Allegedly, the Miss USA competition was fixed. “It's sad that rumors are currently flying about the pageant,” stated professional interview coach J.J. Smith.
Additionally, Smith is the proprietor of Winner Views Pageant Consultation. On October 3, he attended the Miss USA pageant in Reno, Nevada, and noted a deviation from tradition when Miss Texas USA R'Bonney Gabriel was named the new Miss USA.
“Typically, when girls are crowned with whatever title they've won, the other candidates surround her and applaud her, even if they recognize they've lost,” Smith added. This was not the case in 2017.
I witnessed a major evacuation of losers from the competition. They essentially exited the stage.” After Gabriel's victory, claims of favoritism against the Filipino-American candidate from Friendswood began to circulate.
According to NBC News, more than a dozen participants allege that the pageant was rigged and that Gabriel and her coaches were granted chances that other contenders were not, such as the ability to come onstage differently.
“There were some things going on behind the scenes, including a photo session in Cancun that was funded by a sponsor for both Miss Texas USA and Miss USA,” Smith explained. Gabriel addressed the charges last week on KPRC 2's Houston Life.
“I want to convey the notion that regardless of whether there are haters or a black cloud, I should never allow it dim my light or my brilliance. Just keep moving forward,” Gabriel replied.
Wednesday, Gabriel issued a statement to KPRC 2 stating, “The present charges are based on perception and not the reality. I would never participate in a rigged tournament.
I am aware that all the contenders worked very hard to prepare for this year's Miss USA competition, and I do not want these allegations to overshadow their successes.
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Currently, I am preparing for Miss Universe and all the opportunities the Miss USA Organization will give while extending my personal platform for sustainable fashion and lobbying for charity partners Best Buddies and Smile Train.
According to J.J. Smith, the contest looked to have numerous ties to Texas. “I feel it's tough to manipulate a beauty pageant, but I do believe that, based on appearances, there were numerous Texans who participated in the pageant,” he stated. “The cosmeticians were from Texas.
The photographer's home state was Texas. Crystle was a previous Miss Texas USA and the winner of Miss USA. Miss Universe Organization has suspended Miss USA's director, Crystle Stewart, pending an investigation.
Stewart is also the owner of Miss Academy, which is implicated in the allegations. “The Miss Academy, which Crystle owns, is situated in Houston, Texas, and was also a sponsor for Miss USA reward packages,” Smith explained.
Stewart is a lifelong buddy of Smith as well. “She has always been highly regarded in the profession, so it's awful to have a questionable black mark placed on your reputation. “I do know Crystle to be an extremely fair, impartial, and honest woman, so I would genuinely defend her,” he remarked.