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Miss California USA

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Miss California USA
TypeBeauty pageant
HeadquartersLos Angeles
Miss USA
Official language
Key people
Kristen Bradford (Executive Director)
WebsiteOfficial website

Miss California USA is a pageant that selects the representative for the state of California in the Miss USA pageant. This pageant is part of Miss USA Organization.

The pageant has been held every year since 1952. Host locations have included Oxnard, Palm Springs, and Long Beach.[1][2]

Sabrina Lewis is a 23 year old native of Newnan, Georgia. She was crowned Miss California USA 2021 on September 12, 2021 at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse in San Gabriel. Sabrina will represent California for the title of Miss USA 2021.


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. Also was produced by Top 10 Productions, Inc. San Diego-based. Top 10 was led by Pam Wilson and Alex Kuty, who have been involved in pageant and fashion production for many years. 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. In October 2021, Kristen Bradford of Crown Diva Productions took over the directorship for California pageants.

In 2009 Carrie Prejean was forced to resign after placing 1st runner-up at Miss USA 2009 after a controversy developed regarding the answer she gave to her final interview question at the national pageant.[3] Pageant organisers claimed she was fired due to contractual violations.[4]

California has produced a Miss USA every decade (except the 2000s) and is ranked second highest among states in terms of placements, after Texas.

Shauna Gambill, who won the national Miss Teen USA crown in 1994, is the only Miss California USA who has previously held the Miss California Teen USA title. As Miss California USA in 1998, Gambill placed 1st Runner-Up to Shawnae Jebbia of Massachusetts. Three Miss California USA titleholders have also competed in the Miss America pageant while two were former winners of the Miss Teenage California Scholarship Pageant.

Gallery of titleholders

Results summary

  • Miss USAs: 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 5: Nadia Mejía (2016)
  • Top 10/12: Karin Morrell (1971), Carol Herrema (1973), Joni Pennock (1976), Donna Adrain (1978), Linda Fogarty (1979), Christina Faust (1989), Jane Olvera (1993), Tarah Peters (2002), Nicole Johnson (2010), Cassandra Kunze (2014), India Williams (2017), Kelley Johnson (2018), Allyshia Gupta (2020)
  • Top 15/20: Marcella Roulette (1953), Sandra Constance (1954), 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)

California holds a record of 50 placements at Miss USA, second overall behind Texas and ahead of New York and South Carolina.


  • 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 (1968)


Color key
  •   Declared as Winner
  •   Ended as runner-up
  •   Ended as one of the finalists or semifinalists
Year Name Hometown Age1 Placement at Miss USA Special awards at Miss USA Notes
2021 Sabrina Lewis Newnan, GA 23 TBA Eligible as an attendee at University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia honoring master's degree at the time of crowning
2020 Allyshia Gupta Los Angeles 25 Top 10 Longest reigning Miss California USA (1 year, 7 months and 17 days)
2019 Erica Dann San Francisco 27
2018 Kelley Johnson[5] Los Angeles 24 Top 10
2017 India Williams[7] Lafayette 20 Top 10
2016 Nadia Mejia Diamond Bar 20 Top 5 Daughter of Gerardo Mejia and Kathy Eicher, Miss West Virginia USA 1989[8]
2015 Natasha Martinez Chino Hills 23
2014 Cassandra Kunze San Diego 20 Top 10 Miss Photogenic
2013 Mabelynn Capeluj[9] San Diego 21 Top 15 Competed in Nuestra Belleza Latina 2015
2012 Natalie Pack[10] Palos Verdes 22 Contestant of cycle 12 on America's Next Top Model
2011 Katie Blair Los Angeles 23 Did not compete
Alyssa Campanella[11] Los Angeles 20 Miss USA 2011
2010 Nicole Johnson Westlake Village 24 Top 10 Later married Olympian and 22-time gold medalist Michael Phelps
2009 Tami Farrell Los Angeles 25 Did not compete
Carrie Prejean San Diego 21 1st Runner-up Involved in the Miss USA 2009 same-sex marriage controversy; later dethroned.[3]
2008 Raquel Beezley Barstow 21 Top 15 Raquel Beezley was crowned Miss California USA 2008 after an accounting error in vote counting had previously crowned Christina Silva.[12]
2007 Meagan Tandy Fontana 21 3rd Runner-up Actress known for roles on Teen Wolf and UnREAL[13]
2006 Tamiko Nash Los Angeles 26 1st Runner-up Model on The Price Is Right in 2007 and 2008.
2005 Brittany Hogan Escondido 20 1st Runner-up Contestant on Miss USA episode of Fear Factor in 2005.
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
2001 Jennifer Glover Castro Valley 21 Later Miss California 2002. Previously Miss United States International 1999, competed at Miss International 1999 in Tokyo, Japan.
2000 Rebekah Ann Keller Lakewood 25 Previously Miss California 1997 and 4th Runner-Up at Miss America 1998
1999 Angelique Breaux San Diego 21 2nd Runner-up Later Miss World USA 2000 and semi-finalist at Miss World 2000.
1998 Shauna Gambill Acton 21 1st Runner-up Previously Miss California Teen USA 1994 and Miss Teen USA 1994. Later Miss World USA 1998 and semi-finalist at Miss World 1998.
1997 Alisa Kimble Lake Elsinore 27
1996 Shauna Lyn Searles Tustin 26 First woman to hold the Miss California USA title twice
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
1992 Shauna Lyn Searles Los Angeles Did not compete
Shannon Marketic[14] Malibu 21 Miss USA 1992 Miss Photogenic Semifinalist at Miss Universe 1992
1991 Diane Schock Fontana 24 2nd Runner-up
1990 Cynthia Nelson Gilroy
1989 Christina Maria Faust San Fernando Valley 23 Top 10
1988 Diana Magaña[15][16] Rancho Palos Verdes 22 1st Runner-up Later Miss World USA 1988 and Top 10 semifinalist at Miss World 1988.
1987 Lori Dickerson[17] Lodi Miss Congeniality[18]
1986 Kelly Parsons Los Angeles 22 4th Runner-up Mouseketeer, Model and Actress
1985 Zina Ponder Long Beach
1984 Theresa Ring San Diego 1987 Star Search spokesmodel
1983 Julie Lynne Hayek[19] Westwood 22 Miss USA 1983 1st Runner-Up at Miss Universe 1983, has starred in Dallas, Twin Peaks and As the World Turns; Future actress Mariska Hargitay placed 4th Runner-Up in this competition
1982 Suzanne Dewames Thousand Oaks
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
1978 Donna Adrain Anaheim Top 12
1977 Pamela Gergely San Rafael 3rd Runner-up
1976 Joni Pennock[20] Fullerton 20 Top 12
1975 Summer Bartholomew Merced 23 Miss USA 1975 2nd Runner-Up at Miss Universe 1975, Past hostess of Sale of the Century
1974 Gayle Gorrell Los Angeles 3rd Runner-up
1973 Carol Herrema Artesia Top 12
1972 Kim Hobson San Mateo 2nd Runner-up
1971 Karin Morrell Auburn Top 12
1970 Linda Hall Los Angeles Top 15
1969 Troas Hayes Sacramento 4th Runner-up
1968 Suzanne Fromm Los Angeles Top 15 Best State Costume
1967 Susan Bradley Tustin 1st Runner-up Was offered to take the Miss USA title when Sylvia Hitchcock became Miss Universe. She refused to take it.
1966 Maria Remenyi El Cerrito 20 Miss USA 1966 Miss Photogenic Semifinalist at Miss Universe 1966
1965 Kathryn Lee Hage Santa Monica Top 15
1964 Jeanne Venables Sacramento Top 15 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 Los Angeles Top 15
1959 Terry Lynn Huntingdon Mount Shasta 19 Miss USA 1959 2nd Runner-Up at Miss Universe 1959
1958 Donna Kay Brooks Los Angeles Top 15
1957 Peggy Jacobson Los Angeles Top 15
1956 Shirlee Witty Los Angeles
1955 Donna Schurr Los Angeles 3rd Runner-up
1954 Sandra Constance Los Angeles Top 20
1953 Marcella Roulette Los Angeles Top 20
1952 Gloria Maxwell Los Angeles

1 Age at the time of the Miss USA pageant




  1. ^ Gladstone, Mark (10 January 1983). "New rules make runner-up in beauty contest a winner". The Los Angeles Times.
  2. ^ Russell, Kelle (29 July 1988). "Countdown begins for title quest". The Desert Sun.
  3. ^ a b "Carrie Prejean stripped of Miss California title". Today. 11 June 2009.
  4. ^ McKinley, Jesse (10 June 2009). "Donald Trump Fires Miss California".
  5. ^ Harding, Todd (December 4, 2017). "Former Miss Colorado Wins Miss California USA Pageant". K99 News.
  6. ^ Udell, Erin (2 January 2018). "Former Windsor resident mocked by 'The View' co-host named Miss California". The Coloradoan.
  7. ^ Taylor, Evelyn (17 January 2017). "Miss California: LMU Junior Represents Santa Monica and Takes Coveted Crown". Westside Today. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  8. ^ Gore, Leada (6 June 2016). "'Rico Suave's' daughter: Miss California is Nadia Mejia, daughter of '90s pop star Gerardo".
  9. ^ "Mabelynn Capeluj Crowned Miss California USA 2013". Beauty Pageant News. January 13, 2013. Retrieved January 23, 2013.
  10. ^ Gruszecki, Debra (9 January 2012). "Miss California USA crowned". The Desert Sun.
  11. ^ "Glitz, glamour, gowns". The Desert Sun. November 22, 2010. Retrieved 22 November 2010.
  12. ^ Mix-Up Strips Miss California-USA of Her Title
  13. ^ Cristi, Andrew (6 December 2017). "WILL YOU TAKE THIS ROSE? UNREAL Beauty MEAGAN TANDY Dishes on Season 2 of Lifetime's Hit Show!". Huffington Post.
  14. ^ "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.
  15. ^ "New Miss California". The San Francisco Chronicle. 1987-08-31. p. 6.
  16. ^ "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.
  17. ^ "Miss California-USA". The San Francisco Chronicle. 1986-10-30. p. 6.
  18. ^ "Personal Mention". Houston Chronicle. 1987-02-13.
  19. ^ "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.
  20. ^ "Sharing Gospel is Great Joy for Miss California". The Deseret News. 1976-11-06.[permanent dead link]

External links