The Beauty Pageant Struggles of Some States
18 State Beauties Yet to Capture the Miss USA Crown
18 states never won Miss USA.
Did you know that not every state has taken home the crown in the Miss USA pageant? It’s true! In its 71-year history, there are 18 states that have never won. And believe me, some of them have come very close! Let’s take a look at the beauty pageant struggles of a few states.
Alaska: Almost There, But Not Quite
Alaska, oh Alaska, you’ve had your fair share of close calls! The closest you’ve come to the Miss USA crown was in 1964, when Patricia Marlin placed second runner-up. Almost there! And let’s not forget about Alyssa London, who made it to the top 10 in 2017. But hey, Alaska, don’t give up! Your time might still come.
Arizona: Stealing the Crown, Sort of
Arizona might not have won Miss USA, but they can still claim the title, kind of. In 1980, Jineane Ford, who originally placed first runner-up, inherited the crown after the winner, Shawn Weatherly, won Miss Universe. Talk about a lucky break! And let’s not forget about Chelsea Myers, who made it to the top 15 in 2016. Arizona, keep shining!
Colorado: So Close, Yet So Far
Oh, Colorado, you’ve had your fair share of near misses! In both 1963 and 2010, Rhea Looney and Jessica Hartman respectively placed third runner-up. So close, yet so far! And let’s not forget about Marybel Gonzalez, who made it into the top 10 in 2012. Colorado, keep reaching for that crown!
Delaware: Breaking the Streak
Delaware, you might be a small state, but you made a big splash at the Miss USA pageant! You became the last state to ever place in the pageant’s history. Renee Bull broke the streak in 2015 when she made it to the top 11. You go, Delaware!
Florida: Crown By Default
Florida might not have won Miss USA, but they can claim the title anyway! In 1967, Cheryl Patton, who placed second runner-up, inherited the crown after the original winner won Miss Universe and the first runner-up declined. Talk about being in the right place at the right time! And let’s not forget about Ashley Cariño, who won second runner-up in 2021. Florida, keep making waves!
Georgia: Runner-Up Extravaganza
Georgia, you know how to make it to the top! Erin Nance was first runner-up in 1993, and contestants from Georgia have also won second runner-up six times. It’s like Georgia is the land of beauty pageant runners-up! And let’s not forget about Alyssa Beasley, who made it to the top 16 in 2020. Georgia, keep that runner-up spirit alive!
Indiana: Always the Bridesmaid, Never the Bride
Oh, Indiana, you’ve been oh-so-close to the crown! Holli Rene Dennis won first runner-up in 1981, and Indiana contestants have also won second runner-up twice. Alexis Nicole Lete even made it to third runner-up in 2020. Indiana, keep that bridesmaid spirit going!
Maine: The Hope for a Married Queen
Maine might not have won Miss USA yet, but they have high hopes for the future. Juliana Morehouse Locklear, the first married woman to compete in Miss USA history, is ready to bring home the crown in 2023. Go, Maine, go!
Maryland: A Crown That Didn’t Last
Maryland might have claimed the crown in 1957, but it didn’t last long. Mary Leona Gage was dethroned after it was discovered that she was married and had two children. Married women and mothers weren’t allowed to compete at Miss USA or Miss Universe until 2023. Maryland, you’ve had your struggles, but Layilah Nasser made it to the top eight in 2021. Keep shining, Maryland!
Montana: Placements of the Past
Montana might not have had recent success at Miss USA, but they have a history of placements. In fact, they placed three times before 1960. Sharon Tietjen made it to the top 15 in 1958. Montana, let’s bring back the glory days!
New Hampshire: Almost There in 2002
New Hampshire, you’ve come so close! In 2002, Bridget Vezina was named first runner-up. It must have been a nail-biting finish! And Camila Sacco made it into the top 12 in 2022. New Hampshire, keep chasing that crown!
New Jersey: Runners-Up Galore
New Jersey might not have won Miss USA, but they’ve had their fair share of runner-up glory. Charlotte Ray and Chhavi Verg both placed first runner-up in 1991 and 2017, respectively. Talk about a close call! And let’s not forget about Gina Mellish, who made it to the top 10 in 2020. New Jersey, keep that runner-up spirit alive!
North Dakota: First Runner-Up Twice
North Dakota, you’ve made it so close! Audra Mari and Caitlyn Vogel both placed first runner-up in 2014 and 2021, respectively. The crown must have been within reach! North Dakota, keep that fighting spirit alive!
Oregon: Not Quite, But Almost
Oregon, you’ve had your fair share of near misses! Gail Atchison placed second runner-up in 1976, and Oregon has had three contestants make it to the top 10. Toneata Morgan even made it to the top 15 in 2018. Oregon, keep fighting for that crown!
South Dakota: A Top Five Placement
South Dakota might not have won Miss USA, but they had a shining moment in 2018. Miss South Dakota Madison Nipe made it to the top five, showing the world that South Dakota has some serious beauty pageant power. Keep on shining, South Dakota!
West Virginia: Always the Runner-Up
West Virginia might not have won Miss USA, but they can claim the title of being the bridesmaid not once, but twice! Ruth Parr and Kelly Anderson both placed first runner-up in 1957 and 1984, respectively. West Virginia, you’re always close to the crown!
Wisconsin: So Close in 1974
Wisconsin, you had your moment in 1974! Mary Lynn Cook placed second runner-up, showing the world that Wisconsin has some serious beauty pageant talent. And Bishara Dorre made it into the top 10 in 2014. Wisconsin, keep fighting for that crown!
Wyoming: Making It to the Top 10
Wyoming might not have won Miss USA, but they’ve had their fair share of success. Beth King made it to the top 10 in 1986, showing the world that Wyoming has beauty pageant power. Keep on shining, Wyoming!