Miss USA 2004
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Miss USA 2004, the 53rd Miss USA pageant, was held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on April 12, 2004. The winner of the beauty pageant was Shandi Finnessey, who became the first winner from the state of Missouri. Finnessey was crowned by outgoing Miss USA Susie Castillo, of Massachusetts.
|Miss USA 2004|
Miss USA 2004 Shandi Finnessey
|Date||April 12, 2004|
|Venue||Dolby Theatre, Hollywood, California|
For the first time since 1970, fifteen semi-finalists competed in the final competition, although not all the semi-finalists competed in both the swimsuit and evening gown. Following the new format established at Miss Universe 2003 and Miss Teen USA 2003, the top fifteen semi-finalists were reduced to ten after the evening gown competition, and then to the final five after swimsuits. This was the first time that contestants did not have the opportunity to compete in both competitions.
|Miss USA 2004|
The Miss USA 2004 delegates were:
- Alabama – Tara Darby
- Alaska – Cari Leyva
- Arizona – Danielle Demski
- Arkansas – Jennifer Sherrill
- California – Ellen Chapman
- Colorado – Janel Haw
- Connecticut – Sheila Wiatr
- Delaware – Courtney Purdy
- District of Columbia – Tiara Christen Dews
- Florida – Kristen Berset
- Georgia – Caroline Medley
- Hawaii – Justine Michioka
- Idaho – Kimberly Glyn Weible
- Illinois – Molly Graham
- Indiana – Stephanie "Steffi" Keusch
- Iowa – Brooke Hansen
- Kansas – Lisa Forbes
- Kentucky – Lauren Stengel
- Louisiana – Melissa McConnell
- Maine – Mackenzie Davis
- Maryland – Tia Shorts
- Massachusetts – Maria Lekkakos
- Michigan – Stacey Lee
- Minnesota – Jessica Dereschuk
- Mississippi – Beth Richards
- Missouri – Shandi Finnessey
- Montana – Molly Flynn
- Nebraska – Guerin Austin
- Nevada – Victoria Franklin
- New Hampshire – Vanessa Bissanti
- New Jersey – Janaye Ingram
- New Mexico – Jenna Hardin
- New York – Jaclyn Nesheiwat
- North Carolina – Ashley Puleo
- North Dakota – Jennifer Smith
- Ohio – Lauren Kelsey Hall
- Oklahoma – Lindsay Hill
- Oregon – Jennifer Murphy
- Pennsylvania – Nicole Georghalli
- Rhode Island – Sarah Rose Bettencourt
- South Carolina – Amanda Pennekamp
- South Dakota – Andrea Parliament
- Tennessee – Stephanie Culberson
- Texas – Stephanie Guerrero
- Utah – Kyla Faye Dickerson
- Vermont – Michelle Fongemie
- Virginia – Kristi Lauren Glakas
- Washington – Tara McCormick
- West Virginia – Carolyn Jennings
- Wisconsin – Jenna Shultz
- Wyoming – Katie Rudoff
- Missouri wins competition for the first time and surpasses its previous highest placement from 1998. Also becoming in the 28th state who does it for the first time.
- South Carolina earns the 1st runner-up position for the fifth time. The last time it placed this was in 1990. Also had its highest placement since Lu Parker won Miss USA 1994.
- North Carolina earns the 2nd runner-up position for the third time. The last time it placed this was in 1994. Besides had its best finish in 10 years.
- Oklahoma earns the 3rd runner-up position for the first time. Also had its best finish in the pageant since 1989.
- Tennessee earns the 4th runner-up position for the second time and repeats the same position as the past year 2003.
- States that placed in semifinals the previous year were Alabama, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
- Texas placed for the fourth consecutive year.
- Alabama and South Carolina placed for the third consecutive year.
- New Mexico, Oklahoma and Tennessee made their second consecutive placement.
- Georgia, Missouri and Oregon last placed in 2001.
- New Hampshire last placed in 2000.
- Arizona and Washington last placed in 1998.
- North Carolina last placed in 1994.
- Florida and Idaho last placed in 1997.
- Indiana breaks an ongoing streak of placements since 2002.
- Kristi Lauren Glakas (Virginia) had previously held the title Miss Virginia Teen USA 1999 (semi-finalist at Miss Teen USA 1999) and would later become Miss Virginia 2005 (3rd runner-up at Miss America 2006). She is one of six triple crown winners.
- Other delegates who had previously or would later hold Miss America state titles
- Delegates who had previously competed at Miss Teen USA were:
- Danielle Demski (Arizona) – Miss Arizona Teen USA 1999 (finalist at Miss Teen USA 1999)
- Tiara Dews (District of Columbia) – Miss District of Columbia Teen USA 2000 (semi-finalist at Miss Teen USA 2000)
- Kimberly Weible (Idaho) – Miss Idaho Teen USA 1999
- Victoria Franklin (Nevada) – Miss Nevada Teen USA 1998 (second runner-up at Miss Teen USA 1998)
- Katie Rudoff (Wyoming) – Miss Wyoming Teen USA 1999
- Jennifer Murphy (Oregon) later appeared on Donald Trump's reality television show The Apprentice 4
- Jaclyn Nesheiwat (New York) later married Creed drummer Scott Stapp
- Mackenzie Davis (Maine) became director of the Miss Maine USA and Miss Maine Teen USA pageants in 2006.
- It was the first time since 1984 where two of the top 5 finalists were former Miss America state titleholders. In 1984, the top 3 were all former Miss America state titleholders.
- Later on two delegates went on to win the Miss Earth USA title. The first was Amanda Pennekamp, Miss South Carolina USA who won the Miss Earth USA 2006 title and was a top 16 semifinalist at Miss Earth 2006. The second was Miss Kansas USA, Lisa Forbes who won the 2007 title and competed at Miss Earth 2007.