Our bonney lass, R'Bonney Gabriel of Texas is Miss USA 2022.

Texas-R'Bonney GabrielR’Bonney Gabriel was the first woman of Filipina descent and even of Asian descent to represent the powerhouse state of Texas at Miss USA. It almost looks this win also makes R'Bonney the first Miss USA of Filipina descent even though there was some debate about Miss USA 1962-Hawaii's Macel Wilson possibly having some Filipina ancestry but news articles have indicated that Macel was a mixture of native Hawaiian, Portuguese, Chinese and Australian but it's possible that she could have some Filipina ancestry so it's a bit of a mystery. Coincidentally, the Lone Star state has also chosen another Filipina woman, Averie Bishop, to represent Texas at Miss America 2023 as well. Both of these ladies are also half-Caucasian similarly to the Philippines' two most recent Miss Universe winners, Pia Wurtzbach in 2015 and Catriona Gray in 2018. With the win of R'Bonney will the Filipino fandom that the Miss Universe pageant enjoys cross over to Miss USA?? Also, like Pennsylvania’s Miss USA delegate, R’Bonney’s name is a variation of her father’s name R’Bon Gabriel who was 19 when he immigrated from Manila in the Philippines to Washington state with only 20 dollars to his name in the mid-1950s and would later obtain a Doctorate degree in Psychology and opened a car repair shop and he is currently 85 years old (wow!) living in Missouri City with wife Dana.

R’Bonney is now also the oldest woman to win Miss USA as she was born on March 20, 1994 winning the Miss USA title at age 28 and a half defeating a record previously held by the now deceased Miss USA 2019-Cheslie Kryst who won her Miss USA crown just five days after turning 28. R'Bonney is a recent graduate from the University of North Texas earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Fashion Design with a minor in Fibers and after interning with Nicole Miller Designs for three months in New York City, R’Bonney now runs her own eco-friendly fashion label called R'Bonney Nola which designs multiple types of clothes made from recycled materials so her environmental consciousness should certainly appeal to the judges. She also works as a sewing teacher at fashion house called Magpies and Peacocks in Houston particularly focusing on teaching survivors of domestic violence how to sew.

Texas-R'Bonney GabrielTexas is easily the most successful state at Miss USA now boasting 10 winners with one of those winners, Chelsi Smith going on to win Miss Universe 1995. This win secures Texas' domination at the top of the list of Who Has the Most Miss USAs? Recent years hadn’t been kind to Texas though placing only four times in the last nine years but with former Miss USA 2008, Crystle Stewart who was Texas’ most recent Miss USA now at the helm directing Miss USA for the second year in a row, Texas surely did not go unnoticed.

Did you notice? Every time that India won Miss Universe, Texas won Miss USA the year after. India won Miss Universe 1994 then Texas won Miss USA 1995, then India won Miss Universe 2000 then Texas won Miss USA 2001 and now India won Miss Universe 2021 and Texas won Miss USA 2022! The reigning trio of titleholders are also all of Asian descent at least partially. Miss USA is half-Filipina and half-Caucasian, Miss Teen USA is half-Indian and half-Caucasian and Miss Universe is Indian so will Miss Universe 2022 being crowned on January 14, 2023 also be at least part Asian??

But... On the next edition of Hard Copy... When beauty pageants turn ugly.
Well, that American tabloid television show, Hard Copy actually went off the air in 1999 and it was co-presented by Terry Murphy who was originally the winner of Miss Ohio USA 1969 under the name Terry Chellis but fell ill when competing at Miss USA 1969 and was replaced by Ohio's 2nd runner up, Marlynn Singleton who went unplaced at Miss USA 1969. Terry Murphy would serve as a color commentator for Miss USA 1992 where she was notably given a Miss Ohio USA sash during the telecast. Coincidentally, the winner of the 1992 Miss USA pageant, California's Shannon Marketic would later be featured on Hard Copy when she was battling the Sultan of Brunei. In true tabloid-esque fashion, this year's Miss USA pageant has taken that turn. A lot of contestants and some involved behind-the-scenes felt that this year's pageant felt like the cards were stacked in Texas' favor and I do recall seeing posts like this on social media leading up to the pageant. The current director of Miss USA and Miss Teen USA is Texas' Crystle Stewart-Miss USA 2008 who started directing effective last year, 2021. She and her husband, Max, have also been running the Miss Academy to coach pageant contestants and models but the marriage is looking like it is on thin ice when rumors started circulating that her husband might have been looking like he was consoling contestants that didn't win and may have proceeded to act inappropriately after that but if you looked at the credits of this year's pageant, his name was nowhere to be found but it was last year as a co-executive producer so he is no longer involved with the pageants so the marriage looks like it is no longer a thing which is sad when her personal life seems to be having some negative spill-over effects into her business life. Then, there were some accusations that Texas was given preferential treatment as a commercial was released right after the pageant featuring R'Bonney for the Nizuc Resort and Spa in Cancun, Mexico. R'Bonney did not get the opportunity to go with the rest of the contestants to Cancun because she was crowned Miss Texas USA after the Cancun trip as was Colorado's representative, Alexis Glover who didn't appear to get the Cancun experience as the others did. What resulted was some media speculation about the legitimacy of this win and calls for Crystle to step down as director but there are also clauses in the contracts that the contestants sign that say something to the effect that the results can be steered in a certain direction if the directors choose. This resulted in what some deem some parts sour graping from the contestants and other parts of contestants feeling like they were misled to believe they had a chance and wasted money when they claim they didn't have a chance and there are multiple social media posts from several contestants about this. They even apparently had to wear Miss USA branded shirts during pageant week rather than some of the clothes they brought. You might have noticed that few contestants went up to R'Bonney to congratulate her after she completed her first walk as Miss USA and that they were congratulating the runners-up instead and R'Bonney went to the hosts who congratulated her. This was a sharp contrast from Miss Teen USA a few days earlier when Nebraska's Faron Medhi was swarmed by fellow contestants shortly after her introductory walk. R'Bonney does say that other contestants congratulated her after they went off the air on fyi. As a result of what is happening right now, state directors have been notified from the Miss Universe Organization that Crystle's directorship is temporarily suspended while an investigation is being conducted and the Miss Universe Organization is temporarily taking back the Miss USA program as they had in 2020 in the meantime so we'll see if Crystle will get her directorship back when the investigation concludes or if there will be entirely new directorship. We have been here before though and sometimes this is how the game is played and we'll see if this investigation turns up any wrongdoing. Remember 2012 when Pennsylvania's unplaced representative said she heard Florida's representative claimed to see a list of the top 5 prior to the pageant and claims she saw that rumored top 5 actually become the top 5? Things got ugly after that but here we are again ten years later so we shall see how this all plays out.

Texas-R'Bonney GabrielNow, on to the pageant itself which opened with a caption tribute to the late Cheslie Kryst-Miss USA 2019 who passed away at age 30 on January 30, 2022 after Cheslie, who lived on the 9th floor of the Orion located at 350 West 42nd St in New York City had at least went up to the 29th floor terrace of that building when she jumped from the building alone and sources said there was no indication of any foul play. She was found deceased on the street below around 7:15 a.m. that morning. They also captioned an in memoriam tribute to a handicapped pageant fan named John Baker who passed away in December 2021. After Elle Smith welcomed us to Reno hitching a ride with a shirtless motorcycler, we saw the contestants dazzle us with their moves with choreography from seasoned pageant choreographer, Kent Parham to the songs "Queen" and later "Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels" by Todrick Hall who appeared on Celebrity Big Brother 2022 earlier this year finishing second to Miesha Tate and also appearing on this season were other pageant-world notables: Shanna Moakler-Miss USA 1995 who now directs Nevada and Utah's state pageants so she probably wasn't pleased with this song choice given how she was targeted early on in the game and also on that season were Carson Kressley who has commentated and judged several pageants over the years and Chris Kirkpatrick from N'SYNC who hosted Miss Teen USA 2002 and performed during Miss Teen USA 1998 and 1999. After the intro, Zuri Hall returned as host for a second year as expected as she did amazingly last year and she did a great job this year adorned with gold sparkles and we had some new faces as color commentators this year, Julissa Bermudez and Micah Jesse.

K...but what was that top 16 about?? In terms of my predictions, I picked 7 of the top 16 plus 1 alternate (New Mexico), 1 honorable mention (California) and 4 of the remaining 7 not in my list were in my next tier: Ohio, New Hampshire, Vermont, Missouri and the 3 that I missed entirely were: District of Columbia (literally next on my list after my next tier) and 2 that I never saw coming: Minnesota and West Virginia so this list was quite surprising. So what happened to my 9 picks that didn't place? First up was Georgia who had competed a few times for Miss Georgia for Miss America placing as a runner-up before crossing over the USA system winning her state title on her first try and Holly was my winner for a while until preliminaries where I could just sense her fizzling and her moves looked somewhat rehearsed and even though, she is stunning with a great body, she needed more power in her presentation. Washington was another favorite and her gown was inspired by a former Cher look but maybe she was deemed a little too overdramatic in her presentation? Mazzy was named after the group Mazzy Star best known for their song 'Fade Into You' but instead of fading into USA, she faded into the background sadly and Washington has still gone unplaced since 2004. Nevada, the host delegate, was also originally Miss Washington Teen USA 2018 but this was another Washington delegate that went unplaced again and there were moments where she looked a bit tense in the preliminaries but she was among the better overall candidates. She might have been deemed trouble by association though as her sister was Miss Washington USA 2016 but had to step down when she failed to disclose a DUI charge. Kentucky was also one of the better bodies of the competition but she seemed to have fallen out of favor after preliminaries although I thought she looked quite sophisticated with her hair tied back but the puff sleeves on her gown seemed to have turned people off to her so perhaps people want to leave that look in the 80s. Arizona was studying to be a doctor and had that exotic blend to her being half-Indian and half-Thai but I guess she didn't make enough of an impact. Delaware had a great body and that long elegant swan-like neck. It's funny because my friend Michael compared Kentucky to be the black swan and New Jersey to be the white swan due to the feathers on her gown and yet neither Delaware, Kentucky nor New Jersey placed so clearly swans are out this year... Delaware's green spikey earpiece in gown was somewhat unusual and polarizing. Massachusetts looked like she could do it after preliminaries as she looked like Pocahontas come to life with a stunning gown and great body and she had a story of migrating from Dominican Republic and overcoming poverty being raised by a single father. Virginia had a great body and gown and she had a story of being a volunteer firefighter which I thought would make good video but it doesn't really look like they focused on any story packages this year. Finally, Pennsylvania is the daughter of basketball player, Billy Owens and I thought her tall, athletic features would be favored and she has ambitions to host a talk-show so I thought she could talk her way through.



Winner=Texas-R'Bonney Gabriel

Winner=Kansas-Elyse Noe*

1st Runner Up=North Carolina-Morgan Romano

1st Runner Up=Nebraska-Natalie Pieper*

2nd Runner Up=Nebraska-Natalie Pieper

2nd Runner Up=Georgia-Holly Haynes

3rd Runner Up=Ohio-Sir'Quora Carroll

3rd Runner Up=Washington-Mazzy Eckel

4th Runner Up=Illinois-Angel Reyes

4th Runner Up=Nevada-Summer Keffeler

FINALISTS (alpha'l):


Connecticut-Cynthia Dias §

Texas-R'Bonney Gabriel*

Kansas-Elyse Noe

Kentucky-Lizzy Neutz

Minnesota-Madeline Helget

Tennessee-Emily Suttle*

New Hampshire-Camila Sacco

North Carolina-Morgan Romano*

New Mexico-Suzanne Perez

Illinois-Angel Reyes*

Tennessee-Emily Suttle

Arizona-Isabel Ticlo

Vermont-Kelsey Golonka

Delaware-Grace Lange



California-Tiffany Johnson

Massachusetts-Skarlet Ramirez

District of Columbia-Faith Porter

Virginia-Kailee Horvath

Missouri-Mikala McGhee

Connecticut-Cynthia Dias*

West Virginia-Krystian Leonard

Pennsylvania-Billie Laraé Owens


ALTERNATES: New Mexico*, Arkansas, Idaho, Mississippi, Hawaii


HONORABLE MENTIONS: California*, New York, Michigan, Maryland, Alabama

§ = won online vote

* = made actual top 16

When the top 16 were announced, the new panel of judges which were different from the preliminary panel had to narrow it down to a top 12 based solely on first impressions so as each delegate stepped forward, there was a split screen view of the live contestant, a clip from their preliminary interviews and their headshot. The order of the top 16 announced in random order were: District of Columbia, New Mexico, California, Connecticut, Missouri, Ohio, Nebraska, Tennessee, Illinois, Kansas, North Carolina, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Minnesota, Texas, Vermont. The casualties of this round were: District of Columbia, California, Missouri and West Virginia but in the time it took to announce the top 12 right after this, they could have probably fit in those four eliminated contestants to also compete in swimsuit and evening gown so a lot of people felt like this was an unnecessary cut. They could have just gone from 16 to 5 rather than 16 to 12 to 5. I wouldn't be surprised to see this formatting change for next year.

After the top 12 were announced, Christian Murphy announced the new panel of judges which were different from the preliminary panel that also judged Miss Teen USA preliminaries and finals. This finals panel consisted of: Aaron Potts, Soo Yeon Lee, Olivia Ponton, Kirk Meyers, Nicole Williams English and Ashlee Clark. Then, it was on to swimsuits. New Hampshire came out first and it was nice to see that she was not ignored as a lot of people really like her face but she is petite but she was very fit and Camila is of Paraguayan descent and this is the first placement for New Hampshire since 2004. Kansas was next and my winner, Elyse was sensational and the glamazon with an amazing body and incredible hair that this competition needed. She reminded me so much of Dayana Mendoza-Miss Universe 2008 and I thought the judges would say yes to Miss Noe but they said No to the Noe unfortunately and it turns out dem dere judges weren't reservin' dat crown Fur Elyse... Texas followed and R'Bonney looked fit and had that flair that Texans are known to possess. Texas has claimed its 10th Miss USA crown with R'Bonney but this is the longest period in history since Texas won its first Miss USA crown in 1977 that Texas has had to wait for another win as it has been 14 years since Crystle Stewart won Texas' 9th Miss USA crown in 2008. Tennessee followed looking like the classic beauty that is expected of the Volunteer state. She was also a semifinalist at Miss Teen USA 2013 and it has been rare in recent years for Teen delegates that placed to also place at Miss so good for Emily for placing at both. North Carolina followed and our chemical engineer was very confident and North Carolina's success in recent years is to be revered as they have placed in the top 8 for 4 of the last 5 years with 3 of those placements in the top 2 and one being a win in 2019! Nebraska followed and she was a consistent frontrunner throughout this competition. I considered her headshot to be the best of the bunch and her photogenicism translated on stage and her body and hair all looked incredible. What a worthy Miss USA she could have been. Minnesota followed and a few people actually did manage to see her potential. Her shorter hairstyle was unique and reminded me of a style I've seen Olivia Culpo-Miss Universe 2012 sport in the past. New Mexico followed and she had the classic poses down but was also more on the petite side but I regretted not finding a way to fit her in my list as she was my highest alternate. Ohio followed and early on I liked dear Sir'Quora's fierceness and her strong presence and daring to sport a more natural look but I thought her body wasn't among the stronger ones so I ended up leaving her out of my list in a next tier position which was an even bigger regret for me seeing how she made top 5. This was one first impression I should have stuck with. Vermont was yet another Teen crossover placing also among the semifinals at Miss Teen USA 2017 and Kelsey's sister Kenzie also competed at Miss Teen USA this year but going unplaced so the Golonka sisters dominated Vermont this year. Kelsey is more of one of the serene, non-threatening beauties and so it was nice to see Vermont actually get noticed this year especially since this was their first placement in a whopping 40 years since Georgia Davis back in 1982. Illinois followed and she was also one of the petite and thinner girls but she would not be denied. She made my list after seeing how much she reminded me of Puerto Rico's Joyce Giraud who was 2nd runner up at Miss Universe 1998. Finally, we had Connecticut who handily won the online fan vote and prides herself in her Portuguese roots and she was Miss Connecticut's Outstanding Teen 2014 so she also had the speaking skills needed for this competition.

It was great to see the newly crowned Miss Teen USA 2022, Nebraska's Faron Medhi on stage and showing her priceless reaction to her win and much like Cheslie Kryst-Miss USA 2019, Faron also could go from curly to straight hair in short periods of time. Then it was on to see the gowns with Chloe Flower performing on the piano. New Hampshire was up first and those shimmery gold illusion gowns were quite popular this year. This one had a nice design going down the middle and it was quite elegant. Kansas followed looking stunning in her silver one-shoulder gown with illusioned striped material on the sides. My only beef with this gown was that it was hard for her to walk down the stairs in it but she did it carefully and I thought that probably took away from her presentation and this may have been what did her in. Texas followed with what I believe was the only change from her green preliminary gown where she was pretty much screaming Pia Wurtzbach 2.0 but this was another shimmery gold gown with intricate designs on it and all R'Bonney's gowns have been quite amazing and being a fashion designer herself really helped her to have an eye for these things working with Filipino designer, Rian Fernandez. It's interesting to note that last year, Nevada's Kataluna Enriquez who became the first openly transgendered Miss USA contestant also designed her own clothes and also was of Filipina descent but she went unplaced and even Shanna Moakler-Miss USA 1995 commented that R'Bonney reminded her so much of Kataluna. R'Bonney was even runner-up to Miss Texas USA 2021, Victoria Hinojosa who made top 8 last year. Tennessee followed in a red number with illusion material around the bodice that didn't quite match her skin tone. North Carolina wore a shimmery orange gown that was almost identical to the gown she won her state pageant in minus the beaded fringe under the off-shoulder pieces. It was a great gown and she posed so well in it. It had a similar feel to the orange gown that Mexico's Lupita Jones wore when she won Miss Universe 1991. Nebraska followed in a deep blue gown with ocean waves on the sides. This gown looked very heavy almost as if she was drowning in the ocean but she emerged triumphant in it and managed to make it work and she was stunning. I was hoping for a better gown than this as this one just didn't seem quite right. Minnesota followed in yet another shimmery gold illusion gown as did New Mexico right after so I think at this point, the judges might have been getting sick of the shimmery gold illusion gowns. Ohio followed in a very different hot-pink flowy gown and while originally I thought this color was more Teen, Ohio made it work with her natural flair. Vermont followed in a flowy white silky number with a crumply looking scarf around her neck. Illinois followed in another shimmery gown but with a cut-out in the stomach area and a triple-beaded off-shoulder piece similar to what Cheslie Kryst sported when she won Miss USA 2019 and Angel looked angelic! Finally, Connecticut followed in a unique gown almost like a choir gown but with slits in the sleeves and it really had that all-covered-up but still very sexy feel to it.

Miss Universe, India's Harnaaz Sandhu made an appearance on stage and gave a little lecture about breaking global stigmas as she has been attacked this year for gaining weight and she said everyone is beautiful no matter what and also talked about the work she has been doing throughout the year and about giving up her crown in New Orleans on January 14, 2023. Christian Murphy then gave a small speech with a heartfelt tribute to the late Cheslie Kryst-Miss USA 2019 as he has worked with her before. "We were lucky to have her if for only what seems like a fleeting moment and even more blessed that her light lives on."

Top 5 with Zuri HallThen, a quick change to interview outfits for the announcement of the top 5 who had to do the talk-show panel format similar to last year and the top 5 were: Ohio, North Carolina, Texas, Illinois and Nebraska. Zuri's first question for the ladies chat sesh was that apparently the skinny jean has been cancelled and what was their opinion of the revival wide-legged jean. Is it for you or maybe the low-rise? Illinois said she was all for it and said that for her judges' interview, she wore flare pants. She thinks it's all about coming back and she's with fashion. Ohio said definitely for her. Nebraska said she's a big fan of the low-rise and she thinks the skinny jeans make her legs look a little too long but for her, it's more flattering and more comfortable. Texas said oooh, she loves it. She thinks there's a time and place for any type of style. As a designer, she likes to experiment and make different types of pants, wide-legged or low-rise so she's here for it. Zuri's next question asked about school, jobs, social engagements that they all have full plates and it's a lot and she wants to know what's their go-to when they need a little me-time, some self-care and she's really big on that. Nebraska said for her, she's a corporate attorney (That's right, casually throw in those accomplishments!) and it can get stressful as it has long hours. The most important thing for her to prioritize is her sleep and a workout routine but more importantly, hanging out with friends and family. They're what gives her energy and she loves you guys! Illinois said as the director of a medical aesthetics spa, what she's doing is pulling one of her employees into one of their rooms and have them give her a facial and it's important to show yourself a little grace in those moments so she's definitely taking some me-time. North Carolina said she works full-time as a chemical engineer so she definitely schedules in her me-time and she always says 'you wouldn't cancel on someone else so don't cancel on yourself' and for her, that's just like a good face-mask and watching Housewives! Ohio threw in a nice little saying that you can't pour from an empty cup so you have to make sure you're keeping yourself well-aligned and for her, that's getting outside and enjoying the outdoors. Zuri asked if they loved this tea/is into it or it's not for them. First up was shopping online vs. shopping in store. Nebraska said she loved this tea especially in light of Covid. Illinois said she absolutely loved this tea and online shopping is all for her. Texas said she'd have to change her mind because she likes to try clothes on and really see how they look on her so it's a whole experience. North Carolina said she agreed and it was not her and she likes in-person shopping. Ohio said it's definitely for her as she has some long legs and she has to order the extra-long. Zuri then asked your phone eating first and taking photos of every meal for social media. All of them except Texas simply said it wasn't for them and Texas said yes, if she wants to share it with her friends. When asked to explain why, Texas said she appreciates a nice-looking meal and if she wants to tell her friends about it or tell them they need to try it, she'll take the photo and send it to them. And Zuri added, "And then the food can live forever!"

R'Bonney answers her Top 5 questionThen it was on to the judges' questions. Nebraska chose Nicole Williams English who asked, "You're in the early stages of your professional life. In 2022, why do some women still face equity and equality issues in hiring especially in traditionally male-dominated fields?" Nebraska answered, "From my experience as well as a lot of the research that I have done into women in higher professions, a lot of the potential and full talent of females continues to be neglected and fails to be recognized. A lot of the reason being is because of the subconscious neglect for women. We're still regarding women as less-than and as a corporate attorney, I'm going to continue to pave the way for the avenue for specifically female attorneys after me. Thank you." An excellent answer as expected from Nebraska. Illinois chose Aaron Potts who asked, "Voters your age have become quite vocal about age limits for elected officials. Are placing age limits, young or old, on any profession ethical?" Illinois answered, "I absolutely, absolutely do not think that that is ethical. I think that anyone, no matter your age, no matter your race, no matter your gender, I'm a champion of inclusivity and diversity and I think anyone and everybody should have the opportunity to go after and pursue all of their wildest dreams and so I absolutely do not believe that that is ethical." She voiced her opinion well. Texas chose Soo Yeon Lee who asked, "Global studies indicate that women are increasingly seen as more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. You are asked to create a task for us to help address this issue. What is your first priority?" Texas rephrased the question because she couldn't quite understand Soo Yeon with her big accent. No, no. That's all I have to say... (Yes, that was a Romy & Michele reference!) Texas answered, "What is my first priority to address the climate issue? Yes, well, I think there's a...ways we can implement addressing climate change within our careers or our lifestyle. It's as easy a...adding a recycle bin to your house. Everybody can do that. Or being creative in ways you can also implement it in your job. I am a fashion designer. I actually made the outfit I'm wearing and I upcycle pieces and recycle different clothing to be more sustainable in my industry because I feel it's like my duty so I think that's something we can all look for ways in our certain industries, or in our homes to be sustainable as well." Texas handled this well. I think she answers in a more natural, conversational and calm manner. North Carolina chose Ashlee Clark who asked, "We heard your thoughts on social media influenced fashion trends earlier. Should content creators and influencers be required by law to disclose whether they're being paid or actually use the products and services they provide?" North Carolina answered, "I'm not sure they should be required by law to provide that information. I think if you're following an influencer, you' chose to follow them and you believe that the things that they're posting are things that they truly love and hopefully content creators out there are sharing things that they do truly use and would buy with their own hard-earned money and those are the influencers that I choose to follow." This was a decent answer and it seemed non-offensive. Finally, Ohio chose Olivia Ponton who asked, "Representation in entertainment is under a microscope lately from colorblind or non-traditional casting in movies to musicians playing historical instruments. Why is there so much pushback on representation?" Ohio responded, "I think as a country, we have to take the time to understand that we are the United States of America. In order for us to be united, we have to stand with one another and yes, we are pushing back but in order to become united, we have to change the trajectory of the different platforms that we've seen and that's getting comfortable with being uncomfortable." Ohio responded well to this question also and she seemed well-prepared to answer this question.

Top 2 with ElleWhen it was down to the final 5, I thought Nebraska would be the first state to take both Miss USA and Miss Teen USA for the same calendar year but I was shocked that Nebraska finished as 2nd runner up because I really thought she had it... Connecticut had overlapping titleholders when they held the titles of Miss Teen USA 2012 and Miss USA 2013 so this is the closest a state has come to have simultaneous winners. The congeniality award went to Alaska and the photogenic award went to Illinois with the top 3 of the state costume competition being Texas as winner with Tennessee and Maine in second and third places respectively. Another interesting tidbit my friend Paulo also points out that after Alaska's win of Miss America 2022, that Wyoming is the only state to not win one of the major American pageant titles. After Elle Smith took her final walk as Miss USA, it was time for the announcements of the placements of the top 5. They did away with the whole runner-up statement as Miss World has done recently and just called out that 5th place was Illinois, 4th place was Ohio, 3rd place was Nebraska, 2nd place was North Carolina and the new Miss USA was Texas for a history-making 10th time. R'Bonney will very likely be keeping her crown but we'll see what happens with the directorship and call it coincidence that R'Bonney's middle name (Nola) could also be deemed an abbreviation of New Orleans, LA (the host city of the next Miss Universe pageant for which R'Bonney Nola Gabriel will be competing) so is this a sign?? And could USA and the Philippines even be the final two?? My winner so far for Universe is Colombia though so we'll see what happens at Miss Universe on January 14, 2023!

Miss USAs! Crystle Stewart (2008), Carole Gist (1990), Elle Smith (2021), R'Bonney Gabriel (2022), Asya Branch (2020), Nia Sanchez (2014), Sarah Rose Summers (2018)

R'Bonney with her parents and brothers.

The Prethoughts - Miss USA 2022




Some photos courtesy Miss Universe L.P., LLLP