A change of scenery has paid off for Noelia Voigt when a move from Alabama to Salt Lake City lead to the Miss Utah USA crown, Miss USA and now Miss Universe
Miss USA is back on network TV and at the conclusion of The CW’s first pageant broadcast, Miss Utah USA 2023 Noelia Voigt was crowned Miss USA 2023. Noelia has been a long-time competition on the Miss USA pageant circuit, first competing at Miss Florida Teen USA in the late 2010s then placing first runner-up twice at Miss Alabama USA. After placing first runner-up to Sophie Burzynski at Miss Alabama USA 2023 she relocated to Salt Lake City for the opportunity to compete for Miss Utah USA. The rest, as they say, is history.
Miss USA 2023 Results
First runner-up to Noelia was Miss Hawaii USA 2023 Savannah Gankiewicz. Hawaii last placed first runner-up with Chelsea Hardin in 2016. Second runner-up was Miss Wisconsin USA 2023 Alexis Loomans, third runner-up was Miss Pennsylvania USA 2023 Jasmine Daniels and fourth runner-up was Miss Texas USA 2023 Lluvia Alzate.
Both Alexis Loomans and Jasmine Daniels are former Teen USA state titleholders – Alexis was Miss Wisconsin Teen USA 2018 and Jasmine was Miss Pennsylvania Teen USA 2015. For me, Jasmine’s top five placement avenges Miss Teen USA 2015 when I remember feeling she was extremely unlucky to miss out on a top five spot.
Congratulations to the 2023 Pennsylvania and Texas duos for making the top five at both Miss USA and Miss Teen USA – Jasmine’s sister titleholder Miss Pennsylvania Teen USA 2023 Maggie Ross placed second runner-up at Miss Teen USA yesterday while Miss Texas Teen USA 2023 Haylee Puckett was fourth runner-up. This was the first time since 2011 that Texas has made the top five at Miss USA and Miss Teen USA; and the first time ever for Pennsylvania.
Top 20 semi-finalists
The remaining top 20 semi-finalists for Miss USA 2023 were:
- Miss Alabama USA 2023 Sophie Burzynski
- Miss Arkansas USA 2023 Mackenzie Hinderberger
- Miss California USA 2023 Tianna Clark
- Miss Connecticut USA 2023 Karla Aponte Roque
- Miss District of Columbia USA 2023 Cassie Baloue
- Miss Florida USA 2023 Caroline Dixon
- Miss Illinois USA 2023 Samantha Elliott
- Miss Maryland USA 2023 Savena Mushinge
- Miss Nevada USA 2023 Josie Stephens
- Miss New Jersey USA 2023 Derby Chukwudi
- Miss New Mexico USA 2023 Bianca Wright
- Miss North Carolina USA 2023 Jordyn McKey
- Miss South Carolina USA 2023 Kirby Elizabeth Self
- Miss Virginia USA 2023 Ashley Williams
- Miss Washington USA 2023 Samantha Gallia
This year, not only were both Miss Congeniality and Miss Photogenic awarded, but category winners were presented. The awards were presented immediately following the telecast. I’d have loved to see this shared on Youtube or at the very least results and photos on the official social media and website but I’m still thrilled!
Overall Category Awards
- Best in Evening Gown – Miss Pennsylvania USA 2023 Jasmine Daniels
- Best in Swimsuit – Miss Texas USA 2023 Lluvia Alzate
- Best in Interview – Miss Hawaii USA 2023 Savannah Gankiewicz
- Miss Congeniality – Miss Alaska USA 2023 Jordan Naylor
- Miss Photogenic – Miss Massachusetts USA 2023 Annika Sharma
- Best Impact – Miss Mississippi USA 2023 Sydney Russell
Wisconsin equalled their previous highest placement from 1974, and recorded their first top five finish since then – and indeed only their third placement in those almost fifty years. Pennsylvania’s third runner-up placement is their first top five spot since 2008 and their highest finish since Michele McDonald’s win in 1971.
Dr Samantha Gallia’s top 20 placement for Washington is the Evergreen state’s first placement since 2004. Washington also made the top 20 at Miss Teen USA, making this a record year for Washington. North Carolina has made the cut three years in a row, a first for them. Connecticut placed back to back for the first time since the 1960s and Illinois has placed for four years in a row, for the first time since the 1980s.
Mackenzie Hinderberger and Kirby Elizabeth Self are both former Miss Teen USA contestants who competed alongside Alexis Loomans at Miss Teen USA 2018. Kirby was first runner-up at Miss USA and has now added a Miss USA semi-finalist spot to her resume. Josie Stephens and Jordyn McKey both competed together at Miss Louisiana USA before moving to North Carolina and Nevada respectively, and Mackenzie Hinderberger also has Louisiana roots and competed there as a Teen.
D & D Productions had two of their titleholders make the top 20 – Savena Mushinge and Derby Chuckwudi. Savena was raised in Zambia and Derby in Nigeria. There was some impressive diversity among the entire group of 51 contestants, not just in terms of diversity but in terms of where they were born and raised and having been fans of theirs since they were crowned I was thrilled to see Savena and Derby make the cut.
In addition to Texas and Pennsylvania both making the top five, California, District of Columbia, Illinois, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin placed at both Miss USA and Miss Teen USA this year. This was the first time that DC made the cut at both pageants since 2001, and the first time for Washington since 1983, the very first year that Miss Teen USA was held!
Some other thoughts
The top 20 cut
There has been a lot of talk about the decision to run with a top 20-top five cut this year but I don’t mind it and honestly I’ve always thought that having all the semi-finalists competing in evening gown and swimsuit makes for a fairer competition. Some are stronger in evening gown, others are stronger in swimsuit and I think it’s better not to make an arbitrary cut after one section of competition. I recall at Miss USA 2014 feeling sad that 10 contestants got cut after swimsuit and didn’t get a chance to show off their gowns. Either way, you’re going to cut all but five contestants, but this way the judges get to see more of each of them. Let me know what you thought in the comments!
The swimsuits themselves – I can see them being a little bit too much for some people but honestly, after last year I truly admire the vision to go a little Victoria’s Secret with the competition. I haven’t heard who sponsored them but again, I think Laylah has done well to pull this off with the tight timeframe and I can’t wait to see what happens over the next year. I also loved the opening number dresses for both the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA contestants (but wish we’d seen a more elaborate opener and that the contestants got to shout out their names!).
Miss USA history
Oh and the Miss USA creed – from talking to Laylah shortly after she took over I was hoping to see more nods to the history of the Miss USA pageant but again, there’s only so much that can be done in seven weeks. The resurrection of the Creed was a simple throwback that had me feeling teary. Great move. I also loved seeing Ruth Zakarian invited to judge the Teen pageant for her 40th anniversary. We know from the contestants that there was a group swimsuit photo taken at the pool this year, I hope we get to see it! Another great bit of history that’s great to see (well, hopefully) resurrected.
Finally, did anyone else feel like it was weird that Miss USA turned Miss Universe R’Bonney Gabriel wasn’t there? I can imagine it might have been a bit awkward but I’d kind of hoped people had moved past that after she won Miss Universe. I thought it was strange enough that she wasn’t at Miss Texas USA but I was expecting her Miss Universe win to be celebrated at Miss USA. Morgan Romano was gorgeous though – as always! – and it was great to see her highlighted so much. She’s done amazing things in the last six or so months.
I haven’t had a chance to watch the pageants properly yet – Australian problems (but shoutout to Brooke for the insta streaming!) – but from what I’ve seen, with the exception of one or two not-so-great comments the hosts for both Miss USA and Miss Teen USA appeared to actually know what they were doing this year which is a huge improvement over the cringe-fest that was the 2022 pageants.
All in all this felt like a pageant run by someone who cares (not to mention someone with the connections to pull this off so quickly) and that’s huge going forward. I’m really excited for this new era of Miss USA.
Get to know Miss USA 2023 Noelia Voigt
Noelia Voigt embodies the essence of a transformational leader and a force for good. As an Interior Design student, her dream is to establish her own design firm and host a TV show, where she gives back to families in need of a home makeover. Her bilingual background as a Venezuelan-American woman enriches her cultural perspective.
As the daughter of a Venezuelan immigrant, immigration rights are incredibly important to her. With a remarkable commitment to advocacy, Noelia has championed Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention for six years alongside the One Love Foundation, educating over a thousand students nationwide about the critical aspects of healthy and unhealthy relationships. She is also a published children’s book author.
Off-duty, Noelia finds joy in teaching her Australian Shepherd, Mila, tricks, going car camping amidst Utah’s National Parks, and Latin dancing. Her fascination with severe weather fuels her aspiration for future storm chasing adventures.
You can view her Noelia’s biography and photos of her Miss Utah USA 2023 crowning, state appearances, professional photos and past pageant photos on her titleholder profile. Check back regularly to see photos of her reign as Miss USA 2023.