Miss USA 1998
|Miss USA 1998|
|Date||March 10, 1998|
|Presenters||J. Eddie Peck, Ali Landry, Julie Moran|
Miss USA 1998, the 47th Miss USA pageant, was held in Shreveport, Louisiana in March, 1998. The preliminary competition was held on March 6, 1998, and the final competition on March 10, 1998. The event was won by Shawnae Jebbia of Massachusetts, who was crowned by outgoing titleholder Brandi Sherwood of Idaho.
The pageant was held in Shreveport, Louisiana for the second consecutive year; unusually Shreveport would also host the Miss Teen USA pageant later the same year. Owner Donald Trump had initially suggested that the event would be moved to New York City, however an agreement was reached in November 1997 for the pageant to stay in Louisiana. During the two weeks that the delegates were in Shreveport the city and local companies benefitted from the extra business generated by the pageant and by the publicity offered by three minutes of promotion during the live broadcast. The expected worldwide audience for the pageant was 300 million people.
The pageant was hosted by The Young and the Restless star J. Eddie Peck for the only time, and Ali Landry, Miss USA 1996 and Julie Moran, co-host of Entertainment Tonight, offered colour commentary. She Moves provided entertainment during the competition. Executive producers Susan Winston and Dan Funk were chosen to produce the live telecast, broadcast on CBS.
During the competition, in a pre-taped segment, Halle Berry, Miss Ohio USA 1986 and first runner-up to Christy Fichtner at Miss USA 1986, was awarded a Distinguished Achievement Award for her achievements in acting.
|Miss USA 1998|
- Miss Congenality: Vera Morris (North Carolina)
- Miss Photogenic: Sonja Glenn (South Carolina)
- Style Award: Meredith Blankenship (Virginia)
- Best in Swimsuit: Shawnae Jebbia (Massachusetts)
The Miss USA 1998 delegates were:
- Alabama - Paige Brooks
- Alaska - Pamela Kott
- Arizona - Stacey Kole
- Arkansas - Kami Tice
- California - Shauna Gambill
- Colorado - Michelle Stanley
- Connecticut - Kristina Hughes
- Delaware - Sherri Davis
- District of Columbia - Zanice Lyles
- Florida - Jamie Converse
- Georgia - Edlyn Lewis
- Hawaii - Tiffini Hercules
- Idaho - Melinda Grasmick
- Illinois - Mandy Lane
- Indiana - Nicole Llewelyn
- Iowa - Jamie Solinger
- Kansas - Cammie Morrisseau
- Kentucky - Nancy Bradley
- Louisiana - Debbie Delhomme
- Maine - Kathy Morse
- Maryland - Maria Lynn Sheriff
- Massachusetts - Shawnae Jebbia
- Michigan - Johnelle Ryan
- Minnesota - Josan Hengen
- Mississippi - Angela Whatley
- Missouri - Melanie Breedlove
- Montana - Reno Wittman
- Nebraska - Jennifer Naro
- Nevada - Tammie Rankin
- New Hampshire - Nadia Semerdjiev
- New Jersey - Kelli Parz
- New Mexico - Maya Strunk
- New York - Susan Wisdom
- North Carolina - Vera Morris
- North Dakota - Alison Nesemeir
- Ohio - Cynthia Madden
- Oklahoma - Anne-Marie Dixon
- Oregon - Kara Jones
- Pennsylvania - Kimberly Jaycox
- Rhode Island - Connie Harrolle
- South Carolina - Sonja Glenn
- South Dakota - Lori O’Brien
- Tennessee - Amy Neely
- Texas - Holly Mills
- Utah - Melissa Leigh Anderson
- Vermont - Cathy Bliss
- Virginia - Meredith Blankenship
- Washington - Natasha Vantramp
- West Virginia - Susan Booth
- Wisconsin - Michelle Altman
- Wyoming - Megan Wigert
- This is the first win from Massachusetts in pageant history.
- This the highest finish from a California delegate since Shannon Marketic won Miss USA 1992.
- Missouri equals its best finish in the history of the pageant for the third time. Missouri finished 2nd Runner-Up in 1952 and 1963.
- This is the highest finish for Utah since 1982.
- Texas had its highest placement and has placed for the third time since Chelsi Smith won Miss USA 1995 and went on later to win Miss Universe 1995.
- Louisiana placed for the first time since Ali Landry won Miss USA 1996.
- This is the first semifinal placement by Washington since 1983.
- Michigan placed in the Top 10 for the second time since Kenya Moore won Miss USA 1993.
- For the first time since 1993, ten former Miss Teen USA state delegates competed in the Miss USA pageant.
- For the second time since 1984, the pageant featured two former Miss Teen USA titleholders. Miss Teen USA 1983 and 1984 competed in the Miss USA 1984 pageant as "Miss Teen USA" plus the year that they won the title. This time, the two Miss Teen USA winners had to win their state titles first. This became the first time that two Miss Teen USAs represented their states at Miss USA after the rule change took place in 1985.
- This was the first year that three of the top five delegates were former Miss Teen USA state delegates.
- The Miss Photogenic award was chosen by an online internet poll for the second year.
Delegates who had previously held a Miss Teen USA state title were:
- Melissa Leigh Anderson (Utah) - Miss Utah Teen USA 1990
- Catherine Bliss (Vermont) - Miss New York Teen USA 1990
- Nicole Llewellen (Indiana) - Miss Indiana Teen USA 1992 (Semi-finalist at Miss Teen USA 1992)
- Jamie Solinger (Iowa) - Miss Iowa Teen USA 1992, Miss Teen USA 1992
- Tammie Rankin (Nevada) - Miss Nevada Teen USA 1993
- Melanie Breedlove (Missouri) - Miss Missouri Teen USA 1993
- Kelli Paarz (New Jersey) - Miss New Jersey Teen USA 1994 (Semi-finalist at Miss Teen USA 1994)
- Shauna Gambill (California) - Miss California Teen USA 1994, Miss Teen USA 1994
- Allison Nesemeier (North Dakota) - Miss North Dakota Teen USA 1994
- Anne-Marie Dixon (Oklahoma) - Miss Illinois Teen USA 1995 (Finalist at Miss Teen USA 1995)
Delegate who had previously held a Miss America state title were:
- Michelle Stanley (Colorado) - Miss Colorado 1996
Delegate who competed at Miss World 1998:
- Shauna Gambill (California)
- "Swimsuit and evening gown judging narrows field to 10 for Miss USA". Associated Press. 1998-03-07.
- Foster, Mary (1998-03-11). "Miss Massachusetts wins Miss USA crown". Lundington Daily News. Associated Press.
- Associated Press (1997-11-28). "Pageant to Stay in Shreveport". The New Orleans Times-Picayune. p. A3.
- "Miss USA delegates arrive by runway and highway". Associated Press. 1998-02-22.
- Foster, Mary (1998-03-10). "Miss USA brings glamour, tourists to La". The Baton Rouge Advocate.
- "Miss USA delegates began pageant preparations". Associated Press. 1998-02-23.
- Langley, Greg (1998-03-06). "Miss USA Pageant returns to Shreveport". The Baton Rouge Advocate.
- "Miss Universe Pageants Crown Blanki & Bodi as Executive Producers". Business Wire. 1998-03-02.
- "MISS USA Pageant Goes Online With `Interactive Web-Site Voting for Photogenic Award". Business Wire. 1998-03-03.
- "Massachusetts Makes It." Pageant News Bureau. 10 March 1998.
- "Thoughts of Miss USA 1998." Tom's Page of Miss Universe Mania.