Miss USA 2015: Miss Oklahoma Wins Title, Donald Trump Absent From Event

Miss USA 2015: Miss Oklahoma Wins Title, Donald Trump Absent From Event
tiara II Jennifer Donley / Flickr CC BY 2.0
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Miss Oklahoma Olivia Jordan was crowned Miss USA in a contest that had been in the headlines following Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s highly controversial remarks.


Jordan confidently moved from one question to the other in the interview round of the competition to go past the other contestants.

The Miss USA competition, mired in controversy since Trump’s derogatory references of Mexicans as “rapists,” sailed smoothly without any mention of the billionaire real estate developer who did not attend the event.

Ylianna Guerra of Texas was named first runner up while Anea Garcia of Rhode Island came third. The remaining contenders rounding up the top five were Brittany McGown, Nevada, who finished fourth and Mame Adjei, Maryland, who ranked fifth.

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Trump’s comments – referring to Mexican immigrants as rapists and drug addicts – during his speech for the presidential candidacy had received tremendous criticism from the Hispanic community. Consequently, Univision air NBCUniversal decided to not air the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants. Mexico pulled its contender from the Miss USA competition.

However, the pageant was picked up by digital cable network Reelz, who decided to broadcast it because it is “an integral part of American tradition.” While several judges had dropped out following the controversy, former Miss USA and Miss Universe contestants were brought back as judges.

In a news conference on Sunday, Paula Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization, thanked the chief executive of Reelz and the former pageant winners for helping in with the event.

“I love you all. You are the only reason we exist,” she said.

According to ABC News, each contestant was asked two questions, each of which was 30 seconds, in the interview round. Jordan said that race relations is an issue of importance that the United States needs to combat.

“We have not solved this issue,” Jordan said. “We really need to work on being an accepting society.”

When asked who should appear on the $10 bill in the second question, Jordan answered by saying Harriet Tubman, an African-American humanitarian and Union spy during the American civil war.

Jordan takes over from Nia Sanchez, of Nevada, who won the coveted title last year.

Natasha Martinez, representing California, said that she didn’t think Trump’s comments affected the pageant.

Martinez, who also does breast cancer advocacy, said, “You know, this isn’t about how big your hair is on stage or how good you look in a bikini. It’s an opportunity for these girls to be advocates for what they’re passionate about.”

According to Fox News, the contestants in the competition are judged in three levels – evening gown, swimsuit and a personality interview. The contestants represent every state of the country and the District of Columbia.

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