Miss USA 1990
|Miss USA 1990|
|Date||March 2, 1990|
|Presenters||Dick Clark, Leeza Gibbons and Laura Harring|
|Venue||Century II Convention Center, Wichita, Kansas|
At the conclusion of the final competition, Carole Gist of Michigan was crowned by outgoing titleholder Gretchen Polhemus of Texas. Carole became the first African American winner ever and the first woman from Michigan to be crowned as Miss USA.
For the first time, each judge's score was displayed to every audience, adding transparency to the process.
A major format change in 1990 transformed the Miss USA competition for the next decade: the delegates would face an extra round of elimination on finals night: the top six judges' questions.
Instead of reducing the top twelve to the usual final five, the judges would pick an intermediate top six. Those six finalists would answer questions from the judges and the field was reduced to a final three, who would face the traditional final question, adding unpredictability to the competition after five Texan Miss USA winners from GuyRex Associates, which would lose its Miss Texas USA franchise the next year.
This was the first time the pageant was held in Wichita, where it would be staged for the next three years.
|Miss USA 1990|
- Carole Gist was Michigan's first placement since 1983 and she won the title.
- New Jersey placed second runner-up for the second consecutive year, a record for the state.
- This was Alaska's fourth placement ever, and its first since 1978.
- Kentucky placed for the first time since 1982.
- Georgia placed for the fifth consecutive year, with top six placements or higher every year.
- This was the District of Columbia's first placement since 1984. It would not place again until 2001.
- Illinois placed for the seventh consecutive year.
- Texas had a semifinalist for the sixteenth and last year in succession. The state would not place in 1991.
- Mississippi won its fourth placement in five years, a record for the state. It did not place again until 2005.
- Ohio placed for the first time since Halle Berry was first runner-up in 1986. The state did not place again until 1999.
Gina Tolleson would represent the USA at Miss World, where she took the title. Carole Gist represented USA at Miss Universe 1990 where she finished runner-up to Norway's Mona Grudt. If Carole had won Miss Universe, Miss South Carolina, Gina Tolleson, would have become Miss USA and Miss New Jersey, Karin Hartz, would have represented the USA at the Miss World Pageant. It has been the closest that USA has been of winning both major Big 4 pageants.
The following are the contestants' scores in the preliminary competition.
The Miss USA 1990 delegates were:
- Alabama - Natalie Moore
- Alaska - Karin Meyer
- Arizona - Lezlie Leonard
- Arkansas - Kathryn Harris
- California - Cynthia Nelson
- Colorado - Michelle Harrison
- Connecticut - Allison Barbeau-Diorio
- Delaware - Nicci Dent
- District of Columbia - Catherine Staples
- Florida - Tricia Hahn
- Georgia - Brenda Leithleiter
- Hawaii - Leimomi Bacalso
- Idaho - Cindy Estey
- Illinois - Karla Myers
- Indiana - Meri Lyn Buker
- Iowa - Elizabeth Muelhaupt
- Kansas - Rebecca Porter
- Kentucky - Tiffany Tenfelde
- Louisiana - Jeanne Burns
- Maine - Leigh Bubar
- Maryland - Julie Stanford
- Massachusetts - Laureen Murphy
- Michigan - Carole Gist
- Minnesota - Janet Tveita
- Mississippi - Stephanie Teneyck
- Missouri - Lori Suschnick
- Montana - Kimberlee Burger
- Nebraska - Angela Humphrey
- Nevada - Michelle Yegee
- New Hampshire - Lisa Parnpichate
- New Jersey - Karin Hartz
- New Mexico - Larissa Canaday
- New York - Patricia Murphy
- North Carolina - Altman Allen
- North Dakota - Kari Larson
- Ohio - Melissa Proctor
- Oklahoma - Lauralynn Norton
- Oregon - Elizabeth Michaud
- Pennsylvania - Elizabeth Cebak
- Rhode Island - Susan Lima
- South Carolina - Gina Tolleson
- South Dakota - Valerie Sejnoha
- Tennessee - Charita Moses
- Texas - Stephanie Kuehne
- Utah - Debra Linn
- Vermont - Stephanie Bessey
- Virginia - Evelyn Green
- Washington - Melissa Dickson
- West Virginia - Sabrina Anderson
- Wisconsin - Lynn Mulcahy
- Wyoming - Cheryl James
1990 was the year with the smallest number of crossover contestants since 1986.
- Only three delegates had previously competed in the Miss Teen USA pageant:
- No former Miss America delegates competed for the second year in a row.
- Gina Tolleson later won Miss World 1990.
- Rebecca Brandewyne
- Robin Cousins
- Eileen Fulton
- Dan Isaacson
- Barbara Peterson
- Irene Kassorla
- Judi Sheppard Missett