How a Bilingual Beauty Queen Made History at Miss USA 2023

As a result of the 2023 pageant, broadcast live on the CW Network on Friday night, Noelia Voigt of Utah was crowned the new Miss USA in Reno, Nevada.

In the pageant, Voigt beat out 50 other titleholders. After the swimwear and evening gown rounds, the field was reduced to just five finalists – Voigt, Gankiewicz, Jasmine Daniels of Pennsylvania, Lluvia Alzate of Texas, and Alexis Loomans of Wisconsin.

Voigt said she would contribute to the Miss Universe Organization as a “brand ambassador” and Miss USA as a “bilingual Venezuelan-American.” She also promised to connect with diverse communities throughout the country.

In an early September statement, Miss USA Organization President and CEO Laylah Rose said the pageant offered “a modern and progressive approach to a 70-year-old tradition.” The Miss Universe Organization recently implemented a rule change, resulting in the first married state titleholder — Juliana Morehouse-Locklear of Maine — at this year’s Miss USA.

How a Bilingual Beauty Queen Made History at Miss USA 2023
How a Bilingual Beauty Queen Made History at Miss USA 2023

Miss USA competition controversy

In 2022, Gabriel’s win at the Miss America pageant was marred by claims that it was “rigged” in her favor by some of her fellow contestants.

The Miss Universe Organization opened an investigation and suspended then-Miss America national director Crystle Stewart and her company, Miss Brands, after her crowning in October 2022.

In response to the allegations, Gabriel, Stewart, and other officials all refuted them. “There were no unfair advantages or rigged games,” Gabriel said. According to the News at the time, Stewart said, “The last thing I would ever want to do is deny the contestants a fair chance.”

Stewart’s partnership with the pageant ended in August. Miss USA said that, after a thorough and extensive investigation of allegations leveled against the pageant, the accusations were proven false. As a result of extensive discussion and consideration, (the Miss Universe Organization) and Crystle were unable to reach an agreement regarding Crystle and Miss Brand’s continued participation… In light of the success she has achieved with the Miss USA Organization, Crystle is planning to pursue other entrepreneurial endeavors.”

UmaSofia Srivastava, 16, of New Jersey, was crowned Miss Teen USA on Thursday night at the Grand Sierra Resort. The first runner-up was Stephanie Skinner, 19, of New York.

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