Miss Teen USA had been enjoying a healthy amount of good press after announcing they would discontinue the swimsuit segment of the competition. This year, contestants wore colorful athletic gear instead.
But Saturday night when the top five finalists were introduced at the Venetian in Las Vegas, it was hard to ignore what they had in common.
Wow how can we choose from such a diverse bunch https://t.co/0a4JHbP465
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) July 31, 2016
As Chrissy Teigen’s tweet succinctly pointed out, a picture of the five blue-eyed blondes was worth a thousand words.
The top five Miss Teen USA finalists were Miss Texas Karlie Hay (who won the competition), second runner-up Miss South Carolina Marley Stokes, Miss North Carolina Emily Wakeman, Miss Alabama Erin Snow and Miss Nevada Carissa Morrow. Contestants competed in three categories: active wear, evening gown and interview.
Hours after being crowned Miss Teen USA, Karlie Hay took to Twitter to take responsibility for offensive language found on her Twitter page.
Many on Twitter claimed that Hay used curse words, issued threats and even used the N-word on her personal Twitter account, which is now protected.
The 18-year-old returned to the social network early Sunday morning to acknowledge her past tweets.
In a series of tweets she wrote, “Several years ago, I had many personal struggles and found myself in a place that is not representative of who I am as a person. I admit that I have used language publicly in the past which I am not proud of and that there is no excuse for.”
Hay stopped short of expressing remorse for her past language, but she did say that she’s changed.
“Through hard work, education and thanks in large part to the sisterhood that I have come to know through pageants, I am proud to say that I am today a better person,” she continued. “I am honored to hold this title and I will use this platform to promote the values of The Miss Universe Organization, and my own, that recognize the confidence, beauty and perseverance of all women.”
The Miss Universe Organization, the parent company of Miss Teen USA, said in a statement to ABC News that though the language she used “unacceptable at any age and in no way reflects the values of The Miss Universe Organization,” she will keep her crown.
“As Karlie stated, she was in a different place in her life and made a serious mistake she regrets and for which she sincerely apologizes,” the statement said. “Karlie learned many lessons through those personal struggles that reshaped her life and values. We as an organization are committed to supporting her continued growth.”
Hay was crowned the new Miss Teen USA Saturday night at The Venetian Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.