From peplum evening gowns, to Hollywood hook-ups, to a little red plastic cup that took the world by surprise, The Pageant Planet is here to recap the top ten moments of pageantry in 2014.
10) Diabetic Contestant Competes at Miss America
Sierra Sandison, a Type-1 diabetic, captured the heart of the audience and judges as she competed in swimsuit competition, wearing her insulin pump, earning her the title of Miss Idaho 2014.
While Nicole Johnson (Miss America 1999) was the first MAO contestant to openly discuss her battle with diabetes, Sandison received a lot of attention for sporting her pump. Sierra stated to People Magazine that she got messages of support from people in over 35 countries.
Prior to winning the Miss USA crown, Erin Brady was engaged to long-time love Tony Passo. Her original wedding date was scheduled the same day of Miss Universe, so the ceremony had to be postponed.
Now that her reign as Miss USA has passed, she was able to move forward with wedding preparations. The world watch as she picked out her dream gown on “Say Yes to the Dress” and finally said “I Do” on December 14, 2014.
8) Nia Becomes the First Miss Nevada to Win Miss USA
Miss USA 2014, Nia Sanchez was the first Miss Nevada to win the national crown, but not without controversy. Shortly after her win, there were a lot of claims questioning the authenticity of her Nevada residency. Nia was born in Sacramento, California, but moved around a lot (due to her military parents).
According to an interview Nia did with Fox News, she stated that although she worked in California during her Nevada crowning, she owned a house and lived in Las Vegas for 18 months prior to the competition.
7) Olivia Culpo dates Nick Jonas
Olivia Culpo may just have a perfect life or at least, a very enviable one. Standing at only 5’5, she’s definitely small but mighty as she captured the Miss Rhode Island USA title which was the very first pageant she competed in. She went on to win the titles of Miss USA and then Miss Universe 2012.
While giving up her title, she had the opportunity to meet Nick Jonas (who performed at that years’ Miss USA pageant), which inevitably led the two to begin to date.
Today, we see Olivia and Jonas hand and hand on red carpets, on tv and award shows. In an interview with US Weekly Magazine, Nick admitted that during his relationship with Olivia he has stopped wearing his purity ring and is “an adult in all ways.”
Tony called, Steven answered, and the rest is history. After a few encounters between the two, Tony offered Steven the opportunity to become brand manager of Tony Bowls evening gowns and tuxedo collections.
This opportunity allowed Steven to combine his passions of marketing and pageantry while representing one of the top gown designers in the world. He will have a first-look at Tony Bowls designs and help design a marketing plan to maximize profitability.
5) New York Has a 3-Peat
The crowning of Kira Kazantsev as Miss America 2015 earned New York the bragging rights of having 3 consecutive state title holders to win the coveted crown.
Preceded by Nina Davuluri and Mallory Hagan, New York has had a total of 6 winners who have worn the Miss America crown. This adds them to the category of states with the most Miss America wins (currently a 4-way tie among NY, CA, OH & OK).
Bullying has made its way to the internet and is more prevalent than ever within the pageant circuit. Whether it’s creating a status, commenting on a blog site, or gossiping about someone, we are seeing bullying everywhere. While you can’t control what people say, you can control how you respond to it. Don’t let pageant bullies break your confidence. Most importantly, remember that pageantry is a sisterhood that thrives on supporting one another.
For the first time in 63 years, Miss World will no longer feature a swimsuit portion of competition. The announcement came shortly after this year’s event, from the organizations chairwoman, Julia Morley.
The organization wants to focus more on beauty with a purpose instead of physical beauty, and feels that this change will help the Miss World winners to be recognized as an ambassador for community outreach.
2) Miss United States Goes to Miss World
This past 4th of July weekend, our very own Steven Roddy hosted the 2014 Miss United States Pageant. It was on finals night that director, Chris Wilmer, announced he was the new director of Miss World America and would be sending whoever was crowned Miss United States to Miss World.
Elizabeth Safrit from North Carolina won, and had the opportunity to spend 2 weeks in London competing for Miss World, where she finished in the 3rd spot.
1) Miss America Plays Cups
This past September, pageant girls around the world watched the Miss America 2015 competition, and made their predictions on who would take home the crown. Very few predicted Kira Kazantsev of New York would win, especially after seeing her talent of singing “Happy,” a popular song by Pharrel Williams and playing “cups.”
Talent in the Miss America competition is worth 35% of a contestant’s final score. Who knew that something so simple could win over instrumentalists, dancers, singers and baton twirlers? After her crowning, the internet exploded with surprising comments of her win, earning Kira the number one spot in our countdown.
It was a great year of pageantry. We look forward to seeing you all next year!