2014 Miss USA Pageant
Pageant Results > Miss USA Pageant > 2014 Nia Sanchez, Miss Nevada USA, wins
The new Miss USA 2014 is Nia Sanchez, a 5'8' tall, 24 year-old professional model from Los Vegas, Nevada. Sanchez was crowned by outgoing Miss USA 2013, Erin Brady of Connecticut. Her first runner-up was Miss North Dakota USA, Audra Mari Fargo.
The former Miss Nevada USA beat out contestants from all 50 states and the District of Columbia to win the coveted crown. She will represent the USA at the Miss Universe Pageant later in the year.
Miss USA 2014 and Court of Honor
USA 2014: Nia Sanchez, Miss Nevada USA
She is the first contestant from Nevada and the fourth woman of Hispanic heritage to be named Miss USA. Nia was born and raised in Sacramento, California until age seven. She enjoys traveling and has visited the Middle East, Austria, and Switzerland, served on missions trips to Mexico, as well as stints working as a nanny in Europe and as a character princess at Hong Kong Disney.
The new Miss USA 2014 is Nia Sanchez, Miss Nevada USA.
Sanchez created a stir and emerged as a public favorite due to her having studied the Korean mixed Martian art Taekwondo for twelve years and earned a fourth-degree black belt. That achievement was referenced several times during the evening, during the contestants' up-close-and-personal videos during the announcement of the Top 20 and then during the final questions when judge Rumer Willis asked Sanchez about sexual violence against women on college campuses. Sanchez replied:
"I believe that some colleges may potentially be afraid of having a bad reputation and that would be a reason it could be swept under the rug, because they don't want that to come out into the public. But I think more awareness is very important so women can learn how to protect themselves," she added. "Myself, as a fourth-degree black belt, I learned from a young age that you need to be confident and be able to defend yourself. And I think that's something that we should start to really implement for a lot of women."
This year's pageant included some new approaches. The traditional two-hour broadcast was expanded to three hours, the semi-finalists were increased to "Top 20", and viewers were allowed to "save" one semi-finalist to move into the finals through a "Save the Queen" vote held on the social media platform Twitter.
The expansion of the pageant's length to three hours, combined with dribbling out the announcement of the Top 20 over the course of about an hour, was met with mixed reactions from viewers posting remarks on Twitter throughout the evening's telecast. Among the more amusing was a prediction that "at this rate", the public would have the crowning of Miss USA by next Christmas.
However, the change, which according to the pageant, was intended to "provide a never-before-seen look at the contestants in their home environments, making for a more personal glimpse of the women competing for the Miss USA title," did succeed. Viewers commenting live on Twitter mentioned being moved by many of the contestants' personal stories. An especially touching account was shared by Valerie Gatto, Miss Pennsylvania USA, who explained that she is "the product of rape" who was born after her then 19-year-old mother was violently assaulted after leaving work. Gatto's mother and grandparents comprised a loving, tight-knit family that raised the new baby girl. "Your circumstances," said Valerie, "do not define your life."
During the swimsuit competition, contestants were serenaded by Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley of Florida Georgia Line and hip-hop artist Nelly to the hit songs “Cruise” and “This Is How We Roll”.
In the evening gown competition, Sanchez was stunning strapless scarlet red evening gown with a flared mermaid hemline featuring a thigh-high slit center front.
Miss Iowa USA, Carlyn Bradarich was rescued by viewers to move on into the finals during a new #SaveTheQueen contest on Twitter during the evening gown competition, where viewers could vote one of the Top 20 contestants into the finals.
Co-hosts for the evening's live telecast were the popular Giuliana Rancic of "E! News" and Thomas Roberts, host of MSNBC's morning news show "Way Too Early".
The evening's Miss Photogenic USA™ winner was Miss California USA, Cassandra Kunze and Miss Rhode Island USA, Christina Palavra won honors from her fellow contestants as Miss Congeniality USA™.
2014 Miss USA Pageant Top 20:
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