The Miss USA Pageant, which took place in Nevada at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino, did not choose Miss Connecticut to move forward in the top 15 on Thursday, May 2.
Instead, Cheslie Kryst, representing North Carolina, won the title of Miss USA and will move on to the Miss Universe competition. The current Miss USA, who was the first woman from Nebraska to win the Miss USA pageant, crowned the new Miss USA. The first and second runners-up are Miss New Mexico and Miss Oklahoma.
Acacia Courtney, Miss Connecticut, has been competing in pageants since she was a teenager in her hometown of Hamden, Connecticut. Through her time competing she has started her own non-profit organization for recovering ex-racehorses, called Racing For Home. She took a small break from competing in pageants when she began working in as an analyst and paddock reporter at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida.
Though Courtney didn't make it into the top 15, she walked onto the stage during the evening gown portion of the competition with the rest of the contestants.
The pageant kicked off the evening by cutting 52 women, leaving only 15. Included in the top 15 are Florida, Maryland, New Mexico, Arkansas, Ohio, Kansas, Nevada, Oklahoma, Iowa, District of Columbia, Minnesota, Louisiana, North Carolina, Hawaii and Pennsylvania.
During the swimsuit round, five additional contestants were eliminated, narrowing it down to the top 10; Iowa, Minnesota, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Hawaii were eliminated after this round.
In the evening gown round, the contestants were narrowed down to five contestants; Ohio, Kansas, District of Columbia, Florida and Maryland did not make the cut.
In the question and answer round, the pageant eliminated two more contestants: Nevada and Arkansas. The finalists were asked questions by other contestants about different issues in the U.S.
In the final round, the top three contestants were asked to individually describe their generation, while the other finalists wore headphones so each answer could be genuine and unique.
Performances by T-Pain and Nick Lachey, who also hosted the pageant with his wife Vanessa, were featured throughout the pageant.
The women ended the night by celebrating the crowning of Miss USA and joined the finalists on stage, showcasing the camaraderie that occurs between all of the women who competed in the pageant.
Madison Appleby is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.