Saturday, July 12, 2014

History of Miss World in the United States

The United States is one of the few nations to have participated in Miss World every year since the pageant's inception in 1951. Despite this, Miss World have had a difficult ride in the United States throughout the pageant's history. The nation have managed to place 48 times in 67 years, winning the title three times with Marjorie Wallace (1973), Gina Marie Tolleson (1990) and Alexandria Nichole Mills (2010). Among the representatives are Lynda Carter (1972) who landed the leading role in Wonder Woman back in 1975, and Halle Berry (1986) who won an Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in 2002 for her role as Leticia Musgrove in the 2001 film Monster's Ball. The United States is the only nation in the Americas that have hosted the Miss World pageant. The 41st Miss World pageant was held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia on December 28, 1991 and the 66th Miss World pageant was held at The Theater at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland on December 18, 2016. The Times of Beauty compiled some historical information about Miss World in the United States from different sources and is presented herein.
The first runner-up of Miss USA went to Miss World between 1953 and 1957. Alfred Patricelli was license holder of Miss World in the United States from 1958 to 1977. From 1958 to 1961, the winner of Miss United States went to Miss World. From 1962 to 1966, a Miss USA World pageant was held annually. In 1967, the Miss World USA pageant began and was held every year until 1977. The editions of 1978 to 1980 were held as Miss World America and organized by Griff O'Neil under BBS Productions Inc.

 Marjorie Wallace, winner of Miss World USA 1973, and winner of Miss World 1973

After Miss World America concluded, Miss Universe Inc became the license holders of Miss World in 1981 and the second runner-up of Miss USA went to Miss World 1981 and subsequently the first runner-up of Miss USA went to Miss World between 1982 and 1991. From 1992 to 1997, Richard Guy and Rex Hold, "GuyRex", were the national directors of Miss World in the United States and organized the Miss World America pageant in 1992 and 1993 and a Miss United States in 1994. The winners of the three pageants organized by GuyRex between 1992 and 1994 went to Miss World. GuyRex discontinued the pageant in 1995 but handpicked a representative from 1995 to 1997. As an interesting fact, the United States national pageants for Miss World in 1993 and 1994 were merged with the Mexican national preliminaries of Miss World. Therefore, the Miss World representatives from United States and Mexico were selected at the same event in 1993 and 1994.

In 1998, Hirsh Wilck succeeded GuyRex and became the license holder and sent contestants from 1998 to 2000. In 2000, an online contest was organized by Wilck in partnership with internet company, iLive. The winner, Angelique Breaux, was crowned in an event held in Los Angeles, California. In 2001, the Miss World organization asked Pageantry Magazine to choose a contestant for Miss World 2001 since they did not have a license holder at that time. They handpicked Carrie Ann Stroup with the approval of the Miss World organization and was crowned in a ceremony held in Orlando, Florida. In 2002, Jean Renard and Miss World Holdings Inc, became license holders and handpicked Rebekah Revels. They dropped the license afterwards due to legal issues with Revels. In 2003, Bruce Vermeulen and Geoff Kearney founded the US Miss World Organization. They chose the 2003 representative by mail-in entry and telephone interviews and in 2004 they held the US Miss World pageant in Dallas, Texas. In 2005, Barbizon Modeling became license holders and organized the US Miss World pageant in San Francisco, California.

 Gina Marie Tolleson, first runner-up of Miss USA 1990, and winner of Miss World 1990

In 2007, Neil Hamil and Elite Models, became the license holders of Miss World in the nation. The agency handpicked their contestants from 2007 to 2011 without a national pageant. During this time, it was common to know who was going to represent the United States in Miss World a week or two before the international pageant began. Among their designees was Alexandria Nichole Mills who in 2010 became one of the few Miss World winners to have won the international pageant without winning a national pageant. Mills, in an interview with The Kentucky Standard after her reign, indicated that "the license holder for Miss United States World hand-selected me to represent the United States".
It is unknown to this date who was in charge of selecting the contestants in 1951, 1952, 2006, 2012 and 2013. In 2012 there was an audition process to examine the backgrounds and charities of the contestants but the person who organized this audition is unknown. In 2013, the Miss World representative was crowned at Crown Diva Boutique and Pageant Academy in Santa Monica, California. However, it is unknown if the Miss World Organization asked Crown Diva to choose the representative. The 2012 and 2013 contestants were living in the same area of Los Angeles County in California at the time of their selection. On July 6, 2014, it was revealed that Christopher Wilmer became the license holder of Miss World in the nation. Wilmer sent the winner of Miss United States 2014 to Miss World and later organized the Miss World America pageant in 2015 and 2016.

 Alexandria Nichole Mills, handpicked as Miss World United States 2010, and winner of Miss World 2010

On March 8, 2017, it was revealed that Lynne Scott Safrit and her daughter Elizabeth Safrit became co-national directors of Miss World in the United States and the national pageant, once again, was renamed to America's Miss World. They held their first pageant on August 2017. Their directorship lasted less than a year after relinquishing the license on January 2018. Weeks later, the Miss World license was taken over by Michael Blakey -president of Electra Star Management- and Liz Fuller and they will organize the Miss World national preliminary in the United States from 2018 on.

 List of United States' representatives to Miss World from 1951-2017
1951: Annette Gibson (Louisville, Kentucky)
1952: Telly Richards (New York, New York), 4th runner-up
1953: Mary Kemp Griffin (Florence, South Carolina), 5th runner-up
1954: Karin Hultman (Rochester, New York), 1st runner-up
1955: Margaret Ann Haywood (Jonesboro, Arkansas), 1st runner-up
1956: Betty Lane Cherry (Orangeburg, South Carolina), 1st runner-up
1957: Charlotte Sheffield (Salt Lake City, Utah)
1958: Nancy Anne Corcoran (New York, New York)
1959: Loretta Powell (Bridgeport, Connecticut)
1960: Judith Ann Achter (St. Louis, Missouri), 4th runner-up
1961: Jo Ann Odum (Huntington, West Virginia), 5th runner-up
1962: Amadee Chabot (Northridge, California), Top 7
1963: Michele Bettina Metrinko (Arlington, Virginia), Top 8
1964: Jeanne Marie Quinn (East Meadow, New York), Top 14
1965: Dianna Lynn Batts (Jacksonville, North Carolina), 1st runner-up
1966: Denise Estelle Blair (Layton, Utah), Top 7
1967: Pamela Valari Pall (Norwalk, California), Top 15
1968: Johnine Leigh Avery (Olympia, Washington)
1969: Gail Renshaw (Arlington, Virginia), 1st runner-up
1970: Sandra Ann Wolsfeld (Chicago, Illinois), Top 15
1971: Karen Brucene Smith (Port Lavaca, Texas), Top 7
1972: Linda Jean Córdova Carter (Phoenix, Arizona), Top 15
1973: Marjorie Wallace (Indianapolis, Indiana), MISS WORLD 1973
1974: Terry Anne Browning (Daytona Beach, Florida), 4th runner-up
1975: Annelise Ilschenko (Middleburg Heights, Ohio)
1976: Kimberley Marie Foley (Southfield, Michigan)
1977: Cindy Darlene Miller (Chesapeake, Virginia), 4th runner-up
1978: Debra Jean Freeze (Mooresville, North Carolina), Top 15
1979: Carter Wilson (Harrisonburg, Virginia), Top 15
1980: Brooke Alexander (Kailua, Hawaii), Top 7
1981: Lisa Lynn Moss (Shreveport, Louisiana), Top 7
1982: Elizabeth LuAnn Caughey (Abilene, Texas), Top 7
1983: Lisa Gayle Allred (Fort Worth, Texas), Top 7
1984: Kelly Lea Andersen (Clarksburg, West Virginia), Top 7
1985: Brenda Denton (Hobbs, New Mexico), 2nd runner-up, Miss World Americas 1985
1986: Halle Maria Berry (Cleveland, Ohio), Top 7
1987: Clotilde Helen Cabrera (Tampa, Florida), Miss Personality
1988: Diana Magaña (Rancho Palos Verdes, California), Top 10
1989: Jill ReNee Scheffert (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma), Top 5
1990: Gina Marie Tolleson (Charleston, South Carolina), Miss World Americas 1990, MISS WORLD 1990
1991: Charlotte Ray (Camden, New Jersey), Top 10
1992: Sharon Flynn Belden (Coral Gables, Florida), Top 10
1993: Maribeth Brown (Natick, Massachusetts), Top 10
1994: Kristie Harmon (Conyers, Georgia)
1995: Jill Ankuda (El Paso, Texas)
1996: Kelly Webber (El Paso, Texas)
1997: Sallie Toussaint (Hartford, Connecticut), Top 10, Miss World Americas 1997
1998: Shauna Gene Gambill (Acton, California), Top 10
1999: Natasha Heather Allas (Oahu, Hawaii), Top 10
2000: Angelique Sue Breaux (San Diego, California), Top 10
2001: Carrie Ann Stroup (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)
2002: Rebekah Chantay Revels (St. Pauls, North Carolina), Top 10, Miss World Talent
2003: Kimberly Ann Harlan (Marietta, Georgia)
2004: Nancy Valeria Randall (Chicago, Illinois), 2nd runner-up, Miss World Beach Beauty
2005: Lisette Diaz Martinez (Chula Vista, California)
2006: Brooke Elizabeth Angus (Burlington, Vermont)
2007: Abigail McCary (Minneapolis, Minnesota), Top 16, Miss World Sports
2008: Merica Lane Lindell (Tampa, Florida), World Dress Designer Award
2009: Lisa-Marie Kohrs (Malibu, California)
2010: Alexandria Nichole Mills (Louisville, Kentucky), Miss World Americas 2010, MISS WORLD 2010
2011: Erin Cummins (Arlington, Washington)
2012: Claudine Book (Malibu, California), Top 15
2013: Olivia Jordan Thomas (Tulsa, Oklahoma), Top 20
2014: Elizabeth Safrit (Kannapolis, North Carolina), 2nd runner-up, Miss World Americas 2014, Miss World Multimedia
2015: Victoria Mendoza Barragán (Phoenix, Arizona)
2016: Audra Diane Mari (Fargo, North Dakota), Top 11, Miss World Americas 2016
2017: Clarissa Miriam Bowers (Umatilla, Florida), Top 40

The Times of Beauty Est. 2008