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Date Posted: 04:01:08 07/25/14 Fri
By MIKE WEATHERFORD
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
They crowned the wrong teen queen. Now two Nevada girls may be headed to Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Pageant in Orlando, Fla.
After parents of other contestants challenged the results and pushed for an audit, national pageant officials agreed there were “scoring irregularities” in the June 1 state competition that crowned 15-year-old Amy Smith of Henderson as Miss Nevada’s Outstanding Teen.
Contestants including Smith begin gathering in Orlando Friday for the contest that culminates Aug. 2.
A news release attributed to Donna Bozarth, chairman of the pageant’s national board, said the “unfortunate situation” has resulted in the decision that “there could be two winners,” and that “each of them individually would receive the recognition and awards for being Miss Nevada’s Outstanding Teen and would compete separately in the national competition in Orlando.”
However, the rightful winner — said to be Haleyann Hart of Henderson — was not named in the release, and only Smith and her family had agreed to the proposal on Thursday.
“An agreement has not yet been reached with the other young lady, but we are hopeful that a resolution can be reached so that she can participate in the national competition and represent the state of Nevada as well,” the statement continued.
Hart’s mother, Marcia Cope-Hart, said Thursday she could not comment on the situation.
Amy’s father, Rick Smith, was traveling to Orlando on Thursday but emailed a statement to the Review-Journal. “Amy was crowned Miss Nevada’s Outstanding Teen on June 1. Since that time she has continued uninterrupted in that capacity and will represent the State in the national (pageant). Other questions are beyond me, and would need to be directed to national organization.”
Amy Hacker, state executive director of the Miss Nevada Organization, could not be reached for comment Thursday.
The state competition already was newsworthy for the rarity of having two sisters win twin titles. Ellie Smith, a previous Miss Nevada Outstanding Teen, was crowned Miss Nevada in the competition for ages 17 through 24 and will go on to compete in the Miss America pageant.
The sisters live in Henderson but traveled to Elko to compete in a less-crowded preliminary, the Miss Northeast Nevada Contest.
When Amy Smith also won the state finals competition held at the Las Vegas Academy, parents and other pageant officials challenged the results based on several factors. Primarily, Hart was the announced winner of the teen talent award, so the proportionate percentage of scoring for that award should automatically have placed her among the five top finalists.
Instead, the five finalists excluded Hart and included three 13-year-old first-year contestants, which parents cited as another red flag.
After the contest, it was determined that Hart won the interview portion of the competition as well.
In a July 17 letter obtained by the Review-Journal, Bozarth told parents: “I have spoken to most of you in the past 2 days with the news that there was a scoring error due to an incorrect ballot being used in the Scholastic Achievement portion of the competition. When our national auditor in Orlando reviewed the ballots for a re-audit of the scores, he immediately noticed the error because the scores were so inflated.
“Our auditor, using the original ballots, re-entered the Private Interview, Lifestyle and Fitness in Sportswear, Talent, and Evening Wear & Onstage Question on to the tally sheet. He then entered the correct Scholastic Achievement Scores, which resulted in a different top 5.”
Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0288.
[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
- I feel so badly for Haleyann. :( (NT) -- No name, 04:27:54 07/25/14 Fri
- How is it possible that the talent winner AND interview winner is excluded from the Top 5? (NT) -- No name, 07:09:03 07/25/14 Fri
- It is possible becuase it was fixed. (NT) -- No name, 07:59:26 07/25/14 Fri
- The ED didn't know the first rule of cheating, don't make it obvious. (NT) -- MissGA Fan, 20:36:01 07/25/14 Fri
- It is mathmatically possible, if she bombed in fitness, academics and OSQ/Gown. (Not saying this happened, because evidence suggests foul play). If a contestant bombed in the others, and the other gals were right on her heels points wise, it could happen. (NT) -- No name, 08:39:14 07/26/14 Sat
- Did she win prelim talent or overall talent? (NT) -- No name, 11:42:56 07/26/14 Sat
- Love how these reporters reach out to the Rigged Winners father well we know hes reaching out to them and the reporter is reaching out to the Executive Director who has had the Franchise taken away....True Nevada journalism (NT) -- No name, 08:30:16 07/26/14 Sat
- "Primarily, Hart was the announced winner of the teen talent award, so the proportionate percentage of scoring for that award should automatically have placed her among the five top finalists." Says who??? Happens all the time. Very rare for a win of talent and interview however. (NT) -- No name, 09:07:30 07/26/14 Sat
- Hmmmm, this was NV. Was there a Top Ten? More like 12 total contestants and a top 5 named from that. Hart was the winner of every category, but was someone left off the Top Five Ballot. Sue the ED, the auditors and the Smiths. (NT) -- No name, 15:57:29 07/27/14 Sun
- The easiest FIX to this now is to have both girls EMBRACE each other, compete and REIGN together. (NT) -- Everyone should rise above and let them both have a fun year together. What else could really work?, 12:54:03 07/28/14 Mon