Miss USA 2015
|Miss USA 2015|
|Date||July 12, 2015|
|Presenters||Todd Newton, Alexandra Wehrley, Julie Alexandria|
|Entertainment||Travis Garland, Stefano Langone, Felicia Barton, Antoinette Scruggs, Adley Stump|
|Venue||Baton Rouge River Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana|
|Broadcaster||Reelz, KBTR-CD, YouTube|
Miss USA 2015, the 64th Miss USA pageant, was held at the Baton Rouge River Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on July 12, 2015. All fifty states and the District of Columbia competed. Nia Sanchez of Nevada crowned Olivia Jordan of Oklahoma at the end of the event. Olivia represented the United States in the Miss Universe 2015 competition and placed 2nd runner-up. In its broadcast through YouTube, the pageant managed to gather 1.45 million viewers, down from 5.5 million people that viewed the previous edition.
The 2015 pageant was affected due to remarks made by Miss Universe Organization owner Donald Trump regarding illegal Mexican immigrants, which led longtime Miss USA broadcaster NBC and incumbent rightsholders Univision Communications and Televisa to terminate their relationships with the Organization and Trump himself along with the defections of the pageant's originally announced hosts, judges and musical performers in protest of the remarks made during Trump's speech announcing his candidacy for the Republican nomination for U.S. President on June 16, 2015 in New York City.
|Miss USA 2015|
§ Saved by the public for the top 11.
Order of announcement
|Alabama||Madison Guthrie||20||5 ft 9 in (175 cm)||Hoover||Top 11|
|Alaska||Kimberly Agron||20||5 ft 4 in (163 cm)||Anchorage||Miss Congeniality (tied)||Previously Miss Alaska Teen USA 2013|
|Arizona||Maureen Montagne||21||5 ft 7 in (170 cm)||Chandler||Top 15||Previously 1st runner-up at Mutya ng Pilipinas 2013 representing the Filipino community in Arizona|
|Arkansas||Leah Blefko||21||5 ft 11 in (180 cm)||Fayetteville|
|California||Natasha Martinez||23||5 ft 7 in (170 cm)||Chino Hills|
|Colorado||Talyah Polee||26||5 ft 8 in (173 cm)||Denver|
|Connecticut||Ashley Golebiewski||21||5 ft 9 in (175 cm)||Hartford|
|Delaware||Renee Bull||22||5 ft 9 in (175 cm)||Middletown||Top 11||Miss Congeniality (tied)||1st runner-up at Miss Delaware 2012, contestant at National Sweetheart 2012|
|District of Columbia||Lizzy Olsen||26||5 ft 10 in (178 cm)||Washington, D.C.|
|Florida||Ashleigh Lollie||24||5 ft 7 in (170 cm)||Grand Ridge|
|Georgia||Brooke Fletcher||23||5 ft 6 in (168 cm)||Peachtree City||Previously Miss Georgia Teen USA 2009, 1st runner-up at Miss Teen USA 2009|
|Hawaii||Emma Wo||25||5 ft 8 in (173 cm)||Honolulu||Top 11||Previously Miss Hawaii Teen USA 2008|
|Idaho||Claira Hollingsworth||22||5 ft 6 in (168 cm)||Preston||Previously Miss Idaho Teen USA 2011|
|Illinois||Renee Wronecki||22||5 ft 10 in (178 cm)||Burbank||Top 15|
|Indiana||Gretchen Reece||24||5 ft 8 in (173 cm)||North Vernon||Miss Photogenic||People's Choice and top 12 at Miss Indiana 2012|
|Iowa||Taylor Even||22||5 ft 6 in (168 cm)||Jesup|
|Kansas||Alexis Railsback||19||5 ft 5 in (165 cm)||Shawnee|
|Kentucky||Katie George||21||5 ft 10 in (178 cm)||Louisville||Top 11|| Fan vote winner|
Accomplishments in college volleyball:
|Louisiana||Candice Bennatt||26||5 ft 6 in (168 cm)||New Orleans||Top 11||Previously Miss New Mexico 2012|
|Maine||Heather Elwell||26||5 ft 10 in (178 cm)||West Bath|
|Maryland||Mamé Adjei||23||5 ft 9 in (175 cm)||Silver Spring||4th Runner-Up||1st Runner-Up of America's Next Top Model, cycle 22|
|Massachusetts||Polikseni Manxhari||24||5 ft 7 in (170 cm)||Holden|
|Michigan||Rashontae Wawrzyniak||25||5 ft 7 in (170 cm)||Harper Woods||Top 11|
|Minnesota||Jessica Scheu||23||5 ft 8 in (173 cm)||Prior Lake|
|Mississippi||Courtney Byrd||23||5 ft 7 in (170 cm)||Jackson||Nonfinalist in Miss Tennessee 2013 as Miss Henderson County 2013|
|Missouri||Rebecca Dunn||24||5 ft 9 in (175 cm)||Columbia|
|Montana||Tahnee Peppenger||27||5 ft 6 in (168 cm)||Great Falls|
|Nebraska||Hoang-Kim Cung||24||5 ft 5 in (165 cm)||Grand Island|
|Nevada||Brittany McGowan||25||5 ft 9 in (175 cm)||Las Vegas||3rd Runner-Up|
|New Hampshire||Samantha Poirier||24||5 ft 8 in (173 cm)||Dover|
|New Jersey||Vanessa Oriolo||21||5 ft 6 in (168 cm)||Colts Neck|
|New Mexico||Alexis Duprey||24||5 ft 11 in (180 cm)||Alamogordo||Previously Miss New Mexico Teen USA 2009 & Miss New Mexico 2013|
|New York||Thatiana Diaz||22||5 ft 8 in (173 cm)||Bayside||Top 15||Previously Miss New York Teen USA 2010, top 15 at Miss Teen USA 2010; later Miss Comunidad Dominicana en los Estados Unidos 2014, top 10 at Miss Dominican Republic 2014|
|North Carolina||Julia Dalton||24||5 ft 5 in (165 cm)||Wilmington||Previously Miss North Carolina Teen USA 2008, 2nd runner-up at Miss Teen USA 2008; sister of Miss USA 2009 Kristen Dalton|
|North Dakota||Molly Ketterling||20||5 ft 7 in (170 cm)||Elgin|
|Ohio||Sarah Newkirk||25||5 ft 10 in (178 cm)||Columbus|
|Oklahoma||Olivia Jordan||26||5 ft 11 in (180 cm)||Tulsa||Miss USA 2015||Previously Miss World America 2013, top 20 at Miss World 2013|
|Oregon||Bridget Wilmes||22||5 ft 9 in (175 cm)||Canby|
|Pennsylvania||Elizabeth Cardillo||25||5 ft 8 in (173 cm)||Allison Park|
|Rhode Island||Anea Garcia||20||6 ft 0 in (183 cm)||Cranston||2nd Runner-Up||Miss Grand International 2015 later (Dethroned)|
|South Carolina||Sarah Weishuhn||23||5 ft 8 in (173 cm)||Goose Creek|
|South Dakota||Lexy Schenk||21||5 ft 6 in (168 cm)||Irene||Previously Miss South Dakota Teen USA 2011|
|Tennessee||Kiara Young||25||5 ft 11 in (180 cm)||Nashville|
|Texas||Ylianna Guerra||22||5 ft 8 in (173 cm)||McAllen||1st Runner-Up|
|Utah||Nicol Powell||21||5 ft 10 in (178 cm)||Salt Lake City||Sister of Miss Utah USA 2013 Marissa Powell|
|Vermont||Jackie Croft||24||5 ft 8 in (173 cm)||Burlington||Contestant at National Sweetheart 2012|
|Virginia||Laura Puleo||25||5 ft 9 in (175 cm)||Lexington||Top 15||Sister of Miss North Carolina USA 2004 Ashley Puleo and 2nd Runner-up at Miss USA 2004, 1st runner up at Miss North Carolina's Outstanding Teen 2006|
|Washington||Kenzi Novell||24||5 ft 7 in (170 cm)||Spokane||Top 10 at Miss Washington 2013 as Miss Tahoma, and top 10 at Miss Washington 2012 as Miss Spokane|
|West Virginia||Andrea Mucino||24||5 ft 9 in (175 cm)||Morgantown|
|Wisconsin||Haley Laundrie||21||5 ft 9 in (175 cm)||Lake Mills|
|Wyoming||Caroline Scott||22||5 ft 7 in (170 cm)||Cheyenne||Previously Miss Wyoming Teen USA 2010, top 15 at Miss Teen USA 2010|
- Alison Taub
- B. J. Coleman
- Daurius Baptist
- Fred Nelson
- Jennifer Palpallatoc
- Lori Lung
- Maureen Storto
- Tara Conner – Miss USA 2006 from Kentucky
- Rima Fakih – Miss USA 2010 from Michigan
- Crystle Stewart – Miss USA 2008 from Texas
- Nana Meriwether – Miss USA 2012 from Maryland
- Kimberly Pressler – Miss USA 1999 from New York
- Danielle Doty – Miss Teen USA 2011 from Texas
- Leila Lopes – Miss Universe 2011 from Angola
- Brook Lee – Miss Universe 1997 from United States
- Michelle McLean – Miss Universe 1992 from Namibia
- Oklahoma won competition for the first time.
- After competing at Miss Universe 2015 in December 2015, Olivia Jordan became the first person to represent the United States at the two largest and oldest international beauty pageants in the world, Miss World and Miss Universe. Previously, Jordan competed at Miss World 2013. She also became the third person from the United States to compete at two major international beauty pageants, after Brucene Smith, whom won Miss International 1974 after competing for Miss World 1971, and Andrea Neu, whom previously competed at Miss International 2013 and Miss Earth 2014.
- This is the fourth year in a row a state won their first-ever Miss USA title (Oklahoma, Nevada, Connecticut, and Rhode Island), which includes Olivia Culpo's win in 2012.
- Texas reached its highest placement since Crystle Stewart won in 2008. Furthermore, Texas has placed 13 times in the last 15 years, which includes two wins in 2001 and 2008.
- Rhode Island placed for the first time and reached its highest placement since Olivia Culpo won the Miss USA title in 2012, prior to winning Miss Universe 2012. She then represented Dominican Republic at the Miss Grand International 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand and became the first woman from her country and first Miss USA contestant to win the title but was later dethroned.
- Nevada placed in top five for second year in a row and top 10 for the fourth consecutive year.
- Maryland reached its highest placement since Nana Meriwether earned 1st Runner-Up and inherited the Miss USA title in 2012.
- Michigan reached its highest placement since Rima Fakih won in 2010.
- States which placed the previous year were Alabama, Arizona, Louisiana, Maryland, Oklahoma, Nevada, and Virginia.
- Alabama placed for the sixth consecutive year.
- Maryland placed for the fifth consecutive year.
- Louisiana and Nevada placed for the fourth consecutive year.
- Arizona, Oklahoma, and Virginia placed for the second consecutive year.
- Illinois and Texas last placed in 2013.
- Michigan last placed in 2012.
- Hawaii and New York last placed in 2011.
- Kentucky last placed in 2009.
- Delaware placed for the first time in the pageant's history. As the last state to officially earn a Miss USA placement, what is known in pageant circles as the "Delaware Curse" finally ends.
- Miss Congeniality award results in a tie for the third time in pageant's history, following Miss USA 1965 and Miss USA 1976. In the pageant final, however, Todd Newton mistakenly referred this year's results as the first time to have a tie for the Miss Congeniality award.
- Miss Congeniality and Miss Photogenic award go to first-time state winners: Alaska and Delaware won Miss Congeniality, and Indiana won Miss Photogenic, respectively.
Impact from Donald Trump's remarks on illegal Mexican immigrants
On June 25, 2015, Univision Communications president and CEO Randy Falco announced that the company would terminate its contract to broadcast Spanish language coverage of the 2015 Miss USA pageant (which was set to air on UniMás) and sever its business ties with Miss Universe Organization co-owner Donald Trump, following comments regarding illegal Mexican immigrants that were made by Trump during his speech announcing his candidacy for the Republican Party nomination for President of the United States on June 16, in which Trump stated that illegal Mexicans immigrating into the U.S. were responsible for importing drugs, and bringing crime, rapists, and drug dealers into the country, and called for the building of a wall along the Mexico–United States border. Chilean actor Cristián de la Fuente and Puerto Rican actress Roselyn Sánchez, who were both slated to host the Spanish language broadcast of the pageant, also announced that they were pulling out of the telecast, citing their offense to Trump's comments. Colombian reggaeton singer J Balvin, who was scheduled to make his first musical performance on mainstream U.S. television, also announced that he would also no longer participate in the event. Miss Universe 2006 Zuleyka Rivera of Puerto Rico, who was set to judge the pageant, announced she would no longer participate as well.
In a statement by Univision regarding its decision, Falco cited the consideration of the views of its predominately Hispanic broadcast audience and corporate employee base, that "[Univision] see[s] first-hand the work ethic, love for family, strong religious values and the important role Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans have had and will continue to have in building the future of our country." Following the announcement of the company's decision, a lawyer for Trump stated that he is strongly considering taking legal action against Univision Communications for its refusal to carry the Miss USA telecast, alleging it violated the terms of the five-year broadcast and co-production agreement for the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants that Univision signed with the Miss Universe Organization five months earlier on February 5. Trump himself accused the Government of Mexico, among other parties, of "putting tremendous pressure on Univision to break their signed and fully effective contract with the Miss Universe Organization" because of his statements "exposing to the public, and the world, the terrible and costly trade deals that the United States is incompetently making with Mexico".
Univision noted that despite the decision by its entertainment division to terminate its business relationship with the Miss Universe Organization, its news division and owned-and-operated broadcast outlets would continue to provide coverage of Trump and all other presidential candidates during the 2016 presidential campaign "to ensure our audience continues to have access to all points of view". On June 26, Trump notified Falco that Univision employees would no longer be allowed to enter or hold membership with the Trump National Doral Miami golf course, which abuts Univision's corporate headquarters in Doral, Florida. That same day on his Instagram account, Trump also released personal correspondence from Univision anchor Jorge Ramos – containing Ramos' personal work mobile phone number, which was unobscured in the image – requesting an interview with Trump.
On June 29, NBCUniversal, which owns the 50% stake in the Miss Universe Organization not owned by Donald Trump, confirmed it was terminating its business ties with Trump – saying in a statement that "respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values" – and would no longer air the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants (Miss Teen USA has not aired on conventional television since the 2007 pageant, as it was not included in NBC's renewed television contract with the Miss Universe Organization for uncited reasons; Trump was also dismissed as host of The Celebrity Apprentice, which NBC will continue to air as United Artists Media Group holds the licensing rights to the reality competition series). Mexican media conglomerate Televisa also announced it would cut ties to Trump and end its television contract with the Miss Universe Organization. In a June 29 interview with the Kansas City Star, Miss Kansas USA 2015 Alexis Railsback – who is of Mexican-American descent – said that it was "really unfortunate and kind of unfair that the Miss USA pageant is kind of taking the brunt for Donald Trump's speech". Noting that the Miss Universe Organization is a standalone entity, she iterated that Trump "does not organize the pageant, [and] does not run what goes on" and that she believes the fallout stemming from the remarks is not "really related to the pageant in any way, other than the fact that he is the co-owner". Following the decision, some pageant contestants and supporters backed a Change.org petition and used the hashtag #SavetheSash on social media and on a video posted to the pageant's official Facebook page, urging NBC to reconsider their decision not to air Miss USA.
On June 30, Thomas Roberts (who serves as an anchor for NBCUniversal-owned MSNBC) and Cheryl Burke pulled out of hosting the pageant, with Burke citing her opposition to Trump's comments and the network's decision to stop telecasting the event. After reports indicated that Miss Teen USA broadcasters Ustream and Xbox Live, as well as Netflix had showed interest in obtaining the streaming rights to the event, the Miss Universe Organization later confirmed on June 30 that the pageant would be streamed on the official Miss USA website (a subpage of the Organization's website).
After previously indicating that he may sue Univision and NBCUniversal, Trump and the Miss Universe Organization filed a breach of contract and defamation lawsuit against Univision Communications in the New York Supreme Court on June 30, seeking damages in excess of $500 million. Univision responded to the suit in a statement, calling the complaint "both factually false and legally ridiculous," and that it "will not only vigorously defend the case, but will continue to fight against Mr. Trump's ongoing efforts to run away from the derogatory comments he made on June 16th about illegal Mexican immigrants." On June 30, a rep for singer Natalie La Rose announced that she had withdrew from performing at the pageant; La Rose was joined on July 1 by judges Emmitt Smith and Jonathan Scott, country singer Craig Wayne Boyd and rapper Flo Rida in dropping out of the pageant. Jeannie Mai, who originally announced that she would stay on as a co-host, stating that while she "do[es] not condone Mr. Trump's statements[...] I can't abandon these women when they need our support now more than ever", citing the Miss Universe Organization's mission to "unite women from all over the world and celebrate different cultures", announced on July 6, 2015 that she was withdrawing as co-host. All of them including Miss Universe 2006 Zuleyka Rivera of Puerto Rico are interested to participate and be a part of Miss Earth beauty contest.
On July 2, the Miss Universe Organization reached an agreement with Reelz to broadcast Miss USA 2015 on the digital cable channel. In a statement, Stanley Hubbard, CEO of Reelz parent Hubbard Broadcasting, said "As one of only a few independent networks, we decided to exercise our own voice and committed ourselves to bringing this pageant to American viewers everywhere." Even with the announcement of a new broadcaster for the 2015 event, a webcast of the pageant was still available via the Miss USA website (which was also viewable on smartphones, tablets and on video game consoles via their respective YouTube applications) for those not able to watch on Reelz due to the channel's absence of availability on several cable providers (such as Cox Communications) or because they do not subscribe to Reelz through a participating carrier of the channel. Baton Rouge's This TV affiliate KBTR-CD simulcast the pageant using Reelz' feed.
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