My Miss USA 2017 Review: The Winners

My gut-feel that a black-to-black win is a high possibility this year and I was right. Though I predicted South Carolina’s Megan Gordon to win, I am absolutely ecstatic with Kara McCullough as the new Miss USA!

I always thought that the Miss USA pageant is very unpredictable and I always had difficulty getting the winner right. But this time around I got 6 of the 10 semi-finalists which is the highest number I had in years! If we factor in the girls in my spoilers list, that’s a whopping 8 out of the 10! With that being said, I was pleasantly surprised that they have a very diverse set of semifinalists this year. Five African-American girls (who dominated the semis) made it alongside an Indian, a redhead, a couple of blondes, and a native American Indian (Alaska) comprising the top 10. Not to mention that they have diverse professions as well, from being a lawyer, a scientist, several dancers, a sportscaster, and a number of students.

I have to say that the Miss USA girls this year have improved tremendously in terms of their walks. Collectively as a group, Class of 2017 have much better pasarelas compared to previous batches (yes, I’m talking about you batch 2015, lols). Notable in the swimsuit segment are Minnesota and Illinois for wearing swimsuit with sleeves/ jacket. But my favorite in this segment is Meridith Gould of Minnesota who looked stunning in her swimsuit. Personally, the EG was dominated by District of Columbia’s Kara McCullough who looked like she was breezing through the stage. Her choice of gown was a fashion win for it looked flowy and effortless on stage. Though I’d also give high points to Chhavi Verg of New Jersey and New York’s Hannah Lopa for their EG presentations.

4 out of the 5 finalists are women of color! And I am loving it. This reflects what the org is aiming for and I knew that instance that they are looking for a woman of diversity to be Miss USA. Then came the Q&A which separated the crown worthy girls from the rest. Illinois’ Whitney Wandland was a bit lost in her answer and I didn’t know the point that she was driving to. For Megan Gordon of South Carolina, I thought gave a great answer though the delivery seemed to be unsure towards the end. She actually started strong and flustered a bit at the end. The Q&A were dominated by Meridith, Kara and Chhavi, IMHO. Minnesota, DC and New Jersey delivered their answers with conviction and clarity. It was no wonder they were named top 3.

After the top 3 girls hurdled the final Q&A, I thought Kara got it in the bag and that Meridith would be her 1st runner up. So when Minnesota was named 3rd placer, I knew the black-to-black win for District of Columbia is happening. And it did! As a final thought, the takeaway from this year’s pageant is one simple thing: Be of substance and a strong resume to bring along into the pageant world. Substance over surface…

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