2000 Miss America Pageant
Pageant Results > Miss America Pageant > 2000
Miss America 2000: Miss Kentucky, Heather French
1st runner-up: Miss Illinois, Jade Smalls
2nd runner-up: Miss Pennsylvania, Susan Spafford
3rd runner-up: Miss Maryland, Keri Schrader
4th runner-up: Miss Texas, Yanci Yarbrough
2000 Miss America Pageant Rest of Top 10
Miss Alabama, Julie Smith
Miss Arkansas, Brandy Rhodes
Miss Connecticut, Sylvia Gomes
Miss New Jersey, Victoria Paige
Miss Wisconsin, Mary-Louise Kurey
Miss America 2000 was Heather French, Miss Kentucky. She was crowned by outgoing Miss America 1999, Nicole Johnson, of Virginia.
The daughter of a disabled Vietnam War veteran, she used her year to champion the causes of homelessness and homeless vets. She is also a fashion illustration student who illustrates her won children’s books.
She sang “As If We Never Said Goodbye” from Andrew Lloyd Webber in the talent competition. For the evening gown competition, she wore a stunning strapless light aqua blue strapless gown. She won the swimsuit competition, re-named the Lifestyle & Fitness competition, wearing a two-piece white swimsuit and skin-tone sandals.
Heather was one of the rare example of a Miss America with an extremely short pageant hairstyle. She also was the first winner from Kentucky since Miss America 1944 Venus Ramey. Interestingly, both Miss Kentucky winners would be associated with Kentucky politics, Venus as the daughter and grand-daughter of Kentucky politicians and French as the soon-to-be-wife of a Kentucky politician..
Heather was also the first runner-up for the Quality of Life awards award.
Months after her reign, Heather married Steve Henry, a successful orthopedic surgeon who was elected Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky in 1995, in a highly publicized wedding. As Henry’s wife, she served as the state’s “second lady,” similarly to her Miss America “sister, Phyllis George, who served as Kentucky’s “first lady” when she married Governor John Brown. The couple has two daughters.
Heather also was involved in a tragic car accident in which she accidentally kit a tourist who was riding a bike in an intersection. Tragically, the woman later died.