Miss USA 2009, the 58th Miss USA pageant was held at the Theatre for the Performing Arts in Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 19, 2009. At the conclusion of the final night of competition, Kristen Dalton of North Carolina was crowned by outgoing titleholder Crystle Stewart of Texas.

Miss USA 2009
Kristen Dalton 2009.jpg
Miss USA 2009 Kristen Dalton
DateApril 19, 2009
VenueThe AXIS, Las Vegas, Nevada
WinnerKristen Dalton
 North Carolina
CongenialityCynthia Pate
PhotogenicJessi Pierson
 West Virginia
← 2008
2010 →

The event was hosted by Billy Bush of Access Hollywood and actress Nadine Velazquez; Bush returned to host the pageant which he last emceed in 2005. He had previously co-hosted Miss USA 2003 with Daisy Fuentes and Miss USA 2004–2005 with Nancy O'Dell. Entertainment was provided by Kevin Rudolf who performed "Let It Rock" during the swimsuit competition and The Veronicas performed "Untouched" during the evening gown competition.[1]

The competition was broadcast in High Definition for only the second time in history.

Delegates representing the fifty states plus the District of Columbia competed in the pageant, and arrived in Las Vegas on April 2.[2] Miss USA Kristen Dalton represented the USA at the Miss Universe 2009 pageant, where she reached the Top 10.

Pageants were held from June 2008 to January 2009 to select the representative for each state. During the final show on April 19, the fifteen delegates with the highest average scores from the preliminary competition were announced. The top fifteen competed in the swimsuit competition. The top ten delegates from swimsuit competed in evening gown. The top five delegates from the evening gown competition (not averaged composite scores from both competitions) competed in the final question round to determine the winner. The judges' composite score was shown after each round of competition for only the third time since 2002.

Miss USA 2009 Titlecard



Map showing placings by state.
Final Results Contestant
Miss USA 2009
1st Runner-Up
2nd Runner-Up
3rd Runner-Up
4th Runner-Up
  •   Kentucky – Maria Elizabeth Montgomery
Top 10
Top 15

Special awardsEdit

Award Contestant
Miss Congeniality
Miss Photogenic

Final scoresEdit


The Miss USA 2009 delegates were:

State Name Hometown Age Height Placement Award Notes
  Alabama Rachel Philippona[3] Dothan 20
  Alaska Jessica Irene Nolin[4] Palmer 22
  Arizona Alicia-Monique Blanco[5] Phoenix 22 5'8" 2nd Runner-Up
  Arkansas Chanley Painter Conway 24 5'9" Top 10
  California Carrie Prejean La Jolla 21 5'10" 1st Runner-Up Dethroned as Miss California USA 2009
  Colorado Patrice Williams Colorado Springs 22 5'7"
  Connecticut Monica Mary Pietrzak Manchester 25 5'11" Top 15
  Delaware Kate Banaszak Middletown 24
  District of Columbia Nicole White Washington, DC 20 5'8" Previously Miss District of Columbia Teen USA 2004
  Florida Anastagia Pierre Fort Lauderdale 20 5'9" Previously Miss Florida Teen USA 2004; Later Miss Bahamas Intercontinental 2010 and Miss Bahamas 2011
  Georgia Kimberly Gittings Lilburn 20 Top 15
  Hawaii Aureana Tseu Mililani Town 25 5'7" Previously Miss Hawaii Teen USA 1999
  Idaho Melissa Weber Boise 27 Top 15
  Illinois Ashley Bond Chicago 24
  Indiana Courtni Hall Crawfordsville 20 5'9" Previously Miss Indiana Teen USA 2004
  Iowa Chelsea Lynn Gauger Ankeny 20
  Kansas Courtney Courter Olathe 23 5'9"
  Kentucky Maria Elizabeth Montgomery Danville 19 5'10" 4th Runner-Up
  Louisiana Lacey Minchew Baton Rouge 25 5'7" Previously Miss Teen America 2002 (represented Georgia).
  Maine Ashley Underwood Benton 24 5'8" Survivor: Redemption Island contestant
  Maryland Gabrielle Carlson Marion Station 24
  Massachusetts Alison Cronin Weymouth 21 Previously Miss Massachusetts Teen USA 2005
  Michigan Lindsey Tycholiz Sterling Heights 26
  Minnesota Erica Nego Plymouth 24 Top 15 Later Miss Universe Ghana 2011
  Mississippi Jessica Lauren McRaney Terry 23 Previously Miss Mississippi Teen USA 2004
  Missouri Stacey Smith Florissant 23 5'9"
  Montana Misti Vogt Kalispell 23 5'11"
  Nebraska Meagan Winings Atkinson 23 Previously Miss Nebraska Teen USA 2004
  Nevada Georgina Vaughan[6] Las Vegas 21 5'10" Previously Miss Nevada Teen USA 2006
  New Hampshire Christy Dunn Laconia 26
  New Jersey Kaity Rodriguez Clifton 24
  New Mexico Bianca Matamoros-Koonce Albuquerque 23
  New York Tracey Chang New York City 26 5'7" Born in China
  North Carolina Kristen Dalton Wilmington 22 5'7" Miss USA 2009 Mother was Miss North Carolina USA 1982; sister was Miss North Carolina Teen USA 2008, 2nd runner-up at Miss Teen USA 2008 and Miss North Carolina USA 2015.
  North Dakota Kelsey Erickson Grand Forks 22
  Ohio Natasha Vivoda Champion 21
  Oklahoma Lauren Lunday Altus 25
  Oregon Sylvie Tarpinian Eugene 24
  Pennsylvania Lindsey Nelsen Dallastown 21 5'7"
  Rhode Island Alysha Castonguay Woonsocket 22 5'6" Previously Miss Rhode Island Teen USA 2002.

Previously Miss Teen America 2003 and Miss Teen Galaxy 2005.

  South Carolina Stephanie Murray Smith Goose Creek 21 5'7" Top 10 The Amazing Race 17 Contestant along with her then-fiancé Chad Waltrip[7]
  South Dakota Jessica Rowell Sioux Falls 22 5'7"
  Tennessee Kristen Motil Franklin 24 5'9" Top 10
  Texas Brooke Daniels Tomball 22 5'9" Top 10
  Utah Laura Chukanov Salt Lake City 22 5'9" 3rd Runner-Up
  Vermont Brooke Werner Granville 22
  Virginia Maegan Phillips Quantico 22 Top 15
  Washington Tara Turnure Seattle 23 Her sister, Tracy Turnure, succeeded her as Miss Washington USA 2010.
  West Virginia Jessi Pierson Milton 21 5'7" Top 10 Miss Photogenic
  Wisconsin Alexandra Wehrley Pewaukee 21 5'8" 2015 Miss USA Pageant co-host
  Wyoming Cynthia Pate Casper 22 Miss Congeniality

Historical significanceEdit

  • This is the first win from North Carolina since Chelsea Cooley won Miss USA 2005. This is the 2nd time North Carolina has won the title.
  • California finished 1st Runner-Up for the 4th time since Shannon Marketic won Miss USA 1992.
  • For only the 2nd time since 1980, Arizona bested 2nd Runner-Up. Jineane Ford assumed the Miss USA 1980 title as 1st Runner-Up after the winner, Shawn Weatherly, won Miss Universe 1980.
  • Utah and Arkansas had its best finishes since 1982. Terri Utley of Arkansas won Miss USA 1982, while Utah finished 2nd Runner-Up.
  • Kentucky had its best finish since Tara Conner won Miss USA 2006.
  • Texas had its 4th consecutive placement in the Top 10.
  • Since Rachel Smith won Miss USA 2007, Tennessee has placed in the Top 10 for the second time.
  • The last four states to win Miss USA (2005–2008) -- Texas, Tennessee, Kentucky, and North Carolina—all had their delegates place in the Top 10 in 2009.
  • South Carolina and Idaho had its best finishes since 2004, West Virginia since 1984, Virginia since 2007, Georgia since 2006, and Connecticut since 2002.
  • Minnesota has placed in the Top 15 for the 2nd consecutive time.


Preliminary judgesEdit

  • Cara Petry
  • Chip Lightman
  • Lori Levine
  • Nick Light
  • Randall Winston
  • Rich Thurber
  • Seth Mayeri

Telecast judgesEdit

Background musicEdit

Controversy over gay marriage questionEdit

During the 2009 Miss USA pageant, Miss California Carrie Prejean, was asked by openly gay pageant judge, Perez Hilton, whether she believed every state should legalize same-sex marriage. She responded that she did not. After the pageant Hilton made negative comments about the contestant and told ABC News: "She lost it because of that question. She was definitely the front-runner before that,"[8] leading some to believe that the answer directly had caused her to lose the competition.[9] Prejean stated that Miss California USA officials had pressured her to apologize for her statement and "not talk" about her Christian faith.[10]

Several politicians and commentators assailed Hilton and defended Prejean for honestly stating her personal beliefs.[11][12][13]

Following the pageant, Prejean hired a Christian public relations firm,[11] and appeared in a television advertisement by the National Organization for Marriage.[14] However, on June 10, 2009, Prejean again stated that her question caused her to lose her title when she learned she was fired by Donald Trump. Miss California USA officials state that her answer had nothing to do with her termination, citing continued breach of her contract instead.

New crownEdit

In keeping with co-owner NBC Universal's "Green is Universal" environmental initiative, the Miss Universe Organization announced that Diamond Nexus Labs would become the official jewelry sponsor for the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants. DNL 's man-made gemstones are "all synthesized in clean labs using environmentally friendly processes". Diamond Nexus Labs will create a custom-designed crown for Miss USA 2009, as well as for the Miss Universe and Miss Teen USA pageants later this year.[15]


  2. ^ Associated Press (2009-03-09). "Miss USA pageant plans more than 2 weeks in Vegas". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-03-09.[dead link]
  3. ^ Ussery, Peggy (2009-02-09). "Miss Alabama USA learned confidence in pageants". Dothan Eagle. Archived from the original on 2012-07-31. Retrieved 2009-03-09.
  4. ^ "Community". Alaska Daily News. Archived from the original on 2012-06-29.
  5. ^ Sparks, Colleen (2008-12-09). "Desert Vista produces 2 Miss Arizona winners". The Republic. Retrieved 2009-03-09.
  6. ^ Leach, Robin (2009-03-04). "Photo Gallery: Miss Nevada USA is ready to play host and compete". Las Vegas Weekly. Archived from the original on 2016-01-24. Retrieved 2009-03-09.
  7. ^ Derschowitz, Jessica (2010-09-02). ""The Amazing Race" Cast Announced". CBS News. Retrieved 2010-09-03.
  8. ^ "Gay marriage row at Miss USA show". BBC News. 2009-04-20. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
  9. ^ "Carrie Prejean Says Answer to Gay Marriage Question Cost Her Miss USA Crown". Fox News. 2009-04-20. Archived from the original on 2009-05-04. Retrieved 2009-04-21.
  10. ^ "Carrie Prejean says she was asked to apologize for gay marriage comments, but refused". Daily News. New York. 2009-04-27.
  11. ^ a b U.S. News & World Report - "Miss California, Carrie Prejean, Signs With Top Christian Publicity Firm" Archived 2009-05-02 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Newsom Defends Miss California. NBC News. Published April 23, 2009.
  13. ^ "Political Grapevine" segment of Special Report with Brit Hume, Fox News, August 15, 2006 (Miss California Continues to Grab Headlines)
  14. ^ National Organization for Marriage
  15. ^ Goetzl, David (2009-03-06). "Miss Universe Sparkles With Diamond Sponsor". Media News Daily. Archived from the original on 2009-02-07. Retrieved 2009-02-07.

External linksEdit