scorecardThe new Miss USA said contestants who spoke out against the pageant 'were speaking their truth'
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The new Miss USA said contestants who spoke out against the pageant 'were speaking their truth'

Anneta Konstantinides   

The new Miss USA said contestants who spoke out against the pageant 'were speaking their truth'
LifeThelife2 min read
New Miss USA Noelia Voigt spoke to Insider about the organization's controversial year.    Courtesy of Miss USA
  • Miss Utah, Noelia Voigt, was crowned the new Miss USA on Friday night.
  • Voigt spoke to Insider about leading the pageant after its very controversial year.

As the new Miss USA, Noelia Voigt will be leading the legendary pageant organization after a very controversial year.

Voigt recently sat down with Insider to speak about her upcoming reign, and how she hopes to shine a more positive spotlight on Miss USA.

After R'Bonney Gabriel was crowned Miss USA in October 2022, contestants claimed that the pageant had been rigged in her favor. The Miss Universe Organization launched an investigation, and Crystle Stewart — who was president of Miss USA at the time — was suspended. In August, the organization announced in a statement that it had found the rigging allegations were "false." That same day, it was announced Stewart would no longer be president of Miss USA. Stewart did not comment when reached through her representative.

Voigt said she had friends who competed at Miss USA under Stewart's leadership and "it's really sad to hear their stories."

"I think it's important that we validate their feelings, because they're speaking their truth," she added.

Miss USA 2023
Voigt during her crowning moment on Friday night.      Courtesy of Miss USA

But Voigt only had high praise for Laylah Rose, who was announced as the new Miss USA president in August.

"She's such an empowering woman," Voigt said. "I knew we were in for such a special time with her because she's a very positive influence on everybody around her, and she wants us to be that way with other people."

Voigt said Rose was dedicated to creating a positive environment at Miss USA this year, and that she had listened to the stories of past contestants "who may have had bad experiences under several different ownerships."

"Laylah has created and fostered the perfect environment for women supporting women, and for philanthropy to be the focus," she said. "So that's what I'm really excited about, showing people there is a true definition of pageantry — and what happened in the past is not that."

Miss USA 2023
Voigt is the first Miss Utah to win Miss USA since 1960.      Courtesy of Miss USA

As the new Miss USA, Voigt said she hopes to show people that the competition is so much more than a beauty pageant — and that it's still relevant.

"We are able to make an incredible difference in people's lives," she said. "If you take a look at everything all the state and national titleholders have been able to do, the differences they've been able to make in people's lives, I'd argue that pageants are still incredibly important and should remain relevant because of that."

Voigt, 23, is the first Miss Utah to win Miss USA since 1960. She will now represent the United States at the Miss Universe pageant on November 18 in El Salvador.

Gabriel, the current Miss Universe, was the first American to win the pageant in 10 years.




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