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Miss Teen USA 2023 Runner-Up Declines Title After Winner UmaSofia Srivastava Steps Down


Stephanie Skinner is choosing a different path. 

After Miss Teen USA 2023 winner UmaSofia Srivastava announced she was resigning from her title, the pageant's runner-up opted not to take the crown in her place. 

"I worked so hard and sacrificed so much for this goal to become Miss Teen USA," Stephanie, 19, told People in an interview published May 13, "and although this title was a dream of mine, I believe one thing I will never give up is my character."

And while the Miss New York Teen USA admitted that it was an "extremely difficult" choice to make, she also said she was confident that it was "the right decision."

Stephanie's rejection of the title arrives less than a week after UmaSofia, 17, shared that she was leaving behind her Miss Teen USA role in the wake of Miss USA 2023 winner Noelia Voigt's resignation. 

"After careful consideration," UmaSofia wrote in a May 8 Instagram post, "I've decided to resign as I find that my personal values no longer fully align with the direction of the organization."

The Miss New Jersey Teen USA noted that she never expected to walk away from the title under such circumstances before acknowledging how grateful she was for the opportunity. 

"At the end of the day," UmaSofia continued, "I am so lucky to have had the privilege of this experience, but if this is just a chapter, I know that the story of my life will truly be incredible."

As for Noelia, who stepped down as Miss USA to "focus on her mental health" two days before UmaSofia, she shared a similar sentiment in her own emotional resignation message

"I realize this may come as a large shock to many," the 24-year-old captioned her May 6 Instagram post. "Never compromise your physical and mental well-being. Our health is our wealth. A million thank you's to all of you for your constant and unwavering support. Time to write the next chapter."



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