First runner-up who went on to become Miss USA
On January 27, Morgan Romano of North Carolina becomes the newest Miss USA. First runner-up during Miss USA 2022, she succeeds R’Bonney Gabriel who is the current Miss Universe.
If you aren’t aware of how the Miss USA system works, then this arrangement will definitely raise some eyebrows. Questions like, “Will she represent the United States at Miss Universe 2023?” will most likely come across your mind and to answer this–well, no.
Unlike any other national or event international pageant, Miss USA has a different ruling when it comes to this kind of situation. Basically, the first runner-up steps in if the winner is unable to carry out her responsibilities as Miss USA for whatever reason, this includes if she wins Miss Universe. This happens because Miss USA’s obligations, responsibilities, and even causes differ from those of Miss Universe.
Throughout its 71-year history, there have seven similar instances (including this year). To further elaborate on this, check out the history of the first runners-up who got a lucky shot at the crown.
Miss USA 1957
In 1957, the first time that a first runner-up would inherit the throne was with Charlotte Sheffield of Utah. The winner, Leona Gage, was disqualified from Miss Universe and removed as Miss USA after it was learned that she was married and had children.
Already competing in the pageant during that time, this meant that the US had to withdraw from its own competition. Charlotte would then be sent to that year’s Miss World contest but ended up not placing.
Miss USA 1967
After winning Alabama’s first Miss USA crown, Sylvia Hitchcock would then become the fourth American woman to win Miss Universe in 1967.
Evidently, the title of Miss USA would then be offered to first runner-up , Susan Bradley of California, however, she declined. As a result, Cheryl Patton of Florida, who finished as the second runner-up, was elevated and now held the crown.
Miss USA 1980
Thirteen years later, Jineane Ford of Arizona would also receive the opportunity to become Miss USA in 1980. This is after Shawn Weatherly of South Carolina went on to become Miss Universe of the same year.
Miss USA 1995
As she won Miss Universe 1995, Texas’ Chelsi Smith made history as she becomes the first African American woman to win the crown. Automatically promoting Shanna Moakler of New York as Miss USA 1995.
Miss USA 1997
A sandwich victory for the land of the free, Hawaii’s Brook Lee was crowned Miss Universe 1997.
After winning Miss Teen USA in 1989, Idaho’s Brandi Sherwood would ascend her way as Miss USA 1997. She becomes the first woman to hold two of the three sister pageants under the Miss Universe Organization.
Miss USA 2012
After their first Miss USA got dethroned, Maryland’s Nana Meriwether would avenge her home state and become Miss USA 2012. She assumed the title after Rhode Island’s Olivia Culpo took home the title of Miss Universe 2012.
They always say that 2nd placers are the first to loose but at Miss USA, it might not be as unlucky as we thought it was!
Vee De Serra is a go-getter and a writer driven by passion. When in doubt, Vee believes that "Life isn't fair but it is up to you make it one." As a city and a beach person, when the sun is out, expect Vee to spend hours getting lost in the concrete jungle or laying by the shoreline with both finishing the day by watching a beautiful sunset.