Miss Teen USA First Runner-Up Rejects Title, Citing Refusal to Compromise Integrity

The first runner-up of Miss Teen USA won’t be assuming the role of queen.

On Wednesday, UmaSofia Srivastava, Miss Teen USA, made the decision to step down from her role as the reigning titleholder. This news comes just two days after Noelia Voigt, Miss USA, also relinquished her crown.

Miss Hawaii Savannah Gankiewicz, the first runner-up in the 2023 pageant, has been announced as the new queen by the Miss USA organization. She will be taking over for the remainder of what would have been Voigt’s tenure.

Stephanie Skinner, the first runner-up of Miss Teen USA, announced on Sunday that she would not be participating in the teen pageant.

Business Insider reached out to Miss USA for comment, but they did not respond at the time of publication.

Stephanie Skinner declined the title of Miss Teen USA

Skinner, the representative of New York in the Miss Teen USA pageant, took to Instagram to share her decision of declining the title of Miss Teen USA 2023.

Skinner stated that she will not accept the crown due to her prior commitments to a research project in Thailand during the summer, which she will be participating in through her college, the University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, she emphasized that her decision is also based on her personal values.

In a conversation with Business Insider, Skinner emphasized that her decision was strongly influenced by her integrity and character.

“This was more than just a dream for me,” Skinner expressed to BI. “I have dedicated years of hard work to achieve this. Coming from an unconventional family background, growing up in a single-parent household, and being a survivor of domestic violence, this victory holds a significant meaning. It represents the opportunity to be a voice for others. That’s what it truly means to me.”

“I will never compromise my character or integrity,” she stated firmly. “Due to recent circumstances and my commitment to my university’s global research program this summer, I had to decline the role. I believe this decision aligns with my values and reflects what I stand for.”

“I firmly support female empowerment and strongly believe in the importance of aligning one’s actions with their words,” Skinner expressed in an interview with BI. “Although it is disheartening, I have come to accept that the opportunity to become Miss Teen USA is no longer available to me. I feel that chapter of my life came to a close on the night of the pageant finale.”

In her statement, she mentioned, “I believe it is the right decision to respect Uma and Noelia, and also because I had made a prior commitment. It is important for me to be at peace with this choice.”

Skinner expressed her continued aspiration to achieve a national pageant title in the future, although she clarified that it would not be Miss Teen USA.

Srivastava and Voigt both left messages of support on Skinner’s Instagram post.

Srivastava expressed deep gratitude for their friendship, admiring their unwavering dedication and unwavering integrity.

In her comment, Voigt expressed her deep admiration and love for the person she met. She commended their ability to consistently serve as a positive role model wherever they go. Voigt added that she is proud of them.

Skinner, in her conversation with BI, expressed her admiration for Srivastava and Voigt, describing them as friends and commending them for their commitment to their beliefs.

She expressed her unwavering commitment to always sending them love and support, while also acknowledging her deep respect for the decision they have made, as she stated, “I will always send them love and support, and I truly admire them for choosing what they believe is best for themselves.”

Several people have resigned from positions in Miss USA in recent days

Miss USA has experienced a wave of resignations in the past few days following a turbulent period in 2022 and 2023. One of the controversies that emerged was the accusation that the Miss 2022 USA pageant was manipulated to favor Miss Universe R’Bonney Gabriel.

On May 6, Voigt made the decision to surrender her crown, becoming the first Miss USA in the pageant’s 72-year history to voluntarily resign. In a statement on Instagram, she cited her mental health as the reason behind her decision.

In her Instagram statement about her resignation, Srivastava expressed that her personal values no longer fully align with the direction of the organization.

Chance Yeh attending an event for Supermodels Unlimited.

Claudia Michelle, the social-media manager of Miss USA, has also decided to step down following the resignations of the titleholders. Expressing her concerns on Instagram, she emphasized the impact on the mental health and happiness of Noelia and Uma, stating, “I cannot stay silent about this.”

On Friday, Miss Colorado Arianna Lemus made the decision to relinquish her title in a show of solidarity with Srivastava and Voigt.

“I believe that many women tend to overlook their own power, but organizations like Miss USA serve as a reminder of just how powerful one can become,” Lemus shared with Business Insider’s Anneta Konstantinides. “And that is the message I want to convey today. I am standing in solidarity with my fellow sisters, against the injustice of silencing her. Therefore, I have made the decision to resign my title in order to speak my truth and be a voice for those who have been rendered voiceless.”

When Voigt resigned, Miss USA issued a statement to BI, emphasizing the importance of the well-being of their titleholders. They acknowledged and respected her decision to prioritize herself during this time.

According to the statement, the organization is currently in the process of reviewing plans for the transition of responsibilities to a successor. An announcement regarding the crowning of the new Miss USA is expected to be made in the near future.

On Thursday, the organization expressed their excitement by announcing on Instagram that Miss Hawaii USA Savannah Gankiewicz has been crowned as Miss USA 2023.

The organization has not yet revealed the name of the new Miss Teen USA after Skinner declined the opportunity to assume the title.

Reference Article

Avatar photo
MBS Staff
Articles: 6490

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *