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Miss Teen USA

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Miss Teen USA
Miss Teen USA.jpg
MottoConfidently Beautiful
FormationAugust 30, 1983; 37 years ago (1983-08-30)
TypeBeauty pageant
HeadquartersNew York City
Official language
National Director
Crystle Stewart
Sony Interactive Entertainment

Miss Teen USA is a beauty pageant run by the Miss Universe Organization for girls aged 14–19. Unlike its sister pageants Miss Universe, which currently broadcasts on Fox and Miss USA, this pageant is webcast on the Miss Teen USA website and simulcast on mobile devices and video game consoles. The Miss Universe Organization previously operated Miss Teen USA as well as Miss USA, until Miss USA and Miss Teen USA were split into an independent organization in 2020 under the directorship of Crystle Stewart.

The pageant was first held in 1983 and has been broadcast live on CBS until 2002 and then on NBC from 2003 to 2007. In March 2007, it was announced that the broadcast of the Miss Teen USA pageant on NBC had not been renewed, and that Miss Teen USA 2007 would be the final televised event.[1]

From 2008 to 2015, the pageant was held at the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort, located in Nassau, Bahamas. Since 2018, the pageant is held concurrently with its sister Miss USA pageant in a single city a few days before the start of Miss USA final competition.[citation needed] In 2020, Miss Teen USA was split from the Miss Universe Organization, and has since been owned by Crystle Stewart.[2]

Notable pageant winners include actresses Kelly Hu (1985, Hawaii), Bridgette Wilson (1990, Oregon), Charlotte Lopez-Ayanna (1993, Vermont), Vanessa Minnillo (1998, South Carolina) and Shelley Hennig (2004, Louisiana).

The current titleholder is Kiʻilani Arruda of Hawaii who was crowned on November 7, 2020 at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee.


The following is a list of pageant editions and information.

Year Date Edition Venue Entrants
1983 August 30 1st Lakeland Civic Center, Lakeland, Florida 51
1984 April 3 2nd Memphis Cook Convention Center, Memphis, Tennessee 51
1985 January 22 3rd James L. Knight Center, Miami, Florida 51
1986 January 21 4th Ocean Center, Daytona Beach, Florida 51
1987 July 21 5th El Paso Civic Center, El Paso, Texas 51
1988 July 25 6th Orange Pavilion, San Bernardino, California 51
1989 July 25 7th Orange Pavilion, San Bernardino, California 51
1990 July 16 8th Mississippi Coast Coliseum, Biloxi, Mississippi 51
1991 August 19 9th 51
1992 August 25 10th 50
1993 August 10 11th 51
1994 August 16 12th 51
1995 August 15 13th Century II Convention Center, Kansas 51
1996 August 21 14th Pan American Center, Las Cruces, New Mexico 51
1997 August 20 15th South Padre Island Convention Centre, South Padre Island, Texas 51
1998 August 17 16th Hirsch Memorial Coliseum, Shreveport, Louisiana 51
1999 August 24 17th 51
2000 August 26 18th 51
2001 August 22 19th South Padre Island Convention Centre, South Padre Island, Texas 51
2002 August 28 20th 51
2003 August 12 21st Palm Springs Convention Center, Palm Springs, California 51
2004 August 6 22nd 51
2005 August 8 23rd Baton Rouge River Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 51
2006 August 15 24th Palm Springs Convention Center, Palm Springs, California 51
2007 August 24 25th Pasadena Civic Auditorium, Pasadena, California 51
2008 August 16 26th Grand Ballroom, Atlantis Paradise Island, Nassau, Bahamas 51
2009 July 31 27th Imperial Ballroom, Atlantis Paradise Island, Nassau, Bahamas 51
2010 July 24 28th 51
2011 July 16 29th Grand Ballroom, Atlantis Paradise Island, Nassau, Bahamas 51
2012 July 28 30th 51
2013 August 10 31st 51
2014 August 2 32nd 51
2015 August 22 33rd 51
2016 July 30 34th Venetian Theatre, The Venetian Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada 51
2017 July 29 35th Phoenix Symphony Hall, Phoenix, Arizona 51
2018 May 18 36th Hirsch Memorial Coliseum, Shreveport, Louisiana 51
2019 April 28 37th Grand Sierra Resort's Grand Theatre, Reno, Nevada 51
2020 November 7 38th Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee 51
2021 TBA 39th TBA 51

Competition rounds

Prior to the final telecast the delegates compete in the preliminary competition, which involves private interviews with the judges and a presentation show where they compete in swimsuit and evening gown.

During the final competition, the semi-finalists are announced and go on to compete in swimsuit and evening gown. From 1983 to 2002 all semi-finalists also competed in an interview competition as well as both swimsuit and evening gown, followed by one or two final interview questions. In 2003, a new format was introduced where the top fifteen competed in evening gown, the top ten competed in swimsuit and the top five competed in the final question. In 2006, the order of competition was changed where the top fifteen competed in swimsuit and the top ten in evening gown. The latest competition format was used since 2008 the final not broadcast on TV, where the top fifteen both competed in swimsuit and evening gown, and the top five competed in the final question who all signed up by a panel of judges.

Former Miss Teen USA Katherine Haik supported calls to eliminate the swimsuit competition.[3] The swimsuit category was chastised for exploiting and sexualizing young women and not promoting diverse body types. The new active-wear portion will increase the focus on wellness and health of young ladies.[3]

Recent titleholders

Year Name State represented Venue
2020 Kiʻilani Arruda  Hawaii Memphis, Tennessee
2019 Kaliegh Garris  Connecticut Reno, Nevada
2018 Hailey Colborn  Kansas Shreveport, Louisiana
2017 Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff  Missouri Phoenix, Arizona
2016 Karlie Hay  Texas Las Vegas, Nevada


Broadcasting of the pageant

1983–2007: Viewership and later decline

The pageant's viewership peak was hit in 1988, when the pageant averaged over 22 million viewers on CBS. Even as recently as 1999, the show managed to bring in over 10 million viewers. The 2006 airing was the second lowest rated in the pageant's 23-year history, with only 5.6 million viewers watching the live broadcast (the lowest: 2004, with 5.34 million).[4] The 2007 telecast (25th Anniversary, scheduled for August 24, 2007) was the last time Miss Teen USA aired live on television.

2008–present: internet pageant

The 2008 pageant was held, untelevised, on August 16, 2008. One factor that prevented NBC from broadcasting was its prime time commitment to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Since then, it is broadcast over the Internet on the Miss Teen USA website. It can be viewed worldwide, without any region restrictions via geolocation. Currently, it is hosted by YouTube (Ustream from 2008 to 2013). In addition, the webcast can be accessed on the pageant's Facebook page and on mobile devices using the official Miss Universe mobile app released during Miss USA 2016.[citation needed]

In 2012, the pageant began to simulcast in selected regions on Microsoft's Xbox Live service, allowing owners of the Xbox 360 (until 2017) and/or Xbox One consoles to watch the pageant on a television screen. In 2017, the pageant was also broadcast on Sony's PlayStation Network service.[citation needed]

The 2017 pageant was the first to include both a 360-video option for virtual reality headsets and HDR10 support for Xbox One S owners. The 2018 pageant featured support for Dolby Atmos audio and 4K video on the Xbox One S and X consoles.[citation needed]

Crossovers with Miss USA

Miss Teen USA 1985 Kelly Hu, seen here on April 17, 2002, became a model and actress.

Miss Teen USA at Miss USA

In the early years of Miss Teen USA, three winners represented the title "Miss Teen USA" at Miss USA. The three queens were: Ruth Zakarian (1983), Cherise Haugen (1984), and Allison Brown (1986). This also made history because the Miss USA 1984 pageant had 53 delegates, the most ever in a Miss USA pageant. In 1987, Miss Teen USA 1986, Allison Brown participated in the 1987 Miss USA pageant. All three failed to make the cut at their respective Miss USA pageants.[citation needed]

Only in the three years mentioned above did Miss Teen USA winners automatically gain representation at Miss USA. Starting in 1988, if the Miss Teen USA winners want to compete at Miss USA, they first must win a Miss USA state crown. A total of seven Miss Teen USA winners have participated at Miss USA, with four winning their state Miss USA crowns first. The first of these was Kelly Hu, Miss Teen USA 1985, who won the Miss Hawaii USA 1993 title and represented Hawaii at Miss USA 1993. She finished as a finalist. The next was Jamie Solinger, Miss Teen USA 1992. She took the Miss Iowa USA 1998 title but failed to make the cut at the Miss USA pageant. Only two Miss Teen USA winners have made the top 3 of Miss USA. Brandi Sherwood, Miss Teen USA 1989 won the Miss Idaho USA 1997 title. Succeeding Kelly, she took 1st runner up and later inherited the Miss USA crown, when Brook Mahealani Lee of Hawaii won Miss Universe 1997. She is the only Miss Teen USA winner to hold the title Miss USA. Shauna Gambill was close in winning the Miss USA 1998 title, but placed 1st runner up to Shawnae Jebbia, Miss Massachusetts USA 1998. However, to date it has never happened that the same woman had won the 2 separate pageants officially.[citation needed]

There have been two years when two Miss Teen USA winners participated at Miss USA. The first was 1984, when Miss Teen USA 1983 and Miss Teen USA 1984 participated, the second was 1998, when Jamie Solinger competed as Miss Iowa USA but went unplaced, and Shauna Gambill competed as Miss California USA and placed first runner-up.[citation needed]

The first Miss Teen USA not to win a Miss USA state pageant on her first attempt was Christie Lee Woods, Miss Teen USA 1996, of Texas, who placed third runner-up in the Miss Texas USA 2002 pageant. She would also become the first Miss Teen USA to compete for, but never win a Miss USA state title (she also placed as a semi-finalist in 2003 and 2004). The second Miss Teen USA who did not win a Miss USA state title on her first attempt was Ashley Coleman, Miss Teen USA 1999, of Delaware, who competed in the Miss California USA 2006 pageant and finished third runner-up. She is the first Miss Teen USA winner to compete in a different state from that where she won her Miss Teen USA crown. Tami Farrell, Miss Teen USA 2003, competed at Miss California USA 2009 as Miss Malibu USA, but failed to win the crown, placing first runner-up to Carrie Prejean. Farrell competed at Miss Teen USA as Miss Oregon Teen USA, and was one of the few Miss Teen USA winners to try for the state crown outside of the state she represented for Miss Teen USA. In a span of only two years later, Miss Teen USA 2006, Katie Blair also competed at Miss California USA 2011. Representing the state of Montana at Miss Teen USA 2006, Blair is only the third Miss Teen USA to compete in a state other than the state she competed in Teen. Similarly to Coleman and Farrell, Blair placed 1st runner up in the pageant, to Alyssa Campanella, who also competed in Miss Teen USA representing New Jersey. Campanella went on to win Miss USA 2011. Danielle Doty, Miss Teen USA 2011, competed at Miss Texas USA 2018, who placed in the semifinals.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ Hall, Sarah (March 29, 2007). "Trump and Miss Universe Stay in Bed with NBC". Retrieved March 29, 2007.
  2. ^ Brantley-Jones, Kiara (December 30, 2020). "Exclusive: Crystle Stewart takes on new leadership role for Miss USA, Miss Teen USA". Good Morning America.
  3. ^ a b French, Megan (June 29, 2016). "Miss Teen USA wants to eliminate swimsuit competition". Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  4. ^ "Crowning tears: Miss Teen USA skids". Media Life Magazine. August 16, 2006. Retrieved December 22, 2015.[permanent dead link]