Miss USA 1989 (Jayverse)

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Miss USA 1989, the 38th Miss USA pageant, was televised live from the Mobile Civic Center Theatre in Mobile, Alabama on February 28, 1989. At the conclusion of the final competition, Gretchen Polhemus of Texas was crowned by outgoing titleholder Courtney Gibbs. She was the fifth consecutive Miss Texas USA to win the pageant.

This was the first Miss USA pageant hosted by Dick Clark, with color commentary by Angie Dickinson, Laura Harring (Miss USA 1985) & Karen Baldwin (Miss Universe 1982). This pageant was held in Alabama for the first and so far only time.

Placements

Final Results Contestant
Miss USA 1989
  • Texas - Gretchen Polhemus
1st runner-upMiss World USA 1989
  • Oklahoma - Jill Scheffert
2nd runner-up
  • New Jersey - Debra Lee Husti
3rd runner-up
  • Louisiana - Elizabeth Primm
4th runner-up
  • Georgia - Michelle Nemeth
Top 10
  • California - Christina Faust
  • Colorado - Debbie James
  • Pennsylvania - Denise Epps
  • Arizona - LeeAnne Locken
  • Illinois - Kelly Holub

Special awards

Award Contestant
Miss Congeniality
  • Virginia - Kimberly Nicewonder
Miss Photogenic
  • Louisiana - Elizabeth Primm
Best State Costume
  • Illinois - Kelly Holub

Final competition

State Preliminary Average Interview Swimsuit Evening Gown Semifinal Average
Texas 9.084 (1) 9.425 (1) 9.535 (1) 9.601 (1) 9.520 (1)
Oklahoma 8.662 (3) 8.880 (2) 8.762 (5) 9.214 (2) 8.952 (2)
New Jersey 8.510 (7) 8.626 (5) 8.712 (6) 9.165 (3) 8.834 (3)
Georgia 8.407 (9) 8.821 (3) 8.473 (7) 9.032 (4) 8.775 (4)
Louisiana 8.829 (2) 8.600 (6) 8.820 (4) 8.710 (7) 8.710 (5)
California 8.659 (4) 8.313 (8) 8.977 (2) 8.774 (6) 8.688 (6)
Colorado 8.388 (10) 8.638 (4) 8.432 (9) 8.786 (5) 8.618 (7)
Pennsylvania 8.580 (5) 8.534 (7) 8.467 (8) 8.613 (10) 8.538 (8)
Arizona 8.529 (6) 7.792 (10) 8.833 (3) 8.703 (8) 8.442 (9)
Illinois 8.501 (8) 7.988 (9) 8.432 (9) 8.681 (9) 8.367 (10)

Preliminary Swimsuit

state score state score state score score state state score state score
Oklahoma 8.887 Maine 8.205 New York 7.912 Connecticut 7.773 Washington 7.587 Rhode Island 6.840
Texas 8.872 Maryland 8.204 Arkansas 7.885 Michigan 7.723 District of Columbia 7.573
Louisiana 8.715 Iowa 8.185 Alabama 7.883 Missouri 7.716 Tennessee 7.516
Pennsylvania 8.704 Kentucky 8.184 South Dakota 7.881 Idaho 7.694 North Dakota 7.504
Arizona 8.696 Colorado 8.115 Massachusetts 7.877 West Virginia 7.681 Hawaii 7.486
Illinois 8.491 Wyoming 8.040 Montana 7.874 South Carolina 7.675 Delaware 7.340
California 8.428 Nebraska 8.023 Wisconsin 7.844 Minnesota 7.674 Nevada 7.177
Virginia 8.384 Mississippi 7.967 Florida 7.821 Ohio 7.647 New Mexico 7.152
North Carolina 8.324 New Jersey 7.924 Alaska 7.803 Vermont 7.612 Utah 7.050
Georgia 8.223 New Hampshire 7.915 Kansas 7.781 Oregon 7.592 Indiana 6.961

Judges

The following celebrities were invited to judge the competition:

  • Jude Deveraux – Author
  • Bonnie Kay – Modeling manager
  • Dick Rutan – Pilot of the Voyager aircraft
  • Jeana Yeager – Pilot of the Voyager aircraft
  • Stella Stevens – Actress
  • Roscoe Tanner – Tennis player
  • Linda Shelton – Aerobics instructor
  • Lillian Glass – Author
  • Richard Anderson – Actor
  • Cecilia Bolocco – Miss Universe 1987 from Chile
  • Jennifer Chandler – Olympic diver

Delegates & Troupe

The Miss USA 1989 delegates were:

  • Alabama - Sherri Mooney
  • Alaska - Tina Geraci
  • Arizona - LeeAnne Locken
  • Arkansas - Paige Yandell
  • California - Christina Faust
  • Colorado - Debbie James
  • Connecticut - Lisa Vendetti
  • Delaware - Terri Spruill
  • District of Columbia - Somaly Sieng
  • Florida - Jennifer Parker
  • Georgia - Michelle Nemeth
  • Hawaii - Julie Larson
  • Idaho - Kelli Bean
  • Illinois - Kelly Holub
  • Indiana - Gwen Rochelle Volpe
  • Iowa - Marcy Requist
  • Kansas - Nancy Burris
  • Kentucky - Veronica Hensley
  • Louisiana - Elizabeth Primm
  • Maine - Kirsten Blakemore
  • Maryland - Jackie Carroll
  • Massachusetts - Kimberley Wallace
  • Michigan - Karyn Finucan
  • Minnesota - Julie Knutson
  • Mississippi - Laura Durrett
  • Missouri - Rhonda Hoglan
  • Montana - Tammy Reiter
  • Nebraska - Rene Harter
  • Nevada - Janu Tornell
  • New Hampshire - Fayleen Chwalek
  • New Jersey - Deborah Lee Husti
  • New Mexico - Traci Brubaker
  • New York - Jennifer Fisher
  • North Carolina - Jacqueline Padgett
  • North Dakota - Cara Christofferson
  • Ohio - Lisa Thompson
  • Oklahoma - Jill Rene Scheffert
  • Oregon - Jennifer Blaska
  • Pennsylvania - Denise Epps
  • Rhode Island - Debra Damiano
  • South Carolina - Angela Shuler
  • South Dakota - Nanette Endres
  • Tennessee - Kimberly Payne
  • Texas - Gretchen Polhemus
  • Utah - Zanetta van Zyverden
  • Vermont - Stacey Palmer
  • Virginia - Kimberly Nicewonder
  • Washington - Chiann Fan Gibson
  • West Virginia - Kathy Eicher
  • Wisconsin - Sherri Leigh Baxter
  • Wyoming - Chandra Anderson

The Troupe which performed alongside the 51 Delegates (shown above) included a Number of Miss Texas USA Contestants including Stephanie Kuehne (Miss Texas USA 1990), Melissa Proctor (Miss Ohio USA 1990), Sherry Krantz, Melissa Buchanan, Kristy Cordes, Paige Goodson, Pamela Griffin and Tracy Hickaman, along with a lot from California including Therese Kablan, Diane Schock (Miss California USA 1991), Kelli Prather, Denean Rice and Tiffany Hagen and some from Florida including Miss Florida Teen USA 1986, Stefanie Smith along with Ursula Lawson

Musical Performances

  • Opening Number - "I Should Be So Lucky" by the 1989 Miss USA Contestants and Troupe with Miss USA 1988, Courtney Gibbs (Cover Version of that song which was sung by Kylie Minogue but with the first few notes of that song being replaced by the addition of the UBC Sports "I Wandered by a Brookside" jingle to the Opening Number in that pageant which was used for the first time in a Miss USA Telecast)
  • Halftime Production Number - "Is It True What They Say About Dixie" by the 1989 Miss USA Contestants and Troupe with Special Guest Tommy Tune (Cover Version of that song which was sung by Al Jolson)
  • Crowning Song after Gretchen Polehemus was named Miss USA 1989 - "This is Your Night

Contestant notes

  • Gretchen Polhemus (Texas) and LeeAnne Locken (Arizona) had competed against each other the previous year in the Miss Texas USA 1988 pageant. Polhemus placed second runner-up to winner Courtney Gibbs, and Locken was third runner-up.