Miss USA 2009

Miss USA 2009

Miss USA 2009 Titlecard
Date April 19, 2009
Presenters Billy Bush, Nadine Velazquez
Entertainment Kevin Rudolf, The Veronicas
Venue The AXIS, Las Vegas, Nevada
Broadcaster NBC, Telemundo
Entrants 51
Placements 15
Winner Kristen Dalton
 North Carolina
Congeniality Cynthia Pate
Photogenic Jessi Pierson
 West Virginia

Miss USA 2009, the 58th Miss USA pageant was held at the Theatre for the Performing Arts in Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 19, 2009. At the conclusion of the final night of competition, Kristen Dalton of North Carolina was crowned by outgoing titleholder Crystle Stewart of Texas.

The event was hosted by Billy Bush of Access Hollywood and actress Nadine Velazquez; Bush returned to host the pageant which he last emceed in 2005. He had previously co-hosted Miss USA 2003 with Daisy Fuentes and Miss USA 2004–2005 with Nancy O'Dell. Entertainment was provided by Kevin Rudolf who performed "Let It Rock" during the swimsuit competition and The Veronicas performed "Untouched" during the evening gown competition.[1]

The competition was broadcast in High Definition for only the second time in history.

Delegates representing the fifty states plus the District of Columbia competed in the pageant, and arrived in Las Vegas on April 2.[2] Miss USA Kristen Dalton represented the USA at the Miss Universe 2009 pageant, where she reached the Top 10.

Pageants were held from June 2008 to January 2009 to select the representative for each state. During the final show on April 19, the fifteen delegates with the highest average scores from the preliminary competition were announced. The top fifteen competed in the swimsuit competition. The top ten delegates from swimsuit competed in evening gown. The top five delegates from the evening gown competition (not averaged composite scores from both competitions) competed in the final question round to determine the winner. The judges' composite score was shown after each round of competition for only the third time since 2002.



Kristen Dalton, Miss USA 2009
Map showing placings by state.
Final ResultsContestant
Miss USA 2009
1st Runner-Up
2nd Runner-Up
3rd Runner-Up
4th Runner-Up
Top 10
Top 15

Special awards

Miss Congeniality
Miss Photogenic

Final scores

State Swimsuit Evening Gown
North Carolina9.198 (1)9.470 (1)
California9.033 (3)9.275 (2)
Arizona9.092 (2)9.189 (3)
Utah8.851 (5)8.849 (5)
Kentucky8.963 (4)9.047 (4)
Texas8.548 (7)8.694 (6)
Tennessee8.442 (9) 8.578 (7)
Arkansas8.704 (6)8.419 (8)
South Carolina8.402 (10)8.335 (9)
West Virginia8.475 (8)8.296 (10)
Virginia8.199 (11)
Minnesota8.150 (12)
Georgia7.946 (13)
Idaho7.800 (14)
Connecticut7.797 (15)

     First Runner-up
     Second Runner-up
     Third Runner-up
     Fourth Runner-up
     Top 10 Finalist
     Top 15 Semifinalist
(#) Rank in each round of competition


The Miss USA 2009 delegates were:

Alabama Alabama Rachel Philippona[3] Dothan 20
Alaska Alaska Jessica Irene Nolin[4] Palmer 22
Arizona Arizona Alicia-Monique Blanco[5] Phoenix 22 5'8" 2nd Runner-Up
Arkansas Arkansas Chanley Painter Conway 24 5'9" Top 10
California California Carrie Prejean La Jolla 21 5'10" 1st Runner-Up Dethroned as Miss California USA 2009
Colorado Colorado Patrice Williams Colorado Springs 22 5'7"
Connecticut Connecticut Monica Mary Pietrzak Manchester 25 5'11" Top 15
Delaware Delaware Kate Banaszak Middletown 24
Washington, D.C. District of Columbia Nicole White Washington, DC 20 5'8" Previously Miss District of Columbia Teen USA 2004
Florida Florida Anastagia Pierre Fort Lauderdale 20 5'9" Previously Miss Florida Teen USA 2004; Later Miss Bahamas Intercontinental 2010 and Miss Bahamas 2011
Georgia (U.S. state) Georgia Kimberly Gittings Lilburn 20 Top 15
Hawaii Hawaii Aureana Tseu Mililani Town 25 5'7" Previously Miss Hawaii Teen USA 1999
Idaho Idaho Melissa Weber Boise 27 Top 15
Illinois Illinois Ashley Bond Chicago 24
Indiana Indiana Courtni Hall Crawfordsville 20 5'9" Previously Miss Indiana Teen USA 2004
Iowa Iowa Chelsea Lynn Gauger Ankeny 20
Kansas Kansas Courtney Courter Olathe 23 5'9"
Kentucky Kentucky Maria Elizabeth Montgomery Danville 19 5'10" 4th Runner-Up
Louisiana Louisiana Lacey Minchew Baton Rouge 25 5'7" Previously Miss Teen America 2002 (represented Georgia).
Maine Maine Ashley Underwood Benton 24 5'8" Survivor: Redemption Island contestant
Maryland Maryland Gabrielle Carlson Marion Station 24
Massachusetts Massachusetts Alison Cronin Weymouth 21 Previously Miss Massachusetts Teen USA 2005
Michigan Michigan Lindsey Tycholiz Sterling Heights 26
Minnesota Minnesota Erica Nego Plymouth 24 Top 15 Later Miss Universe Ghana 2011
Mississippi Mississippi Jessica Lauren McRaney Terry 23 Previously Miss Mississippi Teen USA 2004
Missouri Missouri Stacey Smith Florissant 23 5'9"
Montana Montana Misti Vogt Kalispell 23 5'11"
Nebraska Nebraska Meagan Winings Atkinson 23 Previously Miss Nebraska Teen USA 2004
Nevada Nevada Georgina Vaughan[6] Las Vegas 21 5'10" Previously Miss Nevada Teen USA 2006
New Hampshire New Hampshire Christy Dunn Laconia 26
New Jersey New Jersey Kaity Rodriguez Clifton 24
New Mexico New Mexico Bianca Matamoros-Koonce Albuquerque 23
New York (state) New York Tracey Chang New York City 26 5'7" Born in China
North Carolina North Carolina Kristen Dalton Wilmington 22 5'7" Miss USA 2009 Mother was Miss North Carolina USA 1982; sister was Miss North Carolina Teen USA 2008, 2nd runner-up at Miss Teen USA 2008 and Miss North Carolina USA 2015.
North Dakota North Dakota Kelsey Erickson Grand Forks 22
Ohio Ohio Natasha Vivoda Champion 21
Oklahoma Oklahoma Lauren Lunday Altus 25
Oregon Oregon Sylvie Tarpinian Eugene 24
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Lindsey Nelsen Dallastown 21 5'7"
Rhode Island Rhode Island Alysha Castonguay Woonsocket 22 5'6" Previously Miss Rhode Island Teen USA 2002.

Previously Miss Teen America 2003 and Miss Teen Galaxy 2005.

South Carolina South Carolina Stephanie Murray Smith Goose Creek 21 5'7" Top 10 The Amazing Race 17 Contestant along with her then-fiance Chad Waltrip[7]
South Dakota South Dakota Jessica Rowell Sioux Falls 22 5'7"
Tennessee Tennessee Kristen Motil Franklin 24 5'9" Top 10
Texas Texas Brooke Daniels Tomball 22 5'9" Top 10
Utah Utah Laura Chukanov Salt Lake City 22 5'9" 3rd Runner-Up
Vermont Vermont Brooke Werner Granville 22
Virginia Virginia Maegan Phillips Quantico 22 Top 15
Washington (state) Washington Tara Turnure Seattle 23 Her sister, Tracy Turnure, succeeded her as Miss Washington USA 2010.
West Virginia West Virginia Jessi Pierson Milton 21 5'7" Top 10 Miss Photogenic
Wisconsin Wisconsin Alexandra Wehrley Pewaukee 21 5'8" 2015 Miss USA Pageant co-host
Wyoming Wyoming Cynthia Pate Casper 22 Miss Congeniality

Historical significance


Preliminary judges

Telecast judges

Background music

Controversy over gay marriage question

During the 2009 Miss USA pageant, Miss California Carrie Prejean, was asked by openly gay pageant judge, Perez Hilton, whether she believed every state should legalize same-sex marriage. She responded that she did not. After the pageant Hilton made negative comments about the contestant and told ABC News: "She lost it because of that question. She was definitely the front-runner before that,"[8] leading some to believe that the answer directly had caused her to lose the competition.[9] Prejean stated that Miss California USA officials had pressured her to apologize for her statement and "not talk" about her Christian faith.[10]

Several politicians and commentators assailed Hilton and defended Prejean for honestly stating her personal beliefs.[11][12][13]

Following the pageant, Prejean hired a Christian public relations firm,[11] and appeared in a television advertisement by the National Organization for Marriage.[14] However, on June 10, 2009, Prejean again stated that her question caused her to lose her title when she learned she was fired by Donald Trump. Miss California USA officials state that her answer had nothing to do with her termination, citing continued breach of her contract instead.

New crown

In keeping with co-owner NBC Universal's "Green is Universal" environmental initiative, the Miss Universe Organization announced that Diamond Nexus Labs would become the official jewelry sponsor for the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants. DNL 's man-made gemstones are "all synthesized in clean labs using environmentally friendly processes". Diamond Nexus Labs will create a custom-designed crown for Miss USA 2009, as well as for the Miss Universe and Miss Teen USA pageants later this year.[15]

Pageant crossovers

Nine former Miss Teen USA state titleholders competed at Miss USA 2009, the highest since 2007 and the second highest since 2003. For the first time five of the former teens competed at the same pageant, Miss Teen USA 2004. Aureana Tseu will become the first former Teen to represent her state at Miss USA ten years after competing at Miss Teen USA. This is also the first year that a Miss Teen USA 2006 contestant competed at Miss USA.

Nebraska crowned one of their former Teen USA state titleholders for the first time, and Florida crowned only their second. In Rhode Island, consecutive Teen titleholders (Amy Diaz and Alysha Castonguay) won consecutive Miss titles, the first time this has occurred in the history of the two pageants.

Unusually, there were no former Miss America competitors, but Lacey Minchew (Louisiana) won the title of Miss Teen America 2002. Minchew later crowned Alysha Castonguay (Rhode Island) Miss Teen America 2003. The Miss America and Miss Teen America pageants are not affiliated with each other.

The former teens competing at this Miss USA pageant are:

Despite the high number of former Miss Teen USA competitors, this became the first time since 1994 that not a single former Miss Teen USA competitor managed to place.

In addition to the winner, Kristen Dalton of North Carolina competing at Miss Universe 2009, three other contestants went on to compete in Miss Universe, after winning national titles from other countries. They are:


  2. Associated Press (2009-03-09). "Miss USA pageant plans more than 2 weeks in Vegas". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-03-09.
  3. Ussery, Peggy (2009-02-09). "Miss Alabama USA learned confidence in pageants". Dothan Eagle. Retrieved 2009-03-09.
  4. "Community". Alaska Daily News.
  5. Sparks, Colleen (2008-12-09). "Desert Vista produces 2 Miss Arizona winners". The Republic. Retrieved 2009-03-09.
  6. Leach, Robin (2009-03-04). "Photo Gallery: Miss Nevada USA is ready to play host and compete". Las Vegas Weekly. Retrieved 2009-03-09.
  7. Derschowitz, Jessica (2010-09-02). ""The Amazing Race" Cast Announced". CBS News. Retrieved 2010-09-03.
  8. "Gay marriage row at Miss USA show". BBC News. 2009-04-20. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
  9. "Carrie Prejean Says Answer to Gay Marriage Question Cost Her Miss USA Crown". Fox News. 2009-04-20.
  10. "Carrie Prejean says she was asked to apologize for gay marriage comments, but refused". Daily News. New York. 2009-04-27.
  11. 1 2 U.S. News & World Report - "Miss California, Carrie Prejean, Signs With Top Christian Publicity Firm"
  12. Newsom Defends Miss California. NBC News. Published April 23, 2009.
  13. "Political Grapevine" segment of Special Report with Brit Hume, Fox News, August 15, 2006 (Miss California Continues to Grab Headlines)
  14. National Organization for Marriage
  15. Goetzl, David (2009-03-06). "Miss Universe Sparkles With Diamond Sponsor". Media News Daily. Retrieved 2009-02-07.
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