of her so I may end up giving her a spot because of that but I will decide for sure after preliminaries. She has a good body but I question how she will do in interview. Kentucky won the crown once in 2006 and they last placed in 2009.


This one is a possibility. She kind of falls in the maybe/maybe-not category so I will decide where to put her after preliminaries. Louisiana has won the crown 3 times (1958, 1961, 1996) and they pull off a semifinalist placement last year so let`s see how Kristen Girault does.


Maine has placed the last 3 years in a row but I think this year is where it stops. Maine has yet to win the crown.


As mentioned in my first round prethoughts, Kasey was 3rd runner up at Miss Teen USA 2009 so this girl certainly has what it takes. I think she has been throwing people off but how she performs on stage is what counts and I think she will bring it. The reigning Miss USA is from Maryland so will Kasey be able to bring it back to them again this year?


Massachusetts has won the crown twice in 1998 and 2003 but placements for this place are somewhat infrequent. Their last placement was in 2008 and this year`s delegate is currently not in my list.


Michigan won the crown 3 times (1990, 1993 and 2010) and Jaclyn Schultz is a possibility but at the same time, I can see her being eliminated for some reason so I will decide after preliminaries where to put her in my list.


This one is a bit of a question mark. I`m not really sure about her so I`ll decide for sure after preliminaries. Minnesota won its only crown in 1976 and they last placed in 2009 so we`ll see if Danielle can bring them back.


I`ll probably end up putting her as an honorable mention but I do really like her and she is very smart but I fear that she just may not have the body for this competition.


Missouri last placed in 2011 and won the crown once in 2004. This year`s delegate is not on my list.


Montana hasn`t placed since 1958 and this year`s delegate previously competed at Miss America but she also isn`t expected to place.


Placements for Nebraska are also quite rare and this year`s delegate isn`t expected to place.


Nevada has another contender this year following their top 5 placement last year and it could be time for Nevada to win its first Miss USA crown. Chelsea Caswell has really piercing blue eyes and a great body and overall look. Back with training from Miss USA 1995, Shanna Moakler, this year the host delegate could very well take it all in her home state.

New Hampshire

Will that distinct hairstyle possibly get this girl noticed in a big way similarly to Maine`s Ashley Marble in 2011? I`m not sure that this one quite has the body so right now, she is not in my list but if she impresses me in preliminaries, I might put her in. New Hampshire has never won and last placed in 2004.

New Jersey

Libell Duran was born in the Dominican Republic and even competed at Miss Dominican Republic 2010 finishing as 3rd runner up so will she bring that Latin fire to the Miss USA stage? She will be somewhere in my list but where exactly, I haven`t determined yet. New Jersey has never won the crown but they do have may runners-up so will New Jersey may pull off another placement this year after making top 10 last year.

New Mexico

New Mexico did pull off a win in 1984 but placements for this state are rare. This year`s delegate is not expected to place.

New York

New York has 4 Miss USA crowns (1952, 1979, 1995 and 1999) and they last placed in 2011 but this year`s delegate doesn`t appear to be strong enough to place this year.

North Carolina

North Carolina has done well recently getting two wins as recently as 2005 and 2009. This year`s delegate has a distinct look and that could help her but as of right now, she is not in my list.

North Dakota

This state has only placed 3 times with the last placement being in 1996. This year`s delegate is not expected to place.


The buckeye state has sent a fascinating and unique contender in Kristin Smith trying to match or surpass their success from last year. Ohio won the crown twice in 1965 and 1981 so let`s see if Kristin can pull it off.


Oklahoma has placed several times but this is another state that has come close but still has never won the crown. Makenzie Muse hopes to change all that and with Oklahoma`s tornado disaster being in the news recently, will that help this state get noticed in a big way? She could do it but I`m not sure exactly where to put her so I`ll decide after preliminaries.


Oregon has never won the Miss USA crown but they have won Miss Teen USA 3 times (more than any other state) but Oregon hasn`t had much success at Miss USA. They last placed in 2004 so this year`s delegate does have a great look to her but I don`t think she quite has the body so I don`t think she will place.


Pennsylvania won the crown once in 1971 and last placed in 2010. This year`s delegate however is not expected to place.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island won its first crown last year and as we all know, Olivia Culpo would go on to win Miss Universe so the pressure is on Brittany Stenovitch. I don`t quite think she will pull it off but I will decide after preliminaries.

South Carolina

South Carolina is one of the most successful states so this state is always one to watch. This latest bet is Megan Pinckney who also competed at Miss Teen USA 2010 but didn`t place there. She does seem to be one to watch though and her look is quite youthful and fresh so there are possibilities here.

South Dakota

South Dakota has only placed twice in 1958 and 1974 and this year`s delegate is also not expected to place.


Tennessee is a powerhouse state with much success and they have the longest running streak in the semifinals placing every year since 2006 and Brenna is expected to keep the streak going. She was Miss Wyoming Teen USA 2005 and didn`t place at Miss Teen USA but her interview skills seem quite polished and not just anybody wins Miss Tennessee USA so right now, Brenna is among my top 10 picks.


I will say that at first, I was very surprised with Ali Nugent`s win at Miss Texas USA but this girl glows. She has that mystical aura about her and it is really coming across in pictures and video so right now, she is in my top 10 but I think she could go even further. Texas is the most successful state at Miss USA winning 9 crowns so we shall see how Ali does.


As I`m sure you deduced from my first round prethoughts, Utah`s Marissa Miller is currently my winner. I`m just getting all the right vibes from her so I`m thinking she will take it all. utah hasn`t won the crown since 1960 and last placed in 2011.


Vermont hasn`t placed since 1982 and that isn`t expected to change this year but they did win the crown back in 1955.


Shannon McAnally competed at Miss Texas USA so this girl is a pageant pro and her experience should pay off. She seems to have a great personality and has the look so as of right now, she is among my picks but I will wait until after preliminaries to determine where to put her. Virginia has won the crown twice (1969 and 1970) and they last placed in 2010.


Placements for Washington are also rare. They did win the crown in 1968 and last placed in 2004. This year`s delegate is not expected to place.

West Virginia

After placing 4th runner up at the very competitive Miss Teen USA 2007 pageant, Chelsea Welch is poised to take on the USA stage. She will be in my list somewhere but I will decide where exactly after preliminaries. West Virginia has never won the crown and their placements aren`t that frequent either with the last placement being in 2009.


Wisconsin has surprised us before so this year`s delegate might do something. She`s not in my list currently but she could pull off a surprise placement like in 2007.


Wyoming has only placed twice (1986 and 2010) so although this year`s rep has some experience in pageantry, I don`t think she will place.

So those are my 2nd round prethoughts.
Don't forget to watch the 2013 Miss USA Preliminary Competition streamed live on June 12th at 7 p.m. Pacific Standard Time and I will post my final predictions for Miss USA 2013 on June 14 and the final night is on June 16 when we will know who will be the new Miss USA!!


Nana Meriwether-Miss USA 2012

Miss USA time is upon us once again! The delegates are arriving in Las Vegas. Who will succeed Nana Meriwether and be crowned the new Miss USA? Miss USA 2013, the 62nd Miss USA pageant, will be held on June 16, 2013 at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. This year`s pageant will be hosted again by Guiliana Rancic and Nick Jonas will be the newcomer host this year. The Jonas Brothers also will be performing during the pageant. I really was hoping for Andy Cohen to host again this year so we will see how Nick Jonas does.
And now, here are the first round prethoughts to give you an idea of who I've got my eye on for this year's Miss USA crown! Also followed by some other interesting pageant world tidbits.

Steal the Crown

Utah-Marissa Powell

The top 5 of Miss Universe 1960 - Utah's Linda Bement in the middle and her royal court. One of the early frontrunners for the crown of Miss USA 2013 is Utah's Marissa Powell and if she looks familiar, it is probably because you might have recognized her from being featured on the show "What Would You Do?" hosted by John Quinones which has actors playing out various scenarios in order to get reactions from the people around them who don't know that they are actors. Marissa was featured as the beautiful girl who got away with stealing certain items in a store and even got assistance from other customers in the store because of her charm and beauty whereas less attractive thieves got called out on by other customers. So will beautiful Marissa use that same charm to take the Miss USA 2013 crown?? It is looking like a high possibility and Utah is one of those states that is long overdue for a win. Utah's only Miss USA was Linda Bement who was crowned in 1960 and then went on to become Miss Universe 1960 shortly after. I'm also reminded of Miss Turkey 2012, Cagil Ozge Ozkul who revealed in her close-up video that she would like to steal the Miss Universe crown and take a picture of her wearing it if the world was to end tomorrow. That funny, original answer likely contributed to Cagil placing as a semifinalist at Miss Universe 2012. Will the Beehive state steal the crown this year?

Oh! Hi, Yo!

Ohio-Kristin Smith Bob Barker announces that Ohio`s Halle Berry is 1st runner up and Texas` Christy Fichtner is Miss USA 1986 The buckeye state of Ohio is being represented by Kristin Smith and Ohio is one of those states that seems to be making waves recently in the pageant world. Kristin seems likely to maintain this trend after last year's representative Audrey Bolte dazzled her way to a 2nd runner up position in spite of giving that notorious answer that was highly criticized last year in the media when she named the movie "Pretty Woman" as a movie which depicts women in a positive way. "Pretty Woman" is about a prostitute and the man who buys her. Audrey said she named that movie because it was fresh in her mind since it was shown on TV a few days prior to the pageant. Also, at Miss Teen USA 2012, Ohio's Kendall Fein placed as 4th runner up so is this a good sign for Ohio to continue to make progress and possibly get a win soon? Ohio has won the crown twice in 1965 with Sue Ann Downey and 1981 with Kim Seelbrede and lest we forget the most famous Miss Ohio USA, Academy Award winning actress, Halle Berry who was 1st runner up to Miss USA 1986, Christy Fichtner from Texas. Will Kristin keep it up for Ohio?

Revenge of the Runners-Up

Maryland-Kasey StaniszewskiWest Virginia-Chelsea WelchGeorgia-Brittany Sharp This year, 3 former Miss Teen USA delegates who all placed as runners-up in their respective years have returned to vie for the 2013 Miss USA crown. Maryland's Kasey Staniszewski who was 3rd runner up to Miss Teen USA 2009 and also held the title of Miss Maryland's Outstanding Teen in 2007 is a pageant pro and her experience should help her have a strong showing at Miss USA this year. The reigning Miss USA, Nana Meriwether represented Maryland last year and no state has taken the Miss USA title two years in a row since Texas did the unthinkable and won it 5 years in a row from 1985 to 1989 so can Kasey change that? Kasey also has experience with acting in musical theater so she is used to being on the stage which often helps in pageantry. In 2007, West Virginia's Chelsea Welch was 4th runner up at Miss Teen USA. Now, Chelsea returns to the stage hoping that the luck of another runner-up in that pageant (Alyssa Campanella, Miss USA 2011, who was also 1st runner up at Miss Teen USA 2007) will rub off on her. West Virginia has never won the Miss USA crown but they did have a 1st runner up placement in 1984. Finally, Georgia's Brittany Sharp was 4th runner up at Miss Teen USA 2006 and this peach is back to attempt to win Miss USA 2013. Georgia has never won the crown although they do have several runner-up placements over the years with one 1st runner up placement in 1993 thanks to Erin Nance so one can only wonder if it will finally be time for Georgia to get that crown. Georgia, Maryland and West Virginia are all states to keep an eye on this year.

Juris Duty

Illinois-Stacie Juris

Also having competed at Miss Teen USA 2009, Illinois is being represented by Stacie Juris and the jury is out that Juris is a stunner...with a past. Unfortunately, Stacie was caught attempting to leave a shopping mall with clothes in her purse in April 2012. This incident occurred before she won the Miss Illinois USA title and all charges associated with this appear to have been dropped. Now Juris' Duty is to be a good example much in the same way that Miss USA 2006, Tara Conner was given a second chance after battling alcoholism and drug abuse. Will this controversy become the news of this year's pageant? Illinois has won the Miss USA crown 4 times (1953, 1963, 1973 and 1974). However in recent years, Illinois has really had to fight for placements at Miss USA as they haven't placed since 2006. Will Stacie bring Illinois back in a big way?

Mississippi Masala

Mississippi-Paromita Mitra

The Magnolia state is being represented by Bangladesh-born beauty Paromita Mitra who was also Miss Mississippi Teen USA 2009. Will Paromita's exotic looks get her noticed and possibly get Mississippi a high placement at Miss USA this year? Paromita could be called this year's rocket scientist as she is majoring in aerospace engineering with a minor in mathematics and a certification in geospatial remote sensing and her father is also a professor so Paromita is certainly one smart cookie. Mississippi has never won the Miss USA crown but did get a 1st runner up placement as recently as 2008 thanks to Leah Laviano.

Miss Latina USA or Miss LaTEENa USA??

The first Nuestra Belleza Latina winner in 2007, Alejandra Espinoza of Mexico The first Miss Teen USA winner in 1983, Ruth Zakarian of New YorkYes, you heard right. Apparently, there is going to be a Miss Latina USA at Miss Universe this year and the winner of Miss Latina USA will be selected by the fad-du-jour of the reality television show format. American females of Latin descent will audition and be selected to compete for the title of Miss Latina USA with weekly eliminations until a winner is crowned. There is already a show with this format called "Nuestra Belleza Latina" which features the main judge, Osmel Sousa who is the driving force behind Venezuela's success in international pageantry as he is known for his rather blunt coaching style similarly to how Simon Cowell judged in his shows like "American Idol" and other shows with a similar format. Nuestra Belleza Latina started in 2007 and has been running strong since and it features Miss Universe 1991, Lupita Jones who is also a judge. Miss Universe 1996, Alicia Machado served as a judge in the 1st season of Nuestra Belleza Latina. The Latin market is huge for pageantry so this is an interesting business move to perhaps drive even more of the market's interest in Miss Universe. Since 2001, there have been numerous Latina winners of the Miss Universe crown including Denise Quinones (2001), Justine Pasek (2002), Amelia Vega (2003), Zuleyka Rivera (2006), Dayana Mendoza (2008), Stefania Fernandez (2009) and Ximena Navarrete (2010). Still, some debate the fairness of having a Miss Latina USA as well as Miss USA compete at Miss Universe because it excludes other ethnic groups. Why not have a Miss Asian USA or Miss African USA and so forth? It will be interesting to see if this idea will last as this whole scenario reminds me of when Miss Teen USA originally started in 1983, the winner would go on to compete at Miss USA if she met the age requirement. This is why at Miss USA 1984, we saw Miss Teen USA 1983, Ruth Zakarian and Miss Teen USA 1984, Cherise Haugen compete for that title but neither of them placed in the semifinals. Then, Miss Teen USA 1986, Allison Brown competed at Miss USA 1987 and also didn't place among the semifinalists so the idea was then discontinued and from then on if a Miss Teen USA wanted to compete for Miss USA, she would have to wait until her reign as Miss Teen USA was complete and go on to compete at the state level all over again. Kelly Hu, Miss Teen USA 1985 was the first to do this going on to win Miss Hawaii USA 1993 and finishing 4th at Miss USA 1993. Jamie Solinger, Miss Teen USA 1992 and Shauna Gambill, Miss Teen USA 1994 would follow suit winning their state titles and competing at Miss USA 1998 where Jamie went unplaced but Shauna finished as 1st runner up to Shawnae Jebbia. Then, Brandi Sherwood, Miss Teen USA 1989 won Miss Idaho USA 1997 and finished as 1st runner up to Brook Lee at Miss USA 1997 but when Brook went on to win Miss Universe 1997, Brandi became Miss USA making her the first woman to hold both the Miss Teen USA and Miss USA titles. However, after this, former Miss Teen USAs haven`t been successful at winning their state titles and have had to settle for runner-up positions. These former Miss Teen USAs were: Christie Lee woods (1996), Ashley Coleman (1999), Tami Farrell (2003) and Katie Blair (2006). So will Miss Latina USA be successful and long-lasting or just a temporary fad? Time will tell.

Nevada-Chelsea CaswellAlabama-Mary Margaret McCordOther delegates to keep an eye on include Nevada's Chelsea Caswell. This year's pageant is in Las Vegas again so as the homestate delegate, Chelsea will have much support from the crowd and also has the support of former Miss USA, Shanna Moakler who works with the Miss Nevada USA team and Shanna has had much success with previous delegates that she helped coach.

Alabama is being represented by Mary Margaret McCord who was also 1st runner up to last year's Miss Alabama USA, Katherine Webb who was a semifinalist at Miss USA 2012 and suddenly went on to achieve much success after a sports commentator commented on how beautiful she was. This was while Katherine was in the audience supporting her football player boyfriend A.J. McCarron during a football game. Webb would go on to be featured the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and enjoy a stint on the reality show, "Splash" featuring celebrities diving but Katherine had to withdraw due to a back injury in spite of high marks. Will Mary Margaret McCord ride on the coattails of Katherine Webb's success and perhaps get Alabama its first Miss USA crown since 1967?

Virginia-Shannon McAnallyTexas-Ali NugentVirginia's Shannon McAnally previously competed in Texas and seems very engaging so she could do very well at Miss USA this year. Texas has a rather unconventional pick with Alexandria (Ali) Nugent who was considered more of a surprise winner of the state that has had the most success at Miss USA so it will be interesting to see how she does. Tennessee's Brenna Mader was also Miss Wyoming Teen USA 2005 and she will be representing the highly competitive state which hopes to extend the 7-year streak Tennessee currently has for the Miss USA semifinals.
Tennessee-Brenna Mader

So those are my first round prethoughts for now. After preliminaries, I will fine-tune and then post my final predictions for Miss USA 2013 and then we'll see it all on June 16 on NBC in Las Vegas when the truth unfolds before our eyes. It's going to be exciting!




Some photos courtesy Miss Universe L.P., LLLP