Nia Sanchez, a 24-year-old fourth-degree black belt in the Korean martial art of taekwondo, was crowned Miss USA 2014 on Sunday night, June 8, at Baton Rouge Civic Center in Louisiana. Her court includes 1st runner-up Audra Mari of North Dakota, 2nd runner-up Tiana Griggs of Georgia, 3rd runner-up Brittany Guidry of Louisiana, 4th runner-up Brittany Oldehoff of Florida, and 5th runner-up Carlyn Bradarich of Iowa. Bradarich got a second chance when the viewing audience gave her the most votes on Twitter in the pageant’s first-ever “Save the Queen” option. Sanchez's win marks Nevada's first ever Miss USA crown. It was also the first time in the 63-year history of the pageant that the show was broadcast live for three hours.
Top 6: Nevada, North Dakota, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Iowa
Top 10: California (Cassandra Kunze), South Carolina (Christina Zapolski), Maryland (Taylor Burton), Wisconsin (Bishara Dorre)
Top 20: Alabama (Jesica Ahlberg), Arizona (Jordan Wessel), Indiana (Mekayla Diehl), Minnesota (Haley O'Brien), Nebraska (Amanda Soltero), New Jersey (Emily Shah), Oklahoma (Brooklynne Young), Pennsylvania (Valerie Gatto), Tennessee (Kristy Landers Niedenfuer), Virginia (Arielle Rosmarino)
The Miss Photogenic award went to California and Christina Palavra is the first woman to have won the Miss Congeniality award representing Rhode Island.
The telecast judges included Miss Universe 1987 Barbara Palacios, actress Rumer Willis, Miss Teen USA 2005 Allie LaForce, actor Ian Ziering, actor and retired martial artist Randy Couture, actress and comedian Melissa Peterman, ex-'N SYNC member Lance Bass, retired basketball player Karl Malone, and reality TV star Dolvett Quince.
Sanchez will now represent the United States in 2014 Miss Universe pageant whose date and venue have not yet been officially confirmed.
Review of the telecast to come soon!