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Best Emcees in Pageantry: 2020 Edition

03, February 2020

Emcees play a special role in every pageant. They set the mood of the night for the audience. A great emcee is able to engage the crowd, has impeccable public speaking skills and has a unique ability to make each contestants' onstage moment special.

This role is not one to be taken lightly. Emcees do a lot more than read a script. They put just as many hours as contestants into researching, learning choreography and getting dressed up for the big night. Here are the emcees that went above and beyond as submitted by pageant lovers everywhere.

Top 10 Pageant Emcees of: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016

Miss Teen USA 2019 Host Tim Tialdo with a Top 5 finalist. Photo: Miss Universe Organization

Top 10 Emcees of 2019

10. Sherri Shanley

Taking the tenth spot for Best Pageant Emcees of 2019 is Sherri Shanley! She has been involved in pageantry for 25 years as a competitor, director, judge, emcee, choreographer and even pageant mom!

She received high praise in her pageant planet reviews, with one person saying, “She is passionate, articulate, knowledgeable and puts so much effort, heart, and care into everything she does. She can ad-lib, entertain and roll with the punches.” 

With all of her experience in the pageant industry, it is no shock that she has made it into the top ten list!

Photo: Fadil Berisha Photography

9. Ashley Horsley

Coming in at the ninth spot for Best Pageant Emcees of 2019 is Ashley Horsley from Allstar Pageant Coaching and Production! She has been performing since the age of three and a public speaker since her early teen years. She is the national emcee for PURE International Pageants, and recently emceed PURE International 2017.

This is her third consecutive year making it on the list!

Photo: Ashley Horsley

8. Tiffany Reilly

Chosen for the eighth spot for Best Pageant Emcees of 2019 is Tiffany Reilly from National American Miss! She returns to the list again this year and is a national emcee for National American Miss pageants and has worked with National American Miss year-round for almost 10 years. Tiffany started with NAM in 2003 as a pageant choreographer and now works as an emcee and regional coordinator. She has emceed over 100 final shows for all age divisions. Her favorite event to host is the Red Carpet awards during the NAM National Pageant. With her extensive and impressive track record emceeing, it’s no wonder that she has landed into the top again this year!

Photo: Tiffany Reilly

7. Eurell Lewis

Coming in at number seven for Best Pageant Emcees of 2019 is Eurell Lewis! He returns to the list again this year! He is a music and events DJ with over 5 years of experience. He has emceed the Global United Ambassador 2019 pageant, and has been their emcee for the past few years.

He has received great reviews on Pageant Planet saying that he, “has been the emcee for the Global United Pageant for the last few years and there is a reason why he continues to be asked to return. He is very professional, spends the time to learn the names of the delegates competing, and brings a relaxing atmosphere to what can be a stressful event for some.” 

With a personality like this, he has landed on the top ten list yet again!

Photo: Eurell Lewis

6. Megan Young

Selected as the sixth best Pageant Emcees of 2019 is Megan Young! She is the former Miss World 2013 and represented the Philippines when she was crowned in Bali, Indonesia, so she is no stranger to the pageant stage. She has recently emceed the Miss World 2019 pageant, returning to the organization that she was previously part of as an international titleholder. She shined throughout the night, wearing beautiful dresses from world renowned designers, and that shine has landed her on the top ten list!

Photo: Megan Young

5. “Mr.Tim” Whitmer

Tim “Mr.Tim” Whitmer was chosen as the fifth Best Pageant Emcee of 2019! He is referred to as “The Voice of Pageantry.” A well-known glitz pageant emcee, Mr. Tim is no stranger to the industry. He has worked with systems like Miss East Coast USA, and others for over 20 years. Mr. Tim is an energetic, fun and experienced emcee who has landed on the top list again this year!

Photo: Mr. Tim

4. Joy Suprano

Coming in at the fourth spot for the Best Pageant Emcees of 2019 is Joy Suprano! She returns to the top list for the fourth consecutive year-that’s a record! She is a memorable face for many competitors at National American Miss. She is known for serenading during the final show of the pageant every year!

One review of her on pageant planet explains that she is, “Simply the best. Sets the standard for the industry. Nothing compares to her energy, enthusiasm, and genuine love for the job!”

Since she sets the standard, she has landed her way back on to the top list for 2019!

Photo: Nicole Renard Photo

3. Vanessa Lachey

Vanessa Lachey was selected as the third Best Pageant Emcee of 2019! She is no stranger to hosting large scale pageants or to the pageant industry in general. A former Miss Teen USA herself, Vanessa Lachey has hosted the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants in previous years. She is an actress and wife to recording artist and TV personality Nick Lachey. She just hosted the Miss USA 2019 pageant, and she served as a backstage media correspondent at the Miss Universe 2019 pageant! I am sure we will see more of her on the national and international pageant stage!

Nick and Vanessa Lachey speaking with Miss USA 2018 Sarah Rose Summers at Miss USA 2019. Photo: Miss Universe Organization

2. Steve Harvey

Coming in at the second spot for Best Pageant Emcees of 2019 is none other than Steve Harvey! He returns to the list this year and has hosted Miss Universe for the past few years, including the most recent Miss Universe 2019. He brings plenty of energy and excitement to the stage whenever he hosts, and it is sure to be a good time! He is no stranger to hosting, as he also serves as the host of the popular game show Family Feud. He is also know for hosting in style, often wearing elaborate suits, and with his big personality and sense of style, he has landed in the top!

Photo: Miss Universe Organization

1. Tim Tialdo

Taking the number one spot for the second consecutive year as Best Pageant Emcees of 2019 is Tim Tialdo! He is a three-time Emmy Award winning producer and TV Host! Tim is currently part of the RPM productions family and hosts the Miss South Carolina, North Carolina, Louisiana and Alabama USA and Teen USA pageants. He was also host of Miss Teen USA 2019. He also recently judged the Miss Wyoming USA & Miss Wyoming Teen USA 2020 and Miss Iowa USA & Miss Iowa Teen USA 2020 pageants. In addition to his pageant duties, Tim is the creator and host of the “Life After the Crown” Podcast where he welcomes former pageant contestants, titleholders and women of influence to share inspiring and real stories. He even hosted Pageant Planet CEO Steven Roddy on an episode of Life After the Crown, which you can check out here.

One review from his Pageant Planet profile explains why he takes the number one spot:

“Tim’s not just a host, he’s a motivator, he doesn’t just cash a paycheck, he’s involved with the contestants all year. But his hosting skills are impeccable and he brings energy to all his hosting jobs. He’s the best in the business!”

Photo: Tim Tialdo

Top 10 Emcees of 2018

10. Ashley Horsley

Ashley Horsley was voted in the 10th spot for the Top Emcees of 2018. She return to the Top Emcees Best in Pageantry Award list for the third consecutive year. Ashley has been performing since age three and has been a public speaker since her early teens. In 2018, she emceed for Pure International Pageants! Horsley has a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional and Business Communications and is runs Allstar Pageant Coaching and Production.

Photo: Ashley Horsley

9. Tiffany Reilly

Tiffany Reilly was voted in the ninth spot for the Top Emcees of 2018. She has worked with the National American Miss pageant pageant for about a decade and in 2018, she helped out as a national emcee for the national pageant in California over Thanksgiving!

Photo: Tiffany Reilly

8. Joy Suprano

Joy Suprano was voted in the eighth spot for the Top Emcees of 2018. She is an American actress most recently known for her roles on The Good Cop and The Blacklist. Joy is a national host for National American Miss and is well-known in the pageant community for her beautiful serenades of the National American Miss contestants! She returns to the Top Emcees Best in Pageantry Award list for the third consecutive year.

Photo: Joy Suprano

7. Eurell Lewis

Eurell Lewis was voted in the seventh spot for the Top Emcees of 2018. Eurell is an Emcee extraordinaire with over five years of experience. In 2018, he returned to emcee the Global United Pageant!

“Eurell has been the emcee for the Global United Pageant for the last few years and there is a reason why he continues to be asked to return,” one Pageant Planet reviewer says. “He is very professional, spends the time to learn the names of the delegates competing, and brings a relaxing atmosphere to what can be a stressful event for some. He is wonderful at improvising when unexpected delays occur and has been known to fill in by singing a song (which is he very talented at).”

Eurell Lewis in his tuxedo before the Global United Pageant. Photo: Wendy Hauger

6. Steve Harvey

Steve Harvey was voted in the sixth spot for the Top Emcees of 2018. He is an American comedian, television host and actor. Best known in the pageant community for his slip-up hosting the Miss Universe pageant in 2015 when he announced the wrong contestant as the winner, Harvey has returned to host the Miss Universe every year since then, and without mistakes.

Photo: Steve Harvey hosting the Miss Universe Pageant. Photo: FOX

5. Ross Mathews

Ross Mathews was voted in the fifth spot for the Top Emcees of 2018. He is an American television personality known from shows such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Insider, Celebrity Big Brother, Chelsea Lately, and RuPaul's Drag Race. Ross co-hosted this year’s Miss America 2019 Competition and many loved the added insight and commentary from him during the show!

Photo: Ross Mathews

4. Mr. Tim

Mr. Tim was voted in the fourth spot for the Top Emcees of 2018. He has worked with many glitz pageants this year and has been emceeing in the glitz pageant world for 20 years. He’s known for working with the East Coast USA pageants. He returns to the Top Emcees Best in Pageantry Award list for the third consecutive year, evening making the very top spot in 2016!

Mr. Tim with a newly crowned titleholder. Photo: East Coast USA Pageant

3. James Deakin

James Deakin was voted in the third spot for the Top Emcees of 2018. He has emceed the Miss Earth 2018 pageant this past year. Check out the video below!

Deakin knows how to keep his cool and roll with the flow. During the Miss Earth 2018 final show, one of the contestants fainted on stage. Deakin and pageant organizers put the show on hold to help the girl recover and then continued with the production. Talk about staying calm in crisis!

James Deakin hosting the Miss Earth pageant. Photo: Sabina Cruz

2. Tetsuya Bessho

Tetsuya Bessho was voted in the second spot for the Top Emcees of 2018. He is a Japanese actor and radio presenter and has been hosting the Miss International pageant since 2014. Check out the video below!

Photo: Tetsuya Bessho

1. Tim Tialdo

Tim Tialdo was voted into the first place spot for the Top Emcees of 2018. Tim is a two-time Emmy Award–winning host and producer. In 2018, he hosted the Miss South Carolina USA and Miss South Carolina Teen USA pageants!

“Not only is he a phenomenal host, Tim is a caring person who takes it upon himself to encourage each of the contestants,” one Pageant Planet review raved. “I’ve watched Tim in action, both as a contestant in a pageant he hosted and as a viewer in the audience. He’s great at thinking on his feet when things aren’t going as planned and has a knack for keeping people entertained with or without a script. Glad to have met him and call him a friend. I highly recommend him for your next event.”

Update 2/8/19: Tim invited Pageant Planet founder and CEO Steven Roddy as a guest on his Podcast, "Life After the Crown." Check it out here!

Tim Tialdo with Allie Richardson, Miss South Carolina Teen USA 2019, and MaKenzie Divina, Miss South Carolina USA 2019. Photo: Tim Tialdo’s Pageant Planet profile.

Top 10 Pageant Emcees of 2017

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10. Beth Martin

Beth Martin is a multi-winning national titleholder. She has taken the same great sense of humor and wit she has as a titleholder and adopted it as part of her role as emcee of American Beauties National and American Beauties Plus.

"She keeps the audience engaged and always laughing," one nominator wrote. "It's like a comedy show built into a pageant." Martin also spends the extra time to make sure each pageant goes smoothly. During rehearsal times, while double checking her script, Martin uses the extra time to crack a joke or two. "She takes the time to make sure each pageant goes smoothly and even has the best witty stories to tell between time," another nominator wrote. An emcee this dedicated to supporting pageants and titleholders by putting on the best show possible is more than deserving of a spot on this list.

9. Ashley Horsley

"Ashley Horsley is a phenomenal emcee," one nomination read. "I continue to be amazed by her stage presence and speaking abilities. Her talents serve to excite the audience and build anticipation for the announced winners. It's always an enjoyable pageant experience with Ashley at the stage helm!" This comment says it all. Horsley has served as an emcee for many pageants across the country. Most notably, she serves as the national and international emcee for the Pure International Pageant system. Her outgoing personality combined with her communications degree is perfect for the role of an emcee.

8. Teresa Scanlan

This former Miss America can largely credit her public speaking skills to becoming one of the youngest winners at only 17 years old. Now, seven years after Teresa Scanlan's reign, she has served as a coach, judge and emcee. Her warm presence and ease onstage bring contestants confidence as they take the stage. 

7. Diane DeNigris Hardgrove

Diane DeNigris Hardgrove has turned from an international queen to a pageant emcee. She won the title of Mrs. Arizona America in 2006. She then went on to win Mrs. America 2007 and eventually Mrs. World 2007. After crowning her successor, Hardgrove stayed involved with the system, serving as an emcee at all levels. Her infectious personality and her confidence at the podium land her a spot on this list. 

6. Cheryl Brehm

Cheryl Brehm is an American model and actress as well as a former beauty queen. She was Mrs. Tennessee America 2015. Her kind heart and spirit are uplifting for contestants as she not only serves as an emcee but as a role model.

"Cheryl always speaks eloquently and with a lot of grace," one nominator wrote. "She is very talented in 'ad lib' methods and she is able to keep things smooth even if she receives curveballs. Finally, her warm and sweet spirit is contagious; people have a great experience when she emcees because she is just being herself. You can see her inner and outer beauty as she composes herself. I’m on Team Cheryl!"

5. Mr. Tim

As one of the best showman in the country, Mr. Tim is more than deserving of a spot in the Top 10. He has emceed hundreds of pageant across the United States. As the "Voice of Pageants," he has captured the hearts of many directors, contestants and families.

4. Joy Suprano

This actress spends her time between film shoots serving as the emcee for National American Miss. Joy Suprano has a blog where she writes about her experiences. She wrote that it is an honor to serve as the emcee and "be given a platform where can inspire young women to stay the course and follow their dreams." This dedication to the program is a hallmark trait in being a successful emcee. Suprano has undoubtedly touched many lives and will continue to touch many more. 

3. Steve Harvey

Talk about a comeback. After infamously announcing the wrong winner at Miss Universe 2015, Steve Harvey has bounced back to land at the number three spot. Part of this has to do with Harvey serving as his biggest critic. During both the 2016 and 2017 Miss Universe Pageants, Harvey roasted himself throughout the pageant about the mistake. He also invited the wrongly crowed winner, Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez, on "The Steve Harvey Show" where she formally accepted his apology. He has clearly taken the steps to make sure the mistake never happens again. The Miss Universe Pageant has run rather smoothly for the last two years. He has also announced the right winner. Let's hope he keeps it up...

2. Juilanne Hough

Juilanne Hough has brought her quirky and lovable personality to the Miss USA stage for the last two years. She, too, has been a part of pageant history by announcing both Deshauna Barber and Kára McCullough as the winners of the Miss USA title. Both women represented the District of Colombia, marking the first time the state has not only won the national title but won it back-to-back as well.

Hough could easily take home the title of "Best Dressed" emcee. Her jumpsuit at Miss USA 2017 had pageant girls across the globe scrambling to find a copy.

1. Chris Harrison

Topping off the list is none other than Chris Harrison. While most famously know as the host of The Bachelor franchise, Harrison has also held a role on the Miss America stage. He first emceed the pageant in 2005. In 2012, he returned and has emceed the pageant ever since. This emcee has been a part of history more than a few times in his career. He was the first one to know and announce the New York Trifecta. From 2012-2015, the women representing the state of New York, Mallory Hagan, Nina Davuluri, and Kira Kazantsev, won the title of Miss America. It is the only time a state has won the national title three years in a row.

In addition, he also emceed the the 2016 Miss America Pageant alongside co-emcee Lara Spencer with class and grace. While history was made yet again in crowning winner Betty Cantrell, the pageant is most famously know for the moment when the organization brought head judge and Miss America 1983, Vanessa Williams, onstage and apologized for dethroning her after nude photos were leaked in the press. He also announced the crowning of one of the most popular Miss Americas of all time, Miss America 2017 Savvy Shields.

This year, Harrison made history yet again by announcing the first Miss North Dakota, Cara Mund, as Miss America 2018. After playing such a big role in pageant history, Harrison rightfully earned the top spot in this year's top 10. 

Emcees are essential to having a successful pageant. They help the program run smoothly while still being able to think on their feet. Who was your favorite pageant emcee? Comment below!

Top 9 Pageant Emcees of 2016

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9. Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca served the pageant community and the journalism community for many years doing an amazing job. She was the winner of the Kennedy Award in 2013 for her service in the television and news industry. Sadly, this October, she lost her battle to breast cancer at the age of 54 years old. We are so thankful for Rebecca's work and passion towards what she loved and how much she put into every job. We here at The Pageant Planet wish her family and loved ones the best.

8. Typhani Janelle Russo

Typhani is a hard-working young woman who has a passion for arts and education. She has competed in many pageants, danced for many years, and has also been acting and touring the country. She still serves to her pageant community by emceeing and being a light on stage during nervous moments for the audience and the contestants.

7. Amanda Pennekamp-Bluestein

As a past Miss South Carolina USA and Mrs. Galaxy, Amanda knows the ins and outs of how a pageant is run. She has had the opportunity to emcee and has done such a beautiful and fun job at it! She knows the nerves and excitement that flows through the room and does so great at making the area light-hearted and fun.

6. Rhonda Howdyshell

Rhonda has been in the pageant world, competing and judging for many great years. She also is the inventor of CrownClips, which help keep your crown in place. Rhonda has also had the opportunity to emcee pageants and help with different systems around the nation. She is very involved in charity and uses her place in the pageant world to promote what she believes in. 

5. Ashley Horsley

Ashley is the national and international emcee for the Pure International Pageant system. She has a degree in communications and has had experience in the pageant world by competing and holding titles. Being an international emcee isn't easy, but Ashley does such a great job that she makes it look like it!

4. Chris Saltalamacchio

Chris grew up in theatre and started growing his love for pageantry not long after. He now owns Pageantry By Chris and coaches girls all over the country in pageantry. He has spent more than 15 years in the entertainment industry appearing on stage for emceeing, public speaking, and being a state and national titleholder in male pageants.

3. Joy Suprano

Joy is an actress who has done many appearances in television, theatre, and film. She is best known for her roles in "We Are The Hartmans" and "A Little Help." Joy is the national host for one of the biggest systems in the nation, National American Miss. She has written blog posts about how much she enjoys pageantry and being a part of young girls' dreams.

2. Chris Harrison

Chris is most well-known as the host of the famous TV show "The Bachelor" and its sister show "The Bachelorette." Chris has been hosting the show for some time now but is also very well-known in the pageant world for hosting Miss America. Miss America is one of the biggest systems in the nation, and he does such a fabulous and fun job of hosting it every year!

1. Steve Harvey

Oops... I'm sorry Steve. I made a mistake. You are actually not on the list. Maybe next time?

1. “Mr. Tim” Whitmer

Mr Tim has been an emcee for many years all across the nation. He has captured the hearts of so many pageant lovers and pageant families in the United States. He is well-known for his great personality and how well he works with all of the pageant contestants. Congratulations Mr. Tim!

Thank you to all of you who submitted and voted for our amazing emcees. We cannot wait to see what the new year brings! 


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