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Miss Teen USA 98

Shreveport, Louisiana
Aug. 17, 1998

Vanessa Minnillo
Photo Miss Universe L.P., LLLP
Vanessa Minnillo
Photo Miss Universe L.P., LLLP

South Carolina's sweetheart

After one of the strangest and most hectic days in the history of any beauty pageant, Vanessa Minnillo of South Carolina was crowned Miss Teen USA on Aug. 17, 1998, in Shreveport, La. Bridgett Jordan of Tennessee, a former Miss Teen All American, was first runner-up, and Victoria LaShay Franklin of Nevada was second runner-up.

 

Ms. Minnillo, 17, who has noted with amusement to PNB that her name is often misspelled "Minillo," was also named Miss Congeniality by her fellow contestants. Exclusive PNB photos, click here.

Pageant plans were thrown into turmoil Monday when the White House confirmed what PNB had predicted weeks earlier TV coverage of President Bill Clinton's legal troubles would interfere with the broadcast of the contest.

Vanessa Minnillo
Photo Miss Universe L.P., LLLP

Pageant officials discussed  and even announced  several responses. They finally seemed to settle on the "hurricane option," crowning more than one finalist at the pageant and keeping the real winner's identify secret until the taped event could be broadcast. But at the last minute, this plan apparently was abandoned and the actual winner was announced.

Ms. Minnillo lives in Charleston. And check this out, Asian pageant fans: She was born in the Philippines.

Others in the top five were Virginia's Misty Horn and Wyoming's Gina DeBernardi.

Other semifinalists were Katee Doland of Colorado, Nicole Broderick of Florida, Christie Cole of Texas, Jennifer Reel of Mississippi and Nicole Manske of Illinois.

As if you weren't confused enough

Several news organizations, including PNB, originally printed a  slightly incorrect list of Miss Teen USA semifinalists. In the  process, Nicole Manske of Illinois and Katee Doland of Colorado were  deprived of due recognition. We apologize to them and to our readers. It was a rough night for the news media on all fronts.

All photos below Miss Universe L.P., LLLP
Tennessee
Tennessee
Nevada
Nevada
Virginia
Virginia
Wyoming
Wyoming
Colorado
Colorado
Florida
Florida
Texas
Texas
Mississippi
Mississippi
Illinois
Illinois

And what is the "hurricane option"?

It gets its name from the 1992 Miss Teen USA Pageant, when a hurricane was bearing down on Biloxi, Miss., the pageant venue. Organizers held the pageant early in the day, picked two finalists, Angela Logan of Oklahoma and Jamie Solinger of Iowa, and filmed the crowning of  both in front of the cheering crowd. No one was told which was the actual winner. That night, the taped pageant was telecast, and viewers saw only the crowning of the lucky teen, Ms. Solinger. (The hurricane turned and never struck Biloxi.)

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