The Miss USA & Teen USA pageant is part of the Miss Universe Organization (MUO), which is owned by IMG and uses its global grassroots reach to empower women, encourage them to be self-confident and continue to strive to be the best they personally can be. Delegates who become part of the Miss Universe Organization, like Miss USA & Teen USA, are savvy, goal-oriented and aware of what’s going on in the world around them. These women display such characteristics in their everyday lives as individuals competing with hopes of advancing their professional goals, personal goals and humanitarian goals, and also as women seeking to improve the lives of those around them.
History of Miss USA & Teen USA
The Miss USA & Teen USA pageant started as a local swimwear competition that was started by Catalina Swimwear in Long Beach, California in 1952. Over the years, the competition continued growing and evolving into what we now know to be the modern day Miss Universe pageant, run by the Miss Universe Organization (MUO). Since its inception in 1952, titleholders and many women across the country have continued to help the pageant grow into the nationally renowned Miss USA system it is now. Past owners of the Miss USA pageant include the subsidiary of Gulf + Western Industries, ITT Corporation, and billionaire and U.S. President Donald Trump.
Miss USA & Teen USA traditionally fulfills her reign while living in New York City, along with her Miss Universe sister. Miss USA also competes at the Miss Universe pageant, and since its creation, Miss USA titleholders have gone on to be the next Miss Universe eight times. In the 1960s, a rule was established by the Miss Universe Organization that should the current Miss USA become the next Miss Universe, the first runner-up will step up as Miss USA for the remainder of the year.
What does Miss USA do after winning?
The winner of the Miss USA pageant receives a generous prize package which includes the following:
-A six-figure salary for the year
-A luxury condo in LA rent-free for a year
-A new car
-A new wardrobe of designer clothing
-Celebrity skincare and haircare treatments
-Exclusive event access
Not only does the winner earn the prizes above, but they are also eligible to represent the USA in the Miss Universe pageant. During their year reign, they typically spend time going to red carpet events, getting involved in networking opportunities, having professional photo shoots, as well as promoting the charities that work with the Miss USA organization.
Additionally - Miss USA winners are allowed to promote their personal platforms and projects which serves as a great jumping-off point for continued success after their reign is over. Partnerships with major agencies such as IMG and WME are also provided for the contestant winner.
How much does it cost to compete in Miss USA?
There isn’t any entry fee in order to compete in the Miss USA pageant. Instead - you must have first won your state-level pageant. These fee’s do vary between states - the most recent Miss New Jersey cost approx $400 to enter the competition - whereas the Miss Virginia pageant costs upwards of $1000 for an entry fee.
Ultimately - your cost will be determined by the specific state you live in, or are competing in.
What's the difference between Miss USA and Miss America?
Although people often think that the Miss USA pageant and the Miss America pageant are the same, however the two pageants are entirely separate and have no affiliation. It is not uncommon for a woman to compete in both the Miss USA pageant and the Miss USA pageant.
One of the most glaring differences between the two pageants is that Miss USA represents the final stop for the pageant's winner, while the winner of the Miss USA pageant advances to the Miss Universe pageant, where they compete against winners from other countries around the globe.
Other key differences include the following:
-The Miss USA pageant has a talent competition, and the Miss USA pageant does not.
-The Miss USA pageant has a swimsuit competition, and the Miss USA pageant does not.
-The age limit for Miss USA pageant contestants is 17 to 25. The age limit for Miss USA pageant contestants is 18 and 28.
What is Miss USA's salary?
In addition to the honor of wearing the coveted Miss USA crown, holding the title of "Miss USA" for a year, and securing $50,000 in scholarship money, the winner of the Miss USA pageant commands a decent salary.
For a year following the pageant, the Miss USA titleholder travels the country on behalf of the Miss USA Organization as a contracted employee, commanding a six-figure salary plus expenses paid out throughout the year.
Can you be married and be Miss USA?
One rule that has held steadfast in the Miss USA pageant has been their rules about marriage. Even to this day you cannot be married and compete in the Miss USA pageant. Other pageants catering to married contestants (such as Mrs. America) do exist to fill this gap.
Can you be divorced and be Miss USA?
Unlike their rule about marriage, the Miss USA pageant does allow divorced contestants to compete. This rule was only recently adopted in 1999, as until then you needed to be both unmarried and have never had a divorce.
Can Miss USA have tattoos?
According to the Miss America Organization’s website contestants agree that no tattoos shall be visible. This rule stipulates that tattoos can be covered up with makeup - but doesn’t necessarily imply they are forbidden. In fact Theresa Vail (the former Miss Kansas) had two tattoos on display during her swimsuit portion of the 2014 Miss America pageant. With upwards of 40% of women having tattoos these days, we will probably see this rule fall by the wayside in the coming years.
What is the age limit for Miss USA?
As Miss USA depends on state-level competitions in order to compete it’s worth looking at the requirements there first. For the state-level competitions (ie Miss Nevada) a candidate cannot turn 27 during the year they are competing.
For the full Miss USA pageant contestants must be 18 years of age minimum, and no older then 28 years of age before the January of the calendar year they are competing in.
How tall do you have to be for Miss USA?
There are no set height standards set for most major beauty pageants and Miss USA is no exception. There are no set heigh standards for contestants in Miss USA - and looking at the trends of previous winners it seems like height is becoming less important as time goes on.
How Many Contestants Are In Miss USA?
Every year Miss USA contains 51 contestants. This includes one for each state and a contestant for Washing DC.
Do you need to be a US citizen to compete in Miss USA?
According to the Miss America Organization, you do need to be a US citizen in order to compete in this pageant. This does not necessarily need you need to be a citizen born in the US - contestants who have immigrated to the US and naturalized are also allowed to compete once they provide proper documentation.
Miss USA Statistics
- 67% of all contestants who won Miss USA are between the height of 5'7" and 5'9".
- 18% of all Miss USAs are between the height of 5’4” and 5’6”.
- No woman 6' or taller has ever won the Miss USA. Nana Meriwether, was 6' tall but originally placed 1st Runner Up before taking over after Olivia Culpo won Miss Universe.
- Texas has won more Miss USA titles than any other state, winning 9 times. Followed by California who has won the title 6 times.
- 40% of all Miss USA have been from California, Texas, Illinois, Hawaii or District of Columbia.
- Brunettes are twice as likely to succeed at Miss USA than Blondes. 43 times brunettes have walked away with the crown. 22 times blondes have walked away with the crown.
- 93% of all Miss USAs have had either brown or blonde hair.
- Redheads are more likely to win Miss USA than contestants with black hair. In the 66 year history of Miss USA redheads have won a total of 3 times, while contestants with black hair have won only 2 times.
- 85% of all Miss USAs have had either blue or brown eyes.
- Brown is the most popular eye color of all Miss USAs. 55% of all Miss USAs have had brown eyes.
- Scorpio is the most popular zodiac sign to win Miss USA. Scorpios have won 9 times throughout the 66 year history.
- 54% of all Miss USAs are either a Virgo, Taurus, Scorpio, Sagittarius or Aquarius.
- 81% of all Miss USAs have been Caucasian.
- 15% of all Miss USAs have been African American with the first African American Miss USA, Carole Gist, Miss Michigan USA was crowned in 1990.
- Outside of Caucasians and African Americans only one Hispanic-American and two Asian-Americans have won the Miss USA crown.
- 63% of all Miss USAs pursued a career in modeling or acting after their reign.
States That Have Not Won Miss USA
Miss USA & Teen USA Charitable Causes
The Miss Universe Organization firmly believes that every woman should be “Confidently Beautiful,” and provide international platforms through partnerships with many worldwide charities, brands, and sponsors. During her reign, Miss USA primarily works to raise awareness for breast and ovarian cancer, whether through advocacy efforts, or encouraging women to get mammograms, Miss USA is very dedicated to helping women across the country fight cancer. Additionally, Miss USA works closely with the Best Buddies Organization and USO throughout her reign.
The Miss USA & Teen USA Competition
The Miss USA & Teen USA pageant consists of four judged areas of competition: interview, swimsuit (fitness wear for Miss Teen USA), onstage interview and evening gown. At the beginning of both the preliminary and final competitions, there is also an unscored introduction portion, where each contestant introduces herself by name, age and hometown/state. After preliminary competition, semifinalists are chosen and announced during the live broadcast of the finals competition on FOX. Semifinalists compete in swimsuit and evening gown again during the final competition, at which point finalists are selected. Finalists then proceed to the “final question,” or onstage interview, portion of competition. At the end of the live finals show, the runners-up and new titleholder are announced. Typically, there are two panels of judges, one for the preliminary competition and one for the finals competition.
Miss USA & Teen USA Eligibility
Miss USA contestants must be between the ages of 18 and 27 before January 1st
of the year the national pageant takes place and Miss Teen USA contesants must be between the ages of 14 and 18 before January 1st
of the year the national pageant takes place. All contestants in the Miss Teen USA, Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants must not be married, or ever have been married, or have had a marriage annulled. Contestants must also have never given to a child, can’t be pregnant or be a parent. Contestants must also be in good health and be of good moral character, in addition to meeting residency requirements.
Winners of Miss USA & Teen USA
Check out the winners of the Miss USA pageants in the past:
Miss USA 2022 - R'Bonney Gabriel
Miss USA 2021 - Elle Smith
Miss USA 2020 - Asya Branch
Miss USA 2019 - Cheslie Kryst
Miss USA 2018 - Sarah Rose Summers
Miss USA 2017 - Kára McCullough
Miss USA 2016 - Deshauna Barber
Miss USA 2015 - Olivia Jordan
Miss USA 2014 - Nia Sanchez
Miss USA 2013 - Erin Brady
Miss USA 2012 - Nana Meriwether
(succeed the crown after Olivia Culpo
won Miss Universe 2012
Miss USA 2011 - Alyssa Campanella
Miss USA 2010 - Kristen Dalton
Miss USA 2008 - Crystle Stewart
Miss USA 2007 - Rachel Smith
Miss USA 2006 - Tara Conner
Miss USA 2005 - Chelsea Cooley
Miss USA 2004 - Shandi Finnessey
Miss USA 2003 - Susie Castillo
Miss USA 2002 - Shauntay Hinton
Miss USA 2001 - Kandace Krueger
Miss USA 2000 - Lynnette Cole>
Miss USA 1999 - Kimberly Pressler
Miss USA 1998 - Shawnae Jebbia
Miss USA 1997 - Brandi Sherwood
(succeed the crown after Brook Lee
won Miss Universe 1997
Miss USA 1996 - Ali Landry
Miss USA 1995 - Shanna Moakler
(succeed the crown after Chelsi Smith
won Miss Universe 1995
Miss USA 1994 - Lu Parker
Miss USA 1993 - Shannon Marketic
Miss USA 1991 - Kelli McCarty
Miss USA 1990 - Carole Gist
Miss USA 1989 - Gretchen Polhemus
Miss USA 1988 - Michelle Royer
Miss USA 1987 - Courtney Gibbs
Miss USA 1986 - Christy Fichtner
Miss USA 1985 - Laura Martinez-Herring
Miss USA 1984 - Mai Shanley
Miss USA 1983 - Julie Hayek
Miss USA 1982 - Terri Utley
Miss USA 1981 - Kim Seelbrede
Miss USA 1980 - Jineane Ford (succeeded the crown after Shawn Weatherly
won Miss Universe 1980
Miss USA 1979 - Mary Therese Friel
Miss USA 1978 - Judi Andersen
Miss USA 1977 - Kimberly Tomes
Miss USA 1976 - Barbara Peterson
Miss USA 1975 - Summer Bartholomew
Miss USA 1974 - Karen Morrison
Miss USA 1973 - Amanda Jones
Miss USA 1972 - Tanya Wilson
Miss USA 1971 - Michele McDonald
Miss USA 1970 - Deborah Shelton
Miss USA 1969 - Wendy Dascomb
Miss USA 1968 - Dorothy Anstett
(succeeded the crown after Sylvia Hitchcock
won Miss Universe 1967
Miss USA 1967 - Cheryl Patton
Miss USA 1966 - Maria Remenyi
Miss USA 1965 - Sue Downey
Miss USA 1964 - Bobbi Johnson
Miss USA 1963 - Marite Ozers>
Miss USA 1962 - Macel Wilson
Miss USA 1961 - Sharon Brown
Miss USA 1960 - Linda Bement
Miss USA 1959 - Terry Huntingdon
Miss USA 1958 - Eurlyne Howell
Miss USA 1957 - Charlotte Sheffield
Miss USA 1956 - Carol Morris
Miss USA 1955 – Carlene King Johnson
Miss USA 1954 - Miriam Stevenson
Miss USA 1953 - Myrna Hansen
Miss USA 1952 - Jackie Loughery
Check out the winners of the Miss Teen USA pageants in the past:
Miss Teen USA 2022 - Faron Medhi
Miss Teen USA 2021 - Breanna Myles
Miss Teen USA 2020 - Ki'ilani Arruda
Miss Teen USA 2019 - Kaliegh Garris
Miss Teen USA 2018 - Hailey Colborn
Miss Teen USA 2017 - Sophia Dominguez-Heithoff
Miss Teen USA 2016 - Karlie Hay
Miss Teen USA 2015 - Katherine Haik
Miss Teen USA 2014 - K. Lee Graham
Miss Teen USA 2013 - Cassidy Wolfe
Miss Teen USA 2012 - Logan West
Miss Teen USA 2011 - Danielle Doty
Miss Teen USA 2010 - Kamie Crawford
Miss Teen USA 2009 - Stormi Henley
Miss Teen USA 2008 - Stevi Perry
Miss Teen USA 2007 - Hilary Cruz
Miss Teen USA 2006 - Katie Blair
Miss Teen USA 2005 - Allie LaForce
Miss Teen USA 2004 - Shelley Hennig
Miss Teen USA 2003 - Tami Farrell
Miss Teen USA 2002 - Vanessa Semrow
Miss Teen USA 2001 - Marissa Whitley
Miss Teen USA 2000 - Jillian Parry
Miss Teen USA 1999 - Ashley Coleman
Miss Teen USA 1998 - Vanessa Minnillo
Miss Teen USA 1997 - Shelly Moore
Miss Teen USA 1996 - Christie Lee Woods
Miss Teen USA 1995 - Keylee Sue Sanders
Miss Teen USA 1994 - Shauna Gambill
Miss Teen USA 1993 - Charlotte Lopez
Miss Teen USA 1992 - Jamie Solinger
Miss Teen USA 1991 - Janel Bishop
Miss Teen USA 1990 - Bridgette Wilson
Miss Teen USA 1989 - Brandi Sherwood
Miss Teen USA 1988 - Mindy Duncan
Miss Teen USA 1987 - Kristi Addis
Miss Teen USA 1986 - Allison Brown
Miss Teen USA 1985 - Kelly Hu
Miss Teen USA 1984 - Cherise Haugen
Miss Teen USA 1983 – Ruth Zakarian