Miss Nevada Nia Sanchez, a Las Vegas model, became Miss U.S.A. 2014 at Baton Rouge Civic Center in Louisiana on Sunday, June 8. Miss North Dakota Audra Mari is the first runner up. Sanchez became the 63rd Miss U.S.A.
Sanchez is a 4th degree black belter in Taekwondo, the Korean martial art. She is apparently quite passionate about her martial arts training. All women should learn to defend and empower themselves, she said in one of her answers - according to Today. She replied to Rumer Willis' question about the high rate of sexual assault among undergraduate women.
MSNBC news anchor Thomas Roberts was accompanied by old-timer Giuliana Rancic while introducing 51 contestants to the judges. In the semi-finals, 20 contestants participated for the evening gown, swimsuit and interview rounds. Video interviews of the contestants made it easier for the viewers to know more about the individual contestants.
NBA star Karl Malone, actress Rumer Willis, actor Ian Ziering and singer Lance Bass were among the celebrity judges of the pageant. It was the first time that netizens were allowed to save their favourite in the contest. People were encouraged to tweet with hashtag #SaveTheQueen to save their favourite one. It was Miss Iowa who won the Twitter votes. She eventually finished as the fifth runner up. Top ten finalists were Miss Nevada, Miss North Dakota, Miss South Carolina, Miss Florida, Miss Georgia, Miss Wisconsin, Miss Maryland, Miss Iowa, Miss Louisiana and Miss California.
Sanchez will represent the United States at the Miss Universe competition later in 2014. Here are some of the key things to remember about the latest crown-holder.
Name: Nia Sanchez
Ethnicity: German & Mexican
Date of Birth: February 16, 1990
Height: 5 feet 8 inches
Hair colour: Brown
Eye colour: Brown
Trivia 1: She is the first Miss Nevada to win Miss U.S.A
Trivia 2: She stayed in a women's shelter in Las Vegas at the age of six during the divorce of her parents