Miss USA Contesants Reveal Who They Admire
Who do you admire most? We asked this year's Miss USA contestants to tell us someone they admire.
From Emma Watson to Malala Yousafzai to Justice Sonia Sotomayor, see who this year's Miss USA contestants say they look up to and why below. And watch the 2017 MISS USA® Competition live on FOX Sunday, May 14th at 8pm ET to see women representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia will compete for the opportunity of becoming the next Miss USA.
Miss Alabama USA Baylee Smith: "Taylor Swift. She has always stayed true to her character."
Miss Alaska USA Alyssa London: "I admire Lori Greiner from Shark Tank, because she is a creative and savvy businesswoman, who not only has successfully grown her own businesses, she has an eye for vetting great ideas and bringing them to market. I would love to pitch Lori on my plans for the expansion of my business one day."
Miss Arizona USA Tommy Lynn Calhoun: "I have the utmost respect for Pat Tillman. Giving up a lucrative professional football career to serve his country showed how selfless and heroic he was. Pat Tillman is a true American Hero in my eyes."
Miss Arkansas USA Arynn Johnson: "Being a lover of history, I admire George Washington. Being the first President of the United States, he was given a great amount of control over the direction that this nation would take. When given that power, he chose the path of democracy, rather than taking the power for himself. I believe that within success, how you handle the power you are given in more important than receiving that power to begin with."
Miss California USA India Williams: "Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook. I recently read her book, Lean In, which provides support and empowerment for women in the workplace. Being a business major myself, I truly admire her success."
Miss Colorado USA Sabrina Janssen: "Marissa VanNoy. She is well known in the pageant world as Miss Utah USA 2013. She was my first roommate as a model. We were in direct competition for jobs, but she was always so genuinely happy for me. Even if that meant I had booked a job over her." Miss Connecticut USA Olga Litvinenko: "Princess Diana, because she showed a passion for her doings and a kind generosity in all of her actions towards other people. She fulfilled great missions, was sincere and she wasn't afraid to follow her heart."
Miss Delaware USA Mia Jones: "I admire Kimora Lee Simmons. She has had some of the same experiences (bullying) that I have as a child. Through goal setting and perseverance she has had a successful modeling career, clothing line, television show and beautiful children."
Miss District of Columbia USA Kára McCullough: "Actress Tracee Ellis Ross. She is the epitome of a well-rounded woman. She’s a comedian, fashion-forward, intelligent, and philanthropic. I believe she is one of the most influential women in Hollywood, because she discovered her own light and didn’t allow herself to be defined as Diana Ross’ daughter. I would love to meet her and coordinate science projects with her."
Miss Florida USA Linette De Los Santos: "Justice Sonia Sotomayor. She is the first Hispanic and third woman to serve on the Supreme Court. She has been on the bench since her appointment in 2009 and is a constant reminder to me that I can achieve my goals no matter what obstacles come my way. She did not have it easy but she worked extremely hard to be where she is today. As a Hispanic woman and an aspiring attorney, she is an inspiration to me and I hope to one day follow in her footsteps."
Miss Georgia USA DeAnna Johnson: "I admire Ashton Kutcher, because not only is he very easy on the eyes, but he is the chairman and the co-founder of an organization called Thorn. This organization aids in the fight against childhood sex trafficking by building a software that combats the sexual exploitation of children. I admire the fact that he is using his popularity to fight for such a worthy cause."
Miss Hawaii USA Julie Kuo: "I really admire Constance Wu from the hit TV comedy series Fresh Off The Boat. The TV series portrays a family who immigrated to the United States from China. Wu plays a mother of three, she really reminds me of my own mother in many different ways. I adore Wu's sense of humor, and I applaud her for advocating diversity in Hollywood!"
Miss Idaho USA Cassie Lewis: "Kate Middleton, she is the epitome of the classy modern woman." Miss Illinois USA Whitney Wandland: "I admire Viola Davis! She has been my biggest inspiration for years and she always manages to keep rising. I appreciate her because we have similar stories. Having nothing can really change the way you see things and how you work. I see that in her and everything she does, and over the past few years, I’ve seen those same characteristics in myself. Emmy's, Golden Globes, Oscars… Through it all she remains grounded."
Miss Indiana USA Brittany Winchester: "Heidi Somers is better known as Buff Bunny online. I relate to her because our stories are similar. She, too, was homeschooled and struggled with health and fitness only to have it become a passion and a career. I admire her because of her positive attitude, business acumen, and hilarious and down-to-earth personality online. She shares my belief in the values of whole-body health, not just the physical part, and uses her huge social media following to enact positive change in women."
Miss Iowa USA Kelsey Weier: "Sonja Heying. Before attending Cosmetology School I took two years off to nanny. My nanny experience was different then most because the mom was home with me. Sonja needed all the help she could get since she had four boys! The oldest child was a year and a half year old and the triplets. The reason I look up to Sonja is because of who she is as a person, a mother, and a wife. In the two years that I nannied for Sonja, she taught me so much about life, family, and myself. I admire her for the amount of time she invest into her family and how much love she has for her boys. She is not only one of the best moms I know but also one of the best people I have ever met. I can only hope to be half the mom she is someday!"
Miss Kansas USA Catherine Carmichael: "I have always admired Emma Watson. She is the definition of a selfless, caring, and humble woman. Although she is a well known actress...she has made it a priority to get her college degree, as well as be an activist for women's equality, and quality education for girls around the globe. She is smart, funny, caring, and a well rounded woman that is a wonderful role model for not just women and girls…but people everywhere!"
Miss Kentucky USA Madelynne Myers: "Emma Watson. Many people know her as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies. Emma was appointed UN Women's Goodwill Ambassador in 2014. UN Women is the United Nations organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. Emma has been a supported of female education and has served in Bangladesh and Zambia on humanitarian efforts."
Miss Louisiana USA Bethany Trahan: "I admire Ellen Degeneres! Ellen doesn't take life too seriously, which is one of the many things I have learned from her. Ellen has always puts others first, reminds people to never give up, and has inspired me to 'just keep swimming' no matter how hard times may get." Miss Maine USA Brooke Harris: "Mother Teresa dedicated her life to taking care of the poor and ill. I hope to live by her example and spend my life as a Nurse helping and serving others."
Miss Maryland USA Adrianna David: "Adrianna admires Melinda Gates. As co-founder of the largest non-profit organization in the world, despite her tremendous wealth, her dedication to helping others is inspiring."
Miss Massachusetts USA Julia Scaparotti: "Jackie Kennedy. To me, she is a timeless example of strength, leadership, confidence and woman empowerment. She had a classic, elegant style and portrayed than in every aspect of her life. I even replicated her famous Chanel Pink suit and dressed as her for Halloween."
Miss Michigan USA Krista Ferguson: "I admire Emma Watson and her drive for success. She is a great example of a women that is confidently beautiful. While acting full-time she continued to pursue her degree from Brown University. She started her own campaign 'HeforShe' which supports women's rights."
Miss Minnesota USA Meridith Gould: "Stan Lee - American author and comic book writer. I am a HUGE Marvel fan, and knowing the story of its creator makes the comics that much better! He grew up with very little in terms of material possessions, but started his writing career writing obituaries - a detail that he and I have in common. He never gave up on his dream, built an entire empire (literally and figuratively), and never underestimates the underdog."
Miss Mississippi USA Ashley Hamby: "Erin Andrews broke into a male dominated industry of sports broadcasting and became an instant star. She has also overcome many adversities with grace and elegance. Erin has never let anyone tell her that she could not do something and she radiates girl power." Miss Missouri USA Bayleigh Dayton: "I admire Kimora Lee Simmons because she is a supermodel from Missouri that turned her personal brand into an international, very profitable and respectable brand. She is a mother and a wife and showcases her superpowers very well."
Miss Montana USA Brooke Bezanson: "Brooke looks up to film director Hayao Miyazaki for his unique insight and art. She is inspired by how he sees the world in a different light. He is a masterful storyteller AND his protagonists are often strong girls or young women."
Miss Nebraska USA Jasmine Fuelberth: "Tim Tebow has a resume` of accomplishments that people could only dream of, but that's not why I admire him. His heart for people is magnetic, captivating, and inspiring. His intentions and motives are so pure in everything he does, and one can see that fame, riches, and power do not motivate him at all. He is simply motivated by love and wants to love on people to the best of his ability, and that is exactly what I hope the outside world will say about me as well."
Miss Nevada USA Lauren York: "Heidi Klum inspires me because she is a living example that a woman can have it all. She balances a family and a successful career. She is a mother, a philanthropist, a successful business owner, and a successful model. She is someone who is unapologetically herself and fearlessly pursues her dreams."
Miss New Hampshire USA Sarah Mousseau: "I strongly admire Ashton Kutcher. He co-founded Thorn: Digital Defenders for Children with a mission to end human trafficking. He is a perfect example of breaking stereotypes. He is not just an 'actor with a pretty face,' he serves his community and is dedicated to making a difference."
Miss New Jersey USA Chhavi Verg: "I admire Malala Yousafzai, because of her courage and intelligence. Despite facing threats against her life, she hasn’t stopped fighting for what she believes in. At just 20 years old, she has created the Malala Fund, has become the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, has her own book and movie, and is standing up to the people threatening to take her life. I am so inspired by her courage, ambition, and strength and hope to meet her someday to tell her that."
Miss New Mexico USA Ashley Mora: "My biggest inspiration is Lorna Jane Clarkson. She is an author, active wear designer, and business founder. She started her active wear line, Lorna Jane at the age of 25 and now has 200 stores open worldwide. I look up to Lorna Jane because she is the epitome of a successful business woman with a heart. She inspires and motivates others through the power of positivity and leaves no page unturned."
Miss New York USA Hannah Lopa: "Hannah admires Erin Andrews for building a successful career as a sportscaster and hopes to emulate her skills and notoriety." Miss North Carolina USA Katie Coble: "I admire Guilanna Rancic. Not only did she have a very public battle with breast cancer while balancing being a wife and mom (which reminds me of my own mom’s battle with the disease), but she also has a very successful hosting career, something I hope to do in the future."
Miss North Dakota USA Raquel Wellentin: "Michelle Obama, because during her eight years as the First Lady she focused on health and fitness. She primarily focused more towards children and teenagers, because she wanted to educate them and guide them on how to be healthy psychically and mentally. This is why I admire her, because I want to be a Health and Physical Education teacher."
Miss Ohio USA Dinaleigh Baxter: "Malala Yousafzai, because she had the courage to live her life without fear. She stood up for what she believed in at all cost which shows courage, and that's honorable."
Miss Oklahoma USA Alex Smith: "Alex admires Susan B. Anthony because she was a woman of power and substance. Susan B. Anthony fought for women’s rights, helped abolish slavery, and spent her entire life in public service. Her contributions played a significant role in our society."
Miss Oregon USA Liz Denny: "Miley Cyrus - while controversial, has always stayed true to herself, showing young people that it's alright to have flaws: no one is perfect. Liz also admires her Happy Hippie Foundation which advocates for minority and LGBTQ homeless youth."
Miss Pennsylvania USA Cassandra Angst: "I admire Heidi Klum because she is a beautiful woman that is also a successful business person, fashion designer, model, television personality, and a mother. She is an example of how women can do everything well!"
Miss Rhode Island USA Kelsey Swanson: "I absolutely adore Ellen Degeneres. She is so funny, she brings me to tears! Her show is based on making those around her smile and laugh. She does good for so many people, by donating money and giving them acknowledgment on her show."
Miss South Carolina USA Megan Gordon: "Michelle Obama is someone well-known that I admire. Michelle’s active role in encouraging children to stay in school and her “Let’s Move!” campaign truly inspired me to want to eat better, live a better life and earn my college degree. Mrs. Obama took these initiatives all while maintaining an impeccable style and standard of class. Meeting and thanking her personally for all that she’s done would mean the world to me."
Miss South Dakota USA Tessa Dee: "Dolly Parton - she is an activist, a philanthropist, and unapologetically herself." Miss Tennessee USA Allee-Sutton Hethcoat: "Allee-Sutton admires famous actress, humanitarian and Princess Grace Kelly. Allee-Sutton admires her body of work, her personal class, grace and dignity and her work as a humanitarian and philanthropist during her time as Princess of Monaco."
Miss Texas USA Nancy Gonzalez: "Nikola Tesla, famed inventor, physicist, and electrical engineer. I admire him because he never gave up on his ideas and dreams even when his mentor, Thomas Edison, and the general public did not believe in him. Edison would attempt to discredit him and publicly slander him, but Tesla never let this hinder him. He proved others wrong and became a household name and historical figure. Tesla inspires me to dream big and never give up."
Miss Utah USA Baylee Jensen: "I admire Dr. Brene Brown who is a published author, professor and Founder and CEO of The Daring Way and COURAGEworks. She has spent the last thirteen years studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. I love that she explores the uncomfortable areas of relationships and ourselves and then finds ways for us to recognize and improve. Relationships are such a large aspect of every part of our lives, and if we learn more about ourselves and how we can personally improve, then so will our connections with others."
Miss Vermont USA Madison Trimbey Cota: "Tory Burch. She is everything I would ever hope to be. She is an American fashion designer, businesswoman, and philanthropist who has created an empire as a result of her hard-work and dedication in the field I aspire to work in."
Miss Virginia USA Jaqueline Carroll: "Ellen DeGeneres is one of the funniest people I follow on social media. She loves to see people smile and be rewarded in sometimes thankless jobs. I think this is a very basic act of kindness that draws me to love her personality."
Miss Washington USA Alex Carlson-Helo: "Academy-award winning actress and UN Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson is my role model. Not only did she play one of my all-time favorite characters, Hermione Granger, in the movie based on J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books, but she transcends this role into reality through her fierce passion for advocating for women's rights."
Miss West Virginia USA Lauren Roush: "Academy-award winning actress and UN Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson is my role model. Not only did she play one of my all-time favorite characters, Hermione Granger, in the movie based on J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books, but she transcends this role into reality through her fierce passion for advocating for women's rights."
Miss Wisconsin USA Skylar Witte: "I deeply admire Carrie Underwood, because as a young woman who was picked to win a nationally televised competition she never lost her small-town roots and values. Through immense stardom, she has never lost sight of who she is or what she stands for. As someone who follows her Instagram, it's nice to see a celebrity being relatable on their social media accounts."
Miss Wyoming 2016 Mikaela Show: "Olivia Culpo. Like Olivia, I grew up in a musical family that pushed me to continue with music and encouraged that it always be a part of my life. I admire that during her reign she was an advocate for many amazing Miss USA organizations while sharing her own message. She is one of my favorite Miss USAs, and I can relate so much to her upbringing and her involvement in pageants."