Miss USA 1997

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Miss USA 1997
Date February 5, 1997
Presenters George Hamilton, Marla Maples Trump
Venue Hirsch Memorial Coliseum, Shreveport, Louisiana
Broadcaster CBS, KSLA-TV
Winner Brook Lee
Hawaii Hawaii
Congeniality Napiera Groves
Washington, D.C. District of Columbia
Photogenic Audra Wilks
Virginia Virginia
← 1996
1998 →

Miss USA 1997, the 46th Miss USA pageant, was held at Shreveport, Louisiana in January and February, 1997. Delegates arrived in the city on January 19, the preliminary competition was held on February 2, 1997 and the final competition on February 5, 1997.[1] The event, held at the Hirsch Memorial Coliseum was broadcast live on CBS.

At the conclusion of the final competition, Brook Mahealani Lee of Hawaii was crowned by outgoing titleholder Ali Landry of Louisiana, becoming the fourth Hawaiian to win the Miss USA pageant. Three months later Lee won the Miss Universe 1997 pageant in Miami Beach, Florida, and first runner-up Brandi Sherwood of Idaho assumed the Miss USA title.[2]

The pageant was held in Shreveport, Louisiana for the first time, having been held in South Padre Island, Texas the previous three years and in Wichita, Kansas the four years prior.[3] The new location was announced in August 1996, and then reigning Miss USA, Louisiana native Ali Landry, was invited to attend the official contract signing.[3]

The pageant was hosted by George Hamilton for the only time, and Marla Maples Trump, soon-to-be ex-wife of pageant owner Donald Trump, offered colour commentary for the only time.[1]Randy Newman provided entertainment during the competition.

Just prior to the final event it was announced that broadcaster CBS had entered a partnership with Trump, becoming half-owners of the Miss USA pageant and the associated Miss Teen USA and Miss Universe competitions.[4]

While the delegates were in Louisiana, over sixty corporate sponsors provided funding for events, which included dinners, receptions and cocktail parties. There were over three hundred volunteers involved.[5] The delegates were involved in more than forty-five hours of rehearsals prior to the preliminary competition and final show.[6]

This was the first year in which delegates were allowed to choose whether they wanted to wear one-piece or two-piece bathing suits for the preliminary and final swimsuit competitions. In previous years, the delegates were all assigned to only wear either one or the other.



Map showing placements by state
Final results Contestant
Miss USA 1997
1st runner-up
2nd runner-up
Top 6
Top 10

Lee won Miss Universe 1997. Due to protocol, Lee resigns her title as Miss USA 1997. 1st runner-up, Brandi Sherwood, replaces her as Miss USA.

Special awards[edit]


Preliminary competition[edit]

The following are the contestants' scores in the preliminary competition.

Final competition[edit]


The Miss USA 1997 delegates were:

Historical significance[edit]

  • This is the first win from Hawaii in 19 years, when Judi Andersen won Miss USA 1978. This is the fourth time Hawaii has won the title.
  • After Brook Lee won the Miss Universe 1997 title, the Miss USA title was succeeded to 1st Runner-Up Brandi Sherwood, Miss Idaho USA 1997. Sherwood became the first Miss Teen USA winner (Miss Teen USA 1989) and the third Miss Teen USA state delegate in a row to hold the Miss USA title.
  • Upon Sherwood inheriting the Miss USA 1997 title, she also became the first Idaho delegate to hold the Miss USA title.
  • Tennessee equals its best finish in the history of the pageant for the fourth time. Tennessee also had matched its finish from the previous year's pageant. Tennessee finished 2nd Runner-Up in 1962, 1984, and 1996.


Ten delegates had previously competed in either the Miss Teen USA or Miss America pageants.

Delegates who had previously held a Miss Teen USA state title were:

Delegates who had previously held a Miss America state title were:

  • Jennifer Makris (New Jersey) - Miss New Jersey 1994 (Second runner-up at Miss America 1995)
  • Stacy Dawn Cenedese (Wyoming) - Miss Wyoming 1992
  • Tamara Henry (Arkansas) competed on RuPaul's Drag U Season 3 "Ex Beauty Queens" and Won.



  1. ^ a b "Miss USA event plays Trump card". The Baton Rouge Advocate. 1996-12-26. p. 1-B. 
  2. ^ Associated Press (1997-05-19). "Miss Idaho Now Miss USA, thanks to Miss Universe". The Spokesman-Review. 
  3. ^ a b Associated Press (1996-08-23). "Miss USA pageant moving to Shreveport". The Baton Rouge Advocate. p. 1-A. 
  4. ^ "Beauty of a deal for CBS, Trump Enters into deal with Donald Trump to own and broadcast Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants". Hollywood Reporter. 1997-01-22. 
  5. ^ "Shreveport treats Miss USA contestants like real royalty". The Baton Rouge Sunday Advocate. 1997-02-02. p. 9-b. 
  6. ^ "Miss USA contestants sweat it out long before wait for judges' decision". The Baton Rouge Advocate. 1997-02-05. p. 6-a. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]