Luxe Life Blog
Photos: New Miss Nevada Pageant winners prepare for national contests
UNLV student Randi Sundquist, 22, as the newly crowned Miss Nevada, starts her preparations today for the 2013 Miss America Pageant on Jan. 12 at Planet Hollywood and airing on ABC.
Randi won the title Tuesday night at the Casablanca Casino and Resort in Mesquite along with Henderson’s 15-year-old singing phenomenon Ellie Smith, who was crowned Miss Nevada’s Outstanding Teen.
Ellie flies next month to Orlando to compete in the Miss America Outstanding Teen competition. Our thanks to Las Vegas Sun photographer Leila Navidi for her fabulous photo gallery from the crowning ceremonies that ended two nights of exciting competition.
Both winners shoot their official Miss America portraits today in Las Vegas and file all of the necessary paperwork to compete. Both titleholders share the same platform of preventing youth violence and bullying. Ellie already has a hit YouTube video, “Don‘t Let It Get to You,” which she has performed for more than 30,000 students in over 60 schools.
Randi, who hails from Elko and is a former Miss Greater Las Vegas and Miss Summerlin, said, “I’m a little numb right now, but I’m so overjoyed and so excited. I’ve worked really hard for this, and I knew if it was God’s plan for me, then he would put this in my life. Words cannot express how honored and grateful I am. I am overwhelmed and very blessed.”
She defeated 11 other hopefuls, and it was her second attempt at the title, having placed third runner-up last year to Alana Lee.
“I feel like I’m in a dream right now,” Ellie said. “This year I want to spread my platform as much as I can and be a positive role model for teens and kids all across the state of Nevada. I am definitely looking forward to the amazing year ahead.”
Ellie, who won in a field of 16 contestants, also won the overall talent award with a classical vocal selection. 2011 winners Alana Lee and Bailey Gumm crowned Randi and Ellie, respectively. We posted Alana’s first-person account of her year as Miss Nevada on Monday.
The two titleholders will travel the state throughout their year promoting their platforms, along with the Miss America platform of the Children’s Miracle Network, at speaking engagements, school assemblies and community events.
Diana Sweeney of Moundhouse was the first runner-up, and the remainder of the court was all from Las Vegas: second runner-up Elizabeth Mercado, third runner-up Alyssa D’Agostino and fourth runner-up Ashley Tarchione. Elizabeth won the overall talent award with her vocal performance. The non-finalist interview award went to Jessika Wass of Gardnerville, and Marisela Avitia of Carson City received the non-finalist talent award.
In the Outstanding Teen competition, Sabrina Singh of Henderson was first runner-up, followed by Audrey Morris of Las Vegas, Katarina Clark of Reno and Paris Regan of Carson City. The non-finalist interview award went to Joy Thompson of Las Vegas and non-finalist talent to Makenzie St. Cyr of Reno.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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