11.08.2020

Hawaii Wins Miss Teen USA 2020


Months after the competition was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Ki'ilani Arruda earned the crown in a competition that aired live on Saturday from Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee.

Arruda beat out 50 other contestants to claim the title — including first runner-up, Miss Oregon Shayla Montgomeryand second-runner up, Miss Georgia Shayla Jackson — before being crowned by her predecessor, Miss Teen USA 2019, Kaliegh Garris.

Arruda is currently a freshman at the University of Puget Sound, studying molecular and cellular biology, and minoring in Spanish. "Ki'ilani's younger brother was diagnosed with Autism at the age of two. Because of her experience as a loving older sister, she wants to advocate for Autism Awareness and recently received her Registered Behavior Technician License," the Miss Hawaii USA website states.

Originally slated for spring 2020, the Miss Teen USA competition had to be postponed earlier this year due to COVID-19.

In August, PEOPLE exclusively reported that the show would go on in front of a live studio audience with a "significantly reduced" capacity and follow local safety guidelines. A spokesperson previously said "we are planning for all staff, contestants and crew to be tested before leaving for Memphis, and tested again when they arrive on site."

"We will also be conducting health screenings before every event, social distancing as much as possible and using working groups to keep the number of interactions low, all under the guidance of medical professionals," the spokesperson added. "Additionally, audience capacity will be significantly reduced, in accordance with local protocols."

To date, Tennessee has faced at least 278,215 COVID-19 cases and 3,590 deaths, according to the state's Department of Health. Shelby County, where Memphis is located, has had at least 39,328 COVID-19 cases and 586 deaths, the Department of Health reported.

Saturday's show was hosted by Miss Teen USA 2005 Allie LaForce and Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst. A total of 51 teens — hailing from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia — competed for the coveted title.

The winner was chosen by a judges panel that included TikTok star Sara Echeagaray, scientist and entrepreneur Iman Oubou and Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin.

Two former Miss Universe Organization winners also served on the judge's panel, including Miss Teen USA 2011 Danielle Doty and Miss Teen USA 2014 K. Lee Graham.

Miss USA 2020 aired live on the Miss Universe Organization social channels, including Facebook.

Source: MSN.com, 11/8/2020


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