Miss USA 1990 (Jayverse)

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Miss USA 1990, the 39th Miss USA pageant, was televised live from the Century II Convention Center in Wichita, Kansas on March 2, 1990. At the conclusion of the final competition, Carole Gist of Michigan was crowned by outgoing titleholder Gretchen Polhemus of Texas. Carole became the first African American winner ever and the first woman from Michigan to be crowned as Miss USA, ending the streak of "Texas Aces" from 1985.

For the first time, each judge's score was displayed to every audience, adding transparency to the process.

A major format change in 1990 transformed the Miss USA competition for the next decade: the delegates would face an extra round of elimination on finals night: the top six judges' questions.

Instead of reducing the top twelve to the usual final five, the judges would pick an intermediate top six. Those six finalists would answer questions from the judges and the field was reduced to a final three, who would face the traditional final question, adding unpredictability to the competition after five Texan Miss USA winners from GuyRex Associates, which would lose its Miss Texas USA franchise the next year as Al & Gail Clark (of Crystal Productions) took over the pageant.

The pageant was hosted by Dick Clark for the second of five times, with color commentary by Leeza Gibbons, Dominique Dufour, Miss Canada 1981 and Laura Harring, Miss USA 1985 and aired on UBC in the United States and simulcasted on Radio on Rhythm Radio, CTV in Canada.

This was the first time the pageant was held in Wichita, where it would be staged for the next three years.

Placements

Final Results Contestant
Miss USA 1990
  • MichiganCarole Gist
1st Runner-UpMiss World USA 1990
  • South Carolina – Gina Tolleson
2nd Runner-Up
  • New Jersey – Karin Hartz
Top 6
  • Alaska – Karin Meyer
  • Georgia – Brenda Leithleiter
  • Kentucky – Tiffany Tenfelde
Top 12
  • District of Columbia – Catherine Staples
  • Illinois – Karla Myers
  • Mississippi – Stephanie Teneyck
  • Ohio – Melissa Proctor
  • Tennessee – Charita Moses
  • Texas – Stephanie Kuehne

Final Competition

Nation Preliminary

Average

Interview Swimsuit Evening Gown Semifinal Average
MichiganCarole Gist 8.477 (4) 9.261 (2) 9.364 (1) 9.489 (1) 9.371 (1)
South Carolina – Gina Tolleson 8.514 (1) 8.848 (6) 9.139 (5) 9.259 (4) 9.082 (5)
New Jersey – Karin Hartz 8.256 (9) 9.344 (1) 9.206 (4) 9.414 (2) 9.321 (2)
Alaska – Karin Meyer 8.327 (7) 9.111 (3) 9.322 (3) 9.218 (5) 9.217 (3)
Kentucky – Tiffany Tenfelde 8.484 (3) 8.981 (4) 9.100 (6) 9.289 (3) 9.123 (4)
Georgia – Brenda Leithleiter 8.496 (2) 8.683 (8) 9.325 (2) 9.100 (8) 9.036 (6)
D.C. – Catherine Staples 8.211 (12) 8.577 (10) 9.078 (7) 9.157 (7) 8.937 (7)
Tennessee – Charita Moses 8.442 (5) 8.739 (7) 8.903 (8) 9.023 (9) 8.888 (8)
Texas – Stephanie Kuehne 8.248 (11) 8.922 (5) 8.839 (9) 8.869 (10) 8.876 (9)
Illinois – Karla Myers 8.327 (7) 8.622 (9) 8.772 (10) 9.176 (6) 8.856 (10)
Mississippi – Stephanie Teneyck 8.249 (10) 8.574 (11) 8.694 (11) 8.792 (11) 8.686 (11)
Ohio – Melissa Proctor 8.360 (6) 8.481 (12) 8.370 (12) 8.746 (12) 8.532 (12)

Special Awards

Award Contestant
Miss Congeniality
  • Minnesota – Janet Tveita
Miss Photogenic
  • Mississippi – Stephanie Teneyck

Preliminary Competition

The following are the contestants' scores in the preliminary competition.

hideState Interview Swimsuit Evening gown Average
Alabama 7.633 7.639 8.148 7.807
Alaska 8.939 8.022 8.021 8.327
Arizona 7.956 7.547 7.698 7.734
Arkansas 7.482 7.241 7.992 7.572
California 8.372 7.709 8.378 8.153
Colorado 8.311 7.778 7.888 7.992
Connecticut 7.406 7.427 7.577 7.470
Delaware 8.128 7.584 8.411 8.041
District of Columbia 8.187 8.358 8.088 8.211
Florida 7.967 8.220 8.088 8.092
Georgia 8.944 8.217 8.329 8.497
Hawaii 6.994 7.673 7.672 7.446
Idaho 7.561 7.036 7.239 7.279
Illinois 8.317 8.294 8.372 8.328
Indiana 8.717 7.438 7.644 7.933
Iowa 7.600 7.700 7.327 7.542
Kansas 8.078 8.167 8.350 8.198
Kentucky 8.733 8.383 8.338 8.485
Louisiana 8.044 8.094 7.848 7.995
Maine 7.678 7.620 7.322 7.540
Maryland 8.121 7.868 7.872 7.954
Massachusetts 7.638 7.180 7.287 7.368
Michigan 8.481 8.303 8.649 8.478
Minnesota 7.971 7.948 7.783 7.901
Mississippi 8.316 8.271 8.161 8.249
Missouri 8.449 8.009 7.861 8.106
Montana 7.250 7.004 6.987 7.080
Nebraska 8.394 7.123 7.326 7.614
Nevada 8.000 7.861 7.947 7.936
New Hampshire 7.744 7.411 7.423 7.526
New Jersey 8.711 7.753 8.306 8.257
New Mexico 7.472 7.367 7.437 7.425
New York 8.444 8.140 7.928 8.171
North Carolina 7.561 7.556 7.546 7.554
North Dakota 8.139 7.444 7.809 7.797
Ohio 8.244 8.294 8.544 8.361
Oklahoma 8.144 8.150 7.989 8.094
Oregon 8.128 7.290 6.833 7.417
Pennsylvania 7.944 7.552 7.806 7.767
Rhode Island 7.089 7.543 7.428 7.353
South Carolina 8.589 8.314 8.641 8.515
South Dakota 7.233 7.604 7.249 7.362
Tennessee 8.526 8.186 8.614 8.442
Texas 8.156 8.310 8.279 8.248
Utah 8.722 7.838 7.606 8.055
Vermont 7.267 7.256 6.983 7.169
Virginia 8.310 8.189 7.622 8.040
Washington 7.817 7.960 7.700 7.826
West Virginia 7.894 7.706 8.022 7.874
Wisconsin 8.028 7.670 7.589 7.762
Wyoming 7.650 8.012 8.128 7.930

Final competition

State Interview Swimsuit Evening Gown Average
Michigan 9.261 (2) 9.364 (1) 9.489 (1) 9.371 (1)
New Jersey 9.344 (1) 9.206 (4) 9.414 (2) 9.321 (2)
Alaska 9.111 (3) 9.322 (3) 9.218 (5) 9.217 (3)
Kentucky 8.981 (4) 9.100 (6) 9.289 (3) 9.123 (4)
South Carolina 8.848 (6) 9.139 (5) 9.259 (4) 9.082 (5)
Georgia 8.683 (8) 9.325 (2) 9.100 (8) 9.036 (6)
District of Columbia 8.577 (10) 9.078 (7) 9.157 (7) 8.937 (7)
Tennessee 8.739 (7) 8.903 (8) 9.023 (9) 8.888 (8)
Texas 8.922 (5) 8.839 (9) 8.869 (10) 8.876 (9)
Illinois 8.622 (9) 8.772 (10) 9.176 (6) 8.856 (10)
Mississippi 8.574 (11) 8.694 (11) 8.792 (11) 8.686 (11)
Ohio 8.481 (12) 8.370 (12) 8.746 (12) 8.532 (12)

Delegates

The Miss USA 1990 delegates were:

  • Alabama - Natalie Moore
  • Alaska - Karin Meyer
  • Arizona - Lezlie Leonard
  • Arkansas - Kathryn Harris
  • California - Cynthia Nelson
  • Colorado - Michelle Harrison
  • Connecticut - Allison Barbeau-Diorio
  • Delaware - Nicci Dent
  • District of Columbia - Catherine Staples
  • Florida - Tricia Hahn
  • Georgia - Brenda Leithleiter
  • Hawaii - Leimomi Bacalso
  • Idaho - Cindy Estey
  • Illinois - Karla Myers
  • Indiana - Meri Lyn Buker
  • Iowa - Elizabeth Muelhaupt
  • Kansas - Rebecca Porter
  • Kentucky - Tiffany Tenfelde
  • Louisiana - Jeanne Burns
  • Maine - Leigh Bubar
  • Maryland - Julie Stanford
  • Massachusetts - Laureen Murphy
  • Michigan - Carole Gist
  • Minnesota - Janet Tveita
  • Mississippi - Stephanie Teneyck
  • Missouri - Lori Suschnick
  • Montana - Kimberlee Burger
  • Nebraska - Angela Humphrey
  • Nevada - Michelle Yegee
  • New Hampshire - Lisa Parnpichate
  • New Jersey - Karin Hartz
  • New Mexico - Larissa Canaday
  • New York - Patricia Murphy
  • North Carolina - Altman Allen
  • North Dakota - Kari Larson
  • Ohio - Melissa Proctor
  • Oklahoma - Lauralynn Norton
  • Oregon - Elizabeth Michaud
  • Pennsylvania - Elizabeth Cebak
  • Rhode Island - Susan Lima
  • South Carolina - Gina Tolleson
  • South Dakota - Valerie Sejnoha
  • Tennessee - Charita Moses
  • Texas - Stephanie Kuehne
  • Utah - Debra Linn
  • Vermont - Stephanie Bessey
  • Virginia - Evelyn Green
  • Washington - Melissa Dickson
  • West Virginia - Sabrina Anderson
  • Wisconsin - Lynn Mulcahy
  • Wyoming - Cheryl James

Troupe Members in the Pageant included: Olga Calderon, Jillayne Fossum, Ursula Lawson, Christina Kimball, Kimberly Totdahl, Jane Olvera, Lori Easley, Krista Ransbottom, Maricarroll Verlinde, Christy Bogard, Shannon Marketic, Kelli McCarty, Nicole Romine, Angie Sisk, Diane Schock, Frances Frazier

Crossovers

1990 was the year with the smallest number of crossover contestants since 1986.

  • Only three delegates had previously competed in the Miss Teen USA pageant:
    • Julie Stanford (Maryland) - Miss Maryland Teen USA 1986
    • Kari Larson (North Dakota) - Miss North Dakota Teen USA 1984 (Semi-finalist at Miss Teen USA 1984)
    • Allison Barbeau-Diorio (Connecticut) - Miss Connecticut Teen USA 1987
  • In Addition, Other Miss Teen USA Delegates who went on to Compete in Miss USA in later years are part of the troupe
    • Olga Calderon - Miss Oregon Teen USA 1985, Miss Oregon USA 1991
    • Jillayne Fossum - Miss South Dakota Teen USA 1988, Miss South Dakota USA 1991, Miss South Dakota World America 1992
  • No former Miss America delegates competed for the second year in a row although some who went on to compete in the Miss America or Danced in Miss America in earlier or later years.
    • Christina Kumi Kimball - Miss America Dancer 1988 & 1989 (1990 & 1991 Miss America Pageant)
    • Kimberly Totdahl - Miss Wisconsin 1989 (Represented Wisconsin in the 1990 Miss America Pageant)
  • Gina Tolleson was later appointed as Miss World America 1990 by the Miss USA pageant and won Miss World 1990.
  • With the Miss World America Pageant starting to make it's debut in 1992 some delegates who will later compete in Miss USA and Miss World America are as follows (excluding Miss Teen USA Contestants which were listed above)
    • Lori Easley - Miss Idaho USA 1991, Miss Idaho World 1992
    • Krista Ransbottom - Miss West Virginia USA 1991, Miss West Virginia World 1992
    • Maricarroll Verlinde - Miss Arizona USA 1991, Miss Arizona World 1992
  • Troupe Members who went to compete in Miss USA, Miss World America and/or Miss America Pageants in earlier or later years:
    • Christy Bogard - Miss Texas USA 1991
    • Shannon Marketic - Miss California USA 1992 (Miss USA 1992)
    • Kelli McCarty - Miss Kansas USA 1991 (Miss USA 1991)
    • Nicole Romine - Miss Teen USA 1985 & 1986 as one of the Solid Gold Dancers
    • Diane Schock - Miss California USA 1991
    • Angie Sisk - Miss Texas USA 1993