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Miss North Carolina USA

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Miss North Carolina USA
TypeBeauty pageant
Miss USA
Official language
Key people
Janice McDonald
Paula Miles
WebsiteOfficial website

The Miss North Carolina USA competition is the pageant that selects the representative for the state North Carolina in the Miss USA pageant. This state is part of the RPM Productions group since 1992.

In 2005, Miss North Carolina USA Chelsea Cooley won the Miss USA crown and placed in the top 10 at Miss Universe. Cooley is the first former Miss North Carolina Teen USA to win the Miss title, although not the first to have competed at Miss Teen USA. The second Miss North Carolina Teen USA to win the Miss title was Erin O'Kelley in 2007. She went on to place in the top 15 at Miss USA 2007. Similar to the Miss Utah USA titleholders, both Cooley and Kelley placed at Miss USA, eclipsing their teen performances. In 2009, Kristen Dalton became the second woman from North Carolina to be crowned Miss USA. In 2019, Cheslie Kryst became the third woman from the state to win Miss USA. In both occasions, they placed top 10 on their respective Miss Universe pageants.

North Carolina is currently third tied with Idaho in number of former teens have competed in this pageant: eight, after Indiana and Virginia, including three competed at Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia, respectively. In addition, two others have also competed at Miss America.

In 2020, Madeline Delp was the first woman in a wheelchair to win the top 10 finalists in a statewide Miss USA pageant.[1]

Madison Bryant of Fayetteville was crowned Miss North Carolina USA 2021 on March 6, 2021 at North Charleston Coliseum & Performing Arts Center in North Charleston, South Carolina. She will represent North Carolina for the title of Miss USA 2021.

Gallery of titleholders

Results summary


  • Miss USAs: Chelsea Cooley (2005), Kristen Dalton (2009), Cheslie Kryst (2019)
  • 1st runners-up: Caelynn Miller-Keyes (2018)
  • 2nd runners-up: Constance Ann Dorn (1975), Lynn Jenkins (1994), Ashley Puleo (2004)
  • 3rd runners-up: Lyndia Ann Tarlton (1960)
  • 4th runners-up: Marcia Burton (1974)
  • Top 6: Pat Arnold (1991)
  • Top 10/11/12: Deborah Ann Falls (1972), Dianne Jamerson (1979), Cookie Noak (1984), Rhonda Nobles (1986), Tess Elliott (1992), Ashley Love-Mills (2013)
  • Top 15: Shirley Bagwell (1956), Erin O'Kelley (2007)

North Carolina holds a record of 18 placements at Miss USA.


  • Miss Photogenic: Pat Arnold (1991)
  • Miss Congeniality: Vera Morris (1998), Monica Palumbo (2001)


Color key
  •   Declared as Winner
  •   Ended as runner-up
  •   Ended as one of the finalists or semifinalists
Year Name Hometown Age[a] Placement at Miss USA Special awards at Miss USA Notes
2021 Madison Bryant Fayetteville 24
2020 Jane Axhoj Waxhaw 22
2019 Laura Little[2] Charlotte 23 Did not compete
  • Originally first runner-up, assumed the title when Cheslie Kryst won Miss USA
  • Charlotte Honey Bees dancer
  • Sister of Courtney Little, Miss Teen North Carolina United States 2017
Cheslie Kryst Charlotte 27 Miss USA 2019 Top 10 at Miss Universe 2019
2018 Caelynn Miller-Keyes Asheville 22 1st runner-up
2017 Kaitlin "Katie" Coble Charlotte 26
2016 Devin Gant Charlotte 24 Originally first runner-up, assumed the title after Allie Dunn's resignation and competed in Miss USA[3]
Allison "Allie" Dunn Stallings 21 Did not compete Resigned the title a couple of weeks before the Miss USA 2016 pageant due to illness
2015 Julia Dalton Wilmington 23
2014 Olivia Olvera Fayetteville 26
2013 Ashley Love-Mills[4] Raleigh 24 Top 10
2012 Sydney Perry Wilmington 21 Previously Miss Vermont Teen USA 2008
2011 Brittany York Wilmington 22
2010 Nadia Moffett High Point 24
2009 Kristen Dalton Wilmington 21 Miss USA 2009
2008 Andrea Duke Hendersonville 25 Contestant at National Sweetheart 2006
2007 Erin O'Kelley Asheville 21 Top 15 Previously Miss North Carolina Teen USA 2001
2006 Samantha Holvey Buies Creek/
Glenville, WV
20 On Oct. 14, 2016 Holvey told CNN that Donald Trump personally inspected each woman prior to the contest.[5]
2005 Chelsea Cooley Charlotte 21 Miss USA 2005
2004 Ashley Puleo Pinehurst 25 2nd Runner-up Sister of Laura Puleo, Miss Virginia USA 2015
2003 Kristen Luneberg Durham 22 Previously Miss Rhode Island Teen USA 1998
2002 Alison English Archdale 22
2001 Monica Palumbo Charlotte 19 Miss Congeniality
2000 Portia Johnson Greensboro 24
1999 Joy Hall Sanford 24
1998 Vera Morris Nashville 23 Miss Congeniality
1997 Crystal McLaurin-Coney Durham
1996 Jessica McMinn Tuxedo
1995 Michelle Mauney Stanley
1994 Lynn Jenkins Gastonia 26 2nd Runner-up
1993 Christa Tyson Monroe
1992 Tess Elliott High Point 20 Top 11 (10th Place) Died in a sky-diving accident only weeks after the conclusion of her reign.[6]
1991 Pat Arnold Chapel Hill 21 Top 6 (5th place) Miss Photogenic
1990 Altman Allen Shelby
1989 Jacqueline Padgette Hobgood
1988 Tammy Tolar Fayetteville
1987 Donna Wilson Davidson
1986 Rhonda Nobles Fayetteville 20 Top 10 Semi-finalist
1985 Kate Kenney Raleigh
1984 Cookie Noak Hickory 23 Top 10 Semi-finalist
1983 Allison Payge Pinson Mooresville
1982 Jeannie Boger Sanford Mother of Miss USA 2009 Kristen Dalton (Miss North Carolina USA 2009) and Miss North Carolina Teen USA 2008 Julia Dalton (second-runner up at Miss Teen USA 2008).
1981 Lisa Swift Southport
1980 Lori Boggs Kannapolis
1979 Dianne Jamerson Asheville 24 Top 12 Semi-finalist
1978 Kathryn Norman Charlotte
1977 Vikki Verbyla Lenoir
1976 Dianne Bowen Windsor
1975 Constance Dorn Kinston 21 2nd Runner-up
1974 Marcia Patrice Burton Hickory 21 4th Runner-up
1973 Vivian Craig Stanley
1972 Deborah Falls Vale 21 Top 12 Semi-finalist
1971 Mary Rudroff Wiston-Salem
1970 Susan Bodsford Ramseur
1969 Faye Bass Durham 19 Received United Artist Special Talent Award
1968 Kelli Moore Raleigh
1967 Patti Effron Jacksonville
1966 Brenda Moye Fountain
1965 Sandra Farmer Greensboro
1964 Did Not Compete
1963 Trudy Cauthen Newton
1962 Brenda Smith Charlotte
1961 Marie Clyburn Charlotte
1960 Lyndia Tarlton Wingate 19 3rd Runner-up
1959 Peggy Brown Sunbury
1958 Carol Edwards Elizabeth City
1957 Peggy Dennis Lilesville
1956 Shirley Bagwell Raleigh 18 Top 15 Semi-finalist
1955 Mary Ratliffe Wadesboro
1954 Ann Pickett Charlotte
1953 Libby Walker Wilton
1952 Doris Stanley Greensboro
  1. ^ Age at the time of the Miss USA pageant

External links


  1. ^ "After surviving a coma, woman in wheelchair makes beauty pageant history". Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  2. ^ "Miss USA returns to Charlotte, advocates for justice". WSOC. May 13, 2019. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  3. ^ Levans, Katie (June 3, 2016). "Illness for Miss North Carolina lands a Charlotte-area runner-up in her place days before the Miss USA Pageant". Charlotte Agenda. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  4. ^ "Miss North Carolina USA 2013 is Ashley Mills". Beauty Pageant News. November 11, 2012. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  5. ^ Scott Zamost, CNN, October 13, 2016, Ex-contestant: Trump inspected each woman before pageant, Retrieved October 14, 2016, "...He would step in front of each girl and look you over from head to toe like we were just meat ... You know when a gross guy at the bar is checking you out? It's that feeling..." -- Samantha Holvey
  6. ^ "1992 Miss North Carolina USA Killed in Skydiving Accident". The Associated Press. 1992-09-22.