Miss Kentucky USA

Miss Kentucky USA
Formation 1952
Type Beauty pageant
Headquarters Louisville
Miss USA
Official language
Website Miss Kentucky USA official website
For the state pageant affiliated with Miss America, see Miss Kentucky.

The Miss Kentucky USA competition is the pageant that selects the representative for the state of Kentucky in the Miss USA pageant. The current director for the Miss Kentucky USA and Miss Kentucky Teen USA titles is Connie Clark Harrison. Harrison is former Miss Kentucky USA 1976 who was the only representative for Kentucky to win the Miss Congeniality award at the national level.

Three Miss Kentucky USA titleholders have also held the Miss Kentucky Teen USA title and competed at Miss Teen USA. Two Miss Kentucky USA titleholders have also competed at Miss America, with one representing Wyoming.

Tara Conner, Miss Kentucky USA 2005 & Miss USA 2006

Media coverage

In 2006, it was reported that Miss Kentucky USA 2002, Elizabeth Arnold was in a relationship with celebrity Nick Lachey.[1][2] That same year Tara Conner became the first Miss Kentucky USA to win the Miss USA title, putting Kentucky in the top five for the second consecutive year, after Kristen Johnson placed 2nd runner-up in 2005. She later came under intense scrutiny when it was revealed that she had been drinking underage, tested positive for the use of cocaine, and kissed Miss Teen USA Katie Blair, among other things.[3] Conner was allowed to keep her title, but was ordered into rehab for one month. After her rehab session she resumed her reign until her year was completed.

In 2008, Miss Kentucky USA Alysha Harris was involved in a scandal involving racy photos, in which she was photographed dancing in a sexually suggestive manner with NFL's New England Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss.[4][5][6]

Results summary




Color key
  •      Declared as Winner
  •      Ended as runner-up
  •      Ended as one of the finalists or semifinalists
Year Name Hometown Age1 Placement at Miss USA Special awards at Miss USA Notes
2016 Kyle Hornback Louisville 20
2015 Katie George Louisville 21 Top 11 Originally ended as the Top 15, but saved by the public for the top 11
2014 Destin Kincer Whitesburg 21
2013 Allie Leggett[7] Whitley City 19
2012 Amanda Mertz Louisville 25
2011 Kia Hampton Louisville 21 Miss Congeniality Later became Pussycat Dolls member
2010 Kindra Clark Mt. Washington 19 Allure Bridal Model
2009 Maria Elizabeth Montgomery Danville 19 4th runner-up Signed with FORD Models & Wilhelminia-LA. CMA Trophy Presenter; Lead girl in Tim McGraw & Josh Groban Music Videos
2008 Alysha Harris Carrollton 20 First African American woman to win the state pageant
2007 Michelle Banzer Carrollton 24 First minority woman to win state pageant[8]
2006 Tara Conner Russell Springs 20 Miss USA 2006 Previously Miss Kentucky Teen USA 2002 (2nd runner-up & Best in Swimsuit at Miss Teen USA 2002) and 4th Runner up at Miss Universe 2006
2005 Kristen Johnson Slaughters 23 2nd runner-up Previously Miss Kentucky Teen USA 2000 (2nd runner-up & Miss Photogenic at Miss Teen USA 2000) / Was contestant on Fear Factor in 2005 on the Miss USA episode #5.29
2004 Lauren Stengel Louisville 22
2003 Lori Mitchell Scottsville 21
2002 Elizabeth Arnold Columbia 24
2001 Jo Pritchard Hardin 20
2000 Jolene Youngster Glasgow 18
1999 Lori Menshouse Ashland Previously Miss Kentucky 1997
1998 Nancy Bradley Franklin
1997 Rachyl Hoskins Liberty 22
1996 Lorie West Campbellsville 22
1995 Mitzi Jones White Plains Semi-finalist, Finishing in 8th Place
1994 Kim Buford Paducah
1993 Karen Gibson Kevil
1992 Angela Hines Maysville Finalist, Finishing in 5th place
1991 Susan Farris Benton First runner-up State costume competition
1990 Tiffany Tenfelde Lakeside Park Finalist, Finishing in 6th place
1989 Veronica Hensley Danville
1988 Suzanne Pitman Murray
1987 Beth Clark Mayfield
1986 Jackie Taylor Paducah
1985 Robin Overby Calvert City Miss Photogenic 1st runner up at Miss World USA 1979
1984 Tammy Melendez Murray
1983 Lee Ann Austin Benton
1982 Kristina Chapman Owensboro 19 4th runner-up
1981 Denise Gibbs Paducah
1980 Lisa Devillez Owensboro 4th runner-up
1979 Linda Passmore Hopkinsville
1978 Linda Woodruff Louisville
1977 Sandy Smith Princeton
1976 Connie Clark Benton Miss Congeniality Current director of the Miss Kentucky USA and Miss Kentucky Teen USA pageants under her married name, Connie Clark-Harrison
1975 Carol June Wallace Somerset Semi-finalist Later Miss Wyoming 1976,[9] mother of Miss Kentucky 2002, Mary Catherine Correll
1974 Charlesy Gulick Williamstown Best State Costume
1973 Nancy Coplen Mayfield
1972 Tamara Branstetter Summer Shade
1971 Patricia Barnstable Louisville 4th runner-up
1970 Joanna Smith Morgantown
1969 Regina Pryor
1968 June Pinkley Miss Congeniality
1967 Debbie Dibble
1966 Jennifer Burcham
1965 Julie Andrus 3rd runner-up
1964 Johanna Reid 4th runner-up
1963 Mary Ann Arnold
1962 Sally Margaret Carter Lowes Semi-finalist
1961 Marcia Chumbler Mayfield Semi-finalist competed in the 1962 Miss Dixie Pageant
1960 Barbara Joan Lovins
1959 Sherree Owens
1958 Shannon Beasley
1955-57 Did Not Compete
1954 Nikki Horner
1953 Mary Stice Semi-finalist
1952 Jean Tingle

1 Age at the time of the Miss USA pageant


  2. Nick Lachey: poster boy for the brokenhearted, Houston Chronicle, 28 April 2006 (accessed 6 May 2006)
  3. Piazza, Jo. "Queen is way out of line". NY Daily News. Archived from the original on 2007-01-28. Retrieved 2007-10-27.
  4. "Randy Moss Drafts Wide Receiver - TMZ.com".
  5. "C.J.: Randy Moss' naughty dance moves photographed at Derby party". Minneapolis Star-Tribune. 2008-05-07. Retrieved 2008-05-11.
  6. Clarke, Norm (2008-05-08). "'Idol' contestant set to go country". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2015-02-26.
  7. "Allie Leggett Crowned Miss Kentucky USA 2013". Beauty Pageant News. January 20, 2013. Retrieved January 20, 2013.
  8. Shastry, Tejas (2007-03-20). "Cardinal to compete for Miss USA crown". The Louisville Cardinal. Retrieved 2008-05-10.
  9. "Home state girls hard to find". Kingman Daily Miner. 1976-09-10. p. 7.
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