College Sophomore From Houston Is Crowned Miss USA at Pageant
Miss Texas, Chelsi Smith, an education major from Houston, was crowned Miss USA 1995 before a home state crowd Friday night.
The 21-year-old sophomore at San Jacinto Junior College, who gives motivational speeches to urban youth, won the swimsuit and interview rounds based on judges’ scores.
Miss USA 1994, Lu Parker of South Carolina, crowned her successor.
First runner-up among the 51 delegates was Shanna Lynn Moakler, a 19-year-old fashion model from New York City who won the evening gown competition.
Second runner-up was Nicole Lynn Holmes, 20, of Marion, Ill., a junior at Southern Illinois University.
Pageant organizers said Smith will receive $207,000 in cash and prizes and represent the United States in the Miss Universe pageant this spring in Windhoek, Namibia.
Bob Goen, weekend host of “Entertainment Tonight,” and MTV video disc jockey Daisy Fuentes hosted the 44th annual Miss USA pageant, held for the second consecutive year at the South Padre Island Convention Centre.
A panel of 10 judges rated the delegates in swimsuit, evening gown and interview categories.
Miss Universe Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Madison Square Garden, produces the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants. The events are not connected to the more established Miss America pageant.
The panel of judges: soap opera star Peter Barton, Dr. Joyce Brothers, actress K Callan, Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Jim Jeffcoat, Casey Kasem, fashion designer Chris Kole, Miss USA 1952 Jackie Loughery, actor E.G. Marshall, fashion designer Mary McFadden and actress Kiki Shepard.