Miss California USA
Miss California USA is a pageant that selects the representative for the state of California in the Miss USA pageant. The current titleholder is Cassandra Kunze of San Diego, who was crowned by Miss California USA 2013, Mabelynn Capeluj.
The 2014 pageant was produced by Top 10 Productions, Inc. Top 10 is led by Pam Wilson and Alex Kuty, who have been involved in pageant and fashion production for many years. Alex Kuty competed multiple times for the title of Miss California USA and although never crowned, she returned to assist during the previous directors leadership. Top 10 took over for K2 Productions in 2013. K2 had a number of controversies but during its 9 years producing the pageant, it managed to be the top placing state at MISS USA, growing the entry numbers to the largest state pageant in the history of MISS USA and doing the first live television airing in over 10 years. In the beginning, K2 Productions was directed by former Miss Teen USA 1995, Keylee Sue Sanders, and Keith Lewis. K2 Productions was later directed by Lewis and briefly co-produced by Miss USA 1995, Shanna Moakler. Moakler resigned in protest after MiSS CALIFORNIA USA 2009, Carrie Prejean initially kept her title after controversy escalated from alleged contract violations. Prejean was later dethroned and a public lawsuit with K2 followed. After rumored sex tapes involving Prejean surfaced, both parties settled the case. Prior to K2 Productions, the Miss California USA Pageant was produced by Carolee Munger. Prior to Ms. Munger, Guyrex Productions held the franchise for a number of years and produced successful televised pageants with over 100 participants. Before Guyrex, the pageant was produced by Dr. Leanord Stallcup, who took over the directorship after Faye Smith successfully led the way through the 1970s and 1980s.
California has produced a Miss USA every decade (except the 2000s) and is ranked second highest among states in terms of placements.
Only one Miss California USA was a former Miss California Teen USA, Shauna Gambill, who won the national Miss Teen USA crown in 1994. As Miss California USA in 1998, Gambill placed 1st runner up to Shawnae Jebbia of Massachusetts, in what is widely considered by pageant fans to be one of the closest-fought pageants in recent years. Two Miss California USAs have also competed in the Miss America pageant, while two were former winners of the Miss Teenage California Scholarship Pageant.
The Miss California USA 2011 pageant is one of the most successful state pageants in Miss Universe history, producing three future Miss USA's - Alyssa Campanella in 2011, Nana Meriwether in 2012, and Nia Sanchez in 2014.
The Miss California USA 2010 Crown was designed by INTA Gems and Diamonds designer Peter Young in 2009. The crown contains hand-crafted silver and gold as well as over 700 gemstones, including diamonds, sapphires, and pearls. The crown features a heart in the center surrounded by sparkling waves. According to Young, it symbolizes love, unity, and the beauty of California.
- Miss USA: Terry Huntingdon (1959), Maria Remenyi (1966), Summer Bartholomew (1975), Julie Hayek (1983), Shannon Marketic (1992), Alyssa Campanella (2011)
- 1st runners-up: Pamela Stettler (1961), Susan Bradley (1967), Diana Magaña (1988), Shauna Gambill (1998), Brittany Hogan (2005), Tamiko Nash (2006), Carrie Prejean (2009)
- 2nd runners-up: Kim Hobson (1972), Diane Schock (1991), Angelique Breaux (1999)
- 3rd runners-up: Donna Schurr (1955), Marilyn Tindall (1962), Gayle Gorrell (1974), Pamela Gergley (1977), Cynthia Kerby (1981), Meagan Tandy (2007)
- 4th runners-up: Francine Herack (1963), Troas Hayes (1969), Kelly Parsons (1986)
- Top 10: Christina Faust (1989), Nicole Johnson (2010), Cassandra Kunze (2014)
- Top 12: Karin Morrell (1971), Carol Herrema (1973), Joni Pennock (1976), Donna Adrain (1978), Linda Fogarty (1979), Jane Olvera (1993), Tarah Peters (2002)
- Top 15: Peggy Jacobson (1957), Donna Brooks (1958), Teri Janssen (1960), Jeanne Venables (1964), Kathryn Hage (1965), Suzanne Fromm (1968), Linda Hall (1970), Raquel Beezley (2008), Mabelynn Capeluj (2013)
- Top 20: Marcella Roulette (1953), Sandra Constance (1954)
- Miss Congeniality: Jeanne Venables (1964), Cynthia Kerby (1981), Lori Dickerson (1987)
- Miss Photogenic: Maria Remenyi (1966), Cynthia Kerby (1981), Shannon Marketic (1992), Cassandra Kunze (2014)
- Best State Costume: Suzanne Fromm (1964)
|Year||Name||Hometown||Age1||Placement at Miss USA||Special awards at Miss USA||Notes|
|2014||Cassandra Kunze||San Diego||20||Top 10||Miss Photogenic||Previously Miss Teenage California 2012|
|2013||Mabelynn Capeluj||San Diego||21||Top 15|
|2012||Natalie Pack||Palos Verdes||22||Previously competed in America's Next Top Model, Cycle 12 (Eliminated in Episode 10)|
|2011||Katie Blair||Los Angeles||23||Succeeded when Alyssa Campanella won Miss USA||Previously Miss Montana Teen USA 2006 and Miss Teen USA 2006. Succeeded Alyssa Campanella when she became Miss USA 2011.|
|Alyssa Campanella||Los Angeles||21||Miss USA 2011||Previously Miss New Jersey Teen USA 2007; 1st runner-up to Miss Teen USA 2007
Top 16 semifinalist at Miss Universe 2011
|2010||Nicole Johnson||Westlake Village||24||Top 10, Finished 9th at Miss USA 2010|
|2009||Tami Farrell||Los Angeles||25||Succeeded Carrie Prejean when she was dethroned||Previously Miss Oregon Teen USA 2003 and Miss Teen USA 2003. Succeeded Carrie Prejean when she was dethroned.|
|Carrie Prejean||San Diego||21||1st runner-up||Protagonist of the Miss USA 2009 controversy; later dethroned by K2 Productions|
|2008||Raquel Beezley||Barstow||21||Top 15, Finished 12th at Miss USA 2008||Raquel Beezley was crowned Miss California USA 2008 after an accounting error in vote counting had previously crowned Christina Silva. Competed at Miss Asia Pacific International 2005 as USA Representative.|
|2007||Meagan Tandy||Fontana||21||3rd runner-up|
|2006||Tamiko Nash||Los Angeles||26||1st runner-up|
|2005||Brittany Hogan||Escondido||20||1st runner-up||Was contestant on Fear Factor in 2005 on the Miss USA episode #5.29 (2nd place)|
|2004||Ellen Chapman||San Jose||22||Sister of Miss Nevada USA 2011- Sarah Chapman; Previously Miss Teenage California 1999|
|2003||Candice Sanders||La Habre||26|
|2002||Tarah Peters||San Diego||21||Top 12 semifinalist|
|2001||Jennifer Glover||Castro Valley||21||Later Miss California 2002, 1st runner up at Miss Oktoberfest 2000. Previously Miss United States International 1999, competed at Miss International 1999 in Tokyo, Japan.|
|2000||Rebekah Ann Keller||Lakewood||25||Previously Miss California 1997, 4th runner up at Miss America 1998|
|1999||Angelique Breaux||San Diego||21||2nd runner-up||Later Miss World USA 2000, Top 10 Semi-Finalist at Miss World 2000 in London, England, UK.|
|1998||Shauna Gambill||Acton||21||1st runner-up||Previously Miss Teen USA 1994 and Miss California Teen USA 1994. Later Miss World USA 1998 and Top 10 Finalist at Miss World 1998 in Seychelles, Africa.|
|1997||Alisa Kimble||Lake Elsinore||27||1st runner up at Miss Oktoberfest 1994 as Miss Arizona|
|1996||Shanna Lyn Searles||Tustin||26||3rd runner up at Miss Oktoberfest 1990|
|1995||Deana Avila||Laguna Niguel||Won the 1988 Miss Teenage California Scholarship Pageant|
|1994||Toay Lynn Foster||Oxnard|
|1993||Jane Olvera||Fresno||23||Top 12 semifinalist|
|1992||Shanna Lyn Searles||did not compete||Succeeded Shannon Marketic when she became Miss USA 1992, later became Miss California USA 1996|
|Shannon Marketic||Malibu||21||Miss USA 1992||Miss Photogenic||Top 10 semifinalist at Miss Universe 1992|
|1991||Diane Schock||Fontana||24||2nd runner-up|
|1989||Christina Maria Faust||San Fernando Valley||23||Top 10 semifinalist|
|1988||Diana Magaña||Rancho Palos Verdes||22||1st runner-up||Top 10 semifinalist at Miss World 1988. She also received extensive training alongside eventual pageant winner Courtney Gibbs of Texas from pageant directors GuyRex;.|
|1987||Lori Dickerson||Lodi||Miss Congeniality|
|1986||Kelly Parsons||Los Angeles||22||4th runner-up||Mouseketeer, Model and Actress|
|1985||Zina Ponder||Long Beach, California||(Miss USA Special Awards, column writer for Lakeland Ledger Newspaper, a daily account of Miss USA activities||(Actress and Writer, former Director of Creative Affairs for Morgan Freeman's production company ("Under Suspicion", "The Human Factor"), produced "Morgan Freeman, Holly Hunter, Zina Ponder Pistor & Friends" for Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw's Children's Action Network, University of Southern California (magna cum laude), 1988|
|1984||Theresa Ring||San Diego||1987 Star Search spokesmodel|
|1983||Julie Lynne Hayek||Westwood||22||Miss USA 1983||1st runner-up at Miss Universe 1983, has starred in Dallas, Twin Peaks and As the World Turns|
|1982||Suzanne Dewames||Thousand Oaks||3rd runner up in Miss Oktoberfest 1982|
|1981||Cynthia Kerby||Westlake Village||3rd runner-up||Miss Photogenic & Miss Congeniality||First woman to win Miss Photogenic & Miss Congeniality at Miss USA|
|1980||Kari Lloyd||Thousand Oaks|
|1979||Linda Fogarty||Fullerton||Top 12 semifinalist|
|1978||Donna Adrain||Anaheim||Top 12 semifinalist|
|1977||Pamela Gergely||San Rafael||3rd runner-up|
|1976||Joni Pennock||Fullerton||20||Top 12 semifinalist|
|1975||Summer Bartholomew||Merced||23||Miss USA 1975||2nd runner-up at Miss Universe 1975, Miss Oktoberfest 1973, past hostess of Sale of the Century|
|1974||Gayle Gorrell||3rd runner-up||Miss Oktoberfest 1974|
|1973||Carol Herrema||Artesia||Top 12 semifinalist|
|1972||Kim Hobson||San Mateo||2nd runner up|
|1971||Karin Morrell||Auburn||Top 12 semifinalist|
|1970||Linda Hall||Los Angeles||Top 15 semifinalist|
|1969||Troas Hayes||Sacramento||4th runner-up|
|1968||Suzanne Fromm||Top 15 semifinalist||Best State Costume|
|1967||Susan Bradley||Tustin||1st runner-up||declined Miss USA title|
|1966||Maria Remenyi||El Cerrito||20||Miss USA 1966||Miss Photogenic||Top 15 semifinalist at Miss Universe 1966|
|1965||Kathryn Lee Hage||Santa Monica||Top 15 semifinalist|
|1964||Jeanne Venables||Sacramento||Top 15 semifinalist||Miss Congeniality|
|1963||Francine Herack||Encino||4th runner-up|
|1962||Marilyn Tindall||Los Angeles||3rd runner-up|
|1961||Pamela Stettler||San Rafael||1st runner-up|
|1960||Teri Janssen||Top 15 semifinalist|
|1959||Terry Lynn Huntingdon||Mount Shasta||19||Miss USA 1959||2nd Runner-up at Miss Universe 1959|
|1958||Donna Kay Brooks||Top 15 semifinalist|
|1957||Peggy Jacobson||Top 15 semifinalist|
|1955||Donna Schurr||3rd runner-up|
|1954||Sandra Constance||Top 20 semifinalist|
|1953||Marcella Roulette||Top 20 semifinalist|
1 Age at the time of the Miss USA pageant
- Woolard, Deidre Crown Ready For New Miss California USA Luxist. November 21, 2009.
- Unveiling the 2010 Miss California USA Crown Promotes Unity, Love and the Beauty of California INTA Gems & Diamonds. November 16, 2009.
- "Mabelynn Capeluj Crowned Miss California USA 2013". Beauty Pageant News. January 13, 2013. Retrieved January 23, 2013.
- "Glitz, glamour, gowns". The Desert Sun. November 22, 2010. Retrieved 22 November 2010.
- Mix-Up Strips Miss California-USA of Her Title
- "Miss USA crowned". Dallas Morning News. Associated Press. February 8, 1992. Retrieved 4 November 2010. "Shannon La Rhea Marketic, Miss California USA, was crowned Miss USA 1992 Friday night in Wichita, Kan. The 22-year-old Pepperdine University student, a native of Malibu, looked upward when she realized she had won. She then made a thank-you gesture to the audience and judges."
- "New Miss California". The San Francisco Chronicle. 1987-08-31. p. 6.
- "Bringing Up Beauty / In the months before the Miss USA Pageant, advisers work on Miss California". The San Francisco Chronicle. 1987-10-01. p. 6.
- Lewis, Holden (1988-03-02). "Miss USA Contest Rewards Winners, Gurus". Associated Press.
- "Miss California-USA". The San Francisco Chronicle. 1986-10-30. p. 6.
- "Personal Mention". Houston Chronicle. 1987-02-13.
- "Would-be dentist wears a crown". Philadelphia Daily News. May 13, 1983. Retrieved 4 November 2010. "Miss California, Julie Lynne Hayek, a green-eyed student model who wants to be a dentist, was crowned Miss USA last night."
- "Sharing Gospel is Great Joy for Miss California". The Deseret News. 1976-11-06.