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Noelia Voigt, of Venezuelan origin, is crowned Miss USA 2023

Noelia Voigt, of Venezuelan origin, is crowned Miss USA 2023

(CNN) — Noelia Voigt, a young woman of Venezuelan descent from Utah, was crowned the new Miss USA in Reno, Nevada, at the culmination of the 2023 Miss Pageant at the Grand Sierra Resort on Friday evening, which was broadcast live on The CW. Savannah Jankiewicz of Hawaii came in second place.

Voigt, 23, beat out 50 other state champions in the competition. At the beginning of the televised competition, the number of finalists was narrowed to 20, and to five (Vogt, Jankiewicz, Jasmine Daniels of Pennsylvania, Luvia Alzate of Texas, and Alexis Lomans of Wisconsin) after the swimsuit and evening gown rounds.

When asked what she would bring to the Miss Universe organization as a “brand ambassador” and Miss USA in the final round of Q&A, Voigt highlighted her status as a “bilingual Venezuelan American” and promised that she would reach out to diverse communities. in the United States.

Judges included Vivica A. Fox, former “Real Housewife” Luann de Lesseps, and beauty blogger Patrick Starr.

Layla Rose, president and CEO of the Miss USA Organization, said in a statement in early September that the pageant was intended to provide a “modern and progressive approach to a 70-year-old tradition.” After a recent rule change by the Miss Universe Organization, this year’s Miss USA pageant featured… The first married candidate From one state: Juliana Morehouse Locklear, from Maine. (Morehouse Locklear, the daughter of a Miss USA 1994 contestant, was not in the top 20.)

The recent controversy surrounding Miss USA

Voigt succeeds Miss USA 2022, Morgan Romano, from North Carolina. Romano took over from Texas’ Raboni Gabrielle, who was crowned Miss Universe 2022 in January.

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Gabrielle won the Miss USA 2022 pageant Affirmations From some of her classmates that the competition was “rigged” in her favor.

In the weeks following her coronation in October 2022, Miss USA’s parent company, the Miss Universe Organization, opened an investigation and suspended then-Miss USA national director Krystle Stewart and her company, Miss Brands.

Gabriel, Stewart, and other directors have all refuted these accusations. Gabrielle announced at the time to E! News: “There was no unfair advantage and nothing was manipulated,” while Stewart said in a statement: “The last thing I want to do is discredit the racers or deny them a level playing field in a fair competition. I would never jeopardize my dream of driving.” An organization working to empower these young women.

In August, the pageant announced the end of its collaboration with Stewart.

In a statement confirming that a “thorough investigation” into these allegations found them to be false, Miss USA said that “after much discussion and consideration, (the Miss Universe Organization) and Crystle were unable to reach an agreement regarding Crystle and Miss Brand’s continued participation… .) Crystle decided to leverage her success with the Miss USA organization to pursue other business interests.”