Christine Williamson of Chattanooga was crowned Miss Tennessee 2018 on June 23, 2018 at Carl Perkins Civic Center in Jackson, Tennessee. She competed for the title of Miss America 2019 on September 9, 2018 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
In the fall of 2018, the Miss America Organization terminated the former Miss Tennessee organization's license as well as licenses from Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. On December 22, 2018, Miss America Awarded a new license for Tennessee to a group of former directors and title holders. Joe Albright was named as CEO and is married to Janie Evans Albright, a long time director with Miss Tennessee. Lanna Keck-Smith, Miss Tennessee 1997, was named Executive Director, Caty Davis, Miss Tennessee 2017, was named as the Chief People Officer. For more information, you can check out the Miss Tennessee website.
The Miss Tennessee pageant was first held in 1938, although the winner, Isobel Carter, was unable to compete at Miss America due to illness and so the 1st runner-up became Miss Tennessee. The following year, two winners were chosen to compete for the Miss America title. In 1940 the pageant suffered a repeat of 1938, with the winner resigning through illness and the 1st runner-up representing the state at the national competition. The routine pageant was held in 1941, but from 1942-1946 representatives were appointed without a pageant being held, due to World War II. In 1947 twins Jean and Jane Cunningham were both awarded the Miss Tennessee title, with one representing Tennessee and one Chattanooga at the Miss America pageant. The modern era of the pageant can be dated to 1953, when a regular routine of state pageants was instituted.
Kellye Cash, Miss America 1987, is the second Miss Tennessee to win the national title. Six titleholders have placed as runners-up to Miss America. Tennessee native Barbara Jo Walker was Miss America 1947 and represented the city of Memphis when she won the title.
In a rare occurrence, all three Miss Tennessees 1999-2001 later won the similar Miss Tennessee USA pageant, whose delegates represent Tennessee at Miss USA. More remarkable was that the three won the Miss Tennessee USA title in the order which they held their Miss Tennessee titles. Allison Alderson, one of the three, is a Triple Crown winner, having competed for Tennessee at Miss Teen USA 1994 as well. Three other Miss Tennessees have won the Miss Tennessee USA title, Jean Harper, Desiree Daniels, and Leah Hulan.
Two Miss Tennessees have won the National Sweetheart title, Rita Wilson and Vicki Hurd.
The year in parentheses indicates the year of the Miss America competition the award/placement was garnered.
- Miss Americas: Barbara Jo Walker (1947), Kellye Cash (1987)
- 1st runners-up: Sue Burton (1922), Desiree Daniels (1983)
- 2nd runners-up: Vicki Hurd (1967), Dana Brown (1991), Stephanie Culberson (2002), Stefanie Wittler (2010)
- 3rd runners-up: Martha Truett (1964)
- Top 7: Ellen Carrington (2009), Hannah Robison (2016)
- Top 10: Gerry Johnson (1955), Marion "Mickey" Wayland (1960), Brenda Seal (1969), Deborah Kincaid (1975), Linda Moore (1978), Shelly Mangrum (1985), Erin Hatley (2012), Chandler Lawson (2013), Hayley Lewis (2015), Grace Burgess (2017)
- Top 12: Caty Davis (2018)
- Top 13: Lee Henson (1945)
- Top 15: Georgia Cunningham (1947), Lois Jeanette Welch (1948), Jean Harper (1952)
- Top 16: Grace Gore (2008)
- Top 23: Elizabeth Mallory (1923)
- Preliminary Lifestyle and Fitness: Lee Henson (1945), Linda Moore (1978), Desiree Daniels (1983), Kellye Cash (1987), Stephanie Culberson (2002)
- Preliminary Talent: Barbara Jo Walker (1947), Dorothy Free (1948), Deborah Kincaid (1975), Kellye Cash (1987), Grace Burgess (2017)
- Preliminary Evening Gown: Stephanie Culberson (2002)
- Non-finalist Talent: Mary Cox (1970), Elise Neal (1980), Moira Kaye (1984), Carrie Folks (1989), Beth Hood (2001), Ashley Eicher (2005), Tara Burns (2006)
- Non-finalist Interview: Alison Shumate (1996)
- Miss Congeniality: N/A
- America's Choice: Hannah Robison (2016)
- Quality of Life Award 1st runners-up: Hannah Robison (2016)
- Quality of Life Award 2nd runners-up: Chandler Lawson (2013)
- Quality of Life Award Finalists: Heather Heath (1999), Grace Gore (2008) Stefanie Wittler (2010), Grace Burgess (2017), Christine Williamson (2019)
- STEM Scholarship Award Winners: Hannah Robison (2016)
- Waterford Scholarship for Business in Marketing and Management: Allison Alderson (2000)
- Women in Business Scholarship Award Finalists: Christine Williamson (2019)
|Year||Name||Hometown||Age||Local Title||Miss America Talent||Placement at Miss America||Special scholarships at Miss America||Notes|
|2018||Christine Williamson||Chattanooga||22||Miss Chattanooga||Vocal, "Never Enough" from The Greatest Showman||Quality of Life Award Finalist
Women in Business Scholarship Finalist
|2017||Caty Davis||Knoxville||22||Miss Lexington||Vocal, "I Have Nothing"||Top 12|
|2016||Grace Burgess||Memphis||22||Miss Mid-South||Vocal, "Desperado" by The Eagles||Top 10||Preliminary Talent Award
Quality of Life Award Finalist
|Contestant at National Sweetheart 2015 pageant|
|2015||Hannah Robison||Paris||21||Miss Scenic City||Piano, "El Cumbanchero" by Rafael Hernández Marín||Top 7||America's Choice
Quality of Life Award 1st runner-up
STEM Scholarship Award
|2014||Hayley Lewis||Nashville||21||Miss Tennessee Valley||Vocal, "I (Who Have Nothing)"||Top 10|
|2013||Shelby Thompson||Franklin||23||Miss Capital City||Vocal, "Time to Say Goodbye"|
|2012||Chandler Lawson||Tullahoma||22||Miss Chattanooga||Vocal, "Turning Tables"||Top 10||Quality of Life Award 2nd runner-up||Contestant at National Sweetheart 2011 pageant|
|2011||Erin Hatley||Bartlett||20||Miss Collierville||Classical Vocal, "Piano"||Top 10|
|2010||Nicole Jordan||Cordova||21||Miss Lexington||Vocal, "All by Myself"|
|2009||Stefanie Wittler||Soddy-Daisy||22||Miss Hamilton County||Vocal, "I Will Always Love You"||2nd runner-up||Quality of Life Award Finalist|
|2008||Ellen Carrington||Jackson||21||Miss Scenic City||Vocal, "Vole Mon Ange" from Svengali||Top 7|
|2007||Grace Gore||Nashville||24||Miss Lexington||Vocal, "What a Wonderful Day"||Top 16||Quality of Life Award Finalist||Previously Miss Mississippi Teen USA 2002|
|2006||Blaire Pancake||Chattanooga||24||Miss Metropolitan||Vocal "Attitude"|
|2005||Tara Burns||Nashville||22||Miss Music City||Classical Vocal "Art Is Calling For Me" from The Enchantress by Victor Herbert||Non-finalist Talent Award|
|2004||Ashley Eicher||Nashville||24||Miss Murfreesboro||Vocal "Take My Hand, Precious Lord"||Non-finalist Talent Award|
|2003||Jamie Watkins||Soddy-Daisy||23||Miss Scenic City||Vocal "If I Can Dream"||4th runner-up at National Sweetheart 2001 pageant|
|2002||Valli Kugler||Rutherford||22||Miss UT Martin||Vocal "At Last"|
|2001||Stephanie Culberson||Knoxville||21||Miss Cleveland||Classical Piano "Fantaisie-Impromptu"||2nd runner-up||Preliminary Evening Wear Award
Preliminary Swimsuit Award
|Later Miss Tennessee USA 2004|
4th runner-up at Miss USA 2004 pageant
|2000||Beth Hood||Cleveland||21||Miss Cleveland||Vocal "Desperado"||Non-finalist Talent Award||Later Miss Tennessee USA 2003|
4th runner-up at Miss USA 2003 pageant
|1999||Allison Alderson||Jackson||22||Miss Memphis||Piano / Vocal Medley "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" & "River Deep – Mountain High"||Waterford Scholarship for Business Marketing & Management||Triple Crown winner|
|1998||Heather Heath||Nashville||21||Miss Heart of Tennessee||Vocal "Think of Me"||Quality of Life Award Finalist||Previously Missouri's Junior Miss 1995|
|1997||Lanna Keck||Knoxville||23||Miss Milan No-Till||Gospel Vocal "Go Light Your World"|
|1996||Jeni Stephens||Memphis||23||Miss Memphis||Popular Vocal "Operator"|
|1995||Alison Shumate||Union City||21||Miss Knoxville||Vocal Medley "Crazy for You" & "I Got Rhythm"||Non-finalist Interview Award||Daughter of Miss Tennessee 1967, Linda Workman|
|1994||Lori Smith||Ocoee||21||Miss Tennessee Tech||Piano Solo "The Firefly" by Anton Bilotti|
|1993||Kathleen Brang||Greeneville||24||Miss Historic Jonesborough||Popular Vocal "Dare to Dream"|
|1992||Leah Hulan||Murfreesboro||24||Miss Knoxville||Clogging "Can't Stop Now"||Later Miss Tennessee USA 1994|
|1991||Jill Horn||Memphis||23||Miss Memphis||Vocal "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever"|
|1990||Dana Brown||Memphis||25||Miss Frontier Days||Vocal & Piano "The Glory of Love" & "I Can't Give You Anything but Love, Baby"||2nd runner-up|
|1989||Lisa Robertson||Collegedale||23||Miss Cleveland||Violin Solo "Orange Blossom Special"|
|1988||Carrie Folks||New Johnsonville||20||Miss Bluegrass Festival||A Capella Vocal "Sweet Dreams"||Non-finalist Talent Award|
|1987||Regina Athnos||Clarksville||23||Miss Tennessee Peach Festival||Flute Medley "I'll Fly Away" & "Amazing Grace"|
|1986||Kris Beasley||Memphis||Miss Memphis||Assumed the title after Cash was named Miss America 1987|
|Kellye Cash||Milan||21||Miss Milan Crown and Scepter||Piano / Vocal "I'll Be Home"||Winner||Preliminary Swimsuit Award
Preliminary Talent Award
|1985||Sonya Pleasant||Mountain City||22||Miss Wautauga Valley||Vocal "I Fall to Pieces"|
|1984||Shelly Mangrum||Nashville||23||Miss West Tennessee State Fair||Vocal "And the World Goes 'Round"||Top 10|
|1983||Moira Kaye||Oak Ridge||23||Miss Roane County||Vocal "Memory"||Non-finalist Talent Award|
|1982||Desiree Daniels||Chattanooga||22||Miss Hamilton County||Popular Vocal "Don't Cry Out Loud"||1st runner-up||Preliminary Swimsuit Award||Later Miss Tennessee USA 1984, 2nd runner-up at Miss USA 1984|
|1981||Angelina Johnson||Jackson||20||Miss Madison||Ventriloquism "Laverne & Shirley"|
|1980||Sarah Leonard||Jonesborough||20||Miss Historic Jonesborough||Popular Vocal "We Could Have Had It All"|
|1979||Elise Neal||Paris||21||Miss Okra||Piano Solo "Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C minor"||Non-finalist Talent Award|
|1978||Jill Beshears||Memphis||22||Miss Memphis State University||Vocal Medley "You'll Never Walk Alone" & "Climb Ev'ry Mountain"|
|1977||Linda Moore||Madison||22||Miss Nashville||Vocal "Evening Gowns Are Not For Children"||Top 10||Preliminary Swimsuit Award|
|1976||Terry Alden||Memphis||21||Miss Memphis||Classical Piano "Toccata"|
|1975||Marion Burgess||Memphis||21||Miss Bells||Tap Dance "I'm Gonna Live Till I Die"||Toured with Miss America USO Troupe|
|1974||Deborah Kincaid||Memphis||21||Miss Memphis State University||Vocal Medley "Once In a Lifetime", "In My Own Lifetime", & "This Is My Life"||Top 10||Preliminary Talent Award|
|1973||Anne Randle Galloway||Knoxville||20||Miss Memphis||Piano "Rhapsody in Blue"|
|1972||Debbie Cathey||Nashville||20||Miss Nashville||Semi-classical Vocal "Amazing Grace"|
|1971||Marsha McDonald||Nashville||21||Miss Memphis State University||Ballet "Over And Over Again"|
|1970||Carol Ferrante||Memphis||21||Miss Memphis||Vocal Medley of Popular Songs|
|1969||Mary Cox||Johnson City||20||Miss Johnson City||Semi-classical Vocal "One Kiss" from The New Moon||Non-finalist Talent Award||Toured with Miss America USO Troupe|
|1968||Brenda Seal||Kingsport||19||Miss East Tennessee State University||Popular Vocal "What Now My Love"||Top 10||Contestant at National Sweetheart 1967|
Featured performer on Miss America 1970 telecast
|1967||Linda Workman||Martin||18||Miss UT Martin||Vocal "I Don't Care"||Mother of Miss Tennessee 1995, Alison Shumate|
|1966||Vicki Hurd||Kingsport||19||Miss Carter County||Original Vocal "I'm In a Pageant"||2nd runner-up||Previously National Sweetheart 1965|
Featured performer on Miss America 1968 telecast
|1965||Marcia Murray||Paris||19||Miss Paris||Popular Vocal "Spellbound"|
|1964||Rita Munsey||New Tazewell||20||Miss Knoxville||Vocal Medley & Accordion "You Don't Know Me" & "Walkin' After Midnight"|
|1963||Martha Truett||Tiptonville||Miss Bells||Piano Solo "Rhapsody In Blue"||3rd runner-up|
|1962||Margaret Petty||Nashville||19||Miss Nashville||Vocal "Something Wonderful"|
|1961||Rita Wilson||Humboldt||20||Miss Bells||Vocal "I'm Doing Alright For a Mountain Gal"||Previously National Sweetheart 1959|
|1960||Jenny Thomas||Nashville||19||Miss Nashville||Modern Ballet "Porgy and Bess"|
|1959||Marion "Mickey" Wayland||Knoxville||18||Miss Knoxville||Piano / Vocal "Près des remparts de Séville" from Carmen & "I Cain't Say No"||Top 10|
|1958||Patricia Eaves||Cookeville||Miss Putnam County||Dramatic Monologue "Viola's Ring Scene" from Twelfth Night|
|1957||Amanda Whitman||Nashville||Miss Davidson County||Trampoline / Tumbling "The Third Man Theme"|
|1956||Shelby Bailey||Humboldt||Miss Gadsden||Vocal "It Takes Two To Tango"|
|1955||Patty Williams||Jackson||Miss Lambuth College||Vocal "The Student Prince"|
|1954||Gerry Johnson||Nashville||Miss Nashville||Vocal / Character Pantomime "The Deadwood Stage"||Top 10|
|1953||Ruth Ann Barker||Trenton||Miss Gibson County||Vocal|
|1952||Gloria Williams||Chattanooga||Miss Chattanooga||Vocal "Lover When You're Near Me"|
|1951||Jean Harper||Memphis||Miss Shelby County||Vocal "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"||Top 15||Later Miss Tennessee USA 1952, 3rd runner-up at Miss USA 1952|
|1950||Greta Graham||Memphis||Miss Memphis||Organ Solo "Tico-Tico"|
|1949||Adelyn Sumner||Knoxville||Modeling / Speech|
|1948||Lois Jeanette Welch||Memphis||Miss Memphis||Vocal & Fashion Design "Gianni Mia"||Top 15||Multiple Tennessee representatives|
Contestants competed under local title at Miss America pageant
|Dorothy Free||Chattanooga||Miss Tennessee||Vocal Medley "Let My Song Fill Your Heart" by Ernest Charles & "Embraceable You"||Preliminary Talent Award|
|1947||Dorothy Cunningham||Miss Chattanooga||Tap Dance|
|Barbara Jo Walker||Memphis||21||Miss Memphis||Art Display & Vocal Medley "One Kiss" & "Un Bel Di" from Madama Butterfly||Winner||Preliminary Talent Award|
|Georgia Cunningham||Miss Tennessee||Tap Dance||Top 15|
|1945||Lee Henson||Chattanooga||Vocal Medley "Dreams" & "I Didn't Know the Gun Was Loaded"||Top 13||Preliminary Swimsuit Award|
|1944||Marian Weller||Chattanooga||Vocal "Some Day I'll Find You"|
|1943||Frances Eakes||Chattanooga||Miss Chattanooga|
|1941||Katherine Gammon||Knoxville||Miss Knoxville||Multiple Tennessee representatives|
Contestants competed under local title at Miss America pageant
|Martha McKinney||Nashville||Miss Tennessee||Acrobatic / Tap Dance|
|1940||Thelma McGhee||Knoxville||Miss Knoxville|
|Christine Webb||Centerville||Miss Tennessee||Dramatic Monologue "The Waltz"|
|1939||Judy Jones||Tracy City||Miss Tennessee||Vocal Medley "I Surrender" & "Come True"|
|Louise Bussart||Etowah||Miss West Tennessee|
|1938||Victoria Ann Motlow||Mulberry||Miss Fayetteville||Vocal "You Turned the Tables on Me"||Original winner, Isobel Carter, resigned due to illness|
|1924||Ann Werner||Miss Nashville||Competed under local title at Miss America pageant|
|1923||Elizabeth Mallory||Miss Memphis||Top 23|
|1922||Ruth Doughty||Miss Memphis||Multiple Tennessee representatives|
Contestants competed under local title at Miss America pageant
|Sue Burton||Miss Nashville||1st runner-up|
- Parry, Wayne (October 8, 2018). "Miss America Organization strikes back at rebellious states". The Associated Press.
- Parry, Wayne (December 5, 2018). "Miss America terminates agreements with NJ, NY and FL". The Associated Press.
- Shields, Brandon (June 23, 2018). "Miss Tennessee 2018: Miss Chattanooga Christine Williamson". Jackson Sun.
- Serpico, Erin (August 26, 2018). "Miss America Cara Mund announces scholarship finalists before competition". Press of Atlantic City.
- Jackson, Brittney L. (June 24, 2017). "Miss Lexington named Miss Tennessee 2017". The Jackson Sun.
- Jackson, Brittney L. (September 11, 2017). "Miss Tennessee makes top 12 in Miss America pageant". The Jackson Sun.
- "Grace Burgess is Miss Tennessee 2016". pageantsnews.com.
- Kuperinsky, Amy (September 6, 2016). "Miss America 2017 night 1: D.C. wins swimsuit, Tennessee takes talent". NJ.com.
- "Miss America 2017 will be one of these 52 contestants". AL.com. September 6, 2016.
- Burgess, Katherine (June 22, 2015). "Miss Scenic City takes Miss Tennessee 2015 crown". The Jackson Sun. Jackson, TN: Gannett.
- Smithwick, Dana (September 13, 2015). "Miss Tennessee places in the top 7". The Jackson Sun. Jackson, TN: Gannett.
- "Miss Georgia, Betty Cantrell, Crowned Miss America 2016" (Press release). Miss America. September 13, 2015. Archived from the original on September 16, 2015.
- "Miss Tenn. Valley crowned Miss Tennessee 2014". June 22, 2014.
- "3rd time was the charm for Miss Tennessee winner Chandler Lawson". Chattanooga Times Free Press. June 26, 2012.
- "Chandler Lawson Finishes In Miss America Top 10". The Chattanoogan. January 13, 2013.
- "Chandler Lawson Is 2nd Runner-Up In Miss America Quality Of Life Award". The Chattanoogan. January 11, 2013.
- "Erin Hatley wins Miss Tennessee 2011 title". ibtimes.com. June 20, 2011.
- "Nicole Jordan is crowned Miss Tennessee 2010". The Jackson Sun. June 20, 2010. Archived from the original on June 16, 2013.
- "Miss Tennessee Stefanie Wittler thankful for local support". Chattanooga Times Free Press. January 6, 2010.
- "Stefanie Wittler second runner-up to Miss America". Chattanooga Times Free Press. January 30, 2010.